Sound artist and podcast producer Tim Hinman talks soundscapes and cities, and the new, third series of Bang & Olufsen's Sound Matters podcast.

Tim Hinman contemplating the soundscape in his Copenhagen studio. Photo: Emil Hartvig

Tim Hinman contemplating the soundscape in his Copenhagen studio. Photo: Emil Hartvig

Sound Matters: Podcast

Tim Hinman

 

Bang & Olufsen's award-winning podcast series is heading into its third season in early 2018. Writer and producer, Tim Hinman, talks listening, our soundscape, and the noise of the city.

By Nate Budzinski

 
 

Subscribe to Sound Matters on Soundcloud or iTunes and get the next episode immediately after it's uploaded.


 

Soundscape

Our surrounding soundscape is as important as the landscape we see around us. And sound gets inside of us in a way that no other sense allows for. You cannot switch off hearing, we feel it through our bodies, it makes us move differently, it makes us happy or upset, relaxed or alert. Our soundscape is part of who we are individually, as well as collectively.

Cityscape

“That’s what we are trying to get to understand in series three – how we, as the collective human race, deal with the noise we make, and that surrounds us,” explains series producer and writer Tim Hinman as he takes some time out to speak with me in his studio. “How are we changed by our soundscape? How do we change it ourselves, for better or for worse? And it’s important that we look at cities, especially in terms of sound design and noise pollution for the future, because more and more of us are living in cities. How can we get through the noise?”


Sound Matters series 02 episode visuals

“How are we changed by our soundscape? How do we change it ourselves?”
Visuals for episode #12: “New Tunes From Old Bones” about ancient instruments and the people who recreate and play them in contemporary times

Visuals for episode #12: “New Tunes From Old Bones” about ancient instruments and the people who recreate and play them in contemporary times

Early warning system

Our hearing adapted over thousands of years with a focus on nature and our surrounding environment. For millennia it was our early warning system against sneaky predators, as well as how we celebrated through music. Fast forward to present day: over half of us live in cities – noisy urban environments filled with the sounds of cars, electronic machinery and other buzzing technology. But we’re still living with a nervous system that was finely tuned to the relative peace of the pre-industrial natural world for millennia. Instead of the fear of being eaten by a bear, our ears are on edge to the noise of the city.

Cultural soundscape

Hinman continues: “We thought it would be interesting to meet a number of artists, designers, curators and other creative types and speak with them not only about their literal surrounding soundscape, but also the cultural one too – the music and sound art that intrigues them and makes them think about their surroundings and sense of place.” So, where will Hinman be taking us on his intrepid journey? “We’ll start out in my hometown, Copenhagen, and then we’ll visit London, Moscow, Lagos, Delhi, New York, and then onwards to places unknown..."

 

Ears open

It all comes back down to keeping our ears open, and staying aware of how we listen just as much as what we are listening to. Tune in and keep your ears alert for the third series, launching at the start of 2018.

Click here to stream, download, subscribe and otherwise listen to all episodes of Sound Matters series 01 & 02

 
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