Hark! The Acoustic World of Elizabethan England

Listen to “Hark! The Acoustic World of Elizabethan England”

The idea is practically ludicrous – a radio program about the English soundscape 400 years ago…. when there were no recordings! How on Earth do you accomplish that, for an hour no less? Well, Chris Brookes, Paolo Pietropaolo, and Alan Hall figured out a way to do it and it’s genius. Of course it would be. Brookes, Pietropaolo, and Hall are three of the most creative radio producers around.

The three produced the documentary in 2008 and it’s called “Hark! The Acoustic World of Elizabethan England.” I found the program so stimulating that it sparked a New Year’s resolution – listen deliberately to the sounds around me as often as possible.

As the doc’s title suggests, “Hark!” explores what the English city and countryside may have sounded like some four centuries ago. While doing so, the piece places our modern soundscape under an audio microscope and poses some cogent questions about what we listen to day in and day out – hence my New Year’s resolution.

Please take time to listen to this doc. It’s lengthy and well worth your attention. I recommend headphones or planting yourself in front of your favorite speakers. You won’t regret it.

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