Featured Artists: Michael Gallen, Abigail Kelly, SK Shlomo, Su-a Lee, Jahnavi Harrison
Mixed by: Camilo Tirado
Executive Producer: Clare Freeman
Release Date: 17 August 2020
Commissioned by: BBC Arts, The Space Arts, Arts Council England for Culture in Quarantine.
“Lockdown was a dark time for me. I was alone and isolated for weeks, struggling to compose music during the crisis. It felt like a great silence had fallen on the world, one that had stripped us all from inspiration and creativity. But within the silence, I began to notice sounds, the rhythm of my trainers as I ran, the screech of the kettle, electrical hums, fridges whirring and as spring approached, abundant birdsong."
" Reaching out to my fellow musicians, I wanted to know what sounds they were tuning into during this time. Were they finding new songs hidden in the mundane? Did they discover new inspiration concealed in the ordinary?"
"I feel lucky and grateful to have had this work commissioned by The Space Arts, BBC Arts and Arts Council England for Culture in Quarantine. It allowed me to channel my real life experience during a distressing time into a major, creative project, connecting with 5 wonderful musicians and their ‘Sounds of Silence’ all over the country.”
- Soumik Datta
When cities were abandoned and roads were left empty, musicians began tuning in to the silence of the lockdown world. A beatboxer in Basingstoke wrestled with the silence of his mind while a cellist searched for regeneration in the Highlands. An Irish pianist transcribed birdsong in Dublin, a British Jamaican soprano questioned the colour of her voice and a Kirtan singer explored the divine origins of sound.
Continuing BBC Radio 3’s pioneering slow radio productions that have proved particularly welcome under lockdown, Sounds Of Silence layers conversation and diverse music with exclusive field recordings of a lockdown UK. Vulnerable, honest and moving, each story shines a light on the human experience of silence and the sounds that break it. Made by award winning British Bengali composer and presenter Soumik Datta for BBC Arts Culture in Quarantine initiative; bringing arts and culture into the home of the nation under lockdown.
‘Sounds of Silence’ features 5 guests on 5 episodes from distinct locations across the nation, their stories interwoven with home recordings made specifically for this work. Datta’s new series is a canvas of delightful sounds and rare insights that address issues of mental health, loneliness, older audiences, racism in the arts and our connection to nature. Composer and presenter SOUMIK DATTA captures the stories of musicians in lockdown to discover their SOUNDS OF SILENCE during the global crisis.