"Sound Matters" is a journey into sound and how it plays such an influential, yet often undervalued role in our lives. The documentary looks at how sound affects us at work and at play, from the bizarre to the breathtaking - and how the ephemeral nature of sound gets inside and around us 360°, 24/7.
By the time we are born, after 9 months of existence in our mother's amniotic fluid (which amplifies sound by a factor of 5), hearing is one of our most advanced senses. Many of us announce our arrival into this world with sound - usually a good hearty roar, then use sound to communicate to our parents whether we are happy, hungry or otherwise. We learn pattern recognition, starting by learning our own names, and develop coherent speech. We then understand and mimic the subtlety of intonation and resonance used in speaking, to communicate emotion to each other - in other words it's not what we say, it's the way that we say it that's important. Then we experience a predominantly visually-led education, which frequently leads us to forgetting the important role sound plays in our daily lives - the soundtrack of our existence.
The documentary is a fun, scientific and researched look at just how sound influences us. It touches on one man's life passion of drawing people's attention to this - commercially, holistically, educationally and scientifically. It explains how sound effects us cognitively, physiologically, psychologically - thus changing our behaviour. Experience the power of pre-cognitive synesthesia, human echo-location, psycho-acoustics, how sound
influences consumer purchasing decisions, the importance of sound in our home and work environment.
The documentary is interspersed with interviews from the likes of James Sanger - the producer of Keane's hugely successful "Hopes and Fears" album that utilised many psycho-acoustic techniques, Stephen Williams - the CEO of the Antique Wine Company and experienced Sommelier - who recently sold the most expensive bottle of wine ever and Ed Bentham the founder of the Atlantic Whale Foundation who are pioneering research into how cetaceans use sound to change human brain states.
This journey into sound will serve as a reminder of the many ways sound interacts with us, and how we interact with it in our daily lives; ultimately the documentary will highlight how and why "Sound Matters".
Narrated by Susan Hickey.
Produced by Peter Stone and Susan Hickey
First broadcast Saturday 10th December 2011.
An Irish radio documentary from RTÉ Radio 1, Ireland - Documentary on One - the home of Irish radio documentaries.