Noise: A Human History is written and presented by Professor David Hendy from the University of Sussex and produced by Matt Thompson. It takes the listener from prehistory to the present, encompassing the shamanistic music of our cave-dwelling ancestors, the babel of ancient Rome, the massacre of noisy cats in pre-revolutionary Paris, the nerve-destroying din of trench warfare, right through to the cacophony of the modern metropolis, using sound and listening to bring the past to life.
The writer and presenter of the series, David Hendy, collaborated with curators from the British Library's Sound Archive to create the series, drawing on the Library's sound collections which span from wildlife, environment and nature, world and traditional music, and oral histories. Sounds from the British Library's collections, including Canadian frogs, shamans and recordings of Florence Nightingale and Robert Browning will be dotted throughout the programmes, contributing to the story of how sound plays a central part in human history.
David Hendy, the creator of Noise, said "Without the British Library's Sound Archives, there's no doubt we wouldn't have been able to give the radio series its rich, layered quality - or, indeed, its global range. Sound is horribly ephemeral. So capturing the sound of the past a challenging task. Thankfully, the extraordinary collections of the Library, the pioneering work of early sound-recordists, and the expertise of its current curators, have combined to provide for us a brilliant cacophony of noise."
Noise: A Human History is a Rockethouse Production for BBC Radio 4. To listen to episodes of the Noise series, go to www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01rglcy
Blog posts are also available to read from British Library Sound Curators on BBC Radio 4's blog.