59 episodes

An antidote to today’s frenzied world. Step back, let go, immerse yourself: it’s time to go slow.A lo-fi celebration of pure sound.

Slow Radio BBC

    • Music

An antidote to today’s frenzied world. Step back, let go, immerse yourself: it’s time to go slow.A lo-fi celebration of pure sound.

    Sounds of the Earth - December

    Sounds of the Earth - December

    A montage of music and natural sounds from the Abernethy Forest in the Scottish Highlands, coniferous woodland that is home to chaffinches, wren, willow warblers, mistle thrush, Scottish crossbills and more; we meet an Oscillated Turkey, native to the rainforests of Guatemala; we’ll warm your cockles with the sound of thermal mud pools at Poikili Hot Springs in Papua New Guinea; and from mud pools to marshland – we finish in Louisiana USA with the sound of cicadas and common grackles.

    • 25 min
    Sounds of the Earth - November

    Sounds of the Earth - November

    Relax with a calming mix of music and natural sounds - from the chirping of nesting seabirds on a remote island to night-time in the marshes of Trinidad, sounds from the banks of a mighty Kenyan river and the waking dawn in the heart of Southern India.

    • 30 min
    The Sounds of Al-Andalus

    The Sounds of Al-Andalus

    A journey in sound across the lands intimately associated with Al-Andalus, medieval Moorish Spain and Portugal. Starting in Granada at the glorious Alhambra Palace, we hear the running water of the fountains that adorn the palace as well as the sound of modern day Andalusia, with flamenco singer Juan Pinilla. We then move to Alfama and Mouraria in the old Arab quarter of Lisbon, where we hear the melancholic melodies of fado, as well as the trams that transport both tourists and locals around the city.

    We then travel south, to Loulé in the Algarve, before crossing the sea to Morocco, and the sounds of the old Medina in Fez. It is the sound of the sea - across which invaders travelled and refugees and exiles escaped - that we end on.

    • 22 min
    Listening to Lalibela

    Listening to Lalibela

    In 1968 Redzi Bernard's mother arrived in Lalibela - Ethiopia's holy city - on a mule after an arduous trek through the mountains. Earlier this year Redzi recreated her mother's journey and when she arrived in Lalibela she discovered a timeless world.

    Just before dawn on a Sunday, she enters an church complex - all below ground level - where hundreds of pilgrims gather in white robes, incense burns, and drums and incantations fill the air.

    Ethiopian Orthodox priests lead ceremonies and devotees pray with eyes closed and palms stretched upwards. As day breaks, birdsong and light filter into the scene and slowly pilgrims start to drift away.

    To hear Redzi's Ethiopian journey in full go to BBC Sounds and search for 'Journey of a Lifetime'

    • 26 min
    Downtown Nashville, Tennessee

    Downtown Nashville, Tennessee

    Think of the American South and one man-made sound plays out evocatively across the landscape: the horn of a passing freight train. For a century and a half it's been almost synonymous with the idea of America, particularly where the rural blends with the urban. In the city of Nashville, Tennessee - 'music city' - the last century has been accompanied by another signature sound: the honky tonk bar.

    In this leisurely half hour, we witness the musical arrival of a freight train as it crosses the public highway into downtown Nashville. The rattle of the tracks and sonorous horn dissolve into the sounds of Broadway, the strip where every premises has windows open onto the street, spilling music out to draw tourists in. And between the bars, buskers plug the gaps.

    It takes about half an hour to walk up and down Broadway from the Cumberland River - past honky tonks throbbing with Dolly Parton and Lynyrd Skynyrd covers, street renditions of Louis's Wonderful World and pedal-powered bars pumping out hits for bachelorette parties.

    The sounds which compete for our attention within this cacophony provide as vivid a snapshot of contemporary Nashville as the freight train horn that sits so snugly within this cityscape, framing the downtown walk.

    Produced by Hannah Dean with recordings by Alan Hall.
    A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 3.

    • 30 min
    Sounds of the Earth - October

    Sounds of the Earth - October

    A montage of music and natural sounds from farmland in Somerset where willow warblers, robins and swallows merge with the faint chirp of crickets; a group of white rhinos going about their daily business in KwaZulu Natal; a troupe of busy white-throated Capuchin monkeys in a Costa Rican rainforest; and the ethereal call of the bellbird echoing through a forest in New Zealand.

    • 36 min

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