Welcome to The Quiet Mark Podcast.
Simon Gosling, CMO at Quiet Mark - the independent, international approval award programme associated with the UK Noise Abatement Society - explores our relationship with sound in a series of conversations with experts who’ve spent their lives working with acoustics.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recognises environmental noise as the 2nd largest environmental health risk in Western Europe behind air quality. The Mayor of London’s Environment Strategy warns that noise can contribute towards a range of physical and mental health problems, disturb sleep and affect people’s hearing, communication and learning.
And, in our smart-phone era, noise isn’t only about the big sounds of planes, traffic and construction sites. Smaller sounds like someone FaceTiming on the bus or playing music loudly through their tinny headphones can cause stress, annoyance and impact on our mental health.
Let’s talk quietly about sound.
Episode 20: THE SOUND OF THE STARS - Paul Gregory & Nick Dunn - The International Dark-Sky Association
Episode 20, ‘The Sound of the Stars’, marks the 1st anniversary of The Quiet Mark Podcast. Yay!! And just as our 1st episode, with Acoustics Director, Richard Grove, and Colin Ball, Lighting Director at BDP (Building Design Partnership), looked at the relationship between Light & Sound in architectural design, this latest one explores the parallels between Light and Noise pollution.
Our guests on this episode are Paul Gregory - Global Specification & Training Director at Dyson and Nick Dunn, Executive Director of ImaginationLancaster & Professor of Urban Design at Lancaster University, both members of The International Dark-Sky Association.
April 5th to 12th sees The International Dark-Sky Association's 2021 International Dark Sky Week. Every year, the International Dark-Sky Association hosts International Dark Sky Week (IDSW) to raise awareness about light pollution’s many negative effects.
Our world has become a 24/7 society. We use outdoor lighting, such as street lights and shop windows, to be more active at night and to increase our safety and security. But what impact is this lighting having on our sleep and on nature?
The stars and the sun have thousands of soundwaves bouncing around inside them at any given moment. Understanding these stellar harmonies represents a revolution in astronomy. By "listening" for stellar sound waves with telescopes, scientists can figure out what stars are made of, how old they are, how big they are and how they contribute to the evolution of our Milky Way galaxy as a whole.
A wave of silence has spread across the planet as man-made noise fell by 50% during the first worldwide coronavirus lockdowns. Noise pollution was reduced by 50% and suddenly nature, especially birdsong, seemed noticeably louder than ever before. But can the same be said of light pollution?
Our show host, Simon Gosling, asks Paul and Nick these and other questions about the wonder of stargazing and how a beautiful starry sky can change your life, for the better, forever.
Episode 19: DON'T BE ALARMED! - Dr. Elif Özcan (Vieira) - TU Delft & Critical Alarms Lab
Our guest on this episode is Dr. Elif Ozcan Vieira - Associate Professor in Sound-driven Design and Research at the TU Delft Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering. She's currently working mainly in the fields of space operations, and healthcare - both of which she discusses with our host, Simon Gosling, on the show.Top education and research are central to TU Delft, the oldest and largest technical university in the Netherlands. Their 8 faculties offer 16 bachelor's and more than 30 master's degree programs. Their more than 25,000 students and 6,000 employees share a fascination with science, design and technology. Their shared mission: impact for a better society. (Something that resonates very well with us here at Quiet Mark!)Elif is the director of the Critical Alarms Lab (CAL), which is a new initiative of the TU Delft Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering. CAL aims to shape the future of product-user interactions in complex environments through audible, visual, and haptic information design. The lab is a flexible consortium of individuals, institutes, and companies, and it offers multiple opportunities for student participation.
In fact, it's that healthcare connection that brought us together because Elif was kindly introduced to us by a previous guest on our podcast, Yoko Sen, an ambient musician who's applying talents and skills to transforming the sounds of alarms in hospitals, to make them less stressful, more natural-sounding environments. This is something with which she collaborates with Elif and you'll hear Elif's own experiences of their pioneering partnership in this episode.As an Associate Professor at the TU Delft Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, Elif teaches and does research on `form and experience-driven and `sound-driven' design. Her academic career started at the TU Delft as well, with doing a Ph.D. study on product sounds (`Product sounds: Fundamentals and application'). With this study, she is the first to establish a comprehensive theory about product sounds based on empirical evidence.
Episode 18: THE SOUND OF SLEEP - John Lopos - The National Sleep Foundation
Our guest on Episode 18 is John Lopos, CEO of The National Sleep Foundation, released a week before their annual SLEEP AWARENESS WEEK, 14th to 20th March, 2021. This annual event celebrates sleep health and encourages the public to prioritize sleep to improve overall health and wellbeing.With Stanford research showing an incredible 42 percent of the U.S. labor force now working from home full-time, a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, The Quiet Mark Podcast host, Simon Gosling, asks:
“What impact can The New Normal have on our sleep routines?”
Working from home in many ways reduces the need for such a rigid bedtime and wake up time, in large part because we no longer have a commute to contend with. As nice as this extra time is in the morning, the lack of separation between work and rest times can make it hard to wind down and fall asleep at night when we have been at home all day.
WFH is all very well, but it’s also vitally important to take time to be HFW (Home From Work)!With nearly 30 years of diverse experience across multiple healthcare and non-profit organizations, John Lopos has longstanding ties to the sleep health community, including his relationship with the NSF for the past 17 years. Most recently, he served for 8 years as an NSF Director, having been active on several task forces and committees including Development, Public Awareness, Compensation, and Finance. He also has been part of the organization’s advocacy on Capitol Hill for the past several years.
National Sleep Foundation (NSF) is dedicated to improving health and well-being through sleep education and advocacy. Founded in 1990, the NSF is committed to advancing excellence in sleep health theory, research, and practice.
Episode 17: THE NOISE ABATEMENT SOCIETY - Lisa Lavia
"Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting)"), or so says the title of the single from Elton John's classic 1973 album, 'Goodbye Yellow Brick Road', but, here at Quiet Mark, we possibly subscribe more to John Lennon's words in The Plastic Ono Band's 1969 anthemic chant, 'Give Peace a Chance'.
But can sound, (or rather sound design and soundscapes), really have the power to stop people from fighting, and instead return peacefully to their homes, as the clubs empty on busy Saturday Night? Well, that's just one of the many NAS Soundscape Programme's adventures in sound that Lisa Lavia, Managing Director of The Noise Abatement Society (NAS), shares in conversation with our host, Simon Gosling, in this episode of The Quiet Mark Podcast.
'There are no bad sounds. There are only the wrong sounds in the wrong context', explains Lisa as she talks of her work establishing the NAS’ soundscape programme, which has positioned NAS firmly at the global forefront of international soundscape standardisation and applied soundscape practices in the UK through demonstration projects, applied research and policy development.
The Noise Abatement Society campaigns and conducts research, education and outreach to policymakers, industry, academia, and citizens to solve noise pollution problems for the benefit of all. Listen to Lisa explain its origins, its family ties with Quiet Mark and the work it does to provide solutions to noise pollution, support the next generation of acousticians, encourage better sound design and improve acoustics in the built environment.
Episode 16: SOUND OF THE YEAR AWARDS - Matthew Herbert - BBC New Radiophonic Workshop & Cheryl Tipp - Curator of Wildlife & Environmental Sounds - British Museum
10 yrs from now, what sound will transport you straight back to 2020? Clapping Our NHS Heroes? Louder birdsong during lockdown?
In this episode, we explore the first-ever Sound of the Year Awards with Matthew Herbert and Cheryl Tipp. We also look at the huge increase in natural soundscape stream that has occurred during lockdown and discuss the art of field recording.
The inaugural Sound of the Year Awards 2020 is a newly launched celebration of everyday sound (not music) in all its forms presented by The Museum Of Sound in partnership with The New BBC Radiophonic Workshop and others.
The awards aim to highlight the rapidly-growing international community of sound professionals and enthusiasts. During lockdown there has been a chance to hear the world differently, cities, in particular, have been transformed as they’ve emptied. Sound, listening and a healthy sonic environment are becoming recognised as a vital part of our daily lives.
Where there are many awards shows for everything associated with moving images, the time seems right to acknowledge and support those working hard to build and share their knowledge and recordings of moving audio in this new age of sound.
Matthew Herbert - BBC New Radiophonic Workshop & Cheryl Tipp - Curator of Wildlife & Environmental Sounds - British Museum are both Judges at The Sound of the Year Awards. Our host, Simon Gosling, finds out what all the noise is about!
In addition, he asks Cheryl Tipp to share the ins and outs of her role looking after the 250K recorded sounds archive at The British Library and what being a Curator of Natural Sounds at The British Library entails.
Episode 15: REDUCING NOISE IN HOSPITALS - Yoko Sen - Sen Sound
In this episode, we explore the future sound of hospitals, with ambient electronic musician and the founder of Sen Sound, Yoko Sen. In a recent episode, Marcia Jenneth Epstein, author of SOUND AND NOISE: A Listener's Guide to Everyday Life, spoke of how our sense of hearing still functions in a coma and is the last sense to go when we pass away, which raised the question, 'What's the last sound you'd like to hear?'Research has demonstrated that 72% to 99% of clinical alarms are false. The high number of false alarms has led to alarm fatigue. Alarm fatigue is sensory overload when clinicians are exposed to an excessive number of alarms, which can result in desensitization to alarms and missed alarms. Patient deaths have been attributed to alarm fatigue. Not only is this volume of sound stressful and exhausting for the clinicians and hospital staff, for the patients it's hardly conducive to their recovery.With Sen Sound, Yoko pursues a vision to transform the sound environment in hospitals. As a classically trained musician, sensitive to sound, she was disturbed by the noise she had experienced in hospitals as a patient. Since then, she has embarked on a mission to humanize the hospital experience by improving its soundscapes.Yoko has presented nationally and internationally, including TEDMED (2018) and Aspen Ideas Festival: Health (2019), and her work has been featured in New York Times, BBC, and STAT. Sen Sound’s initiative, “My Last Sound,” was selected as a Top Idea by Open IDEO’s End of Life challenge, involving hundreds of people from around the world sharing the last sound they wish to hear. Sen Sound has collaborated with companies such as Medtronic to improve the sound experience design of medical devices, and it has been named as a 2020 finalist for the International Design Excellence Award by the Industrial Designers Society of America. Sen Sound has produced a film, “Sounds of Caring: New York,” which has become an official selection at six film festivals internationally and won Bronze Award at Independent Short Awards (Sep 2020).
At this time of a global pandemic, clinicians and medical staff are under intense pressure. Treating an ever increasing number of patients and finding enough emergency beds is far more urgent a priority than sound and acoustics. Nevertheless, news of vaccinations provides hope that we are in the beginnings of an end to this global catastrophe. The work that Yoko does with Sen Sound, and the product development innovation of our Quiet Mark Certified Manufacturer partners, found on our acousticsacademy.com, will all combine to improve the future sound of the hospital experience, be that the joy of the birth of a new child, or the sad passing of a loved one.