Sounds of the Year: Awards for the best everyday, innovative and creative sounds

Shortlisted is a recording made on the surface of Sólheimajökull glacier in Iceland.
Shortlisted is a recording made on the surface of Sólheimajökull glacier in Iceland. Copyright Manuel Tauber-Romieri @canva
Copyright Manuel Tauber-Romieri @canva
By Katy Dartford
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Categories include Best Natural Sound, Disappearing Sound, Best Sound Innovation In Everyday Life and Most Unpleasant Sound.


Sounds encapsulating the events of the past twelve months are to be celebrated at the third edition of the Sound of the Year Awards in London.

The event will take place at the British Library on Thursday night, honouring sound in all its forms and from all corners of the world, from the ordinary to the to most innovative and creative.

Shortlisted pieces include a recording by Anton Stuk, on February 26, on the third day of the Russian invasion of Chernihiv in northern Ukraine. 

Stuk explains that it was recorded at the home of his mother using just a mobile phone: "She was going to the shelter at that time to meet some people nearby and during that recording starts the artillery fire. That was the first shelling at such close range. Luckily, in that shelling, nobody died," he says.

Another shortlisted sound is 'Gestures of thaw' recorded in Sólheimajökull, Iceland on July 2022 by Pablo Diserens, who explains: 

"There, between piles of ashes dating back from Katla’s last eruption in 1918, moulins, crevasses, and streams of meltwater, lies a small opening. A deep blue crack filled with water, an aperture into the entrails of the glacier, teeming with sounds."

Captured with a hydrophone, Diserens describes them as "growls" from "vibrations of air trapped for hundreds of years being released back into the atmosphere...As the bubbles stridulate and swim to the surface, the Earth’s old atmosphere carries its history back into the air".

'Community' by Hamed Mafakheri captures the sounds of October 1, 2022 "when people in Toronto had a march for people in Iran called "Women, life, freedom" to protest against the Iranian government for killing a girl named Mahsa Amini for not wearing her hijab properly".

Shortlisted in the Natural sounds category is Ludwig Berger's Photosynthetic Beats: 

"On a too-hot summer day in a bog in the Swiss Jura, I recorded a common bladderwort with a hydrophone. As aquatic plants photosynthesize, they release oxygen bubbles from their stems and leaves, resulting in rhythmic sonic impulses," Berger explains.

This year's awards are judged by a panel of experts from the international sound community, with category partners including The British Library, Natural History Museum, Quiet Mark, Accidental, the Southbank Centre’s National Poetry Library, Sound On Sound, and UK Hearing Conservation Association.

The Sound of the Year Awards categories are: Sound of the Year, Best Natural Sound, Disappearing Sound, Composed with Sound Best Sound Innovation In Everyday Life, Best Imagined Sound, Best Innovation In Sound Technology and Most Unpleasant Sound.

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