Series 3: All About Sound 

What does love sound like? Which phrases transport us home? What are the sounds that matter to you?

In All About Sound author and poet Lemn Sissay delves into our sound collection with some special guests to discover how language, voice and sound has shaped us, our world and our identities.

Press play on a world of sound. 

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Unlocking Our Sound Heritage is a UK-wide project that will help save the nation’s sounds and open them up to everyone. Find out more about Unlocking Our Sound Heritage

Lemn Sissay looking sideways

Episode 9: Truth with Vanessa Kisuule

Why is poetry such a powerful lens for exploring truth? From personal truths to shedding light on topics society would rather overlook – Lemn Sissay is joined by award-winning writer and performer Vanessa Kisuule to explore this potency.

Episode 8: Protest

In the final episode of the series, Lemn is joined by Shami Chakrabarti to examine how campaigners have used language to further their aims throughout the centuries.

Episode 7: Monica Ali on Love

How do we capture what love feels like in language? Novelist Monica Ali joins Lemn to consider the complexities of affairs of the heart, as demonstrated through recordings in our archive.

Episode 6: Jonathan Nunn on Food

Lemn forages through our archive with writer Jonathan Nunn for some delicious morsels related to food. Together, they exploring the relationship between food and language. How do the ways we talk about food change over time? And what does the history of food writing tell us about how society has changed?

Episode 5: Amy Liptrot on Sea

Where would our language be without the sea? Lemn is joined by writer Amy Liptrot as they dive beneath the surface into our sound archive to hear how we, on this island nation, have been shaped by the sea.

Episode 4: Inua Ellams on Migration

When we migrate, can language help us feel at home? And how can words make us feel unwelcome? How does migration affect the ways we express ourselves in writing, poetry, performance? In this episode, Lemn is joined by poet and playwright Inua Ellams to explore the relationship between language and migration.

Episode 3: Sophie Willan on Home

Which sounds transport you home? Lemn is joined by BAFTA award-winning writer, actor and comedian, Sophie Willan, to investigate what home means to us.

Episode 2: Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris on Nature

Are we listening hard enough to the sounds of nature? Collaborators Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris join Lemn to ask this question and to summon back the lost sounds and words of the natural world.

Episode 1: Kae Tempest on Performance

Poet, playwright, rapper and activist Kae Tempest joins Lemn Sissay to discuss the power of live performance and the moments at which words transform into poetry.

Want to explore our sound collection further?

History of Recorded Sound

Find out about the technological leaps taken to record sound.


Explore the sounds and stories scattered along the shore.

If Homes Had Ears

Peek into domestic life as you may never have heard it before.

Speaking Out

Discover how the art of public speaking has shaped the world we live in.