Vermillion Sounds


Bibi-Heybat Oilfields, near Baku, Azerbaijan. Photograph, Peter Cusack

Vermilion Sounds was a radio programme produced by Peter Cusack and Isobel Clouter which premiered on ResonanceFM on the 7th of June, 2002. Vermilion Sound’s remit was to bring listeners the best of field-recording, phonography and acoustic ecology and to engage with issues related to the sound environment. The approach was intended to be a varied one, with some individual programmes commissioned from renowned artists and other shows featuring exclusively musical works, or dedicated to studio discussions or interviews with specific artists, illustrated by their work. Having received initial funding through the National Lottery, Cusack and Clouter went on to produce 66 shows between 2002 and 2006. Vermilion Sounds continues with the occasional special edition, such as Chernobyl Soundscapes on May 21st of 2008, and Patrick Sutherland’s Spiti Weddings on May 28th of the same year. While the focus has been predominantly on show-casing new work, Vermilion Sounds broadcast the historic acoustic ecology series Crossing Canada, originally produced in the 1970s by R. Murray Schafer and the World Soundscape Project. These ten programmes now reside in the British Library Sound Archive.

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