Sound Vault: creating podcasts and celebrating listening
Sound Vault was a community-driven podcast and online audio network on the Surrey/Hampshire border which I set up for 18 months in 2017, created in partnership with Farnham Maltings.
It brought together a ‘sound collective’ of producers and volunteers. It aimed to craft a collection of shows by giving anyone the opportunity to pitch an idea.
Sound Vault worked with anyone who was successful in pitching an idea for a show, helping them produce and promote their podcast, obviously not just restricting it for the local audience. We operated out of a small studio space based in the East Wing of Farnham Maltings.
Sound Vault’s output focused on four main areas:
- first-person storytelling and unheard voices;
- specialist music;
- sound design and soundscapes;
- backstage work inspired by the venue that provides the project its home – Farnham Maltings.
Shows produced by Sound Vault included:-
- An Audio Listener’s Guide to Adequate Hearing, combining surreal humour, ambient music, sound design, and a narration in the style of an early BBC Radio presenter, and created by Aldershot based UCA film production student, Tom Garrett;
- Ex Hebridius is the result of an anxious, developing writer, Alasdair S. Goudie, attempting to process the tumultuous period of his recent life, including at university in Farnham, by fleeing back to the small Hebridean island he grew up on. Readings of his creative work, such as poetry, and reflections/commentary on the creative process;
- Mixed Bag is a specialist soul, jazz and funk show, presented by Upper Hale based bricklayer Mark Sumner, who before joining Sound Vault to bring his vinyl collection to life online, had never used a computer;
- MXCast is an audio diary of someone transitioning from female to non-binary gender status, focusing on UCA student, Katy Garnham;
- Tale Waves is a storytelling podcast for younger children by popular Farnham writer, Gilly Stewart (above). who before embarking on this project had never used a computer;
- The Particular features slices of personal oral history talking with people in their 60s, 70s, 80, and 90s, produced by me!;
- Tracks with Chack is a short four-part history of rap, produced by Yateley sixth-form student, Michael Chacko (above left), who spent a week on work experience with the project in the summer. Michael is a former Member of the UK Youth Parliament;
- US Railways Travelogue is a 17 episode series, where Tim Davies from Wrecclesham travels across the USA on the iconic Amtrak trains. Beautiful photography, as well as a fantastic sounding travelogue;
- World of Wonder is a show about politics and technology for children, created by then 11 year old Noah Dann (above right) from Farnham. He is a pupil at All Hallows School. The success of the first episode about Brexit saw Noah invited into the studios of Eagle Radio in Guildford, for an interview on Peter Gordon’s Breakfast Show.
Sound Vault saw collaborations with the University for the Creative Arts, the Museum of Farnham, and the Mayor of Yateley
As evidenced in podcasts created by people who have never previously used a computer, Sound Vault supported work on digital literacy in the local community. It also championed the concept of cultural democracy, enabling people at the grassroots to create art and get creative by actually doing it, and the realm of sound should be no different.
Above all, Sound Vault thrived by bridging the generations in age, bringing together the young and old to help them tell their stories, and express themselves, and in the process, Sound Vault plays its part in creating ‘social glue’ that can help combat some of the loneliness identified by the Jo Cox Commission recently.
As well as making its own podcasts, Sound Vault celebrated wider listening on the radio and podcasts from the UK and around the World. Look out for recommendations on their website, and via their social media feeds.
You can still catch all of the material from Sound Vault via a legacy website www.SoundVaultHQ.com.
Or, ‘Like’ us on Facebook (@SoundVaultHQ).
Or, ‘Follow’ us Twitter (@SoundVaultHQ), Instagram (@SoundVaultHQ) or Pinterest (@SoundVaultHQ) to keep updated on the latest shows, and find out more.
Sound Vault was a proud member of the Community Media Association.