The World According to Sound

95 EpisodesProduced by Chris Hoff and Sam Harnett

A miniature radio show that tells stories with sounds instead of, well, stories. Sign up on our website to receive new episodes: Every ninety-second episode is about a different sound. You could hear Earth Whistlers, mudpots, or bridges; a dying language, a forgotten language,… read more

episodes iconAll Episodes

86 – Sound Audio: Coast to Coast

June 5th, 2018


Oh the things you hear in the middle of the night on AM radio.

85 – Sound Audio: Birth of Modern Radio

May 29th, 2018


The modern generation of audio makers lies in the shadow of this show.

84 – Sound Audio: Father Cares

May 22nd, 2018


NPR used to be willing to experiment with the format of the radio it made.

83 – Sound Audio: Edward R. Murrow

May 15th, 2018


Bringing the war into your living room.

81 - Sound Audio: Boring

May 1st, 2018


It's so good it will put you to sleep and you'll be happy about it.

80 – Sound Audio: The Last of the Zeppelins

April 24th, 2018


Radio reporting live on scene pretty much started with the Hindenburg.

78 – Sound Audio: Year in Food

April 10th, 2018


Beef sandwich beef sandwich beef sandwich beef sandwich beef sandwich beef sandwich beef sandwich beef sandwich beef sandwich beef sandwich beef sandwich beef sandwich beef sandwich beef sandwich crumpets crumpets …

77 – Sound Audio: Idea of North

April 3rd, 2018


Everybody's talking at the same time.

76 – Textile Manufacturing

November 14th, 2017


We know Penelope could use one. Unclear whether anybody today can.

75 – The Last Singer of His Kind

November 7th, 2017


He is the only one who has ever been recorded singing this way.

74 – Spanish Lottery

October 31st, 2017


So many winning numbers, so so many hours of singing.

73 – Amorous Arachnids

October 24th, 2017


If I had eight legs and pedipalps, I'd probably do this too.

71 – Gassy Exchange

October 11th, 2017


Gas imploding under water isn't relegated just to your bathtub.

70 – Car Laughter

October 3rd, 2017


Laughter from beyond the grave.

69 – Feeding Time

September 26th, 2017


A day in the life of nature at Yellowstone National Park.

68 – A Sylvan Inferno

September 19th, 2017


A fire rages in Yellowstone National Park.

67 – Aqueous Eruptions

September 13th, 2017


The first in a series of recordings from Yellowstone National Park.

66 – WATS to Come

August 23rd, 2017


We've been gone a while, but new episodes are coming! Here's a taste.

Last Day – Wigwam

May 9th, 2017


The World According to Sound rolls into Manheim, PA, to drop off its inimitable Claire Brothers loudspeakers and effectively bring their tour to an …

Day 17 – Green Room

April 26th, 2017


A few minutes before showtime in Boston.

Day 15 – Quintessenshell

April 25th, 2017


Ambulations along a beach on Cape Cod.

Day 13 – Leef Blowing

April 10th, 2017


At a gas station in Lee, Massachusetts.

Day 12 – Smith Opera House

April 9th, 2017


A soundcheck from the balcony of an empty opera house.

Day 5 – Skidmore

March 30th, 2017


An hour and a half before our show at Skidmore, we got an inside tip about a reverberant paradise.

Day 2 – Post-show Detox

March 26th, 2017


The morning after the first live show in Burlington, VT, WATS needed to do a little cleaning.

Day 1 – Sleet Sounds and Van Troubles

March 25th, 2017


On the eve of The World According to Sound's East Coast tour, inclement weather in Vermont gave our tour van some problems.

65 – Brain Artery

February 28th, 2017


The soothing sounds of blood pumping through your brain.

64 – Number Stations

February 14th, 2017


Achtung! I guess if I had to secretly communicate with foreign agents, I'd just say a bunch of random numbers too.

63 – Coal Miner

February 6th, 2017


33 percent of America's electricity comes from coal. You're probably using energy generated from that black rock right now. It's extracted from the ground by guys like Mackie Branham.

62 – American Unrest: Immigration Ban Protest 1/28/17

January 30th, 2017


Not all of America takes kindly to Trump's ban of immigrants.

61 – Funnel Bubble

January 24th, 2017


Making plum wine in your kitchen is unexpectedly melodious.

60 – Rebel Yell

January 18th, 2017


The confederate war cry resembled "a foxhunt yip mixed up with sort of a banshee squall."

59 – Telephonic Symphony

January 5th, 2017


The mellifluous tones of a Japanese electronics store.

58 – American Unrest: Presidential Protest 11/9/16

November 10th, 2016


The sound of Donald Trump getting elected in San Francisco.

57 – Oldest Song

September 15th, 2016


This song shows that Western music is almost a 1,000 years older than we used to believe.

56 – Musique Concrète

September 13th, 2016


About a hundred years ago, Berlin sounded like this.

55 – Watery Pipes

September 8th, 2016


The Pacific Ocean's uncanny undulations.

53 – Leaf Blower

August 30th, 2016


Sometimes you need to make do with the greenery at hand.

WATS Live Show

August 9th, 2016


Come sit in the dark with us and take in some aural delights!

WATS Special: The Sounds of Music

July 12th, 2016


The first long episode of The World According to Sound. Whoa.

52 – Google Song

July 7th, 2016


It could be a grim future for music.

51 – A Sonic Barber Pole

July 5th, 2016


This auditory illusion is almost enough to make you go mad.

50 – Whistle Register

June 28th, 2016


Mariah Carey made this famous, but its been a part of pop for a long time.

49 – Yaybahar

June 21st, 2016


This acoustic instrument can kick the ass of any electric one.

48 – Cat Organ

June 14th, 2016


A cat organ fit for a king. Or, at least a prince.

47 – Sonic Stalactites

June 7th, 2016


Gotta do a little spelunking to play these pipes.

46 – Chasing Away the Homeless: a How-to

May 31st, 2016


A classic, but not classy way to keep the poor away from your place of business.

45 – Cat Music

May 24th, 2016


Just because you like Beethoven doesn't mean your cat does.

44 – Drumming Like the Wind

May 17th, 2016


Convulsing for a minute with sticks in your hands.

43 – Torture Music

May 10th, 2016


Many American pop hits have been used for a dark purpose.

41 – Concentration Camp Music

April 26th, 2016


During the Holocaust, prisoners in concentration camps wrote songs like this.

40 – Singing Roads

April 19th, 2016


The road less travelled never sang to you, did it?

39 – The Secret Sounds Giraffes Make When the Sun Goes Down

April 12th, 2016


Speaking with our dappled, long-necked animal friends.

38 – Idioglossia

April 5th, 2016


Inventing a language at the age of two.

Sign up on our website to hear more episodes:

37 – Singing Sand

March 29th, 2016


If the sand should sing your praises, they would outnumber the stars in heaven.

Sign up on our website to hear more episodes:

36 – Washing Machine Music

March 22nd, 2016


Musique concrète takes a trip to the laundromat.

Sign up on our website to hear more episodes:

35 – Involuntary Vocalization

March 15th, 2016


We wonder if piano teachers actually instruct their students to squeal, groan, and hum as they play.

Read More:

34 – Ants

March 8th, 2016


God, ants are SO loud when they walk!

Thanks to Stephen Frost for the recording. Check out his other projects here!

30 – Man Bird

February 23rd, 2016


I too would like to have an ornithological larynx.

29 – Ode to Joy

February 16th, 2016


This piece of music has been co-opted like no other.
To hear more episodes, go to

28 – Consuming

December 22nd, 2015


The most powerful economy in the world at work.

To hear more episodes, go to

27 – Mechanical Music

December 17th, 2015


The randomness of a hundred different rhythms.

To hear more episodes, go to

26 – ASLSP

December 15th, 2015


This song will finish in about another 600 years.

To hear more episodes, go to

25 – Gravitational Waves

December 10th, 2015


Hearing the ripples in space-time.

To hear more episodes, go to

24 – WiFi

December 8th, 2015


Being surrounded by invisible streams of data.

To hear more episodes, go to

23 – Stukas

December 3rd, 2015


By the time you hear this trumpet, it's probably too late.

22 – The Hour of Charm

December 1st, 2015


According to some, you need more than musical talent to make charming music.

The recording of The Hour of Charm in this episode was preserved by the Stanford Archive of Recorded Sound.

To hear …

21 – Achromatopsia

November 24th, 2015


Let's take a listen to the rainbow.

To hear more episodes, go to

20 – Wikipedia

November 19th, 2015


The world's largest encyclopedia as music.

To hear more episodes, go to

19 – Cease To Exist

November 17th, 2015


Be careful of which songs you cover.

To hear more episodes, go to

18 – Look at Your Game Girl

November 17th, 2015


Sometimes the less you know about the artist the better.

To hear more episodes, go to

17 – Glossolalia

November 12th, 2015


The sounds of people channeling the divine.

To hear more episodes go to

16 – The Iliad

November 10th, 2015


A dead language brought back to life.

To hear more episodes go to

15 – Hold Music

November 5th, 2015


The sound of your life on hold.

To hear more episodes, go to

14 – Tinnitus

November 3rd, 2015


Between 10 and 15 percent of us hear things like this constantly.

To hear more episodes, go to

12 – 8-bit Death

October 27th, 2015


Dealing with digital death.

To hear more episodes, go to

13 – A Silent Song

October 23rd, 2015


Sometimes you just don't want to hear anything in a song.

To hear more episodes, go to

11 – End of the World Song

October 22nd, 2015


We still don't understand how CNN would know when to play this.

To hear more episodes, go to

10 – Grunting

October 20th, 2015


Athletes deep in focus.

To hear more episodes, go to

9 – Earth Whistlers

October 15th, 2015


These noises can be heard all around the earth. Constantly.

To hear more episodes, go to

8 - Prisencolinensinainciusol

October 12th, 2015


A gibberish song with a secret message.

To hear more episodes, go to

7 – Sochiapam Chinantec

October 8th, 2015


Just a couple of guys having a little chat. The recordings come from the Summer Institute of Linguistics in Mexico.

To hear more episodes, go to

6 – Monsieur Lefires

October 6th, 2015


Odorless and harmonious toots.

5 – Auditory Hallucinations

September 28th, 2015


Jarrad Wale made a recording that lets you into someone else's head.

To hear more episodes, go to

2 – Daisy Bell

September 28th, 2015


A masterpiece from IBM and HAL.

To hear more episodes, go to

4 – Bridge Songs

September 28th, 2015


Jodi Rose records the secret songs of bridges all over the world.

To hear more episodes, go to

3 – Mimicry

September 28th, 2015


Bird is definitely the word.

To hear more episodes, go to

1 – Mud Pots

August 29th, 2015


Bloop. Bloop bloop.

Sign up on our website to hear more episodes:

Loading ...

Download the RadioPublic app for
 FREE and never miss an episode.

Get it on Google PlayDownload on the App Store