A podcast that offers ‘sound postcards from beautiful places’ (including Spaghetti Junction) is proving a surprising hit
A podcast that features only the sounds of landscapes around the UK – no music or talking – is soon to hit 115,000 downloads, 18 months after launching during the first UK lockdown.
Radio Lento is a project by Hugh Huddy and Madeleine Sugden, busy parents to two children.
Episodes last between 15 and 90 minutes, and all are soundscapes of places the family has discovered on walks and other trips. One is called Night Beside a Stream in Wales; one Rising Tide in a Rock Garden; and another The Birds That Sing on the Cusp of Night.
But not all offer rural aural bliss. “We’ve covered approximately 400 miles on foot in search of places to record,” said Sugden, “not the usual chocolate box places, but ones with interesting sound, such as [Birmingham’s] Spaghetti Junction and industrial locations. For us, it is about finding and sharing beauty from everyday places.”
Added Huddy: “It’s been a big challenge, because we are such an unusual podcast, to help people understand what it was about. But now, we get messages every week from people telling us the different ways they use Lento and what it means to them. The audience is really driving us on.”
People have started recording and sharing their own soundscapes with the couple, “which we love”, said Sugden. “We get messages saying we have helped people listen more when they are out in nature. Our mission is to make listening to the landscape on a level with looking at the landscape.”
Main image: James Armes