National Science and Media Museum to launch new exhibitions exploring how sound shapes our lives

THE National Science and Media Museum is set to launch a new series of events and exhibitions this summer, which will explore sound and the impact it has on our lives.

Sound Season will take a look at how sound fills our world, helping people to understand what sound is, and encouraging them to play and experiment with sound. It includes two new free exhibitions, which will run between 23 July and 5 December, alongside a programme of special events. Visitors will learn about the journey of a sound wave and how it interacts with different materials and spaces, as well as exploring the biology of sound, and how an understanding of the physical properties of sound can be used by musicians, engineers and scientists to create and manipulate it.

 The first of the two special exhibitions, Boom: Experiments in Sound, is an interactive family exhibition, which will open just in time for the summer holidays. It will uncover how sound is central to our everyday lives, from helping us to judge distance, size and space, to bringing us entertainment in music and television. Families can journey through the science and sensations of sound with exciting displays, including a sound canal and interactive crescendo space. Boom will also feature the Oramics composition machine designed by electronic music pioneer, Daphne Oram, as well as other interactive displays, including a chance to measure the size of sound waves and experiment with how sounds change based on different spaces and distances.

The second exhibition, Sonic: Adventures in Audio, will uncover the museum’s fast-growing collection of sound-related objects, including iconic synthesizers and items used in the famous BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Sonic will also see the debut of a rolling programme of interactive installations by sound artists and experts.

The first installations open on 23 July with Drum and Bass: Time and Space by Edward Wilson-Stephens, a PhD researcher with the museum and the University of Leeds, and Gramophony, by composer and performer Jobina Tinnemans.

 Commenting on the launch of Sound Season, Annie Jamieson, Curator of Sound Technologies, said: “We are really excited to be launching our Sound Season this summer. This is the first time the museum has featured sound-specific exhibitions and it is a great opportunity to explore our ever-growing collections in this area. Sound is a central part of our lives, but despite its importance to our understanding of the world, we don’t often think about it. Through this season of exhibitions and events we hope to demystify the invisible phenomenon of sound so visitors can understand what it is, how it moves through the world and how it can be played with and manipulated.”

The National Science and Media Museum and Pictureville Cinema are now open to the public from Wednesday to Sunday, from 10am to 4pm, and every day during school holidays.

Visitors must pre-book a ticket to visit via the museum website. For more information, visit

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