The Power of Sound

What does sound mean to the individuals who make a living – and have made a life – from it? In this collaborative series between KEF and Monocle, we unpack the power of sound on the human mind and soul, honing in on the aural journey of one audiophile in each episode – from sound designers and musicians, to nature recordists and acoustics consultants. Beginning with their first memory of sound, the subject narrates the multifaceted ways in which the soundtrack of their lives has unfolded, in the process changing the very way they listen to the world around them.

The Power of Sound was created in collaboration with Monocle 24.

Monocle 24 delivers an unrivalled platform for live, global news, the best music and magazine shows covering everything from business, culture and design to hospitality, media and urbanism. The global radio station with an audience of over 1.5 million per month is proud to be the home of premium brands on air and in podcasts, creating programming that brings authority, warmth and great storytelling to audio. 


Episode 12: Nainita Desai

A multi-faceted composer who has scored films, television and video games, Nainita Desai is best known for her documentary work, including music for the Oscar-nominated ‘For Sama’ and Sundance-winning ‘The Reason I Jump’.

Episode 11: Emile Mosseri

One of the most promising young composers in Hollywood is Emile Mosseri, whose dreamlike, romantic scores for ‘Kajillionaire’ and Golden Globe-winning ‘Minari’ has won plaudits from industry veterans and film-goers alike.

Episode 10: Arlo Parks

As she releases her debut album, ‘Collapsed in Sunbeams’ the London-based singer, songwriter and poet Arlo Parks reflects on how she defines her sound. She tells us about the music and poetry she was brought up on, why certain instruments speak to her and the effect that the spoken word has on her music.

Episode 9: Roderick Cox

As a young African-American conductor, Roderick Cox is a prominent face of change within the classical music establishment, having held prestigious roles in the industry since graduating from Northwestern University in 2011. Hear him recount the addictive feeling you get when you’re hit by the sound of a large ensemble.

Episode 8: Ben And Max Ringham

Sound doesn’t get more transportive than when in the hands of brothers Ben and Max Ringham, who utilize binaural technology to immerse listeners completely in the head of another.

Episode 7: Grant Kirkhope

Responsible for the soundtracks behind classic video games like ‘GoldenEye 007’ and ‘Civilization’, composer Grant Kirkhope has a unique view on music as a playable medium. Find out why he believes video game music is the classical music of the future.

Episode 6: Midori Komachi

Growing up around the world, violinist Midori Komachi’s perception of sound is inherently tied to a sense of place. Her soaring violin recitals have captured hearts thanks to a talent for tapping into a “constant source of tension and release”, exploring the relationships between architecture, landscapes, colour and sound.

Episode 5: Johnnie Burn

Known for his stark and bold style of mixing, sound designer Johnnie Burn derives his unique approach to sound by tuning into the inherent musicality found in everyday objects, and the world of wonder that they can inspire.

Episode 4: Susan Rogers

Susan Rogers chose the profession of sound engineering for its logic and practicality, yet her career has been a tale in artistry, having been responsible for fine-tuning the music of collaborators like Prince. Tune into her extraordinary journey of how a little girl growing up beside Disneyland became one of the most celebrated audio technicians today.

Episode 3: Jamie Cullum

Memory, both melancholic and nostalgic, underpins Grammy-nominated jazz singer Jamie Cullum’s new Christmas album, ‘The Pianoman at Christmas’. Listen in as he breaks down the melodies and chord progressions of his original festive compositions, and offers his thoughts on the rituals to be found in the music of this time of the year.

Episode 2: Hannah Peel

Sound is a breathing, vibrating thing to Emmy-nominated musician, composer and producer, Hannah Peel. Harnessing the intersection of sound, nature and psychology, her soundscapes translate concepts like memory into visceral experiences that are microscopic and expansive all at once.

Episode 1: Chris Watson

The life of distinguished nature recordist Chris Watson is a lesson in truly listening to the world around us. But as habitats vanish due to global warming, his pursuit has become a race to preserve the sounds of our planet before they go silent forever.