Is It On?

Alan Dein gets wired for sound in a new three part cultural history exploring how the microphone has changed our world. The microphone has changed our listening world. It has revealed human truths, let nation speak unto nation and bugged the hell out of us.


01The Rise Of Little Voice20040228

Microphone literally means 'little voice' and when it first presented itself in the 1920s people were perplexed. Should they bellow, whisper or croon into it? This mysterious device, controlled by the few and heard by the millions, began to breed a new kind of mass intimacy. But what would it take for the microphone to leave the hushed confines of the studio and begin to hear ourselves and the world outside.

02Now, Hear This20040306

The microphone has become much more than a tool for hearing ourselves. In the right hands and with the right equipment whole new worlds of sound open up before our very ears. The forest floor, the ocean depths and the innerspace of the womb have a sound all of their own, once impossible to hear.

03 LASTWired For Sound20040313

Alan Dein ends his adventure with the microphone by considering the power of the microphone to reveal our secrets and absurdities. Everyone from the pranksters of Candid Microphone to the KGB have concealed their microphones from prying eyes and turned them into prying ears. It seems now the microphone can get anywhere from - the highest office to the sporting sanctuary of the batsman's crease.