All You Need Is To Listen.

Soundworlds is not just a podcast. It’s an audio stage for diverse stories told in extraordinary ways. It’s a place for an exciting new form of audio drama that we call sonic theatre.

Created by musicians, writers, theatre-makers and sound artists, sonic theatre pieces are more than radio plays. They’re immersive sound worlds, intoxicating blends of music and storytelling, sound design, documentary and fiction.

Accolades for Soundworlds Season 2:
Best Fiction Podcast (Winner, British Podcast Awards)
Creativity Award (Runner Up, British Podcast Awards)
Best Use of Sound (Winner, BBC Audio Drama Awards)
Best Podcast Drama (Finalist, BBC Audio Drama Awards)
Creative Innovation Award (Runner Up, ARIAS)

Best Scripted Fiction Podcast Episode (Finalist, Webbys)

Our second season ran from November 2021 to April 2022, and featured eight episodes that can be streamed online here or downloaded via any podcasting app. Season 3 begins production soon...

Listen to our latest episode:



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Soundworlds is directed by Pat Eakin Young
Produced by Eleanor Turney & George Warren
Season 2 artwork by Sydney Smith
Season 1 artwork by Jonah Sack

S2 E05


Anna Rheingans / Joanne Schwartz

An audio picture book conjuring impressions from a childhood spent in the coastal mining communities of Nova Scotia

“My father is a miner and he works under the sea.”

Portraying a day in the life of a young boy growing up in a seaside mining town on Canada’s Cape Breton Island, Joanne Schwartz’s Town Is By The Sea is a richly evocative and award-winning piece of contemporary children’s literature, and an ideal candidate for a sonic theatre adaptation.

In this Soundworlds production, we follow Davey as he describes his daily routine: from waking up with the sea sparkling outside his window, to playing with his friends, buying groceries for his mother, and visiting his grandfather’s grave. Throughout the day, his thoughts keep returning to his father, working in the coal mines deep beneath the town.

Taking original illustrator Sydney Smith’s extraordinary images as a starting point, composer and violinist Anna Rheingans (of folk duo The Rheingans Sisters) situates the story within an evolving musical soundscape that captures all of the subtlety and ambiguity of the book. With a palette inspired by the Celtic fiddle music that gives Cape Breton its unique musical identity, Rheingans paints sonic “illustrations” that depict Davey’s exterior and interior world as one of cheerful surfaces and obscure depths, tranquility and noise, the comforts of everyday ritual and the constant proximity of danger.

Made possible with the support of Arts Council England and the High Commission of Canada in the United Kingdom.
Directed by
Pat Eakin Young

Music composed and performed by
Anna Rheingans

Sound design and mixing:
Ross Flight

Text by
Joanne Schwartz, adapted from her 2017 book with illustrator Sydney Smith

Vox Smith


Deborah Christine

Pat Eakin Young

Additional voices:
Tom Andrews
Isabel Deroy-Olson
Omar Ibrahim
Margo Kane

Text copyright © 2017 by Joanne Schwartz. Illustrations copyright © 2017 by Sydney Smith. Recorded by arrangement with Groundwood Books.

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