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The Sound of the Year Awards 2021 opens submissions

Posted on: Wednesday 1st of December 2021

Sound of the Year Awards LogoAfter a successful inaugural year (see Resolution V21.2), The Sound of the Year Awards is returning. A celebration of everyday sound in all its forms, the awards are presented by The Museum of Sound in partnership with The New BBC Radiophonic Workshop and others. Submissions are accepted and encouraged from around the world. Anyone over the age of 16 can enter and there is a new classroom-based under 11’s category this year.

The awards aim to highlight the rapidly-growing international community of sound professionals and enthusiasts as the value of good sound, listening, and healthy sonic environments are becoming recognised as a vital part of our lives. Whilst there are many awards shows for the moving image, we think the time is right to acknowledge and support those working hard to build and share their expertise in moving audio as we enter this new age of sound.

In 2021, the SOTYA are partnering with like-minded and innovative organisations and institutions for specific categories, to draw focus to the work being created in their fields and to help expand the reach of the awards to a wider audience. The winners of all the over 16 categories will receive a Geofón, a unique geophone microphone, courtesy of LOM. Resolution Magazine will act as a media partner for the Awards, which will culminate in a ceremony scheduled for spring 2022.

The Categories are as follows:

Sound of the Year
“A sound that captures 2021.”

Best Naturally Occurring Sound – in partnership with Forestry England
“A sound that occurs without human input and was captured in the last 12 months.”

Best Designed Individual Sound – in partnership with Krotos
“An excellent individual sound created or recorded for a TV show, film, game, or other media, that was released in the last 12 months.”

Disappearing Sound – in partnership with The British Library
“A sound that is unlikely to be heard in the future, but that is worth saving.”

Most Unpleasant Sound – in partnership with Advanced Communication Solutions
“A sound this year that has caused significant distress.”

Best Sound Innovation In Everyday Life – in partnership with Quiet Mark
“Recognising a new technology, appliance or technique made public in the last year, that has improved how the sound of something is experienced in everyday life.”

Best Innovation in a Sound Tool or Technique – in partnership with Music Tech Fest
“An award for a tool or piece of technology that has impressed this year, and has made working with sound result in a greater experience. Made or released in 2021.”

Best Imagined Sound – in partnership with the Southbank Centre’s National Poetry Library
“An award for someone who can describe a compelling sound that doesn’t exist yet.”

Composed With Sound – in partnership with Soundgas
“An award to celebrate a composition that has been made predominantly using recorded sound rather than musical or electronic instruments.”

Best Classroom Soundscape (Under 11’s Category) – in partnership with Minute Of Listening
“Inviting classes of children to imitate, using their voices, bodies, and materials around them, an audio recording that is hosted on a SOTYA collection on the Minute of Listening website. These classroom soundscapes can be recorded by their teachers and submitted to this category.”

The awards will be judged by a panel consisting of: Andrea Zarza – The British Library; Alannah Chance – Reduced Listening; Trevor Cox – Professor of acoustic engineering; Tony Gayle – The Audio Cartel; Chris Watson – Natural history sound recordist; Rana Eid – db Studios; Bernie Krause – Wild Sanctuary; Poppy Szkiler – Quiet Mark; Axel Kacoutié – The Guardian, audio artist and poet; Lars Ginzel – Film re-recording mixer; with Matthew Herbert – of the New BBC Radiophonic Workshop – acting as chairperson.

Submission are open from today (1st December) until 6pm UK time, on January 31st via


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