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Poppy Szkiler Judged The Sound of the Year Awards 2021, with Quiet Mark as Official Partner

Poppy Szkiler Judged The Sound of the Year Awards 2021, with Quiet Mark as Official Partner


Quiet Mark was delighted this year when our CEO & CoFounder, Poppy Szkiler was invited to join the esteemed panel of judges at The Sound of the Year Awards, 2021. Quiet Mark was also the official partner of a brand new category for 2021, 'Best Sound Innovation in Everyday Life': ‘Recognising a new technology, appliance or technique made public in the last year that has improved the sound of something experienced in everyday life’.


After a successful inaugural year, The Sound of the Year Awards returned. A celebration of everyday sound in all its forms, the awards were presented by The Museum of Sound in partnership with The New BBC Radiophonic Workshop and others. Submissions were 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 partnered 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 received a Geofón, a unique geophone microphone, courtesy of LOM. 



Earlier this year, Simon Gosling, Quiet Mark CMO and Host of The Quiet Mark Podcast, spoke with Sound of the Year Chair of Judges, BBC Radiophonic Workshop’s Creative Director, Matthew Herbert and fellow 2020 judge, The British Library’s Curator of Wildlife & Environmental Sounds, Cheryl Tipp about how the event came into being and what it aims to achieve. Enjoy that episode on all major podcast platforms, HERE.



There was an awards ceremony in Spring 2022. 

Please note, this event is now closed. Read about the winners and their entries HERE



● Sound of the Year 

● Best Naturally Occurring Sound 

● Best Designed Individual Sound 

● Disappearing Sound 

● Most Unpleasant Sound 

● Best Sound Innovation in Everyday Life 

● Best Innovation in a Sound Tool or Technique 

● Best Imagined Sound 

● Composed with Sound 

● Best Classroom Soundscape (Under 11’s category)



● 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 & poet 

● Lars Ginzel - Film re-recording mixer 

● Matthew Herbert - Chair of judges, New BBC Radiophonic Workshop 



● 1st December - Submissions open 

● 31st January (6pm GMT) - Submission deadline. Please note, this event is now closed. 

● Winners announced Spring 2022 


Categories and Partners in detail: 

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 imitations can be recorded by their teachers and submitted to this category. 

Prize Sponsor - LOM 

Media Partner - Resolution Magazine 


● All submissions must have been recorded, heard, created, or released between 1st Jan - 31st Dec 2021. 

● You can make as many submissions as you like. Please fill in one form per entry.

● You can nominate yourself, your team, or someone else in the relevant categories. You should always credit the sound recordist where known. 

● It is mandatory to submit an audio file recording with each submission, other than ‘Best Imaginary Sound’ which is a written submission. 

● If the recording you are submitting is longer than 5 minutes in length, please send in a 5 minute section for the judges to listen to. 

● The deadline for submissions was 31st January 2022, 18:00hrs (UK-Time). Please note, this event is now closed. 

Read about the winners and their entries HERE

To listen to all the Sound of the Year Awards 2021 - Winning and Shortlisted work go to:

The New BBC Radiophonic Workshop is a collaborative institution working on the research, dissemination and production of cutting edge work in the field of sound and music. 

Still in its infancy in its current form, the Museum of Sound has recently reopened. It is intended as a space not just to gather sound but to listen to it in new ways. Guest curators will offer a collection of five themed sounds each week. Twitter: | Instagram: @museumofsound