Edition 22: Hackney Hear

Our iPhone app Hackney Hear is now on iTunes.

Woman listening to iPod in London Fields

There are more details on our Hackney Hear web site but a quick reminder for those who haven't been following us. The app triggers sound via your GPS. It works anywhere in London Fields or Broadway Market (London, E8) and it's free! Just download, put on your headphones, and explore the area – either stopping to hear more of each story or moving on to hear something new.

We've commissioned some of the borough's artists to write pieces specially for us and you'll hear our Hackney Podcast regulars too:

  • Writer Iain Sinclair unravels the layers of history in his beloved local park
  • Performance poet Shane Solanki's new piece, "Lido"
  • Photographer Tom Hunter tells tales of the 1980s Hackney squatting scene
  • Composer Kaffe Matthews' "London Fields", commissioned for us
  • Commentator James Meek outside the Dove pub to consider multiculturalism
  • Local residents tell secrets behind their neighbourhood, from first kisses to gang etiquette

This Hackney Podcast gives you a sample of some of the stories you'll hear, but if you live in London, or are visiting, we really recommend you download Hackney Hear and give it a go on-site as it's really a different experience!

Hackney Hear was nominated for a TechCon Award by the Radio Academy (just beaten by the BBC) and the judges said it had "potential to really change the game in the radio industry." We think they're right. This technology means for the first time you can integrate sound and place and play with non-linear storytelling: the walker decides the narrative of the documentary. If you're a fan of the Hackney Podcast we know that we don't need to convert you to the wonderful world of audio, but this app really proves why sound is such a strong tool for the imagination - as you wander the area your eyes are wide open, but the sounds and stories are taking you to different eras, and your mind to different places.

If you don't live here, we encourage you to visit our official Olympic borough and try Hackney Hear to learn the stories behind the closed doors! But if you can't make it, you can at least have a listen to some of the stories here in this, our 22nd Edition.

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