Cacophony is a podcast about great music that you may or may not know, but we think you’ll love. Music (and a podcast) to help us Hear more, Feel more and ‘Be’…more.

New episodes are usually published three times a month – on the 10th, 20th and 30th (easy huh? There’s also an episode on 1 March), and there are loads of great episodes in the back catalogue here on the website: scroll through, or check the index of all there is.

In each episode we introduce a great piece of (largely ‘classical’) music (or maybe a couple) …a bit of friendly info and context and how it might enhance our lives. Then we play it – or point you to where you can play it (in a great recording with good sound).

We trust your ears and trust the music, so won’t tell you what to hear or feel. Only that listening to Cacophony helps us ‘Hear more, feel more and ‘be’ more! Sometimes it will be resolutely happy or upbeat and other times it might ask searching questions about life and what it is to live. The biggest pieces generally come in more than one section or movement – so large pieces might get more than one episode, however many the piece requires and each episode’s length is, of course, determined by the length of the music…

Cacophony is like a magazine, packed with different features.  Music is hugely varied in its sound-worlds and emotional worlds and Cacophony aims to give something from each one and something for everyone.  Occasionally we group together a playlist of episodes around a theme.

Above all, this great music tells us all about life, and helps us live ours.  All human life is here. …in music.

You may not always like the music in a given episode. That’s ok.

Sometimes you may feel that you don’t ‘get’ the music. That’s ok too. Try having another listen. Some music needs a few hearings to get through (and then you might be hooked on it or might not like it – see above). One of the great things about all the music on Cacophony is that it bears repeated listening.

So – pick from the menu and you choose the order in which to listen…

Listen at your leisure; listen again, tell us what you think!

Never miss it!

The best thing to do is to subscribe to the podcast, so you can listen however you chose to listen to podcasts.

Here’s a link to Cacophony on all the other major podcast apps

Cacophony is written and presented by Steve Thomas.

How to listen

I’m not going to tell you how to listen!  The only thing to bear in mind is that the music in Cacophony often has a wide dynamic range (much more so than rock and pop music) and there’re often very quiet passages.  So I offer two suggestions: you won’t get the most out of Cacophony if you listen somewhere noisy – it doesn’t really work on the tube; Cacophony should sound great regardless but, like all things, will sound best out of your best speakers – and that might even be your TV set up. The linked youtube videos of orchestras certainly look best on a big screen!  Youtube ads are a pain. Sorry. You might want to investigate an adblocker… I certainly should! Spotify ads are worse – they seem to be designed to interrupt at the worst moments in the least appropriate ways. Oh, one more. Sometimes the bass gets turned up automatically, or ‘enhanced’ on whatever kit we’re using. If you can (and if you can be bothered), maybe turn that off, otherwise things might sound a bit, well, bassy.

About Steve Thomas

Music is one of the most important things in my life.

Until the birth of my children it occupied most of my time – as a listener, player, and as a career.

In my career, I’ve been extremely lucky: I’ve worked with and got to know some great people including famous musicians like Sarah Chang and Marin Alsop, Simon Rattle and Nigel Kennedy; I’ve travelled widely, if not glamorously – often responsible for counting fully grown adults onto buses; but, most importantly, I’ve been privileged to hear countless – countless – great performances of great music, some well-known, some hardly known at all:  some of these experiences have been life changing, some even transcendental.

Great music is one of humanity’s finest achievements. It has all the range, power and subtlety to help us express and feel our emotions; to confront and comfort; to make you smile and make you weep; to get you dancing or get you sleeping (in a good – not bored way!); to get you on your feet or on your back. There’s something for everyone and something for everything. 

Yet, many people think this music is not for them. You may think this music is not for you: you may think it is old, written by long-dead white guys in wigs, complicated, scary, intimidating. It can be all of these things, but should only be complicated, intimidating and scary when the writer means it to be…

All you need are open ears and an open heart, and maybe someone to help you through the door… which is what Cacophony is all about.

Hire Steve

Need a curated playlist? Want a personally-tailored introduction to great music? Something written, presented? Someone interviewed?

If you like the sound of my voice, I can read stuff out loud into a mic for you too.

Drop me an email and let’s see how I can help: