The Religion Communicators Council  honored 14 secular media organizations with its 2010 Wilbur Awards last week. The winner in the radio category was "Interfaith Voices," the public radio show that I host. The Wilbur went to our series “The Soundscapes of Faith” by Laura Kwerel (writer/producer) and Katie Davis (editor).
The Religion Communicators Council has presented Wilbur Awards annually since 1949. According to the council's web site, the awards honor excellence by individuals in secular media -- print and online journalism, book publishing, broadcasting, and motion pictures -- in communicating religious issues, values and themes.
“The Soundscapes of Faith” series was created by Kwerel. It is based on the premise that distinctive sounds help make the holy real, and that major faith traditions have a distinctive “sonic signature.” These include, for example, the shofar in Judaism, the Hindu “om,” the call to prayer in Islam, Buddhist chant, hymn singing in Sikhism and “harp singing” in Christianity.
To listen to any or all of these, go to: http://interfaithradio.org/soundscapes
Christian “harp singing” was new to me, but it is truly inspiring to hear. This series could be extended, of course, so I wonder what the “sonic signature” of Catholicism might be. Gregorian Chant? The Angelus bell? Mass bells? Share your ideas.