In honour of this month's bulletin theme (celebrating D/deaf people and inspired by the film, 'Sound of Metal'), our Director Gail Dudson brings you her picks for a Sounds Like... Metal playlist. Here's Gail to explain more:

There are always at least ten tracks we can call to mind straight away for our monthly playlist, but this month's theme has more options than usual.

For many people, the 'Sound of Metal' means Metal music. Musical genres seem to run into hundreds at the moment, and even the most expert ears can listen to an unfamiliar track and offer two or three genres it could be classed as.

So – here’s a quiz question for you, if you want to play a ‘What Genre is this?’ game. This is Metal, but what type?


Ten points if you identified it as Nu Metal (that is, a classic rock metal sound, but with elements taken from more recent musical genres, particularly hip hop). There’s Heavy, Thrash, Black and Death Metal to explore if you wish. It’s not particularly to the taste of some of us in the office, we don’t mind admitting. (Although there's an extra point for you if you can guess which one of us is a old Metaller at heart...).

Mbira is the name for a family of instruments from Zimbabwe, but they’re also found in other parts of East and Southern Africa. You’ll also find them called ‘Kalimba’ and an every day description is ‘Thumb Piano’. There’s even an app called Sansula that’s great on iPads (but technically, that’s not metal). Here are two examples – a short one showing how it’s played, and a much longer exploration of Zimbabwean music where Mbira is a prominent feature.


Half way around the world from Zimbabwe, you can be in Indonesia, or almost as far, in Cragg Vale. Java and Bali are the home of Gamelan music, with most of the instruments in a Gamelan made of metal. This might also be an interesting option for D/deaf people to try listening to, as there are lots of both high and low sounds. Here’s a short performance from Bali to give you a flavour:


The Cragg Vale Gamelan is, as far as we know, still there somewhere in the Yorkshire hills. Started in 1987, it was run for a while by Dave Nelson, who worked for YY&M for many years. Indonesian music in t’Pennines! 

And finally... we couldn't have a metal playlist without mentioning Campanology or Bell Ringing. In honour of one of our previous Board Members (who was himself a Campanologist), here are the bells at Westminster Abbey ringing for a Royal wedding...