It all started with a challenge from Invisibilia co-host Yowei Shaw: “Is it possible to tell a boring story that people will listen through to the end?”
Enter Norwegian Slow TV. In “The Great Narrative Escape,” Invisibilia producer Abby Wendle explores this overseas viral sensation and why it floundered when it jumped the pond. In “American Slow Radio,” Abby tries her hand at Yowei’s challenge.
These Invisibilia episodes are not NPR’s first foray into what is also known as “ambient media.” In honor of NPR’s 50th anniversary, we picked out some of our favorite slow radio pieces from the NPR archive.
NPR’s Noah Adams learns how to play Debussy’s Clair de Lune on the piano from Georgianna Askoff. She teaches him that there’s more to the song than just the notes.
What sound do plants make? Engineers at a Washington recording studio involved in the nonscientific attempt to give voice to the physical and maybe even psychological changes in the living organisms we know as plants.
Is there life after death? Dive into the journey of someone whose heart stopped beating but managed to come back and tell their story.
Spring marks the beginning of life: plants start growing green and animals come out of hibernation. In New Hampshire, spring is the start of maple syrup time. Learn about the syrup process, from tapping trees to glistening pancakes.
What separates music and the sound of wind gliding through a cornfield? Go on a soothing journey with the show Options as they try to answer this question in 1978.