radio

Blood Culture Scoops Silver at British Podcasting Awards

It was lovely to spend an evening with so many audio creatives at the British Podcasting Awards 2018, and see the way the medium is flourishing. I attended with Lance Dann, creator, writer and director of techno thriller audio drama, Blood Culture, which was nominated, and won Silver, in the Best Fiction category.

I now have a list of new podcasts I need to check out. 

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Akiha Den Den Bonus OST

As the Akiha Den Den series unravels I've been sharing tracks from the soundtrack in between episodes. I'm also busy putting the finishing touches to the soundtrack album which will be released on vinyl in the new year. Here is a piece of music used to introduce Silph, the thought mining cockroach. It is pure EMS Synthi A magic. 

Video feedback is by Ian Helliwell.

AkihaDen Den launch

I'm just putting the finishing touches to the first 6 episodes of radio drama Akiha Den Den, ready for the launch this coming week. Episode 1 will go live on the 15th of September (with a launch event in Aberdeen - more about that below) and new episodes will be shared fortnightly after that. (available on iTunes, Stitcher and Tunein)

It has been an intense period turning Neil Cargill's dense, multilayered scripts in to the episodes you will soon hear. Being responsible for every aspect of the sound and music has meant that those elements are very closely interwoven in a way that I hope has resulted in something closer to sound art than straightforward radio drama. That was definitely our intention. 

A full soundtrack LP is coming later in the year on Castles in Space Records. An extremely limited edition 7" featuring the Akiha Theme (with Debbie Clare on vocals) and Cold Ending, a brooding cinematic piece performed on the Oberheim 4 Voice.  They are sold out at the Castles in Space shop, but there will some on sale at the launch event in Aberdeen on the 15th and any that I have left after that will go on sale online.

We couldn't have done all of this without the support and funding of Aberdeen Performing Arts (who are also hosting the launch at Underdog on Union Street in Aberdeen) and Creative Scotland. A special thank you has to go to Lesley Anne Rose at Aberdeen Performing Arts. She met Neil by chance and has offered guidance and development funding without which we wouldn't have been able to bring this project to fruition. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to make unique radio drama outside of the BBC, whose commissioning process has to be one of the most soul destroying and unfriendly experiences ever.  

Also to the cast, Ian McDiarmid (from Star Wars! yes Star Wars!), Joy McAvoy (Filth), Shiela Reid (best known for her role in TV series Benidorm, but playing a very different character in Akiha - a talking cockroach), Peter Kelly (fresh from his performance as Nagg in Beckett's Endgame, and well known for his role in The Tall Guy with Jeff Goldblum), Wendy Rae Fowler (a musician that I'm currently co-writing a song with), Ewan Petrie, Mark Little and Cameron Mowat. 

Last but no least, a BIG thank you to Neil (writer and director) for creating this strange world and letting me loose on creating the sound for it. Our ultimate hope is to raise funding for a second series but we are well aware of the challenges we face trying to make such a time consuming project self sufficient. Fingers crossed on that one. If you'd like to find out more or get involved please feel free to get in touch. We are looking for broadcasters around the world to syndicate Akiha Den Den. 

We hope our strange radio experiment finds an appreciative audience...

www.akihadenden.com

Follow us on Twitter @akihadenden Facebook @akihadenden and Instagram @akihadenden

 

Akiha Den Den website and trailer

Myself and writer/director Neil Cargill are very busy producing 6 episodes of this adventurous radio drama. It won't sound like anything on Radio 4. Find out more at our website www.akihadenden.com and sign up to our mailing list for updates and extra story material straight to your mailbox. 

In the meantime here is a trailer featuring two of the main characters played by Ian McDiarmid and Joy McAvoy. 

There will also be a very limited edition lathe cut 7" vinyl featuring the Akiha Den Den opening music, available around the launch of the series mid September. 

Two Knocks for Yes cassette release

Radiophonic investigation in to the poltergeist phenomenon gets a limited cassette release on Castles in Space, just in time for Halloween. The Buchla 200e Electric Music Box is used to haunting effect providing otherworldly tones, presences and vibrations. The B side features instrumental incidentals for ghost stories. Available mid October. Pre-order here.

I'll also be performing Two Knocks For Yes at Saint Andrews Church, Brighton (UK) on the 23rd of October. More info here.

Sleeve designed by Nick Taylor.

The School is Full of Noises

An interesting (if slightly limited) exploration of experimental music in the classroom. Back in the '60s kids got the opportunity to experiment with tape machines and play with bringing stories to life using sound and what some call 'challenging' composition. I hope this still goes on in classrooms today, but I have a funny feeling it probably doesn't. I was lucky enough to have a music teacher that had some synthesizers and who also invited a group of musicians in to show off their samplers and drum machines - I was pretty much hooked instantly by this exciting world of playing with sound and music that didn't involve playing the guitar or violin. Thanks Mr.Hayter.

How did tape loops, recycled everyday sounds and countless other weapons of the avant-garde find their way into school music lessons during the 1960s? That's the challenge for Ian McMillan as he sets out on the trail of one of music education's more unexpected byways.

Listen here - link will probably die at some point.....

Govindpuri Sound

In my role as a freelance Studio Manager my creative input is usually limited - I'm responsible for capturing broadcast quality recordings and then editing and mixing them ready for transmission. Every now and again a project comes along that offers the opportunity for a little more creative  collaboration with the producer, in this case Dr Tom Rice, a sound anthropologist. His programme, Govindpuri Sound explores the sound of Delhi's Govindpuri slums.

Slum settlements have a strong visual identity. We are used to seeing TV footage of densely packed, ramshackle homes squeezed onto strips of land in inner cities. In this documentary for BBC World Service, Dr Tom Rice – a sound anthropologist – takes an alternative perspective and explores what a slum sounds like and how this embodies and reflects the local culture.

Govindpuri Sound
BBC World Service - 8PM-9PM Sunday 1st February 2015.

Two Knocks For Yes

I created this Radiophonic collage for Halloween. I'd really enjoyed this article by Adam Curtis and wanted to do something using excerpts from the archive material featured.

Explore the poltergeist phenomenon with this 30 minute radiophonic collage, featuring recordings from British cases including the famous 'Enfield Haunting'. Electronic oscillations courtesy of the Buchla 200e Electric Music Box; manipulated frequencies courtesy of the Critter & Guitari Kaleidoloop.

I love projects like this that see my two worlds of music and radio collide. I just wish there were more outlets for such work. It would be fantastic to create a radio drama with the same kind of treatment....