Monday, January 01, 2007

Tell me what you think

If you're reading this then you've probably been subjected to one of my mailouts. Hello. I'd be very interested to know what you think and what sort of stuff you'd like to see on The Audiotheque. I've characterised the audio as "anything from drama to sci-fi to horror to features to experimental soundscapes. As long as it has impact and an original voice and is different from the kind of thing you can already hear on the radio." What do you think? All comments gratefully received.

Happy New Year!


Anonymous said...

Radio drama was something I was introduced to on my MA in creative and media writing.

You sit around and listen to plays,
hoping to be sufficiently grabbed by their opening that you dont fall asleep in the next 45 mins.
I like to work in visual drama with live audience. In this environment you have more control. What you present is what the audiences see. No ambivilance.
Radio drama leaves me floundering - as a writer and listener. There is a self consciousness about the listening process. Like being
the only person in the auditorium. I become conscious of my attention to the words and sounds. I find it hard to lose myself in the production. A bit like reading poetry - you're
always aware that you're doing it.

Maybe what Im looking for in radio drama is a sort of sound shock. But
for this to work there
would have to be a contolled listening environment.

Nothing constructive here i'm afraid - just ramblings for what they're worth

William Gallagher said...

Somebody's going to say "the pictures are better on radio" and I'm just crazy enough to do it. So, the pictures are better on radio.

Actually, I'm very much a fan of TV drama but it doesn't feel better than radio to me nor do I regard it as giving you more control over what the audience get. I think BBC Wales is doing some tremendous TV but otherwise there is a huge amount of truly dreadful drama that looks very pretty but can't connect with you. The Bill, for instance, will have gigantic storylines about people in fantastic jeopardy and who cares? You don't believe the characters, you get a funny sense that the actors don't either.

But then the other night I caught some of an Inspector Lynley repeat and Sharon Small was riveting in an argument, her face mad red and shaking. A fairly tiny point in the story but totally compelling because you believed her.

And I think radio can make that connection, can make you believe. It regularly doesn't, I do agree, and there are some surprisingly weak Afternoon Plays. But last week's TV Afternoon Plays rang very false to me and I'm coming to think that it's almost not the medium at all, it's the drama that works or doesn't.

Perhaps you could try tuning in when you're doing something else. I do very, very often tune in specifically to hear plays that Radio Times picks out (I write for Radio Times, I sometimes do those highlights) but some of the most deeply absorbing moments have come when I've been driving somewhere, automatically put on Radio 4 and found myself midway through a play.

I think you're right about the context of when and how you listen. I reviewed a non-fiction Radio 4 piece the other month and listened to the CD in a hotel around midnight. Weeks and weeks later I happened to be driving and the show was aired on Radio 4. It felt like a completely different programme. Initially I carried on listening just because I was certain it was a different edit but it wasn't at all. It was the same, I was different.