Tuesday, April 17, 2007

1st Newsletter

Below is the text of the 1st Audiotheque newsletter, sent out at the start of April.

I'm hoping to launch a competition this year, and I'll mention it in the blog as well.

On another not, it's interesting to see how slick Channel 4 Radio's marketing is, although you'd think they were reinventing audio drama! Still, the competition is no bad thing for the form.

THE AUDIOTHEQUE Newsletter 1 02/04/07

Here, at last, is the first Audiotheque email newsletter.

You're receiving this because
a) you responded to an earlier email asking you if you liked the idea of this kind of thing
b) you heard me banging on about the idea at your university/college or
c) I thought you might be interested

It's been a while since I first started contacting people about this project so it might be a good idea to go over everything again (in brief).

The Audiotheque is a project to develop a community dedicated to Creative Audio and help new talent get their work on air. We want to create a place where new talent can send in their audio, where the best work would be showcased and from where the brightest talents could win commissions to make short-form audio for the BBC Radio networks. So SEND ME YOUR AUDIO! This project is in its infancy, and can only develop with your help.

Innovative, original audio with some kind of narrative. It could mix elements of fiction and documentary material, it might be completely dialogue-free. As long as it's fresh and different from standard radio drama. It also needs to be under 3 minutes long: some of the best examples I've heard so far have been about a minute and a half long. To give you an idea, here are some examples that I think are worth listening to.

Enlevé, by Arte Radio. This is a sci-fi epic with no dialogue (apart from alien speech):
http://www.arteradio.com/son.html?21617 (hint: click on écouter)

An Error Has Occurred. A series of mini-dramas starring computer-generated voices.

Tim Bearder's band interviews. With a difference. From a series on BBC Oxford.

There has never been a place at the BBC to receive, process and showcase this kind of audio. If you write scripts, the writersroom (www.bbc.co.uk/writersroom) has a system for processing submissions, but with audio it's a bit more hit and miss.

It has never been easier to record, edit and share audio and I think that there are a lot of you out there interested in making creative audio who would benefit from a national forum. The feedback I've had so far (from lecturers, students, BBC employees, independent radio producers) has been overwhelmingly positive: I think that there will be a lot of interest in this site, and I also think that this could be a good way for younger programme-makers at the start of their career potentially to get their work on a national BBC radio station. In order to push this forward, I plan to set up regular competitions in association with the national radio networks that may result in the winners being commissioned to make more short-form work for broadcast.

At the moment there is no site! However, now is the time to send me your work, because the more audio I receive, the more chance there is that the site will happen. So the best thing to do is to tell me where your work is, by sending me the link to the place online where your work is being hosted. There are plenty of free or cheap places to upload your audio. Some examples include www.switchpod.com, www.odeo.com and I'm sure you know of plenty more.

I have my ideas of the kind of site this should be, but I want to know what you think. Is there audio out there that we're missing? Are there features the site needs to have? Let me know!

(Links to other sites were reliable when posted. If a link doesn't work, it is because those Web pages have been removed from their Web site's server. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. If you're not interested in receiving this or any further newsletters email unsbscribe to audiotheque@bbc.co.uk. If you want to know more there's a blog on this subject that I update far too infrequently at http://audiodrama.blogspot.com)