A Few Of My Favorite Things

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My ears are so tuned to American radio and podcasting, they need a good flushing from time to time with stories from far away that have a different sensibility. This archive episode of HowSound does the job.

Some years ago, Irish radio producer Ronan Kelly sat in my studio in Maine and he story-DJ’ed, playing some of his favorite radio pieces — hence the title of this episode. The stories he picked may be old now, but they sound new and tickle the ear because of the non-American accents, writing, and production styles.

In the intervening years since our chat, new stories have piqued Ronan’s interest. He put together this solid list of good listening (along with some of his notes) just for HowSound listeners. Thanks, Ronan!

“String” by Natalie Kestecher from 360documentaries in Australia.

From German producer, Jens Jarisch “Children of Sodom and Gomorrah.” The story follows the trail of computer waste to a landfill site in Ghana — gently and carefully hard-hitting.

“Upper Left” by Love & Radio. Although this is a pretty compelling story (a class teaching women how to have an orgasm) what I really liked in it was how the story turned — the mood changed — deftly done.

“Tim Key and Gogol’s Overcoat,” a BBC production. How do you take a 19th Century Russian short story and rework it for 21st Century radio? Here’s one way. Very entertaining.

“The London Blitz” by Edward R. Murrow. Like Orson Welles’, “War of the Worlds”, Ed Murrow broadcasting from London during WWII has been heard so many times, we take it for granted. But, I listened to it again the other day in preparation for a talk and was struck at his use of imagery and sensitivity to sound. Classic.

From Ireland, “No Time To Lose.” The story of an Irish teenager who runs marathons even though she has epileptic fits during them. She runs with her doctor alongside — some great scenes.

Also from Ireland, “Con Carey and the Twelve Apostles.” An Irish community who, in 1978, dug up the body of a recently-deceased local man because they felt he hadn’t been buried with due reverence.

One last one from Ireland, this one by Ronan himself. “We Decide Who Lives or Dies.” The story of car culture in a rural community where road deaths are among the highest in the country. Everyone blames the teenagers — what’s the real story?

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  • Conor

    7.23.17

    Reply

    Great to hear Irish storytelling on the podcast! Cheers Rob and Ronan!

  • Tony Mauro Ruiz

    8.19.17

    Reply

    This was a great episode. Really enjoyed it.

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