Archives for posts with tag: documentary

Earlier this year I got to work with the outstanding food journalist Chris Nuttall-Smith on the pilot for a new CBC podcast. It officially launched September 27, and I’m thrilled to see it out in the world (you can subscribe here).

It’s a nerdy, quirky deep dive into everyday food. I won’t try to do better than the description from the official website, which describes The Fridge Light as “an obsessive, fascinating journey through the hidden stories of the things we eat. Each episode chows down on one food phenomenon, revealing the unexpected cultural ingredients. Part science, part business, part psychology.”

I think it’s great, and I’m not just saying that because I helped produce it. Nuttall-Smith is a helluva fine journalist: curious, thorough and dogged, an expert in his field – and, on top of it, hilarious as hell off the cuff.

Listen to Episode 1 (Dark Meat/White Meat) or Episode 2 (One Word: Yeasts) and make sure to subscribe to hear future episodes.

Shanghaispring_1_4

There are few places right now that have the electricity and the energy that is flowing through the city of Shanghai.

Perhaps you’ve seen pictures of the incredible skyline that’s sprung up in record time. It’s futuristic and sleek: right out of a science fiction movie. If there is a place to be in the 21st century, it feels like it’s on the streets of Shanghai.

In 2015, I was lucky enough to attend the Shanghai Spring International Music Festival at the behest of the WFMT Radio Network. When I came back, I rolled up my sleeves and got to work on Shanghai Spring: an 8-part radio series about classical music in China featuring concert performances from Shanghai and mini-documentaries about life and music in the city.

On Shanghai Spring, you’ll get a front row seat at the Shanghai Spring Festival and get a look at bustling Shanghai in all its glory.

You’ll also be transported to rip-roaring, cosmopolitan 1920s Shanghai, when the seeds of Western classical music began to take hold in China. And you’ll get a glimpse of Chinese culture, beyond dragon boats and fortune cookies — a chance to see the real China through the lens of classical music.

Part 1 airs this Sunday on my CBC Radio 2 show, In Concert, and you can also hear it here.

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The Nerve
A few years ago, Chris Brookes, Jowi Taylor and I produced a six-part series for CBC Radio called The Nerve: Music and the Human Experience. It was a follow-up to our Peabody-Award-winning series The Wire: The Impact of Electricity on Music, and it takes a look at how music is a facet of every part of our lives, from human evolution, to war and peace, to religion and personal identity.

This month, Radio New Zealand National is rebroadcasting The Nerve in its entirety, on Saturdays and Sundays at 2pm New Zealand time. (That’s 5pm Pacific time and 8pm Eastern time in North America on Fridays and Saturdays.) You can listen at those times HERE.

Music is found in every culture worldwide. It’s our constant companion, from birth through childhood, love, marriage and death. It has a starring role on every stage of the great human drama – whether we are at war or at prayer, by ourselves or with others, happy or sad – music is there. But does it really have a purpose? Where does it come from? And why does it have such power over our hearts and minds?

The Nerve asks those questions, featuring the voices and thoughts of top musicians and thinkers, from Zakir Hussain to Howard Shore to Richard Dawkins and more.

Episodes 1 and 2 aired last weekend – but you can listen to Episode 1, “Wired for Sound: Music and the Brain” right here:

In 2009, Episode 1 of The Nerve was Shortlisted for the Prix Italia in the Work on Music category. The Nerve as a series was awarded two Silver Medals at the 2009 New York Festivals of Radio Programming in the Culture & the Arts and Best Editing categories.

Last month I was lucky enough to give a presentation at the fantabulous Third Coast International Audio Festival. I called it AuRa: The Chemistry of Sound.

You can listen to my presentation by going here.

In this post, I’ve embedded links to the complete programs from which I drew the examples I gave in my talk. But first, a few words about the idea behind AuRa:

Audio is like gold (Au): it can easily be shaped, molded, crafted; it is sometimes raw, but we most often encounter it shiny, burnished to perfection. You can turn it over and over again to admire it from many different angles.

Radio is like radium (Ra): active, ephemeral; frequently unpredictable, it comes and it’s gone. You can only experience it in the moment – thence its vital energy.

Each is a part of the other, and by careful application of sound principles, the sound chemist can harness the power of both.

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The Vancouver area is a bhangra hotbed. It’s one of the world’s capitals of bhangra, thanks to the large Punjabi community that has already lived here for several generations. Some of the world’s biggest bhangra stars call Surrey, BC home. And each year Vancouver hosts the City of Bhangra Festival, a celebration featuring performances, symposia, and an international bhangra dance competition.

The 2009 edition of City of Bhangra – or, as it was then known, the Vancouver International Bhangra Celebration – takes centre stage in this documentary I produced and directed for CBC Radio & ABC Radio National, which was rebroadcast today on CBC’s Inside the Music.

If you missed it, you can listen to it in full right here:

I must confess I didn’t really know anything about the Ancient Greek author and historian Thucydides until a marvellous opportunity to learn all about him landed in my lap.

Nicola Luksic is a fantastic journalist and producer with CBC Radio in Toronto, and a wonderful person with whom to collaborate. Nicola’s produced some of the finest programs to hit the airwaves in the past few years, including And Sometimes Y, The Bottom Line, the double Gabriel-Award-winning 2010-11 season of Tapestry, and many more.

This past season Nicola also wrote & produced a documentary for CBC’s Ideas about Thucydides, and I was thrilled when she asked me to select scoring music and do the sound mix. With the help of the APM music production library, I tried to create an atmosphere that would immerse listeners in the world of Ancient Athens, Sparta, and the Peloponnesian War.

LISTEN HERE to Nicola’s excellent doc, Thucydides: The First Journalist.

A couple of years ago I produced & directed two audio documentaries on the music of the Indian Subcontinent for CBC Radio in Canada and ABC Radio National in Australia.

Episode 1, about the music of Bollywood, was rebroadcast today on CBC Radio across Canada. But if you missed it, fret not! You can listen to it in its entirety right here, below. Episode 2: Bhangra airs next Sunday on Inside the Music.

CLICK HERE to listen to Gros Morne: The Bones of the Earth – my feature documentary about how the theory of plate tectonics found firm footing in Gros Morne National Park, in Western Newfoundland.

UPDATE: Bones of the Earth wins Gold Medal at New York Festivals!

2011 marks the 100th anniversary of Parks Canada.

In Western Newfoundland, there’s a national park that holds the key to one of the most important scientific ideas of our times.

Gros Morne National Park is kind of like the Galápagos of geology – you might go to the Galápagos to experience first-hand the wonder of biology and the theory of evolution. In Gros Morne, you can experience first-hand the wonder of geology and the theory of plate tectonics.

Instead of looking out for Darwin’s finches and giant tortoises you’ll come face-to-face with vistas and rock formations that will take your breath away.

About a year ago, I was lucky enough to go to Gros Morne with my microphones to capture the echo of a continental dance that happened 500 million years ago.

My colleague (and great friend) Chris Brookes and I sought out that echo in the words of geologists, artists, musicians and poets, and in the sounds of the park itself.

We composed music based on the field recordings, too. (Listen to excerpts from the original soundtrack.)

Then we wove it all together, along with poetry by Don McKay and traditional Newfoundland music performed by Daniel Payne, Jean Hewson and Christina Smith.

The result is a documentary called Gros Morne: The Bones of the Earth, and you can listen on-demand, whenever you like, HERE.

This documentary was produced with the support of Parks Canada, and sometime this summer, a longer version, presented by Shelagh Rogers, will be available in Gros Morne National Park and online.

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I’m thrilled to announce that my documentary The Sound and the Sea has won a Silver Medal for Best Sound at the 2010 New York Festivals Radio Program and Promotion Awards.

I produced it last year for CBC Radio’s The Current. It was based on my original audio artwork Ode to the Salish Sea. Producing it in documentary format allowed me to explore more deeply the story of the Salish Sea and its various proponents and opponents as a new name for the inland waters stretching from Olympia, WA to Campbell River, BC.

The Salish Sea became an official geographic name in July, 2010, overlaying but not replacing existing place names like the Strait of Georgia and Puget Sound, which also remain official.

The sound design of The Sound and the Sea was inspired by the diversity and beauty of the Pacific Northwest.