Talking Podcasts on the Dave Fanning Show

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I appeared on the Dave Fanning show this morning, talking about podcasting. I was fierce wrecked from insomnia, but hopefully relatively coherent.

Listen here

Check out the cliffnotes…

What is a podcast?

Any radio or TV series that can be subscribed to and downloaded online.

Almost all are free. Usually updated weekly.
Cover every topic – from sports and films, to the most obscure odd stuff – e.g.: Creature Geek – a podcast for people who like special effects monsters.
Include radio programmes from all around the world, and internet only programmes – some of which are incredibly high quality.
Listen whenever you want. Pause, skip back and forward. Keep it forever, or delete it after you listen.

What do you need to get one

Easiest way is directly through your phone, stream or download from a podcast app.
On android the best one is ‘Pocket Casts’ (also available for iphone).
iPhone comes with it’s own programme, another good one is Overcast.

How to listen…

Search for the podcast name. Hit subscribe.
Now each new episode will be available to listen. Can either download or stream over your home wifi or 4G (if you’ve got a good data plan).

There are podcasts available for literally every interest.

Types of Podcasts

1) Narrative Journalism (storytelling about the real world)

This American Life

Revisionist History – from Malcolm Gladwell

99% Invisible – from Radiotopia

Reply All – a show about the internet

2) Comedy

WTF – with Marc Maron

Chappo Trap House

3) True Crime

Stranglers

Sword and Scale

4) Science & History

Radiolab

Hardcore History

The Secret History of Hollywood

History on Fire

5) Politics

War College – from Reuters News

Trumpcast

6) Irish Podcasts

Dave Fanning Show podcast – clips of the show
RTE Lyric – Culture File
RTE One – Doc on one
Newstalk Documentaries
Headstuff network – Alison Spittle Show

How to find new podcasts you might like

Podcast networks are like TV channels that offer lots of podcasts of a certain style
You can find them in your podcast app or on the web
E.g.: Headstuff (local), Smodcast (Kevin Smith’s shows), Radiotopia (high quality narrative journalism)

How to make your own

Not too difficult!
Lots of guides online
Record on your phone or computer and pay about 20 euro a month to put online with a podcast host like Libsyn

In The Dark coming to Dublin

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Two Summers ago, I was lucky enough to attend the first ever Hearsay Audio Festival. If you haven’t heard of the festival, it’s a unique chance to enjoy the most inventive, avant garde and creative audio from around the world. The festival is also a hella chill break, as it’s held in the bucolic idyll of Kilfinane, Co Limerick. One of the highlights of the first Hearsay was the short doc contest run by Bristol based BBC crew ‘In The Dark‘ (and not just cause I won ;). In The Dark run uniquely joyful listening events in a wonderful variety of locations from crypts to eerie forests . At last years festival they setup a shop full of curiosities, each of which was paired with a story. Visitors plucked an object from the shelf and were passed an MP3 player containing an accompanying story. Mine concerned an urban myth about an underground group of students who got their kicks climbing into tumble driers and experiencing the spin cycle!

AIRPI have invited In the Dark to Dublin, for what promises to be a unique listening even at the Unitarian Church. In The Dark will be playing a selection of stories for the start of winter. Highly recommended!

When: Saturday, November 5 at 8 PM – 10 PM
Where: Dublin Unitarian Church
How Much: 10 euro or free for AIRPI members.
More info.

The Wedding Tree

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Download: The Wedding Tree
Subscribe: iTunes, RSS, Soundcloud.

The Wedding Tree is an audacious new radio drama, set in the aftermath of an accident at an Irish nuclear power plant. In the wake of the disaster, fire officer Cian Mitchell is confined to hospital. Tormented by his injuries, Cian finds unlikely comfort in the company of Philips, an elderly English patient. Philips, a retired air force officer, delivers a series of interconnected tales drawing on everything from the golden age of Hollywood to Ireland’s historic mistreatment of women. The play explores mortality, storytelling, and the interconnectedness of all things. This is a tensely paced, meditative piece of radio theatre that plays with the medium, moving from drama to storytelling and back again.

This was my first time working with the incredibly talented, award winning sound designer Brendan Rehill. Brendan’s work captures the power and presence of natural sound to build rich, captivating audio worlds. For this drama he constructed an aural voyage that takes us from the heart of a nuclear reactor to the gizzards of a dying man.

The Wedding Tree was produced by Dead Medium for Newstalk. The programme was written and directed by Gareth Stack, and sound design was by Brendan Rehill.

The cast were: Mitchell – James O’Connor, Philips – William Brady, Surgeon / Mrs Mitchell / Nurse – Aislinn O’Byrne, Rory – Sebastian Connellan.

Theme music and incidental music by Roger Gregg.

‘The Wedding Tree’ was broadcast Saturday 12th August at 8am and 10PM  GMT on Newstalk 106 -108FM.

The programmes was made possible by a grant from the Sound & Vision fund. Funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland with the Television Licence Fee.

BAI CREDIT

Coming Soon – The Wall in the Mind

Image: Teufelsberg Abandoned Berlin Street Art-9658 via Abandoned Berlin.
Image: Teufelsberg Abandoned Berlin Street Art-9658 via Abandoned Berlin.

Our next series, ‘The Wall in the Mind’ is coming to Newstalk this April. Claire O’Hanlon, a young Irish woman, became caught up in the events sweeping East Berlin, just prior to the fall of the Berlin wall. Arrested at a pro-democracy protest, Claire and her friends were imprisoned by the East German secret police. Twenty-five years later, now a successful academic, Claire returns to Berlin. She attempts to finally heal, and to resolve the mystery of what happened to her first love, Emil, who disappeared in 1989.

We’ll be launching a series of making of clips, behind the scenes recordings and special extras in the weeks running up to broadcast. They’ll be available at this site and on the ‘Dead Medium’ productions podcast (iTunes, RSS, Soundcloud).

Broadcast Dates: 16th, 23rd, and 30th of April, two episodes at a time, at 7am and then repeat at 10pm same day.
Show credits.

Here’s a clip from the show. Claire O’Hanlon an Irish woman who was arrested and tortured during the dying days of the Stasi regime, remembers her imprisonment twenty five years later…

The Wall in the Mind – New Drama Series Coming Early 2016

The Wall in the Mind - small

The Wall in the Mind is an upcoming radio drama series on Newstalk, launching early 2016.

Claire O’Hanlon, a young Irish woman, became caught up in the events sweeping East Berlin just prior to the fall of the Berlin wall. Arrested at a pro-democracy protest, Claire and her friends were imprisoned by the East German secret police. Twenty-five years later, now a successful academic, Claire returns to Berlin. She attempts to finally heal, and to resolve the mystery of what happened to her first love, Emil, who disappeared in 1989.

The Wall in the Mind is an exciting historical drama series, coming to Newstalk in 2016. The series combines a variety of innovative storytelling and sound production techniques to create a thrilling drama linked to real historic events. Listeners travel back and forth in time, as Claire tries to make sense of her experiences as a teenager in communist East Berlin and to solve the mystery of her vanished first love, Emil.

Writer / Director Gareth Stack travelled to Berlin to research the historic locations featured in the series. There he explored the ruins of the paramilitary police barracks, where on 7th and 8th October 1989 hundreds of East German protestors were held in one of the last desperate acts of a tyrannical regime. Thousands marched as the communist government faced revolution on the streets.Those unlucky enough to be arrested were tortured by the notorious ‘Volkspolizei-Bereitschaft’ paramilitary police. These events inspired a story that explores the marks history leaves on the lives of ordinary people.

BAI logo mark colourThe drama is brought to life by stunning performances by leads Mia Gallagher as Claire in 2014 and Jasmin Gleeson as Claire in 1989. These roles were developed over weeks of rehearsals with the cast, who all worked ‘off book’ to create a naturalistic compelling drama.

Using extensive foley, on location recording, as well as binaural microphones and cassette recordings, The Wall in the Mind captures the paranoia of one of the darkest moments in the Cold War. The Wall in the Mind is a richly developed story, featuring strong female lead characters, leading to a shocking conclusion. This is a mystery that brings us right into the world of the most surveilled society in history.

Funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland with the television licence fee.

Download: The Wall in the Mind – Trailer

deadmediumsmall The show will be available on Soundcloud and on Dead Medium [iTunes, RSS], the new podcast featuring the best drama, documentary, comedy and sound art from Dead Medium Productions.

If you’d like more information about this upcoming series or any of our other productions, including the award winning documentary ‘Mad Scientists of Music’, get in touch via mail or on twitter.

Artist Led Archive – Culture File

Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 13.05.41Megs Moorley at IMMA, image copyright Catalyst Arts Gallery.

Meg’s Moorley’s ‘artist led archive‘ is a wonderful storehouse of the wisdom and work of numerous art collectives over the last four decades. The archive, which tours as a series of exhibitions and discussion events, is part of the permanent collection at the National Arts Visual Library at NCAD. I spoke with curator and artist Megs Morley, at the recent Artist Led Archive exhibition at IMMA.

All tracks used in this piece were from CD’s included in the Artist Led Archive (complete list below). Many of these works were included on the incredible ‘The Sound We Are Now‘ release from 2007, featuring some of the most beautiful and evocative sound artists working in the last decade. The Sound We Are Now is available from Farpoint Recordings, the label which curates a panoply of incredible sound artists and experimental musicians.

Download: ‘The Artist Led Archive’


Tracks used

The Sound We Are Now – Anthony Kelly & David Stalling – Powerstation 3
The Sound We Are Now – Thea Herold – Same Same but different
Gary Phelan & Mark McLoughlin – Random Access Soundworks – Kevlar Second Chants
The Sound We Are Now – Johannes S. Sistermanns – to disappear / appear
The Sound We Are Now – Alan Lambert South Shore
David Stalling and Anthony Kelly – Urban Utopias – Ghost Signal
The Sound We Are Now – Jürgen Simpson – Kepler
Alan Lambert – The Man Who Cycled To The Moon – Tiny Tiny

New Radio Series in production ‘Mad Scientists of Music’

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I’ve just kicked off production on my new radio series, my first documentary. It’s a 6 * 30 minute show about experimental music in Ireland, entitled ‘Mad Scientists of Music’. Experimental music is a pretty big topic, covering everything from bedroom tinkering with Fruity Loops to technically and aesthetically sophisticated electronic ‘noise’  to Harry Partch style microtonal music. Clearly, I can’t cover everything, and this won’t be an effort to comprehensively catalogue the field. Instead I’ll be focusing primarily on participatory music – chiptune, circuit bending, music apps and other techniques and technologies which allow untrained musicians to take part in creating music.

For a number of years I was involved in the day to day activities of Exchange Dublin. Exchange was at that point a consensus based arts institution in Temple Bar Dublin; more recently the centre has moved away from total democracy, for better and worse, and apparently plans are afoot to leave its Temple Bar HQ for less contentious surroundings. When Exchange kicked off, the initial idea was to let open groups  co-ordinate creative projects in different mediums. Exchange Focus (founded by Dr. Jason McCandless) let enthusiast photographers and complete novices alike learn the intricacies of DSLR photography. My pet project, Exchange Words, ran workshops, lectures, and collaboratively organised spoken word performances. No Signal, a group organised by Dublin based artists like Jonah King, Daniel O’Donovan, Patrick Hough, Aine Belton, and Sebastian Dooris, fooled around with experimental audio video production and performance. No Signal was great fun, I used to head along as an interested if utterly unqualified observer. This was 2009, and demonstrations of 3D digital projection, live coding, and circuit bending seemed to come from a different world, a sizzling technoutopia where devices could be opened up, rejigged and tickled to reveal their secrets.  This open access mixture of mad scientists laboratory, artists workshop and technofetishists basement encouraged a playful attitude to technology, a million miles away from the intimidating math heavy culture of academic engineering and computer science. It was the purest expression of the hacker-artist culture I used to read about in Bruce Sterling think pieces for Wired Magazine or hear breathlessly described in The Net in the early 90’s. Talented amateurs using prosumer technology in interesting and innovative ways to make art, just for the love of it. Around the same time I took part in one of Ben Gaulon‘s ‘Sound Dig’ workshops, learning the very basics of circuit bending and hacking my first kiddie keyboard.

Later I got to know the guys behind Gamepak, a loose knit Dublin chiptune / circuit bending collective. Gampaq run chiptune gigs at festivals like KnockanStockan, and circuit bending workshops in association with Harold’s Cross based A4 Sounds. Taking part in these unstructured peer learning workshops helped inform the ideas behind Open Learning Ireland. Most recently, MarQu and Andrew Edgar of Gamepak helped organise the Open Learning hacklab at our week long festival of learning.


Bitwise Operator, one of the acts interviewed for the series.

I’m no musician. I took piano lessons as a kid, and wrote some awful singer songwriter music after leaving school, but I can’t play any instrument with any degree of competence. What I like about these technologies, and the folks who play with them in an inclusive way, is that my lack of ability doesn’t matter as much as my desire to participate. This isn’t just fiddling about with a ‘my first musak’ toy either. Participative electronic music, like gamelan and other traditional forms of non-expert collaborative music making, let non-musicians take part in producing real music: Improvising with ambient noise duo Deathness Injection, fiddling with Andrew Edgar’s homemade keyboards, or jamming on Bitwise Operator‘s upcoming iPad app. That’s the feeling I’m trying to convey with this series.  The experience of playing with things beautiful, unsettling and deliriously novel. In my next post I’ll talk about some of the folks I’ve interviewed so far, and the techniques and radio series that have influenced the approach I’m taking with  ‘Mad Scientists of Music’. For now check out this collaborative performance curated by Na Hailtiri in association with Deathness Injection. 1000 members of the public converged on Exchange Dublin, to join in in the spontaneous performance – noodling on theremins, effects pedals and chaos pads.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3pLJ5nCwrts]

Mad Scientists Of Music should be done by early – mid 2014. If you’d like to be interviewed for the series get in touch. If you’d like to follow production, check it us on Facebook.

The Invisible Tourguide – Episode 5 – Dublin’s National Museum of Ireland, Decorative Arts and History, Part 2

This week Byron returns to Dublin’s National Museum of Ireland, Decorative Arts and History, at Collins Barracks.

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Download: Episode 5 – Dublin’s National Museum of Ireland, Decorative Arts and History, Part 2

Continue reading “The Invisible Tourguide – Episode 5 – Dublin’s National Museum of Ireland, Decorative Arts and History, Part 2”

Starship Sofa

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Over the past year, I’ve contributed a handful of readings to the wonderful Starship Sofa science fiction podcast. Ciaran O’Carroll and Tony C. Smith began the show in 2006, as an in depth discussion of the life and works of a variety of New Wave and Golden Age Science Fiction authors. Ciaran left the show last year, but far from this being the harbinger of podfade, it spurred Tony on to new heights of fevered podcasting activity. The Sofa began to acquire the audio rights to a host of science fiction stories, poetry and factual articles, and started soliciting it’s own fictional content in the form of flash fiction.

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