Reviewed by: Taki Telonidis for PRX (April 26, 2007)
“Delightful. That?s the first word that comes to mind after hearing this installment of a BBC series about adolescence. Initially I was doubtful that a 20-minute radio story would be able to bring focus to such a broad topic, but I was pleasantly surprised throughout this piece. It unfolds in a very logical manner, beginning with an engaging introduction, then a series of topics illuminated by the personal experiences of teens (as well as of the reporter, now an adult) plus a sprinkling of experts. The narration is cleverly written and delivered with sparkle and humor. He relates very well to the young people he interviews, and in the course of the story takes us all over the world?from the UK, to Zambia, to America, to India & Bangladesh. Music and sound are used effectively to create a sense of place and pacing. This piece prompts me to ask questions of myself, and to appreciate how much Westerners could learn from other cultures, particularly traditional cultures, who seem to do a better job of preparing their children for adulthood. I could go on, but best to listen for yourself.”
Producer: Teresa Goff (5 mins)
“According to a report by the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research, the number of Canadians living with HIV/AIDS increased 40 per cent between 1996 and 2002.
One group is over-represented in those statistics: aboriginal people.
First Nations people are at increased risk for HIV infections for several reasons. Social, economic, and behavioural factors such as poverty, substance use, including injection drug use, sexually transmitted diseases, and limited access to health services, have increased their vulnerability.
Jason Peacemaker tells his own personal story about HIV and addiction”
Producer: Radio Netherlands (29:30)
“You can’t go too far wrong with this material: Seamus Heaney’s closely-mic’d voice in conversation–a voice that takes hold of words with an unusually strong grip before letting them go. Seamus Heaney reading his own achingly beautiful, soul-disturbing poems in a reverberating hall in Rotterdam. Stir in atmospheric music and intelligent narration by the interviewer. I suppose you could go wrong with any material, but the folks at Radio Netherlands, as usual, get it right. This is not just any old piece about any old poet. Heaney’s talk and his poetry are not *about* poetry but about the world–the world of spit and dust and cast iron but also of falling Twin Towers and our “virtual city.” One of the most important poets of our time, an Irishman who came of age writing about the Troubles as “time out of joint” in his own small country, now reflects on a whole world out of joint. A world of “deep, deep, deep unease” where “war is waged almost casually.”
Producer: Tanya Ott-Fulmore
“This is a music-rich studio piece offering something a little different for Black History Month. Tanya Ott is a good interviewer who keeps the piece moving between conversation and performance.
Tanya and her guests, Ansel Strickland and musician Sam Pointer, have a friendly and informative conversation as the listeners get a chance to sample the music of Alabama bluesman Ed Bell.
Well recorded and nicely edited. There were apparently some risque lyrics in one of the musical pieces (can you imagine that in a blues piece?) but they seem to have been edited out.
This would work nicely in a locally-produced magazine show or even as a drop-in during a AAA or eclectic music show. It’s a good alternative to the historical profiles and informational pieces that crop up at this time of the year.”
Producer: A World of Possibilities
Review by David Swatling for PRX (Feb. 4, 2007)
“There’s an abundance of fascinating information in this first of a series of programs about Islam and the West. The first half-hour focuses primarily on the history of Islam and the second half puts that information in perspective in post 9/11 America. The five experts interviewed by the very well prepared host are all excellent speakers. The most time is spent with an Iranian author who was particularly engaging and thought-provoking. This is a polished magazine-style program dealing with an important topic in an intelligent way. If the rest of the series maintains this quality, it’s definately worth sharing with your listeners.”
Tales From the Morgue: Can’t Stand the Heat (20:00)
producer: Mark Sawyer
Reviewed by Joseph Dougherty for PRX ( Feb. 2, 2007)
“If there’s a radio equivalent to the gooey indulgence of macaroni-and-cheese, this is it. Gleefully derivative of everything from “Lights Out” to “Mystery Science Theater 3000,” this audio evocation of those youth destroying EC horror comics, the ones Stephen King used to hide under the mattress, is pure guilty pleasure. Uncontaminated by seriousness and higher purpose, produced with a careful eye for B-movie details, the piece is unrepentant balderdash and should be welcomed at any time of the programming day. “But, Jasper, you’re a scientist. Surely you don’t believe in this nonsense.” “
Radio Lab, Show 203: Morality
Review by Chris Chambers for PRX (Jan 21, 2007)
“This is excellent radio. It’s thought-provoking, amusing and, most importantly, brilliantly produced. The use of music is perfect and the innovative way the two presenters interact within each feature has the effect of drawing you in futher to the discussion. This is a great example of how quite simple features can become transformed using imaginative production. There was superb editing work in there.
I give five stars as sparingly as Howard Hughes gave interviews but I have no hesitation in recommending this and no doubt all the other Radio Lab programmes too.”
Andy Statman’s Journey (27:47)
producer: Jonathan Groubert
“5 Stars if you’re a fan of Klezmer clarinet or bluegrass mandolin. Jon Kalish has produced an expertly knitted, rich, tersely woven and well presented journey into the heart of the virtuoso musician and Jewish mystic Andy Statman.
This is excellent radio that hits all the right beats in terms of pacing and uses the form to create a three dimensional person from his early success to his inexplicable contemporary obscurity.
Highly recommended to anyone. Excellent programming for the weekends or Jewish holidays or pairing with programs on Klezmer.”
Say it Plain
Producer: American Public Media, (60:00)
review by John Hingsbergen for PRX (Jan 27, 2007)
“This is an excellently-crafted and moving documentary, ideal for Black History Month. Characteristic of the American Radio Works series, this is a highly-polished production filled with compelling content that demonstrates the power of long-form radio. NPR’s Michelle Norris hosts this program featuring excerpts from eloquent speakers such as comedian Dick Gregory, the Rev. Dr. Marting Luther King, Jr, Fannie Lou Hamer of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party and Representative Shirley Chisholm. I was especially interested in the 1895 recording of educator and presidential advisor Booker T. Washington. Whether your listeners lived through events documented in this show, or have merely read about them in history books, they’ll be informed and inspired by the actual voices of these speakers I’ve scheduled it for use on WMUB for the second year in a row during Black History Month. I can offer no higher endorsement.”