29 April 2015

Noise, Pt. 3 - Airs April 29th

Epic Tales from Noise: A Human History of Sound and Listening
In 1933, a young classics scholar called Milman Parry made a journey through the hill villages of the Balkans to record poets and singers. He captured an oral tradition that's all but died out - peasant performers who recited epic tales over days from memory without any form of prompt. We'll learn how these ancient tales were remembered and passed down, and travel to the ancient Theatre of Epidaurus in Greece. Featuring archive extracts of traditional stories from the Balkans, Kyrgyzstan, West Africa, and India.

Persuasion from Noise: A Human History of Sound and Listening
From Cicero to Martin Luther King, Jr., over the centuries, great orators have changed our minds, given us hope, and sent us to the barricades. Professor David Hendy of the University of Sussex reveals their rhetorical tricks, and explains why President Obama's sharp ear for dialogue is one of his greatest assets.

22 April 2015

Unlikely Poets - Airs April 22nd

Voices of the Stringtown Poetry Workshop from Abby Wendle
In the late 1970's, Mary McAnally led a poetry workshop for the inmates at Stringtown Prison in Oklahoma. She taught at the prison twice a week for three years, helping many of the prisoners get published in literary journals across the country. In this segment, we hear McAnally discuss the movement to rehabilitate prisoners. We also hear two of the prisoner poets, Milton Gracen and William "Indian Bill" Hogner, read and discuss their poetry.

Warrior Poets by Samara Breger
Clearly there is a need to increase understanding between cops and the communities they serve. And so the Portland Police Department recently faced down a daunting task: writing poetry. Local performance artist Marty Pottenger wished to harness the transformative power of poetry to bring officers more in touch with their emotions, improve moral, and change preconceived notions about them. It should also make them better at their job; the creative process increases our ability to see contradictory perspectives, work collaboratively, and analyze complex challenges. Can poetry really help to serve as the bridge that shifts notions of the police force from obstacles to allies? 

14 April 2015

Confronting Hatred - Airs April 15th

Confronting Hatred from The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
This hour-long radio special, narrated by Morgan Freeman, examines the ways in which the Holocaust continues to inform contemporary discussions about hate speech, propaganda, and human rights. We hear stories from people confronting hatred in their lives, their communities, and sometimes in their own hearts. We hear how easily a young boy got recruited by skinheads in Pennsylvania, how one man is working to reshape international criminal law after the genocide in Rwanda, and how both an imam and a heavy metal rock band confront hatred in their communities.

09 April 2015

Noise, Pt. 2 - Aired April 8th

A Ritual Soundscape from Noise: A Human History of Sound and Listening
Humans have learned to control sound for rituals with impressive monuments. Prof. David Hendy travels to the Orkney Islands in Scotland to hear the bizarre effect of beating a drum while standing in one of Orkney’s Neolithic sites. The space feels like a theater stage, made for performance. When these literal sound effects were discovered -- they were exploited for use in magnificent rituals. These are the kind of places where our ancestors came to make a spectacular racket. But we'll also explore the places where they came in search of silence and sensory deprivation.

The Rise of the Shamans from Noise: A Human History of Sound and Listening
Around the world charismatic individuals claim the ability to talk to spirits, heal illness and help crops grow. Proffessor Hendy will explain how sound - and its manipulation - is so central to the shaman's power. We'll travel all the way from the eerie rituals of Siberian reindeer herders as they summon spirits to a very mysterioussinging angel located high in the facade of Wells Cathedral.

01 April 2015

Battle At Thunderblow - Airs April 1st

The Great Crepitation Contest of 1946 by Sidney S. Brown and Jules Lipton
Sometime in the 1940s a clandestine recording was produced, allegedly by Canadian Broadcast Corporation staff. The details are remarkably scarce and the stories of the now legendary recording's origin conflict and vary wildly. Despite the complete haze of its background, my guess is you'll find it hard not to thoroughly enjoy the seriously tongue-in-cheek radio play-by-play or rather blow-by-blow of the epic battle between the reigning champ, Lord Windesmear, and upcoming challenger, Paul Boomer narrated wonderfully by famous sportscaster S.S. Brown. Certainly one for the record books.