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Stargazing with Dava Sobel
BBC World Service
23rd August – 20th September 2017

 

In this major five-part series, science writer and author Dava Sobel explores our fascination with the Dava Stargazingheavens, from the early revelations of Copernicus to the latest technologies around the world. The series connects early science, faith and the latest astronomical research around the world.

 

“From where we Earthlings stand, it’s easy to believe we’re at the centre of the Universe… We never feel the Earth moving. Yet everything we see in the sky has great power to move our emotions. This has been true since human beings first looked up. And it is as true for professional astronomers as it is for amateurs like me.

Stargazing is an open invitation to anyone who has ever felt dazzled by the night sky and wants to feel more at home in it.”   Dava Sobel

Brighstone 428 
Between the Ears 
Saturday 17th June
9.30pm
BBC Radio 3Birdwire 2

 

 

Artist Graeme Miller captures the poetry of the landline, the mores and cadences of telephone behaviour and speech while recalling the object of the telephone: the table in the hall and the physicality of the landline – the actual line and the real land, of rural and urban space. A line, lined with birds that swept across the global landscape of the 20th century..

 

Gabriela Montero: Improvisation Masterclass
29th April
14.06pm
BBC Radio 3

 

Fantastic Gabriela Montero, the exhilarating Venezuelan pianist is renowned for her improvisation. Her astounding live performances include her improvisations on Beethoven, Mozart, Rachmaninov, Paganini or Tchaikovsky. They appear sacrilegious to fellow musicians, who have mocked her ‘game playing’, but for others, she’s recognized for passionately engaging with the music and working within the composer’s creation. She’s considered “No mere mortal”. Classically trained Llywelyn Ap Myrrdin catches up with her in Miami, where we hear her play in a concert hall packed with Venezuelans, living in exile.. and we’ll discover why.

 

 

 

 

Ella Fitzgerald: A Glorious Noise
25th April
11.30am
BBC Radio 4

 

Acclaimed singer and Ella Fitzgerald devotee, Mara Carlyle, examines the life and vocal magnificence of the most beloved of jazz singers – marking the centenary of her birth. Mara visits Harlem to trace Ella’s ascent from humble origins to becoming one of America’s greatest stars, exploring the voice that transformed her fortunes and changed the face of jazz forever.

She’s joined by a host of singers including opera queen Jessye Norman, Dianne Reeves, Emiliana Torrini, ESKA, and her own aunt, jazz singer Norma Winstone.

Mara examines the magic of Ella’s vocal prowess – her pure, clear tone, impeccable phrasing, virtuosic improvisation, and her tender expression of human emotion – that has kept audiences captivated since her auspicious debut at New York’s Apollo Theater.

 

 

 

 

 

 

AL Kennedy’s  Migraine
3rd April
11am
BBC Radio 4

 

‘I find migraines fascinating. As a sufferer, they’re hard to explain to non migraineurs. They aren’t “just a headache” and can even present as partial blindness. My first migraine was just that – a patch of total blindness in my left field of vision, which I was too shy to mention. Having compared notes, I find I’m not the only one to have had such an experience in adolescence. Then came the auras, the pain, the disorientation, tingling, the trouble finding the right words for things, the misdiagnosis as a stroke. Some migraineurs are rushed to hospital with doctors suspecting serious strokes or brain tumours.’

In this programme we talk to migraineurs and neurologists, we trace back through history and look to new science to ask if there will ever be a cure for this quiet, utterly debilitating illness

 

 

 

 

A Body of Essays
Radio 3
13th – 16th March 2017

 

anatomyThis collection of essays was recorded with an audience in the Reading Room of the Wellcome Collection in London, surrounded as they were by biomedical curiosities. It’s a fitting setting for our series A Body of Essays in which four writers have sought inspiration from bodily organs, dissecting with their minds, opening bodies up with their pens, to access our innermost parts, packed in the darkness of our flesh. Through the week, we’ll hear from the young Nigerian author, Chibundu Onuzo, poet Annie Freud and the poet undertaker, Thomas Lynch. The first comes from the writer and a sufferer of Crones disease, William Fiennes, who has chosen the bowel.

 

 

 

 

Carlos Gardel: Tango to the New World
BBC World Service
4th February 2017
2pm (GMT)

carlos-website-2A hundred years ago, Carlos Gardel recorded Mi Noche Triste.. (My Sad Night) which for those who are Argentinian or Uruguayan, is a song that can stop time.. It is the first ‘true’ tango song – the tango cancion.
Recorded in Buenos Aires, tango dancer Fabian Salas explores the nostalgia and drama in the music of Carlos Gardel, the most famous figure in Tango and yet, the story and music of Argentina’s national hero is barely known outside Latin America.
It’s hard to think there is a tradition of tango singing that’s different from the dance, but it’s the songs by Gardel, that carried tango from the Rio de la Plata across Latin America to the drawing rooms of Europe and North America. “Tango has risen from the feet to the lips”, wrote one commentator in the 1920s – at the beginning of the Golden Era of Tango referring to the rising popularity of the songs as much as the refinement of tango.

Sunday Drama: Andromache
BBC Radio 3
22nd January 2017
9pm

 

 

hector-and-andromache-1912Jean Racine’s play, first performed in 1667, is set a year after the Fall of Troy in Epirus, where Pyrrhus, son of Achilles, is ostensibly betrothed to Helen’s daughter, Hermione. Pyrrhus however is pining after Hector’s widow, Andromache. The play opens as Orestes, son to Agamemnon, comes with a message from the Greeks demanding that Pyrrhus should hand over Andromache’s son, Astyanax. Orestes, it so happens, is in love with Hermione.

Edward Kemp’s version of the play is set against a present-day soundscape and asks ‘when a culture has endured a shattering event – the Trojan War or one of the world-changing events of the current century – how can we move on ? And if we can’t, are we destined to repeat the same cataclysmic mistakes over and over again?’

Directed and Produced by Jeremy Mortimer

 

 

Let Her Speak
BBC Radio 3
6th November
6.45pm

 

 

Rhetorica WebEmily Maitlis considers how women have been and are making themselves heard in public; commandeering the ancient art of rhetoric, for millennia, the business of men.

With the help of Professors Mary Beard and Emma Smith, Fiona Shaw and Patsy Rodenberg  we’ll explore how the female voice is heard and how it is perceived and why women feel they have to adapt their voice to sound ‘correct’. Do we actually know what a woman’s public speaking voice is? Can women speak without criticism of being “shrill”? Can they speak effectively without being considered not feminine; more an androgyne like Hortensia?We learn about the vocal folds, the importance of free breath and the constraints of being corseted or wearing high heels.And we’ll imagine Margaret Fell, the early Quaker who wrote Womens Speaking Justified along with the exhortations of Mary Astell; we’ll hear early recordings of the arguing and entreating, persuading and encouraging voices of women through the twentieth century, around the world, increasingly heard.

In Search of Yves Klein
BBC Radio 3
16th October
6.45pm

 

Klien Jump cropYves Klein is best remembered for his use of a single colour, Yves Klein International Blue along with his famous Leap into the Void…as artist Liliane Lijn discovers, Klein’s work is characterised by his obsession with the immaterial and a jubilant ‘breaking-free’ from the pervasive, post war ideas of an empty void. Klein seeks a heightened consciousness, a place of exuberance and optimism. To coincide with Tate Liverpool’s Autumn exhibition 2016 Liliane brings a vividness and clarity to the work and short life of Yves Klein. We hear from Klein’s widow, Rotraut Klein Moquay, his ‘model’ Elena Palumbo, the artists Michael Craig Martin, David Batchelor, Ian Whittlesea and Arnaud Desjardins, his biographer Sidra Stich, art dealer John Kasmin and critic Jascia Reichardt.

UNESCO: 70 Years of Peacekeeping
BBC Radio 4
26th September
11am

 

Charlotcropunesco-world-heritage-sites-conventionte Higgins visits the UNESCO HQ in Paris; a modernist monument to postwar ideals of peace in the world. She asks if the organisation has a role amidst violent insurgency and the wilful destruction of culture.

UNESCO, the UN mission invented 70 years ago to promote international peace through education, science and culture, independent of politics, is most evident in its work with cultural heritage – in the belief that it inspires a gr eater individual and collective identity.

Its founders, meeting in London in the midst of the Second World War, set out with optimism and purpose, calling on the ‘sacred duty’ of countries to get to know and respect one another, to discuss and negotiate on equal terms and to help each other maintain peace in the different parts of the world. With attacks on heritage now at the frontline of conflicts, UNESCO’s strategy is in the spotlight and the organisation is struggling to keep its 195 members at the table.

 

Contemporary Art and the Church
BBC Radio 3
10th September
6.30pm

 

Venice web

Another chance to hear a feature aired last year during the Venice Biennale.

Can contemporary art and the church embrace each other? Inspired by the Vatican’s energy to reignite the relationship between art and the church within the Holy See, Fiona Shaw travelled to Rome to meet Cardinal Ravasi, responsible for this enthusiasm and the initiator of the Vatican’s own art pavilion at the world’s greatest contemporary art exhibition in Venice.

Antony Gormley: Missing Continents At The British Museum
BBC Radio 4
Thursday 8th September 2016
11.30am

 

British_Museum_Great_Court_roofWhen it was founded in the 18th century from the collections of Sir Hans Sloane, the British Museum aspired to be not just a national museum, but a world collection, accessible to a global audience. Outgoing director Neil MacGregor gave fresh life to this idea – the British Museum as a museum of the world for the world – but does this definition hold true?

The Neglected Sense
BBC Radio 4
Tuesday  12th April 2016
11am

 

Nose

More than 200,000 people in the UK are anosmic – they cannot smell, but would we ever know it? Referred to by the experts as the forgotten sense, we reveal the seriousness of not being able to smell. Radio 4 newsreader Kathy Clugston, is anosmic and presents this programme ‘from the inside’, giving listeners a first hand account of the condition. On her journey she meets leading Rhinologist, Simon Gane, and Geneticist Darren Logan. She finds out if she could ‘learn’ to smell with Carl Philpott at the Smell Clinic in Norfolk. At London Zoo she discovers the significance of smell to other animals.

 

Between the Ears: Inside Radio Alwan
BBC Radio 3
Saturday 26th March 2016
9.30pm

 

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Sara Davies joins the determined producers and presenters of Radio Alwan, a Syrian radio station in exile in Istanbul who are providing a daily lifeline for their listeners at home and across Europe.

Radio Alwan began in 2013 as a small community radio station in Saraqeb, near Idlib in Northern Syria, broadcasting independent news in response to the government repression and civil war that had followed the opposition demonstrations of 2011. But when the political conflict escalated and the situation for independent media became dangerous, Alwan’s founder, Ahmad Al-Kaddour, was forced, along with many others, to leave the country or face imprisonment or death. The recent attack on Alwan’s offices in Aleppo reveal the risks these broadcasters are taking to spread a message of hope for the Syrian people.

 

 

 
Racial Equality Enshrined with Ritula Shah
Archive on Four BBC Radio 4
Saturday 5th December 2015
8pm

 

IMG_1851On the 50th anniversary of Britain’s first Race Relations Act, Ritula Shah considers the role of the law in ending racial discrimination. She is joined by Lord Lester of Herne Hill, who worked on the original legislation in 1965.

The programme is ‘set’ in The Hair Lounge, an Afro-hair salon on London’s Portobello Road and the conversations of young women who mark the progress of race relations through hairstyles.

Alice is Still in Wonderland with Siouxsie Sioux
BBC Radio 4
Tuesday 17th November 2015
11.30am

 

Alice website

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland has become an icon of British culture – the bizarre story and flamboyant illustrations have inspired all kinds of imagery, fashion, architecture, theatre, decoration and events. While its sinister undercurrents and phantasmagorical dreamscapes echo through the works of countless artists and musicians.

On the 150th anniversary of the publication of Lewis Carroll’s book, lead singer and song writer of alternative rock band Siouxsie and the Banshees, Siouxsie Sioux, explores its strange allure.

 

 

 
Between the Ears: Bee Journal
Between The Ears
BBC Radio 3
13th  June 2015
9.45pm

 

 

beecrop

Sean Borodale’s intimate poem is a reflective, passionate chronicle of beekeeping, of the changing seasons and the alchemy of the hive but also an account of the creative act of writing and the alchemy of composition.

The poems are set to the soundscape of the human hive: the mechanised city and the isolated sounds of the single cells within it. At the heart of the sequence, in the heart of the hive, is the queen bee – voiced by champion beatboxer, Bellatrix. The soundtrack is compiled from wildtrack and recordings from cities around the world, and includes music by Elizabeth Purnell and Neil Sorrell.

 

 


Contemporary Art and the Church
Sunday Feature
BBC Radio 3
24th  May 2015

 

 

With the Vatican commissioning artists for its own pavilion at the Venice Biennale, the world’s greatest contemporary art exhibition, actor and director, Fiona Shaw travels to Rome to meet Cardinal Ravasi, the Holy See’s hopeful champion of a reunion between art and the Church. She asks if the contradiction between the questioning nature of contemporary art and the didactic character of the church make his a mission impossible?

 

Doing Goya Justice: The Curator’s Story
BBC Radio 3
12 April  2015
6.45pm

Xavier Bray (Chief Curator, Dulwich Picture Gallery), a brilliant art historian and communicator, gives listeners a powerful, first hand account of his work leading up to the landmark exhibition of portraits by Goya to open at the National Gallery in London in May 2015. With Goya at the centre, Xavier reveals the depth and extent of the artist’s life and work, while opening up to listeners his own role as the exhibition’s curator.

 

A Body of Essays
BBC Radio 3
13th – 17th October 2014
Each Evening at 10:45

In a compelling synthesis of biology and literature, we’ll hear the ‘dark continent’ of our inner body, scrutinised through its hidden constituents – the organs. In this series, five writers, Mark Ravenhill, Christina Patterson, Daljit Nagra, Naomi Alderman and Ned Beauman, take on one of the body’s organs. They essay on the intestines, skin, lungs, gall bladder and appendix. In each case they’ve met an expert in their chosen organ who has regaled them with its medical function, but ultimately they express what the organ’s significance is to them; linking history, culture and personal experience.

 

AL Kennedy – Holding Hands
BBC Radio 4
Sunday 13th July 2014

Join AL Kennedy for something uniquely intimate and comforting that begins in childhood – a small hand enveloped in that of other, stronger, larger hands. We have the joy of rediscovering new shades of meaning in this gesture.

 

I Don’t Remember The War
BBC World Service
Saturday 26th July & Sunday 27th July 2014

The BBC WS gives voice to the most talented young writers, aged 35 or under, from around the world, to explore a grandparent or great grandparent’s involvement in the First World War. With Chibundu Onuzo, Ned Beauman, Prajwal Parajuly; Ceridwen Dovey, Rob Doyle and Clemens Setz. Presented by BBC Special Correspondent Alan Little

 

The Interviewer Stole The Show
Radio 4
Saturday 15th March 2014
8pm

Lynn Barber examines the rise of New Journalism, a style of news reporting that dared to interpret, ruminate and reflect on the situation in focus. She zeros in on its powerful influence on her own form – the interview.

What The F: The Story Of Feminism and Pop
Radio 1
Saturday 10th March 2014
9pm

Gemma Cairney asks whether our female stars are empowered or exploited and speaks to celebrities, experts, and with the help of performance artist Bryony Kimmings, a group of under twenties, in a bid to make sense of it all.

 

Albrecht Dürer: Printing Press Native
BBC Radio 3
Sunday 19th January 2014
6.45pm

To mark a major year for Dürer and German art in London (Courtauld Institute, National Gallery, British Museum) Charlotte Higgins examines the life and work of this exceptional artist printmaker.

Eileen Gray: The Missing Heart Of Design
BBC Radio 3
Sunday 23rd February 2014
6.45pm

In anticipation of Eileen Gray’s newly restored E1027 house opening to the public, Fiona Shaw explores the life and work of the Irish-born designer and architect.

 

Living and Present
Radio 3
September 2013

Laurie Anderson charts the rise and rise of performance art – the most daring and popular of contemporary art forms, it pushes the boundaries of art, theatre and dance and now has its own major spaces and places around the world.

 

Maiden Voyage
Radio 4
June 2013

On the 50th anniversary of her voyage to outer space, Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman to take this unprecedented step, tells Lucy Ash her incredible story to the BBC.

 

Baaba Maal and the Senegalese Kingdom of Music
Radio 4
16 January 2013

Each year the Senegalese king of music, Baaba Maal, invites musicians across the region to play at the Blues du Fleuves festival. This year the English musician Adrian Brendel travels with his cello, to the Senegal River, to immerse himself in the music.

 

Edouard Manet: The Direct Gaze
Radio 3
13 January 2013
7.30pm

The 19th century French painter, Edouard Manet is known as the father of Impressionism but we know comparatively little about him. Fiona Shaw stares back at the women in Manet’s most famous works. Contributors include Julian Barnes, Juliet Wilson Bareau and Michael Craig Martin.

 

No Ideas But In Things: The Poetry of William Carlos Williams
Radio 4
16 December 2012
4.30pm

English poet Annie Freud looks at the work of American poet and Imagist movement advocate William Carlos Williams, whose famous saying No Ideas But In Things, contained his passionate determination to write a new poetry for a new country.

 

Hoboing with Honeyboy
Radio 2
28 August 2012
10pm

Recorded at the National Hobo Convention in Britt, Iowa, this is a celebration of hoboing, through the life and music of the original hobo Honeyboy Edwards. American based music journalist and broadcaster Gianluca Tramontana traces the footsteps of this original blues man.

 

 


 

 

 

Prior to founding Cast Iron, Kate Bland produced a range of programmes with Just Radio Ltd, which included:

Radio 2: Barbara Windsor’s Funny Gals: Phyllis Diller, Malcolm McLaren and the Great Juke Box Racket, Jarvis Cocker’s Musical Map of Sheffield, Malcolm McLaren – The Game, Malcolm McLaren’s Life and Times in LA (Sony Gold): A Radio Movie, Joan Armatrading’s Musical Journey to the Caribbean, Malcolm McLaren’s Musical Map of London (Sony Gold).

Radio 3: When You’re Gone, You’re Gone, Leonardo: Master of Ceremonies, Thomas Lynch’s Feast of Language, The Glass Piano, The Glasgow Boys, Antony Gormley: Seminal Sculpture, Weather Reports You, Rebellion and Fear – Artists and the Great War, Richard Cork’s Encounters With Artists, Rules of Engagement, The Painters’ Painter: Dazzling Diego Velazquez, Peter Blake’s Mystery Tour, Waiting for Old Faithful , Speaking in Tongues, Kings Cross to Connemara, The Way, The Truth, Art, Sex and Revolution: The Life and Work of Tina Modotti, Jellyfish.

Radio 4: Pina Bausch – Dance For Your Life, Art Disrupted: Damien Hirst and Co, The Topping Tooters of the Town, Archive on 4: RP RIP, This Is Not Magritte, Isaac Julien’s Guide to Artist Filmmaking, Shimmer and Dazzle: Seeing What Bridget Riley Sees, Gauguin – The Right To Dare, Serbian Trumpets, Henry Moore, My Father, Thomas Lynch’s Season of Innocence, Van Gogh: Seeing Red, Gormley on Epstein, Joan Armatrading’s Favourite Guitarists, World Heritage – A Curse or Blessing? Triple Espresso, Marinetti and the Futurists, Fortress Totobag – The Story of the Notting Hill Riots, Joan Armatrading’s Favourite Choirs, Inside the British Council, Save Our Seeds, Picasso’s Fallen Women, Joan’s Irish Journey, Gormley on Rodin, Cezanne’s Mountain, Parker on Hitchcock, The Great British Amphibian, The Wright Stuff, Michelangelo’s David, Joan’s Journey, Five Gardens of Italy, Matador, Let’s hear it for Decoration, Inside the CPS, Kidnapped, Duty Solicitor.

BBC World Service: Re-branding Nigeria, Press for Freedom, Music from the Middle of Nowhere, The Real Story of Punk, After the Tsunami, Inside the Red Cross