In The Air #1

<< Back to Main Newsletter

In The Dark’s Connor Walsh puts out his antennae to bring us a round up of audio news from around the world!

This Autumn Connor’s been judging at the Prix Europa, helping radio producers fix their telephones and interfering with the natural order of things on Twitter…

With festivals and awards popping up every which way, we were delighted to hear that Katie Burningham’s Heel, Toe, Step Together (which we tasted at Hardeep Singh Kohli’s In The Dark, at the same time as it was nominated for a Sony award) has just won Honourable Mention at the Third Coast Festival awards for 2011, and has been well received at the Prix Europa, which has just finished in Berlin.

Prix Europa 2011 wrapping-up
The Prix Europa 2011 has wrapped up in Berlin (sorry).

I was there as a juror representing In The Dark and scouting great programmes to bring to London. Listening to six items a day was busy but before the top five was announced, I had already invited four of the top five over to be guest curators. The only reason I didn’t ask all five is that we’ve already featured the third placed programme – Ronan Kelly played Don’t Go Far for us at his event back in February.

We heard Night in Hackney by Francesca Panetta last year and it was well received in Berlin last week too. And more positive news to help send off Third Ear: My Grandfather’s Double Life by Anna Thaulow, with oversight from Tim Hinman, got the Special Award, finishing second on the scorecard.

We’ve no dates fixed up yet but hopefully in 2012 we’ll bring you Anna’s piece, as well as tales of fights in an Austrian castle and oil divers in the North Sea.

The Prix Europa’s also given a first physical connection between In The Dark London and Sydney –Aussie Tom Morton was in Berlin, and I was very happy to hear from him that the Tony Barrell night was a fitting success.

Less happily, I couldn’t help Alan Hall get his phone to send texts from Berlin (to congratulate Katie, his former employee at Falling Tree Productions, on her Third Coast award for instance). But the veneer as the fairly techy one at In the Dark was polished again when I got Hanna Rosenfelder of Just Radio’s iPhone sorted.

Also encouraging was the rise at Prix Europa of independent outlets with producers aged under 35, and I’ll try to bring you more on that in the next Friends’ newsletter.

Aside from all that, the name-recognition for In The Dark has been high, and the whole experience has been fantastic – great conversation, and hanging out with fellow European lovers of crafted audio. Kinda like a week-long In The Dark inside a gorgeous 1930s German building, with name-badges and hat-wearing traffic-light-men.

Putting a more grown-up hat on, an extraordinary radio book is in the works which we’re all looking forward to: The Poetry of Radio: The Colour of Sound by Professor emeritus of Radio at Bournemouth Sean Street. It will appear early next year, and includes work based on interviews with many of our friends and heroes. We’re very pleased that Sean has agreed to give us a sneak preview in the next Friends Newsletter (out in January) ahead of the book’s 5th February publication.

Meanwhile in the world of Twitter, great audio is moving hands so fast it hard to keep pace…
So. It’s back in August. The East coast of the US is bracing itself for Hurricane Irene. Benjamin Walker (the thoughtful chap who presents Too Much Information on WFMU) tweets across the Hudson to Jad Abumrad, flagging-up the Banality of Evil podcast that he made for the Guardian. The topic seems a bit zeitgeisty, no?

If you follow them both, you see the whole conversation
Says Jad: @benjamenwalker Ben, this is great. Fascinating ideas. What are the chances you/guardian would re-produce this for us?
Says Benjamin: @JadAbumrad sounds great! If we survive Irene, talk soon – if not, well we had a good run…
Now since I use Twitter so you don’t have to, I immediately email this conversation to Francesca Panetta, who commissioned the Banality of Evil podcast at the Guardian – and who, like you, is a Friend of In The Dark. The wheels of a transatlantic radio collaboration are set in motion. That’s what Friends are for, right?

The circle runs the other way too: some items from last year’s In The Dark curated by Ed Baxter were featured by ITD regular Robin Thefog in a Mixcloud hour of songs about sex: a tweet about that from me had the hour featured by This website pretty much does what it says on the tin, and inevitably sparked thoughts of a themed In The Dark event… more on that in the next newsletter!

Friends of In The Dark – that’s you – is a focused community, so let us know if there’s something you’d like to share. It’s also a private(ish) community, and therefore perfect for disseminating juicy audio gossip too… Send it on in to


Back to Main Newsletter >>