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GG: Solitude Trilogy influencing a new radio program

A friend of mine who's a professional independent radio producer has just
recently finished a new half-hour program that is influenced by the Solitude
Trilogy.  When he did his raw-material interviews last year, I pulled out
the ST set for him to borrow, just for fun.  He hadn't heard of it.  He was
very favorably impressed, and acquired his own copy.  It gave him ideas that
have considerably reshaped his original intentions for his own program.

The feature is a portrait of a university cross-cultural seminar that my
wife and I led last year: a group of American students learning about life,
history, politics, and culture in Ireland and Northern Ireland.  It is
presented in the words of the student and faculty participants, plus music
that we brought home from the trip.

The producer started from his normal techniques and experience in building
the program, but I can hear some GG influences:

- The opening section which introduces the characters leads the listener
only gradually into the purpose of the program rather than stating anything
blatantly; it's a discovery, the opposite of a headline reporting style

- There are no passages with multiple characters talking at once [yet], but
some very close fades

- The sense of mood and space feels like parts of the ST, flowing subtly
from theme to theme; one sometimes doesn't realize the theme is changing
until after it has changed

- He plays off common words to unite sections: either juxtaposing them
closely, or having one character end a phrase with the same word the next
character fades in on

- On numerous occasions the editing makes it sounds as if the characters are
conversing together about topics, rather than speaking in separate

- The musical selections, a real variety, catch moods very strongly; they
are also sometimes excerpted or repeated in small pieces, as GG does

- Music sometimes comes in during (not after) character soliloquies, subtly
changing the mood of the speech and leading into next sections

- Some extraneous words are taken out of the spoken phrases to tighten them
for time and clarity, but others are left in to help flesh out the
personalities of the characters

- The listener is allowed to draw his/her own conclusions, imagining
contexts and outcomes where appropriate (details are left to the listener's
imaginative participation, rather than drawn explicitly as is more typical
for TV and radio)

- The attentive listener emerges with personal feelings about the material
and presentation, a sense of what it's like to be there in person, rather
than merely a set of straightforward facts

- The entire program is condensed, with a large amount of content for its

- Repeated listening reveals more depth each time

In making this program he reported to me that the difficulty and art of it
is deciding what to leave out, keeping only the essentials.  It's a huge
amount of work first in the transcription and then deciding where everything
belongs.  He showed me the visual mixing layout on his digital editing
station: a collage.  I can imagine how much harder yet it would have been to
do this in analog tape and without a word processor.

This project was an experiment to try some new equipment and techniques;
it'll be especially interesting to hear what he comes up with after this
one.  (GG on composition: "It's Opus Two that counts....")  But this one's
already terrific.

He's working on getting it picked up for syndicated feature; I'll pass along
any broadcast date/time information here if so.  (Or if any of you have
leads to a station or network that might want to use it, we'd appreciate any

Bradley Lehman, http://www-personal.umich.edu/~bpl
Dayton VA