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Society & Culture

In the Studio

Updated 2 months ago

Society & Culture
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In the Studio takes you into the minds of the world’s most creative people, with unprecedented access.

Read more

In the Studio takes you into the minds of the world’s most creative people, with unprecedented access.

iTunes Ratings

24 Ratings
Average Ratings
21
0
2
1
0

Tim Marlow is a national treasure

By napostolides - Nov 12 2017
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What makes this podcast terrific is the creative and artistic vision of Tim Marlow. He bookends each episode with insightful comments, and most importantly he curated the series to take us inside the creative process. Tim has created my go-to weekly arts podcast, and I’m always eager each weekend to discover the latest episode!

Always the Best

By mwesmak - Sep 05 2017
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That's the backbone of the new dreamers trying to make it through books, and this podcasts shows just that.

iTunes Ratings

24 Ratings
Average Ratings
21
0
2
1
0

Tim Marlow is a national treasure

By napostolides - Nov 12 2017
Read more
What makes this podcast terrific is the creative and artistic vision of Tim Marlow. He bookends each episode with insightful comments, and most importantly he curated the series to take us inside the creative process. Tim has created my go-to weekly arts podcast, and I’m always eager each weekend to discover the latest episode!

Always the Best

By mwesmak - Sep 05 2017
Read more
That's the backbone of the new dreamers trying to make it through books, and this podcasts shows just that.
Cover image of In the Studio

In the Studio

Latest release on Aug 11, 2020

Read more

In the Studio takes you into the minds of the world’s most creative people, with unprecedented access.

Rank #1: David Simon meets Kwame Kwei-Armah

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Behind the scenes access to a brand new play, as it is being developed. The award winning Kwame Kwei-Armah invites the creator of The Wire to rehearsals, days before the world premiere in Baltimore. Kwame is the Artistic Director at Baltimore’s Center Stage Theatre. We watch cast and crew, as they work on the stage version of Toni Morrison’s novel, Jazz.

Sep 11 2017

28mins

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Rank #2: Louise Penny: Inspiration for a murder

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Chief Inspector Gamache, the hero of Louise Penny's books, was based on a man she could marry, very like her husband Michael, a doctor who treated children with cancer and saw life and death every day.

When the Canadian crime fiction writer first began writing, she battled five years of writer’s block to bring her murder mysteries to life.

Jan 08 2018

28mins

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Rank #3: Seven Worlds, One Planet

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The coldest, driest, windiest and most daunting continent on the planet is Antarctica. This is home to Gentoo Penguins. When the chicks fledge and head to the water’s edge for the very first time, they can have little idea of what lies ahead. Not only do they have to navigate huge blocks of glacial ice to reach the open water where they can feed, but patrolling the bay are leopard seals. These are powerful, fierce predators and an encounter can be fatal for the young birds.

After Blue Planet and Dynasties we go behind the scenes of the BBC’s latest Nature blockbuster Seven Worlds, One Planet and join wildlife cameraman John Aitchison on location to discover how the dramatic story of the challenges facing these young penguins is filmed. This hugely ambitious series narrated by David Attenborough transports viewers around the globe to tell the remarkable stories of how the landscape and conditions of each continent have shaped the unique animal life found there.

Major wildlife series are some of the most ambitious programmes on television. Each six to seven minute sequence can take a year or two to plan and several weeks to film and edit. They are made by highly specialised teams which combine technical expertise with an artist's eye, natural history knowledge and the hardiness of old-time Antarctic explorers.

As we discover, it doesn’t matter how much preparation you do, the unexpected can and usually does happen and the Natural World can be thrilling, challenging and horrifying.

Oct 29 2019

34mins

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Rank #4: Jeff Staple: Designing for Timberland

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Jeff Staple is an acclaimed American fashion and graphic designer, founder of New York Design agency Staple Design, Staple Clothing and Reed Space boutique. He has collaborated and released lines with brands such as Nike, Coca-Cola, Oakley, Uniqlo, PUMA and Clarks. He serves as Creative Director for TGS Holdings, Inc - an innovative group of retail outlets.

As a designer he is respected for his keen eye and his dynamic yet practical and diligent approach. We get an exclusive insight into Jeff’s design philosophy, approach and process, as we spend time with him in his studio in New York City, whilst he works on his collaborative release with leading footwear titan, Timberland.

In addition, we hear from key figures within the industry about what makes Jeff and his work so iconic. These contributors include Chris McGrath (Vice President, Timberland Global Footwear Design), Rob Stone (Co-Founder of Cornerstone and The Fader), Sophia Chang (Illustrator), Upscale Vandal (Consultant - Roc Nation / PUMA / Billionaire Boys Club) and Bernie Gross (Artistic Director, Extra Butter).

The show is presented by Bobbito Garcia, the New York based critically acclaimed author, award-winning film-maker, presenter and DJ.

Nov 12 2019

32mins

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Rank #5: Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford: Skating for gold

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Canadian Pairs skaters going for gold at the 2018 Winter Olympics. Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford call on choreographers, costume designers and their own artistry and physical endurance to prepare for their final competitive performance together.

Jan 22 2018

31mins

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Rank #6: Junya Ishigami: Architect of London's Serpentine Pavilion

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Every year since 2000 London’s Serpentine Gallery has offered an architect who has never built in the UK a very special challenge - to design a boundary pushing temporary building to stand in the heart of Kensington Gardens, London. They have just six months, a sixth of the average amount of time it takes to design and construct a building.

Architect Maria Smith follows Junya Ishigami and the pavilion team as they use their experience and ingenuity to try to construct the design. It’s a forest of slender white columns supporting a 61 ton roof of Cumbrian slate, a structure Junya refers to as 'a black bird flying through the rain'. How can they realise such a technically demanding building in such a short time and what will the public and the critics think when it’s finally complete?

Featuring a diverse selection from the huge team which contribute to the building, including architect Sir David Adjaye, curator Amira Gad, Project Manager Ted Featonby, Engineer Michael Orr and Serpentine Head of Construction and Buildings Julie Burnell. With access to almost every facet of the project Maria takes us into the normally unseen corners of this complex, challenging and internationally unparalleled architectural event.

Aug 06 2019

33mins

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Rank #7: Nii Obodai: Finding the image

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The acclaimed Ghanaian photographer Nii Obodai is renowned for his distinctive black and white hazy silhouettes of distant landscapes and his stark compassionate portraits. As a youngster he spent time in England and now he’s back as artist-in-residence in the East Riding of Yorkshire, where he’s working on a new exhibition on environmental themes.

Nii is spending time in the marshes and woodland of the nearby nature reserve, photographing wildlife and the people who tend the landscape. But he’s not using the latest digital camera to take his pictures – instead he’s interweaving the techniques of the past by learning to photograph with an old-fashioned large format Deardorff camera, shooting in black and white and making prints. The work is based on techniques used by one of the founding fathers of British photography, William Henry Fox Talbot.

Felicity Finch joins Nii as he explores the marshlands and prepares to take his pictures which will be displayed in the Beverley Art Gallery. She follows him through the process – which can take hours – of waiting for the birds to come into shot, pressing the shutter and reloading the films. She also watches as he takes portraits of the workers at the reservoir.

Later in the seaside town of Scarborough we hear how Nii develops the films in the total darkness of an ad hoc darkroom and uses the traditional method of salt printing to create images in a variety of monochrome tones of rich earthy browns. It’s a learning process for Nii and while most of the images turn out the way he wants, others are less successful. We hear how he begins to make his final selections and how he is influenced by the potency of memory and landscape.

Sep 03 2019

31mins

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Rank #8: Bicycles of the Future

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From Picasso to Ai Weiwei, from Iris Murdoch to HG Wells, cycling has long been the inspiration for artists and creative minds. Yet the fundamental design of a bicycle has remained unchanged for over a hundred years and the material of choice to build the frames is usually metal or carbon.

Top endurance cyclist Lee Craigie travels to Denmark to meet cutting edge bicycle designers Paul Harder Cohen and Mette Walsted, who are taking a very different approach and crafting bikes from a material that’s been around for millions of years: wood.

Paul and Mette take Lee through their creative process in their buzzing dockside studio workshop in Copenhagen, as they design and construct their bike frames from a combination of ash and walnut. Each bike takes over two months to make and each one is unique thanks to the organic nature of the wood they are crafted from.

As well as getting involved in the creation of a new bicycle, Lee finds out about ways that form and function intersect, and hops into the saddle to reflect on how this design gives a highly distinctive feeling of interaction between rider and machine.

(Photo: Bike designers Mette Walsted and Paul Harder Cohen, with kind permission)

Jul 09 2019

33mins

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Rank #9: Lee Child: Writing Jack Reacher

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Tom Cruise starred as the ex-military investigator but how are the novels written? Millions have been sold worldwide. Author Lee Child allows us to join him as he creates his next story.

Image: Lee Child, Credit: BBC

Oct 30 2017

28mins

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Rank #10: John Saunderson: The man who makes hit records

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He’s not a singer, writer or a musician but he’s earned a reputation as a Number 1 hitmaker across the globe with credits like “Bonkers” by Dizzee Rascal.

John Saunderson has been in the music business for over 40 years and has an uncanny knack of working with his team of songwriters and colleagues at Notting Hill Music to choose exactly the right song for the right artist. He’s had over 30 number 1 hits in 15 countries around the world and is always looking for the next big thing.

Anna Bailey follows John to find out what the different processes are in the life of a hitmaker. She watches as his team work on composing with the former Pussycat Doll singing star Melody Thornton and hears how a song is created, often in a very short space of time.

Anna also follows the initial steps of choosing a song for the South Korean pop phenomenon J.Fla who is looking for something to appeal to a Western audience. Her team have a very specific set of requirements, including wanting a “hook” or earworm that will be distinctive. Will John and the team be able to deliver?

Oct 01 2019

32mins

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Rank #11: Adrian Smith: Reaching for the skies

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Architect Adrian Smith designs the world’s tallest towers. How does he use his creativity to develop new designs for each of these buildings, and how does he ensure each building fits within the cultural landscape of the city or land in which it will be constructed?

Adrian Smith’s name and company, Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill Architecture, is synonymous with tall buildings. Millions of people flock to the observation decks of Adrian’s buildings every year, desperate to get a glimpse of a city skyline from its highest point, and the Burj Khalifa in Dubai is now firmly in the top ten list of the world’s most popular tourist destinations.

In Adrian’s studio in Chicago, Eleri Llian Rees sets out to discover what motivates and inspires the man who has created modern day wonders of the world. Adrian describes how he is working creatively with his team at the moment to design a new building for Nanjing, China, incorporating the geography of the land into the design to make it unique.

Adrian tells us that collaboration is at the heart of the firm’s work, knowing that designs can change – sometimes significantly – throughout the construction process, and reveals the surprising part played by small chisels and super glue in creating the majestic art of the skyscraper.

Adrian is a fascinating character, a visionary at the cutting edge of his chosen field, pushing the boundaries of architectural possibility with awe-inspiring imagination.

Dec 10 2019

31mins

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Rank #12: Sir John Eliot Gardiner: Restoring early music

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In 1744, in the grand surroundings of London’s Royal Opera House, a musical scandal occurred. During the austere Christian season of Lent, George Frederick Handel (composer of Messiah, The Water Music, and Zadok the Priest) premiered his new opera Semele. Drawing on ancient writings by Ovid and more recent ones by playwright William Congreve, Handel’s ‘musical drama’ Semele broke the rules, social and musical – with the story of a disastrous love affair between the mortal Princess Semele and Jupiter, King of the Gods.

Sir John Eliot Gardiner is one of the world’s leading musicians specialising in the ‘restoration’ of early music. With a peerless 50-year track record, he strives to recreate the sounds that composers like Handel and JS Bach would have imagined and heard. His approach combines musicology, scholarship, and an uncompromising passion for the music: rather like a picture restorer, he painstakingly strips away the layers of musical varnish and tarnish that have accumulated over generations, to present the music afresh, as its composers intended.

Composer and musician Lloyd Coleman follows John Eliot Gardiner’s work to prepare a brand new 2019 production of Semele. Visiting rehearsals just across London’s Waterloo Bridge from where Semele was first heard 275 years ago, Lloyd talks to John Eliot Gardiner about his philosophy and strategies, and asks some of Gardiner’s many colleagues about how they collaborate with him to realise this ambitious and thrilling project.

Jul 23 2019

33mins

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Rank #13: Designing the new Aston Martin

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The makers of James Bond's car are entering new territory. Aston Martin, the British manufacturer usually associated with 007's sports car, are launching their first family motor - an SUV.

In The Studio has gained exclusive access to the design and manufacturing process. Presenter Andy Jaye joins Head of Design, Marek Reichman, in his studio, follows the car through rigorous testing, and finally, sees it launched to the public.

Dec 17 2019

33mins

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Rank #14: Imran Qureshi: Beauty and Carnage

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An internationally renowned artist from Lahore in Pakistan, Imran Qureshi is a master of the very delicate and the very brutal: combining tiny brushstrokes inspired by the 16th Century Mughal masters with large-scale installations evoking the carnage left after a bomb attack, his work has the power to shock and intrigue in equal measure.

An unlikely friendship connects him with Christian Louboutin, one of the world’s best-known shoe designers, whose trademark red-soled, beautifully crafted pumps are worn by the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow and Rihanna.

For this programme, Christian meets Imran at Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, a huge warehouse turned art gallery in Paris. It is the venue of a major solo exhibition, and Christian joins Imran as crates are unpacked and last-minute changes made to individual paintings and the exhibition as a whole, with some new work inspired by the bomb attacks on two mosques in New Zealand in March 2019.

“There is an element of violence in the work,” Imran says, “at the same time, when you get close to it, it becomes poetic as well.”

He has even brought a piece of his studio with him from Lahore, which becomes part of his installation in its own right – and as he and Christian discuss each other’s art, it emerges that these two creative giants have a surprising amount in common.

Jul 16 2019

32mins

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Rank #15: Iris van Herpen: Wearable works of art

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This May the musical superstar Björk has been performing a series of concerts in New York, entitled Cornucopia. One of the costumes she appears in is a dress specially created for her by the pioneering Dutch designer Iris van Herpen. Iris is renowned for her fluid designs and pioneering use of techniques such as 3D printing and has dressed many international celebrities. This new dress for Björk will be made of many different parts, blending design, art and science to create something truly unique.

Anik See visits Iris in her Amsterdam studio to observe the garment being created and worked on. We also hear from Björk herself in a special interview for this episode.

Iris has worked with Björk several times before, but with this project, the pressure is on as there’s a tight timescale and logistics to sort out of getting the dress fitted and shipped in time. Anik watches as the different components are made separately and sees the team at work assembling and fitting. As well as being striking, the dress must be able to move in the way Björk requires for the show - and be durable enough to withstand many nights of wear.

May 28 2019

32mins

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Rank #16: Protoje: Jamaican reggae star

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Grammy nominated Jamaican reggae star Protoje gives us an exclusive insight into his creative and thought process as he begins to produce his fifth studio album. Following on the heels of the Grammy nominated A Matter of Time album, we visit Jamaica to catch up with the man who is being heralded as spearheading a new movement in the Caribbean with a new wave of young, energetic and passionate artists. Protoje has helped the likes of Chronixx, Lila Ike and Koffee by giving them a platform to develop their talents and present the emerging sound of Jamaica to a global audience.

We delve into the success of his previous album, his approach to the new set, why he felt having his own studio would aid his creativity as well as visiting the new space. We focus on his lyrical ability, and the importance he places on being lyrically astute and rhythmically different from what would be expected from a Jamaican artist. Presented by award winning BBC reggae DJ Seani B, this is a rarely seen insight into a highly anticipated piece of work from Protoje.

Aug 27 2019

33mins

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Rank #17: Christian Louboutin: Ingenious wizard of shoes

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The world-famous shoe designer with the Oscar-nominated actress Dame Kristin Scott Thomas. The secrets behind the red-soled, stratospherically high-heeled shoes. Travelling the world for inspiration, anything that catches his eye can be transformed into a detail on a shoe: from a Parisian cake decoration to an exotic Portuguese rock garden. And he discusses what makes a high heel incontrovertibly sexy.

Nov 20 2017

28mins

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Rank #18: Alain Boublil: Master of musical theatre

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Audience participation will shape the new musical Manhattan Parisienne. How can Alain Boublil, Les Miserables co-creator, incorporate this idea into rehearsals and the performance itself?

Jan 01 2018

28mins

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Rank #19: Cecilia Paredes: Camouflage artist

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You might think the aim of most artists and performers is to stand out from the crowd, but not Peruvian-born Cecilia Paredes. Her aim is to blend in, quite literally.

In her series of ‘camouflage’ self-portraits, Cecilia’s body is painstakingly painted - during a ‘performance’ which lasts many hours - to precisely match a colourful and patterned wallpaper or fabric in the background.

The resulting photograph challenges the viewer gaze, to seek out Cecilia’s form from the scene behind. It is an idea which began 20 years ago, when Cecilia first arrived in the United States and found herself trying to blend in.

Céline Ottenburgh finds the camouflage artist amongst a crowded airport, and accompanies her as she goes in search of the perfect wallpaper for her latest project, amongst the walls of an 18th century castle in Belgium.

Dec 03 2019

31mins

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Rank #20: Ai Weiwei: China’s dissident artist

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World renowned Chinese artist and activist in his bunker. Imprisoned in China, Ai Weiwei’s views and life are reflected in his work. Discover the mind behind the art. Now living and working in Germany, he reveals the one thing he believes all artists are trying to find.

Oct 02 2017

28mins

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Costas Cacoyannis: Cyprus’s One-Man Orchestra

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Costas Cacoyannis is one of Cyprus’s most prolific composers – turn on the TV or head to the cinema on the Mediterranean island and there’s a good chance you’ll hear his music. Add to that his compositions for ballet, theatre, Hollywood soundtracks, and the more than 25 albums he has released and you get a sense of the scale of his creativity.

He lives and works from his studio high up in the Troodos Mountains in central Cyprus and it’s there that the BBC’s Karl Bos went to meet Costas in 2018, as he prepared for a major performance of his music that June - his biggest live concert in over 18 years - at the Maison de l'UNESCO in Paris.

Follow Costas on a walk through a nearby forest as he derives inspiration from nature, then to a rehearsal in Limassol with his choir, as he guides them on how to express and perform his music as the concert quickly approaches.

Aug 11 2020

34mins

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Mira Nair: the making of A Suitable Boy

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Mira Nair is one of the world’s great film directors. Born in India, but now a self-called ‘global citizen’, she has spent over 30 years making her mark, from Hollywood to Bollywood, and from the fun and laughter of Monsoon Wedding to the sharp politics of The Reluctant Fundamentalist.

In the Studio joins Mira on location in the ancient city of Maheshwar, for her biggest and most ambitious project to date - a six-part television series for the BBC, based on Vikram Seth’s epic novel, A Suitable Boy.

The novel encompasses many of the filmmaker’s favoured topics - family conflict, the portrayal of India, love, humour, beauty and politics. So when she heard it was being made into a TV series she says, “I threw my sari into the ring…It was something I had to do with every fibre of my creative journey.“

Mira Nair talks exclusively to Ravinder Bawa about her own creative journey - from small town girl, to world famous director – and shows how some of the most evocative and dynamic scenes are put together, with the film crew she uses in almost every film she makes.

Aug 04 2020

31mins

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Eric Whitacre: Creating the Virtual Choir

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As Covid-19 has swept the world we’ve become used to seeing musicians in lockdown presenting videos of virtual performances. But for the Grammy-award winning American composer and conductor Eric Whitacre, the idea of a virtual choir is nothing new, because he pioneered the concept over 10 years ago. His first choir of 185 singers became a global phenomenon and has been seen by millions on YouTube. More virtual choir projects followed and the choir videos have featured as installations and as part of the 2012 Olympics and the Davos World Economic Forum.

Now Eric’s just released his largest Virtual Choir project to date, which premiered on YouTube a few days ago. It features 17,572 singers from around the world performing his new piece “Sing Gently” for which he’s written the words and the music.

Eric talks to Emma Kingsley about creating this latest project, the inspirations for his other compositions, the idea of the musical “golden brick” and how his early dreams of becoming a pop star changed through singing Mozart in the college choir.

Jul 28 2020

32mins

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Janet Echelman: Bending Arc

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The artist and sculptor Janet Echelman works on huge pieces of public art that combine high tech design, history and visual imagination to soar above the heads of the public and interact with the environment. Her latest, Bending Arc, has been waiting out the Covid crisis before finally being unveiled to the public in St Petersburg, Florida.

Spanning 427 feet, and held by some 180 miles of twine, this giant net sculpture has needed a team of architects, model makers, computer scientists, aeronautical and structural engineers - all led by Echelman - to create a billowing, multi-coloured artwork that will cast shade and inspire the pier walkers of St Petersburg. It is also an artwork that draws directly on Echelman’s own family history in ready-to-wear fashion.

Andrea Shea has been documenting Echelman's creative processes and now, all that awaits, is the grand opening scheduled for July when the artist’s imagination will billow and dazzle in the sea breeze.

Jul 21 2020

32mins

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Operation Night Watch

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This week our guest is a Dutch icon - The Night Watch.

This masterpiece by Rembrandt is nearly 400 years old and sits centre stage at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, where more than 2 million visitors come to see it every year. So when it became clear the painting needed a serious makeover, taking years to complete, the idea of removing it from display was rejected. Instead the museum’s Director, Taco Dibbits, decided to make Operation Night Watch accessible to all, by building a specially-constructed glass chamber for restorers, scientists and conservators to work under the public's watchful eye; both in the museum and online.

Anik See follows Taco and his team during this key phase of Operation Night Watch, diving into state-of-the-art imaging techniques and discovering the masterpiece’s secrets and storied past, to find out why this painting remains so important to us.

Jul 14 2020

32mins

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Elif Shafak: Writing in Lockdown

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The British-Turkish writer Elif Shafak is renowned for her award-winning novels including The Forty Rules of Love and her most recent 10 Minutes 38 Seconds In This Strange World. She’s also known for being an advocate for women’s rights, LGBTQ rights and freedom of speech, which have led to her being investigated by the Turkish government. Now she’s writing a new novel and has completed a manifesto on staying sane in an age of division, which will be published later this year.

Covid-19 has meant that Elif has been experiencing what it’s like to create and write in lockdown in her London home. In conversation with Emma Kingsley, she describes her new routines, how ideas come to her and the way in which her working life has been altered by the pandemic. She also talks about the importance of using fiction as a space to ask questions about contentious issues and the role of literature as a means of keeping people connected during this new age of self-isolation.

Jul 07 2020

32mins

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Eimear Noone and Craig Garfinkle: Composers in isolation

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Cellist Matthew Barley connects with composer and conductor team Eimear Noone and Craig Garfinkle, as they race to complete a film score from their temporary lockdown studio in rural Ireland.

Eimear and Craig create soundscapes and soundtracks for feature films and video games, including the global hit World of Warcraft. Early in 2020 Eimear and Craig and their two young children travelled from the US to Dublin to compose and record the score for the animated movie Two by Two: Overboard. They recorded the first half of the score in February but then the Covid-19 restrictions radically changed their plans. They had to leave Dublin with what little equipment they could carry and head to Eimear’s family home on the West Coast of Ireland.

With an out of tune piano, limited IT resources, no access to a recording studio or live musicians, and the delivery date looming, the pressure is on. From trying to write upbeat music at a moment of crisis, to managing the baby’s nap time and homeschooling while working out the perfect chord progression for a scene of utopia, Craig and Eimear are navigating new territory. Will they do it?

Jun 30 2020

31mins

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Demond Melancon: The bead master of New Orleans

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This week’s In The Studio is presented by acclaimed actor and New Orleans resident Wendell Pierce (The Wire, Suits, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan). We join him as he meets Demond Melancon, a fine artist from New Orleans who is also the Big Chief of a Black Masking Indian tribe, the Young Seminole Hunters.

The Black Masking culture of New Orleans is a centuries-old African-American tradition. Around 45 neighbourhood groups - or tribes - spend thousands of hours each year hand-sewing exquisitely beaded ceremonial suits, trimmed with rhinestones, velvet ruffles, and hundreds of brightly coloured feathers. On Mardi Gras day they take to the streets to compete against each other for the prettiest suit.

Every suit tells a story, and this year Demond is depicting Ethiopian history and culture, beading an ancient Nyabinghi warrior on a white horse as the centerpiece of his front ‘apron’. Surrounding it on the left and right sides will be beaded portraits of Empress Menen Asfaw and her husband King Haile Selassie of Ethiopia. On his arms are patches with portraits of reggae music icon Vaughn Benjamin and an Ethiopian soldier.

Usually it takes 12 months of beading to make a suit, but Demond is a rising star of New Orleans’ contemporary art scene, and in high demand for exhibitions and art fairs across the USA, so this year he has just three months to prepare. We join him and his wife Alicia as he works night and day in his Bywater studio doing ‘the needle dance’, as he calls it, in the run up to the city’s world-famous Mardi Gras celebrations.

Jun 23 2020

31mins

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Nnedi Okorafor: Creating sci-fi worlds

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The award-winning science fiction author Nnedi Okorafor always has a project - or three - on the go. From her home outside Chicago she creates stories driven by what she describes as Africanfuturism and Africanjujuism for children and adults - a legacy of her Nigerian roots. Her work now ranges across comics for Marvel, screenplays and yet another new novel due out in the summer.

But she wasn’t always destined to be a writer. She spent her youth training hard to be a top class athlete until she developed curvature of the spine, which put an end to her dreams. After corrective surgery she became temporarily paralysed and it was then, during her darkest time, that she began to create stories.

Now, as Chicago, like the rest of the US endures lockdown, Nnedi’s been adapting to her changed life and restricted movements. Mark Burman talks to her about her work and how her creative process has been affected during the Covid-19 pandemic. During recordings made in April and early May he eavesdrops on some of her writing moments including her fruitful collaboration with the Kenyan director Wanuri Kahiu and their story of an A.I. traffic police robot – and hears about the therapeutic distraction of her trumpet-playing daughter and magnificent cat which now has his own Twitter account!

Jun 16 2020

32mins

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Julie Baines: The making of a movie, part two

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Starring Russell Brand and Matthew Goode – and featuring Michael Caine – the film Four Kids and It is a culmination of 8 years hard graft by award-winning British independent film producer Julie Baines.

Never afraid to take risks to achieve her cinematic dreams this film demands more of her talent, insight and sheer hard work than ever before.

Based on Jacqueline Wilson’s best-selling novel, itself inspired by the E Nesbitt classic 5 Children and It, the story requires an array of sophisticated special effects including flying, dare devil rock climbing and the staging of a pop concert at the O2 in London.

After two failed attempts to finance the film, it was finally given the go ahead and shot in Ireland in the summer of 2018. It’s a wrap, the film is in the can – but this is where our story starts.

Will the film be completed on time avoiding hefty financial penalties? Will the special effects make the grade, without access to the type of budget Hollywood studios can command? And finally, how well will it sell in a very competitive marketplace in a bid to get it in front of the family audiences it was made for?

Hilary Dunn follows British independent film producer Julie Baines for a period of nearly two years, on a revealing journey into the little known art – and science – of post-production.

Jun 09 2020

31mins

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Julie Baines: The making of a movie, part one

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British film producer Julie Baines knows all about long lead times. She often has to work for years to get a project financed before any filming can happen at all. For over six years, Julie had been fighting to bring ‘Four Kids and It’, a script she loves, from page to screen. The story is based on a retelling of the 1902 book ‘Five Children and It’ by the hugely popular children’s writer Jacqueline Wilson.

When we first met Julie in March 2017, filming was scheduled to start in just a few months but there were still deals to be done and actors to be cast. Film stars, including Russell Brand and Academy Award winner Michael Caine, were on board and the locations had been earmarked but would the money start flowing in time for filming to begin?

Film director Joseph Adesunloye followed Julie through the ups and downs of wrangling with lawyers and financiers as she worked to get the cameras rolling.

Jun 02 2020

26mins

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Tyler Childers: Run these roads

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Tyler Childers was nominated for a Grammy in early 2020. He’s an emerging talent who is true to his Appalachian roots.

He grew up in the foothills of East Kentucky, his father worked in the coal industry, and his songs reflect the tough life in that part of the world - unemployment, broken relationships, drugs, alcohol. He draws on these themes in order to stay faithful to the place: "I hope that people in the area that I grew up in find something they can relate to. I hope that I'm doing my people justice and I hope that maybe someone from somewhere else can get a glimpse of the life of a Kentucky boy."

The lyrics of one of his songs describes the exhilaration of driving recklessly: “A damn good feeling to run these roads". For his most recent Country Squire album, Tyler says much of it was written on the road, including love songs dedicated to his wife. He also drew inspiration from unusual sources, including Allen Touissant's 1970s album Southern Nights.

We take a deep dive into the contemporary life, music and culture of East Kentucky, with help from Brett Ratliff, programme director of community radio station WMMT in Whitesburg, Kentucky, in the heart of Appalachia's coal fields, and hear about Kentucky story-telling from author Silas House.

And with his US tour suspended because of the coronavirus lockdown, we hear how Tyler and his wife Senora May - also a singer songwriter - are drawing on their home, and their own relationship, for creative inspiration.

May 26 2020

31mins

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Marc Quinn: Creating 100 sculptures of refugees

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British artist Marc Quinn has been one of the world's leading contemporary artists for over 30 years. A prominent member of the group known as the Young British Artists (or YBAs) who dominated the British art scene in the 1990s, his high-profile works have included Alison Lapper Pregnant, for the inaugural fourth plinth sculpture in London’s Trafalgar Square; and Self, a series of self-portraits of his own head - made out of ten pints of his own blood - cast and frozen every five years.

In this episode of In the Studio, Marc Quinn takes Edwina Pitman behind the scenes of an ambitious new work called 100 Heads, in which he documents the stories, and casts in concrete the heads, of 100 refugees. Spurred by the images and news reports of the refugee crisis in 2015, Marc began to make plans for not-for-profit public artworks to both raise awareness and money for refugees around the world. 100 Heads is being created in part therefore to raise funds for another ongoing Marc Quinn public artwork called Our Blood, in which 2,000 litres of frozen human blood - drawn from 10,000 resettled refugees, celebrities and other participants - will be encased in a pavilion on the steps of the New York Public Library in 2021.

From the initial meeting and interviewing refugees, through scanning, moulding and casting the concrete, Marc reveals the many processes as well as the technical and logistical challenges of creating 100 portrait heads of people from all over the world. The eventual creation will, he hopes, be a monument to our common humanity, one that emphasises through the power of art, that more unites than divides us.

May 19 2020

32mins

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Romesh Gunesekera: Breathing life into every word

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Sri Lankan born author Romesh Gunesekera does not transcribe reality, he recreates it from a mixture of memory and imagination. Nominated for one of the world’s most prestigious literary awards, the Man Booker Prize for Fiction, for his debut novel Reef – Romesh has been publishing novels, short stories and poetry for more than 30 years.

Harriett Gilbert meets Romesh at his London home in early 2018, to find out how he is crafting his latest novel, Suncatcher. It tells the story of two boys growing up in 1960s Sri Lanka, examining their friendship and the beginnings of a political awakening. Romesh has been working on his book for several years and is now meticulously revising the text – questioning each word – as he prepares to send his precious manuscript out into the world.

May 12 2020

31mins

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Belarus Free Theatre: Directing from a distance

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The award-winning Belarus Free Theatre was founded 15 years ago to create drama around issues of human rights and creative freedom in a country which has been called Europe’s last surviving dictatorship. It creates provocative physical shows attended by audiences in secret locations around Minsk and has achieved international recognition and support.

BFT’s founding artistic directors Natalia Kaliada and Nicolai Khalezin cannot rehearse the actors face to face because they are now political refugees living in the United Kingdom. So, for the past nine years they have been using a Skype line to connect with the performers hundreds of miles away.

Natalia and Nicolai have been rehearsing the actors in a new play called Dogs of Europe, based on the novel by the contemporary Belarusian author Alhierd Bacharevic, which depicts life in a dystopian super state where individual freedoms are taken away. As well as performing in Minsk, the actors were also set to come to London and perform at the Barbican Theatre. But Covid-19 has put an end to that plan. So what will the company do instead?

The BBC’s Olga Smirnova follows Natalia and Nikolai during the process of rehearsal and performance and hears from them and the actors about the techniques of directing from a distance. She also talks to the British actor and writer Stephen Fry who is taking part in BFT’s newest venture.

May 05 2020

31mins

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Mo Abudu: Creating blockbuster movies in Nigeria

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Mo Abudu has been described as one of the most successful women in Africa. She made her name presenting the chat show Moments with Mo, that earnt her the title of Africa’s ‘first lady of chat.’

She is the CEO of Ebony Life Television, Africa's first global black entertainment and lifestyle network. In 2013 she set up Ebony Life Films and as Executive Producer is behind films such as the comedies The Wedding Party and its sequel, The Wedding Party 2, which became the highest-grossing Nigerian film in the country’s box office history.

In 2018 Anna Cunningham followed Mo onto the set of her film Chief Daddy – which tells the story of what happens when a flamboyant billionaire industrialist suddenly dies and his family and friends uncover hidden secrets and discover who’s getting the money.

With a star studded cast including Funke Akindele, Kate Henshaw, Folarin ‘Falz’ Falana, Mo hoped Chief Daddy would be a Christmas blockbuster in Nigeria. In this updated episode, find out if she got her wish.

Apr 28 2020

27mins

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Jakub Józef Orliński: Countertenor in Karlsruhe

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The Polish countertenor Jakub Józef Orliński is rapidly becoming one of the most sought-after performers on opera stages and in concert halls around the world. A YouTube video of him singing Vivaldi has had more than 5 million views, his many prizes include a recent Gramophone Classical Music Award and he’s released 2 critically acclaimed albums.

And he’s not just known as a singer - he also has an impressive record as a breakdancer and a fashion model.

Earlier this year, Jakub was preparing to sing the title role in Handel’s opera Tolomeo at the Badisches Staatstheater in the German city of Karlsruhe. Emma Kingsley joined him there to watch him in rehearsal and to hear how he goes about not just perfecting his singing voice, but also writing his own musical ornaments and cadenzas for the solos and duets that he will be performing for these performances and the production’s revival in 2021.

Apr 21 2020

32mins

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Kari Kola: Lighting up the world

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Kari Kola developed his love of working with light in his native Finland, one of the world’s most northern countries, where the winters are long and very dark. Teaching himself to use light in those months - to utilise the darkness – is what inspired Kari to become…a light artist.

For Galway 2020, European Capital of Culture, Kari and his team of Finns are setting their sights on the wild and beautiful Connemara mountain range, as he attempts to create Savage Beauty, the largest lit artwork ever made.

Using the latest technology, and transporting a vast amount of kit to an Irish mountain range in the middle of March, has its own unique set of challenges. It’s a challenge that seems second nature to Kari, who taught himself to play piano without ever learning a note, and has overcome accidents which have left him unable to walk and hear at various times in his life. No wonder, perhaps, that the artist’s motto is “Nothing is impossible; it is just a matter of deciding how much you want to use your energy towards achieving it".

Reporter Orla Higgins pursues the creative process in Galway, and we spend time with Kari in his studio in the easternmost province of Finland, but as the four-day event approaches amid gales and a Coronavirus pandemic, will it all come together?

Apr 14 2020

32mins

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Michael Rakowitz: Crafting ‘ghosts’ from Iraq’s lost culture

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Michael Rakowitz’s Iraqi heritage is a cultural thread running through much of his art. We follow him at work on a new installment of a long-running project called The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist, which creates what he calls ‘ghosts’ of archaeological objects that have been destroyed or looted from Iraq in the 21st century. Sarah Geis follows him throughout the process of recreating carved reliefs which adorned a room of the Northwest Palace of Nimrud, destroyed in 2015 by the Islamic State group. However, he’s not making them from stone but colourful Arabic food packaging and cardboard – for a fast-approaching exhibition.

We check back in with Michael in March 2020 to see how the project has progressed.

Apr 07 2020

27mins

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Celeste Mountjoy, aka Filthyratbag

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Best known by her alias Filthyratbag, 20 year old artist Celeste Mountjoy’s brightly coloured line-drawn illustrations and phrases are at once confessional and relatable, humorous and heart-breaking. Their appeal, as her 384k Instagram followers testify, extends far beyond Celeste’s native Melbourne.
From partying and relationships to mental illness and social media vanity, the artist’s satirical observations about everyday life encapsulate her experience as a Generation Z’er, and a young woman navigating today’s world.
As work begins on new illustrations, reporter Rosa Ellen meets up with Celeste to find out what makes her tick, how she creates her artwork - and why her alias is Filthyratbag.

Mar 31 2020

30mins

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iTunes Ratings

24 Ratings
Average Ratings
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2
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Tim Marlow is a national treasure

By napostolides - Nov 12 2017
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What makes this podcast terrific is the creative and artistic vision of Tim Marlow. He bookends each episode with insightful comments, and most importantly he curated the series to take us inside the creative process. Tim has created my go-to weekly arts podcast, and I’m always eager each weekend to discover the latest episode!

Always the Best

By mwesmak - Sep 05 2017
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That's the backbone of the new dreamers trying to make it through books, and this podcasts shows just that.