In 1980, The Buggles famously sang, “Video killed the Radio Star”. Such lies! The Castle Drum can name not one, but two utterly vivacious radio stars in our midst at this very moment.
This January, FILM 104 prof Rob Hyland launched a new Castle initiative, called PODCASTle – a weekly online podcast detailing news and happenings on our Castle campus. At approximately 12 minutes running time per episode, it was created to give students something quick and easy to listen to on their daily commute to and from the Castle.
Rob will be keeping the content of these podcasts quite simple – the format will follow that of a typical magazine show. Each episode begins with the news headlines, updating listeners on what is happening on campus and in the context of the UK as a whole. These could include upcoming events, guest speakers, or a national holiday, but could also include a selection of topical British and Canadian news items that will resonate with the students.
The PODCASTle then moves to an interview or discussion with a member of the Castle community to highlight their work, or recent achievements. Rob is also aiming to conclude each episode with some sort of literary component – which could be in the way of an audio recording of the Castle Reads chosen text, a poem or short story that connects to the topics of the week, or an audio recording of a recent student work.
Rob will constantly be on the lookout for new content – so if students, staff or faculty have anything they would like to contribute – whether it be an interesting factoid discovered on a recent ELO, or an update on their current research focus, for example, then he would love to hear from them. Of course, for legal reasons, The Castle Drum should point out that the contents of their discussion may be recorded.
Next up, our ENGL 100 prof Peter Lowe has been contributing to an online digital art project called Placecloud, which also went live towards the end of January. Peter answered the call for volunteers for the project and has already produced several short podcasts about points of interest all over London.
Placecloud uses GPS co-ordinates to anchor 5-minute audio recordings to specific places, so listeners can hear quick, interesting facts and background stories about places that might not necessarily feature on the sort of open-topped bus tours that have become the norm. Peter has complete freedom to pick his own places of interest, so he has been using the opportunity to research areas of London that pique his curiosity.
“When we scratch beneath the surface, there are often interesting histories behind even the most unassuming buildings,” says Peter. One of Peter’s recent podcasts features the Quo Vadis restaurant in Dean Street in Soho. “There has been a strong Italian community in Soho since the 1920s,” Peter recounts. “Staff at the Italian Embassy socialised in the area after work, but while the politicians laughed and joked in the restaurant, I discovered that just a few yards away, the owner of the nearby King Bomba grocery store is believed to have directly funded not one, but two assassination attempts on former dictator Benito Mussolini.”
The Castle Drum has been reliably informed that recording just a few minutes of stutter, stumble and cough-free audio narration can take many hours of toil, so please visit the links below and show Rob and Peter your support.
» A face for radio since January 2017 «