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Commissioned by BBC Radio 3 Between the ears and first aired July 2013 repeated Feb 2015

 

Nina Perry's composed feature A Song of Bricks and Mortar explores composition, the creative process and the art of making. It takes its inspiration from this quote by Benjamin Britten:

 

"Composing is like driving down a foggy road toward a house. Slowly you see more details of the house - the colour of the slates and bricks, the shape of the windows. The notes are the bricks and the mortar of the house."

 

Via a compositional road trip, artists in the process of creating and making give insight into their own personal creative process, and what drives them to create. Like a play within a play or a documentary that documents itself - this feature dips its toe into the infinite and timeless nature of artistic creativity as an integral part of being human.

The fear of new beginnings, the pleasure of being in flow, moments of illumination, and of being lost; the artists' relationship with the environment and their own interior landscapes are revealed by Sculptor Helaine Blumenfeld, Art Student Imran Perretta, Composer Cheryl Frances-Hoad, Choreographer and Artistic Director of Rambert Dance Company, Mark Baldwin; and a group of people with Dementia and memory problems at a Creative Arts Session run by the Arts development company Verd de gris.

Their insights are woven together with a metaphorical motorbike journey performed by violinist Oli Langford and a soundscape of specially composed music.

A Unique Production for BBC Radio 3

 

Production Blog

Commissioned by BBC Radio 3 ‘Between the Ears’ First aired November 2009 repeated in 2010

 

Melting Point explores both the human experience and musicality of ice as it melts.

This composed feature explores the icy landscapes of Greenland, Iceland and the Highlands of Scotland through recordings of environmental sounds, interviews with people going about their day to day lives and gathered music that expresses cultural and emotional connections to the weather. The winter thaw into spring is a time most often associated with renewal and hope, yet paradoxically in light of climate change melting ice has taken on the more ominous connotation of disappearing ice mass and rising sea levels.

Among the voices heard are the Icelandic writer Andri snær Magnason, a Greenlandic fisherman, a drama therapist for whom an ice cube provides a telling metaphor and an ice-climbing fiddle-playing mountain rescuer from the Cairngorms. Their words are interwoven with spectacular recordings of the Greenland ice sheet as it calves and destroys and a specially composed musical soundscape to reveal the dichotomy and emotional resonance of the thaw.

A Falling Tree Production for BBC Radio 3

 

Melting Point
Supermarket Symphony

Commissioned by BBC Radio 4 First aired July 2011 repeated BBC4 Extra July 2016. Aired in the US on Third Coast's Re:Sound in 2013 and in Australia on Radio National in 2013

 

Nina Perry's composed feature 'Supermarket Symphony' reveals the beauty, musicality and personal stories found in supermarkets over a day. Specially composed music and the sounds of the supermarket are interwoven with some of the human encounters to be discovered along with the weekly shop.

Amongst stories and rituals of shoppers and supermarket workers, we hear from Michael, a theatrical cheese counter assistant, who now in his 70's reveals his many past lives, and the happiness he finds serving people with cheese; Father Pat, a priest who enjoys the chance to connect with his local community whilst wheeling his trolley down the aisles and Julie who works on the tills, and has a gift for turning a frown into laughter.

A Falling Tree Production for BBC Radio 4

 

Spirit of the Beehive

Commissioned by BBC Radio 4, First aired September 2011 repeated on BBC Radio4 Extra Nov 2016

 

Nina Perry's composed feature 'Spirit of the Beehive' explores our enduring relationship with the honeybee, lifting the lid of the beehive to hear some surprising lessons to be learnt through observing and working with bees, as well as how the life of bees inspires human endeavours in the arts and in business.

We follow a group of young people from Hackney in London who are passionate urban beekeepers. They work for The Golden Company, a social enterprise taking their beekeeping to new heights by installing bees on the roof of investment bank Nomura - where the bees are seen as a symbol of productivity and growth in the city.

Scientists at Sussex University explain how they are looking at ways to help the honeybee by eavesdropping in on their communication system, the waggle dance. We peek inside the bee-inspired Parisian Artist community La Ruche (the beehive) and are led through the bee sanctuary of the Natural Beekeeping Trust to discover the virtues of listening to bees.

A Falling Tree Production for BBC Radio 4

 

Spring Clean Symphony

Commissioned by BBC Radio 4 first aired April 2013

 

Love it or hate it, cleaning is part of our everyday lives and, in Spring in particular, there's a surge in cleaning activities as we throw open the windows and purge our lives of the accumulated winter grime. Someone, somewhere, is scrubbing, wiping, brushing or zapping.

In this composed feature, Nina Perry brings to light the rituals and personal stories of the spring clean and interweaves them with specially composed music.

How has cleaning changed over the generations? Is our attitude to cleaning nature or nurture? To what extent are our cleaning habits indicative of an inward state? And is cleaning about goodness, purity and perfection - or about living a healthy, germ free existence?

Nina rolls up her sleeves and spring cleans with her 96-year-old grandmother, Gwen. She speaks to Angela Levin about the significance of spring cleaning within the Jewish faith. And she asks Professor Sally Bloomfield and Dr Robert Aunger, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, what is "clean"?

 

A Loftus Production for BBC Radio 4 

A Song of Bricks and Mortar

Composer and Producer: Nina Perry

Violin performed by Pete Cooper, Voice Julia Traustadottir

As a project beyond the radio broadcast Melting Point received an Arts Council grant. It was exhibited at the London International Documentary Festival in 2010 with Q&A. Won the Phonurgia Nova Award in 2010 – and was exhibited at IRCAM in Paris with Q&A as part of the award ceremony. It appears in the Sonosphere online collection . Here is the blog I wrote during production. Follow links for Reviews  

Composer and Producer: Nina Perry

Musicians: Oli Langford (Violin and Viola) Danny Keane (Cello) and Oliver Harrison (Additional sound composition)

 

Selected as radio highlight of 2011 by The Guardian. Featured on the BBC radio 4 blog, Follow links for other reviews and Production Blog.

Composer and Producer: Nina Perry

Musician: Oli Langford (Violin)

 

It was selected as one of the BBC Director General highlights of the week, featured on BBC Radio 4 Pick of the year 2011 Follow links for Reviews

I wrote an accompanying article for the Radio 4 website

Composer and Producer: Nina Perry. 

Musicians: Oli Langford (Violin and Viola) Danny Keane (Cello)

 

A Spring Clean Symphony features on BBC Radio 4 Pick of the Year 2013