Guest Lecture – Susi O’Neill

How do you get your music to an audience? It’s a tricky question and one that students on the Level 2 module Music Production & Enterprise must attempt to answer.

Susi O’Neill is a musician and digital marketing consultant and came to the university today to give a lecture and to help the students devise their promotional strategies for the artists they are working with for this module.

Susi’s very informative lecture covered trends in digital marketing, her own research into independent music distribution and also new business models for music marketing and promotion. She included some very useful advice and a lot of food for thought regarding the state of the recorded music industries.

As a practising musician herself, Susi’s talk tackled exactly the issues and challenges facing the musicians, producers and songwriters in today’s digital environment. I wish she could come back every month!

Guest Lecture – Bill Brewster

The week’s guest lecture was by Bill Brewster AKA DJHistory.

Bill is a passionate music fan and in his entertaining and inspiring talk he described how he has managed to make a living from the thing he loves – music.

Describing himself primarily as a record collector, Bill has worked as a journalist (which took him to New York and Geneva for two years), a DJ, a record company owner, a music producer, an A&R person, a record compiler, a liner notes writer, a music consultant, a website owner and an author (Bill’s book Last Night A DJ Saved My Life is the bible of club and DJ culture).

The audience for Bill’s talk was level 3 Audio Production students who will be looking for ways in which to turn their passion (be it radio, music or film-sound) into a sustainable living in the not too-distant future.

For me, what Bill represents, is how versatility, hard work and a love of your subject can create opportunities and, if you’re ready to respond, how one opportunity can lead to another.

Next year Bill is working on a project with legendary record producer and Chic main-man Nile Rodgers. Not bad for a lad from Grimsby!

Earworms

Earworms are those nagging songs you find yourself humming on the bus.

In this programme, music presenter Shaun Keaveny meets fellow sufferers and scientists to find out why songs get stuck in our head. He asks songwriter Guy Garvey from Elbow how to write a catchy tune and discovers the Holy Grail of musicians everywhere – the ‘earworm formula’.

For the past three years on his 6 Music breakfast show, Shaun has been asking listeners to send in their earworms. When psychologist Dr Lauren Stewart found out, she was fascinated by this strange mental phenomenon. Together they’ve compiled the largest study on earworms to date, with over 10,000 reports from people around the world.

Lauren and her team at Goldsmiths have found that some people are particularly susceptible to earworms. Plus they are starting to discover that certain songs are more ‘earwormy’ than others.

So is there a secret formula behind the world’s catchiest tunes?

Producer: Michelle Martin

Listen to the programme here

Students’ audio series is quality material for BBC Radio 4

University of Lincoln students who created an audio series about one of the world’s greatest scientists have had their work featured on Radio 4’s Material World.

Students and a recent graduate from the University’s Audio Production course were originally asked to produce an audio tour for The Gravity Fields Festival, which aims to celebrate the legacy of Grantham’s most famous son Sir Isaac Newton.

But the quality of the work is such the science programme Material World used extracts from it to introduce a 15-minute segment on the eight-day festival which took place at the end of September.

The audio, which was also serialised on BBC Radio Lincolnshire, features amateur actors and local schoolchildren and was all recorded on location – including Newton’s birth in the very same room at Woolsthorpe Manor.

Bryan Peter Rudd, the University’s Audio Production programme leader, put the team together following a request from the festival organisers and the BBC.

Bryan said: “This was a fantastic partnership for the University to be involved with. The quality of work produced by the students is absolutely tremendous and they achieved this while working under enormous pressure to very tight deadlines. I am extremely proud of them as they have shown the amazing quality of work our students are capable of.”

Luke Pickering, who recently graduated from the University with a first-class honours degree in audio production, led the student team which consisted of Jake Walker, James Drake and Stephen Bernard.

Luke, 22, who also spent the summer recording live bands, said: “Recording on location was something I hadn’t had much experience in so that aspect was really interesting. Between the four of us it worked smoothly and I’m really pleased with the finished product.”

Jake, 20, added: “It was a fantastic experience. When I told my mum the audio had been played on Radio 4 she was delighted, if I ever got to work on The Archers she’d probably cry. I was a bit scared as we only had a week to put it together but I learned so much which I can apply to future projects.”

Charlie Partridge, Managing Editor of BBC Radio Lincolnshire, involved the University after he was initially approached to produce an audio tour for the festival.

He said: “It soon became clear that it would also be suitable for radio drama. The University has amazing facilities and a great bunch of talented people, which is why I immediately contacted the media department. The students worked fantastically well from our point of view and it was great they had the opportunity to have their work broadcast, not only on local radio but also on Radio 4. I applied a real quality test to the finished product, so it was a real challenge for them. That kind of site specific drama is really difficult to get right but they did. It is in every way a professional recording and is testament to the very talented people both studying and working at the University of Lincoln.”

To listen to the episode of Material World which features excerpts from the radio drama go to http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01mwzwj from 16 minutes in.

Story by Marie Daniels – PR Officer

Producing a music radio package

WATCH THE VIDEO CLIP HERE

USEFUL ARTICLE/VIDEO about producing a music radio package from the BBC College of Production

A radio package is pre-recorded audio content cut together to tell a story and delivered for broadcast. There are no set rules as to how a package has to sound or how long it should last as this depends on the type of story you are telling and the radio network it is for. It could be a five minute news report, a lively film review or an in-depth biography of a composer.

Depending on what type of package you are producing it may include voiceover, interviews, ‘wild track’ (sounds from the environments where you are recording), music and effects.