The Art of Noise: A history of experimental radio

What does it mean for a podcast or radio story to be “innovative” or “experimental”? Is it in the writing? The structure? The use of sound?

What does it mean for a podcast or radio story to be “innovative” or “experimental”? Is it in the writing? The structure? The use of sound?

Join Andrew Leland and Michelle Macklem as they trace the roots of narrative audio from some of the form’s newest producers back through radio history to the medium’s original innovators, with an emphasis on underrepresented and underheard artists. Andrew and Michelle make a case for the future of experimentation by exploring a treasure-trove of work that has shaped, and weirdened, the way narrative audio sounds.




Further Credits
Thank you to Ayesha Barmania, Hildegard Westerkamp, Miyuki Jokiranta, Paolo Pietropaolo, Ryan McMahon and Sherre Delys whose interviews and conversation informed the making of this presentation.

Nina Garthwaite and Martin Austwick’s map of radio producers and influences can be found here:

Andrew would like to acknowledge these writers, producers, and resources: Nina Garthwaite, Karen Werner, Keith Talbot, Neil Verma, Eleanor McDowell, Gregory Whitehead, Helen Thorington, Michelle Macklem, Michal Story, Paul Wilson and the British Library, Suzanne Snider and the Oral History Summer School, Julie Shapiro, Anna Friz, Yvette Jackson, Karinne Keithley Syers, Nick White, Julie Rogers and Nicolette Kahn at the NPR archives, Jason Loviglio, Ross Simonini, Martin Spinelli, Scott Carrier, Art Silverman, Peter Breslow, Ernst Karel, Niela Orr, Ania Mauruschat, Douglas Kahn, Tim Crook, Alan Hall, Michele Hilmes, Jeff Porter, Virginia Madsen, Jonathan Sterne, Jacob Smith, Jeremy Braddock,,, and many other writers, producers, and books including Transmission Arts (MIT, 2011).


Andrew Leland

Andrew Leland (@quality) hosts and produces the Organist, an experimental arts-and-culture podcast from KCRW and McSweeney’s.

Michelle Macklem

Michelle Macklem (@michmacklem) is an award-winning Canadian audio artist and radio producer who explores the dissolving boundaries between sonic forms.