Last week the winner of the first ever Whicker’s World Audio Award was announced as Cathy FitzGerald, for her carefully-woven audio piece Little Volcanoes about day-to-day life at Pilgrims Hospice. Francesca Panetta took the runner-up prize for her radio documentary The Dhammazedi Bell, while Eve Conlon and Joel Carnegie received highly-commended prizes. For those interested in listening to all five of our Audio Award finalists’ documentaries and two additional highly-commended pieces, we have posted the links to each piece below along with a brief description.
Audio Award Winner
Little Volcanoes, recorded, written and produced by Catherine Fitzgerald, sound mix by Matt Thompson and Mike Woolley. A Sky Arts online commission. Made in the UK.
Cathy follows the rhythms of a day at Pilgrims Hospice, Margate, from early morning, meeting Claudia the cat at the end of the night shift to the nurse’s final “goodnight” to her patient. We hear conversations with patients as they talk about their illnesses, the things and people they love, and find out that people are Little Volcanoes. Listen to Cathy’s award-winning piece here.
Audio Award Runner Up
The Dhammazedi Bell, produced by Francesca Panetta for BBC Radio 3. Assistant producer: David Waters
It is said that 400 years ago, during and attempted theft, the largest bell in the world rolled to the bottom of the Bago River. Only when the right leader appears will the great bell rise again. The language and grammar of mythical storytelling are used to weave an altogether more contemporary political narrative in the run up to the November 2015 elections in Myanmar after 50 years of military dictatorship. Listen to it here:
Audio Award Finalists
Lore’s Story, recorded and presented by Lore Windemuth-Wolfson and Produced by Elizabeth Burke for BBC Radio 4.
A profound record of a relationship between lovers as it evolves into one between ‘carer’ and ‘cared for’. During the last year of his life Lore recorded a series of conversations between her partner, the psychiatrist Paul Wolfson, and herself. They talk with humour and sadness about the impact his early onset Alzheimer’s is having on them and their young children, and the influence of his first wife’s experience of dementia on Paul’s final decision. L Lore’s Story can be heard on BBC iPlayer here.
Shoah in Jerusalem, written and presented by Jonathan Freedland and produced by Sarah Peters. The editor was Iain Chambers for BBC Radio 4.
30 years ago in Jerusalem holocaust survivors and Israel’s entire top rung of political, religious and military leadership sat together in the dark for 9 hours to witness Claude Lanzmann’s documentary on the Holocaust, Shoah. Jonathan Freedland who saw the film as a teenager, explores the impact of the day Israel confronted the most traumatic event in Jewish history. Listen to the piece on BBC iPlayer Radio here.
Johnny O: The Pirate’s Story, recorded written and produced by Lu Olkowski edited by Sean Cole, Samara Freemark, Amanda Aronczyk and Brendan Baker who also did the sound design. Recorded in the US, funded by KCRW and broadcast in Australia on RN Radio Tonic, part of the Australian Broadcast Company.
Johnny O is a linesman. He works the fast fading cargo coast of California tying ships to the shore. Lu has her work cut out getting him to trust her enough to record, but a couple of glasses of bourbon at 7:30am seem to help. There’s a sip for Bok Bok, his parrot, too. Roy Orbison plays in the background and the Pirate’s story starts to unfold. Listen to the piece through KCRW here.
Highly-Commended Short Form Audio Pieces
Student Gamblers, written, presented and produced by Eve Conlon for Spark FM.
Eve explores the lives of student gamblers and investigates just how bad the rising problem of excessive gambling among secondary school and university students has become. Listen here from 26:04 to 40:04.
From Music Into Silence, produced by Joel Carnegie for ABC Radio National.
Joel tells the story of Australia’s only fully qualified music-thanatologist, who uses his love of the harp to ease the suffering of the terminally ill. Download the piece via the ABC website here.