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Projects: “This Creative Life” Radio Program

What renowned composer Philip Glass has done for contemporary classical music, his nephew Ira Glass has done for contemporary digital storytelling — charted new worlds for the ear. Just click on “Listen/Watch” to get an idea of how revolutionary Glass’s music might be.

Ira Glass’s “This American Life” is a long-program radio show that takes a single theme each week and devotes an hours-worth of stories to it. He may not have invented this style, as he humbly claims in this interview, but he rocks it. Watch to learn about the narrative story structure he didn’t invent but uses to perfection in the “This American Life” radio program.

Consider this structure (or one of your own design) as you collaborate with two course colleagues to produce your own 15-minute radio program.  Each member of the team must produce a 3- to 4-minute segment that includes music and sound effects and contributes to the program’s theme.  Members will choose roles and responsibilities which include:  Editor, who edits the 3 segments and adds an intro and segue way into each segment, and close;  Host who introduces the program during the live show in the Bookhenge and is interviewed afterwards; Web Artist who creates a blog post that presents the program with a description, embedded program, brief bios on the team members, related links, and any other information thought helpful.

Or, for a style that’s been called “the new aesthetic” for radio, check out Radiolab. Radiolab’s aesthetic adds a social element — a banter or chattiness with two hosts dialoguing about a topic. It’s incredibly engaging and works great for nonfiction. The show is actually all about science (see the extraordinary Virtual Bookshelf) Learn about Ira Glass’s admiring analysis . . . and then hear for yourself.

Here’s an appropriate example on living the creative life: “Me, Myself, and My Muse” by best-selling Elizabeth Gilbert.

Hear more at Radiolab

© 2013 Creative Inquiry

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