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In the Studio

In the Studio takes you into the minds of the world’s most creative people, with unprecedented access.

Tous les épisodes

  • 12.01.2021
    14 MB
    30:21
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    Viet Thanh Nguyen: The art of memoir

    The Pulitzer Prize-winning author takes on a new, deeply personal challenge

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  • 05.01.2021
    14 MB
    30:34
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    The Big Fix Up: A new, digital venture for Wallace and Gromit

    Wallace and Gromit – the eccentric inventor and his loyal dog – are one of Britain’s best-loved comedy duos. Created in plasticine clay by Nick Park of Aardman Animations, their stop motion adventures have won three Academy Awards and a BAFTA. Now, Wallace and his faithful hound are heading into exciting new territory. The pair’s new business venture, Spick & Spanners, needs employees to help them ‘Fix Up’ the British city of Bristol. This interactive story, which takes place on smart phones and uses augmented and mixed reality, is a daring departure from their traditional claymation films. For the first time ever, fans can step directly into the world of Wallace and Gromit. In The Studio goes behind-the-scenes of the production’s final stage, as the technical team grapple with bugs and the directors shoot final takes with their first ever real human character.Eliza Lomas talks to Wallace and Gromit creator Nick Park about his own childhood dreams of being an inventor, and he opens up his sketchbooks to reveal some very recent, very silly Wallace and Gromit doodles. Presenter: Eliza LomasProducers: Eliza Lomas and Emma Kingsley for the BBC World Service

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  • 29.12.2020
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    32:43
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    AR Rahman: The man behind the music

    AR Rahman is known as the ‘Mozart of Madras’ and for good reason. He has won two Academy Awards, two Grammy Awards, a BAFTA Award, a Golden Globe, four National Film Awards, 15 Filmfare Awards. Perhaps most incredibly he has crossed film genres, languages, nationality and film industries across the globe, conquering Bollywood, Hollywood and Kollywood. It is 10 years since the debut of Slumdog Millionaire but Rahman’s songs still linger in the imagination.Rahman is prolific and instinctual; working not just as a musical director but now as producer, director, teacher and visual artist. To each project he brings a touch of magic whether it be his latest virtual reality film Musk, his incredible catalogue of Hindi and Tamil film scores, global pop hits such as Jai Ho or in his superstar collaborations such as Super Heavy with Mick Jagger, Dave Stuart, Joss Stone and Damian Marley.Lifelong fan, producer and DJ Bobby Friction meets Rahman as he reaches the end of his 2018 US tour in Houston, Texas. We learn how the melodies he creates alone in the quiet of night are recreated by a cast of India’s greatest singers and musicians and performed to entertain thousands across America.For Rahman, and Bobby, music is God. Spirituality is deeply entwined with the process of composition for both men and together they will explore some of the tracks which resonate with their belief in the true power of music.

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  • 22.12.2020
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    32:02
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    Rachel Barrie: Master whisky blender

    Nick Low follows master whisky blender Dr Rachel Barrie on the final year of a three-year journey, as the launch date looms for her new range of whiskies from the Benriach Distillery in the north of Scotland. Her reputation is on the line as she comes up with 10 new whiskies for a range that includes some whiskies which have matured for up to 30 years.With whisky containing three basic ingredients of water, malted barley and yeast, Rachel explains the process and skill that goes into making her whiskies world-beating, with expressions containing a myriad of flavours. With her own background being in chemistry, we join Rachel in her whisky lab, as she reveals how she puts scientific theories to work on the ancient art of whisky making and the blending of these natural ingredients. She describes the wooden casks and blends of whiskies she uses in the process like a painter’s palette, fine-tuning the flavours, as this precious liquid, stamped with her name, is bottled up and sent to whisky connoisseurs around the world.Having personally tasted and “nosed” over 150,000 whiskies in her professional life, and become a judge at the World Whisky Competitions, Rachel is one of the most respected blenders in the business. She will give a lesson in whisky tasting with tips of what to look for and how to get all the spectrum of flavours from a sip of “the water of life”.

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  • 15.12.2020
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    31:55
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    René Redzepi on Noma's autumn menu

    Every season of every year, chef René Redzepi reinvents Noma, the two Michelin-starred establishment in Copenhagen that is renowned as the most ground-breaking restaurant in the world. It spearheaded a revolution in Nordic cuisine, and its reputation has made Copenhagen a gastronomic capital. The restaurant has spawned the world-famous Nordic Food Lab food research institute, and hosts an annual international food symposium.Dan Saladino has unprecedented access to the restaurant team. He follows them from their reopening in May as a neighbourhood burger bar, to the evening in October when diners experience their autumn ‘game and forest season’ menu for the first time. He explores Noma’s famous development kitchen, where Mette Søberg, head of research and development, and her team have previously pioneered dishes like the magnificent rotating celeriac shawarma and the delicate butterfly flatbread decorated in flower petals and pollen. He watches the physical transformation of the restaurant, as greenery is replaced by antlers, fungi and moss in the hands of acclaimed designer Christina Rudolph. And he eavesdrops on the restaurant kitchen and head sommelier Mads Kleppe on their first autumn service of 2020.

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  • 08.12.2020
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    31:21
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    Guggenheim Bilbao: From Covid to Kandinsky

    As Guggenheim Museum Bilbao prepares to open a major show of work by abstract artist, Wassily Kandinsky, In the Studio is behind-the-scenes and discovers how the museum continues to emerge and manage during the Coronavirus pandemic.Basque journalist Olatz Arrieta speaks to the people at the heart of this cultural institution – from Director General, Juan Ignacio Vidarte and Eva Eguiren in the Visitor’s Centre, to those working closely on the Kandinsky and the exhibitions of the future.But as Spain records more than one million Coronavirus cases, and authorities in the Basque Country close the regions borders, will the Kandinsky show still open? Join Olatz to find out.

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  • 01.12.2020
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    31:46
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    Jordi Savall

    Catalan conductor and violist Jordi Savall is the ringmaster of a unique, uproarious musical circus: a time-traveller who bridges centuries and cultures to make six hundred year-old music sound like it was composed yesterday.He reveals to journalist Lluis Amiguet how he makes the music of the past sound utterly compelling – and relevant – to 21st century ears, as we move back and forth between his home studio in Barcelona and rehearsals for a musical celebration of the life of the 16th century French heroine Joan of Arc in Troyes, France.What drives Jordi Savall to revive, remix and rejuvenate music from a long distant past? And what makes him seek out musical cultures across the globe – West Africa, South America, Asia and Ireland – and bring them together to help us understand the world in a new way?

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  • 24.11.2020
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    31:18
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    Daniel Lee: Revitalising a fashion house

    The young British-born designer Daniel Lee was appointed Creative Director of the classic Italian fashion house, Bottega Veneta, in 2018 with the task of reinventing the brand. Since then he’s picked up numerous awards and several of his designs have already become “cult” items.John Wilson joins the VIP audience – along with music stars Stormzy and Kanye West - to watch the launch of Daniel Lee’s latest Bottega Veneta collection held in London this Autumn. The designer discusses the brand’s trademark of woven leather handbags and shoes, what it takes to create some of the world’s most sought after garments and accessories, and the challenges of putting on a show in the midst of a global pandemic.

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  • 17.11.2020
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    32:05
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    Chick Corea: Accomplishing the goal of art

    Chick Corea is one of the legendary figures of jazz. He’s a pianist, a 23-times Grammy award winner and he’s played with all the jazz greats, like Miles Davis. He’s also recognised the world over as a composer, with hits like “Spain” and work ranging from bebop to fusion, works for children and symphonic works for classical players.In January this year, reporter Renata Sago began recording with Chick as he composed a new Trio Concerto for bass, drums and himself on piano. It was to have its first performance at the MUPA concert hall in Hungary’s capital Budapest in March. In his studio in Florida USA, Renata talks to him about how he writes and where his many sources of inspiration come from. And she hears from Chick that although he’s composed the music he’ll be performing, sometimes it’s not easy to play and he has to do a lot of practising!The pandemic meant that the premiere was later cancelled – but Covid-19 hasn’t slowed Chick down. In fact during the past few months he’s been taking on new projects and is looking forward to playing in front of a live audience again for the first time for months.Renata catches up with him again to find out what he’s working on now, how he’s found a new audience in lockdown and how he turns to all kinds of musical styles to help him accomplish the goal of art.

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  • 10.11.2020
    13 MB
    27:48
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    Ann Goldstein: The art of the translator

    Daniel Hahn and Ann Goldstein are translators, inhabiting a strange world between creation and publication, but with their own literary and linguistic creativity shaping the final form. Goldstein has been translating for decades, turning the words of Elena Ferrante, Primo Levi and Jhumpa Lahiri, amongst others, into English. She works prolifically, and in this episode Daniel, himself a prize-winning author and literary judge, spends time with her over the course of three days in 2018 as she translates an award-winning Italian book.Daniel Hahn discusses with her how to know where to translate exactly and where to get the sense, how to translate phrases which have no translation, and shares experiences about the politics of translation. He finds out how this literary great came to translating, how she chooses the books she wishes to translate and to what extent she acts – as so many translators do – as an advocate for foreign-language books to English-language publishers. And implicit in all this is what is core to the translator’s art – intercession between cultures, sharing ideas and stories which would otherwise go unshared.

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  • 03.11.2020
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    31:10
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    Shobana Jeyasingh: Recreating the 1918 flu pandemic through dance

    Choreographer and director Shobana Jeyasingh has been creating dynamic, fearless and ground breaking dance works for 30 years. Born in Chennai, India, her acclaimed pieces have toured internationally, tapping into both the intellectual and physical power of dance.Two years ago her major new work Contagion was inspired by the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918 which infected a third of the world’s population. It’s estimated that this flu killed between 50 and 100 million people, more than the First World War itself.Felicity Finch joined Shobana and her company of eight female dancers, along with the show’s composer and video designer, as they explored the challenge of how to portray the Spanish flu virus and its devastating effects through contemporary dance.Two years later, Felicity explores how Shobana feels about this piece in the midst of a new global pandemic and how the work is very relevant today.

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  • 27.10.2020
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    32:35
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    Evan Kim: Tattoo artist

    Evan Kim is one of the most in-demand tattoo artists in New York, thanks to a glamorous list of celebrity clientele which includes Brooklyn Beckham and Frank Ocean.He's famed for his minimalist, fineline tattoos in black and grey. This is a new style of delicate, intricate graphic art which appeals to the Instagram generation.Evan’s joined by hip hop artist, documentary-maker and fellow Korean American, Jaeki Cho, in his new studio just a few blocks from the Empire State Building. He’s about to start a fiendishly difficult task: creating a design which incorporates elements of Japanese anime, mythology and magic - but it has to be small enough to fit on the client’s upper arm.We follow Evan as he works on the tricky design, and then the even trickier application. One slip could ruin those perfect circles and lines. Along the way, Evan shares with us his passion for tattoo design history. On his self-built shelves, there’s an entire library of books from traditional American Sailor Jerry works to Japanese tattoo master Horiyoshi III. But it’s not just a question of beautifying the body. Evan tries to take meaning from his clients’ stories and incorporate them into his designs.

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  • 20.10.2020
    15 MB
    31:33
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    Sharon Olds: Poetry coming down my arm

    The American poet Sharon Olds has been one of the leading voices in contemporary poetry since her first book was published in 1980. She won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013 for "Stag’s Leap", her extraordinary collection of poems chronicling the breakup of her marriage, with its themes of love, family, sorrow, desire and memory, which have echoed throughout her work.But her career as a poet nearly didn’t happen. Her first poems were dismissed by some editors who saw them as not literary enough, perhaps objecting to the intense way she wrote about sexual love and the minutiae of being a woman. But it’s precisely those qualities that have won her new generations of fans and critical praise across the world.Now after a period of long isolation due to the pandemic, Sharon talks to Emma Kingsley about her work and how lockdown has affected her perception of the world. She describes how she creates new poems and how the words and images literally come down her arm and out through the pen.

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  • 13.10.2020
    15 MB
    32:11
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    Es Devlin: Artist and Stage Designer

    Es Devlin is an artist and one of the world’s most influential stage designers - conceiving what she calls stage ‘sculptures’ with the likes of Louis Vuitton, Beyoncé, Adele, Kanye West, The Weeknd and U2, as well as designing the Opening Ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympics and the Closing Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics.Her striking creations are equally well-known in the world of opera and theatre - from Bizet’s Carmen to Pinter’s Betrayal - all of which she does alongside her own solo work as an artist.From her studio in London, Es Devlin talks to Ella-mai Robey about her work and creative process.

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  • 09.10.2020
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    30:28
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    Eric van Hove: Sculpture that Goes 'Vroom'

    Eric van Hove makes sculpture that goes “vroom”. For the past few years, this conceptual artist has been working in Morocco on a project called the Mahjouba Initiative, which involves building a series of motorbikes using only traditional craft materials. Eric calls this work “a socio-economic sculpture”, the idea being that the pieces can be exhibited as artworks but also used as the prototype for a new vehicle.Anna McNamee meets Eric and his team as he works on the latest model – the Mahjouba III – which was to be put on show at the 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair in Marrakech in 2018.This story was recorded back in December 2017.

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  • 06.10.2020
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    30:52
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    Lisa Reihana: Maori History in 3D

    Lisa Reihana is one of New Zealand’s most important artists. Her work, In Pursuit of Venus [infected] became one of the highlights of the 2017 Venice Biennale. It is a 26 metre long animated wallpaper that was many years in the making - a reinterpretation of a 200-year-old panoramic wallpaper created by Joseph Dufour that painted an exotic portrait of the life of Pacific people as described by Captain Cook.In this story - recorded back in 2017 - Lisa is working on a short 3D film titled Nomads of the Sea which again looks at the meeting of two cultures, featuring an epic encounter between two female warriors. Presenter Tim Marlow joins Lisa Reihana in her New Zealand studio to talk about art, film and creativity.

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  • 29.09.2020
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    30:39
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    Juan Gabriel Vásquez: Literature in the centre of my life

    The Colombian novelist and journalist Juan Gabriel Vásquez is widely regarded as one of the most important Latin American writers today – known for his novels published in 28 languages, including the award-winning The Sound Of Things Falling, The Shape of the Ruins, and five other works of fiction, plus stories, literary essays, and political commentary.Born outside the capital city of Bogotá and having lived there as a student, Vásquez says it's a place that helped shaped his creative life and consciousness as a writer. After 16 years in Paris and Spain, he returned to Colombia to live and write. Now, as he embarks on his latest novel due to be published in December, Natalia Guerrero talks to Vasquez in Bogotá to find out how he works on his books.As he writes he describes his creative process from thought to page and start to finish. We hear how Bogotá has influenced his writing as "a life calling" with "literature in the centre of my life"; and how he keeps to a daily writing routine – including wearing noise-cancelling headphones so that he can have the silence he needs to create his work.And there are the very intimate moments of writing the final words and sharing his new book with its very first reader - his wife.

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  • 22.09.2020
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    30:10
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    Loyiso Gola wants to make you laugh

    What does it take to prepare a new stand-up show for the world’s biggest comedy festival? Loyiso Gola is one of South Africa’s most loved comedians - he's performed across the globe and his satirical TV show Late Nite News with Loyiso Gola has had two Emmy nominations, one of television’s greatest accolades.In this story, recorded back in 2017, In the Studio follows Loyiso as he embarks on the challenge of taking his show, Unlearning, to the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland. With Unlearning, Loyiso takes on those everyday ideas that we’ve learnt throughout our lives, such as who we are as people and how our perceptions of culture and history, race and politics shape how we see and treat each other. But how do you make an audience laugh for an hour, as well as question their perception of the world?

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  • 15.09.2020
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    31:31
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    Lynette Wallworth: Changing the way we see reality

    Australian artist and director Lynette Wallworth loves to push the limits of technology and works with mixed reality developers, inventing new ways of experiencing art.Back in the Summer of 2018, Laura Hubber joined Lynette as she worked with the team at the Technicolour Experience Center in Los Angeles, to create a new immersive interactive walk around section to her film Awavena.Awavena explores the way of life led by the Yawanawa community of the Amazon and their first female Shaman Hushahu. The new section was shown for the first time at the Venice Film Festival that year.

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  • 09.09.2020
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    30:47
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    Ocean Vuong: Becoming Briefly Gorgeous

    The young Vietnamese writer Ocean Vuong has been called “one of our most gifted poets”. He came to public attention when his poetry collection “Night Sky With Exit Wounds” was showered with awards. His first novel “On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous” followed last year and has also been critically acclaimed.Ocean’s work often mirrors his own experience as an immigrant. He was born in Saigon, Vietnam but at a young age he and members of his family left Vietnam, as refugees for the United States. After attempting a degree in business, Ocean found his true vocation as a writer and now divides his time between creating new work and teaching university students.Oonagh Cousins talks to Ocean about the way he creates his work, how ideas and images come to him and the importance of being uncomfortable when he’s writing.

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  • 09.09.2020
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    30:31
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    Alan Walker: Behind the mask

    Before face masks became compulsory for many of the world’s citizens, the Norwegian music producer and DJ Alan Walker was known for wearing a face covering on stage. It lent an air of mystery to his persona but there’s been no mystery about the popularity of the music he makes. From his first hit Faded, which has been streamed over a billion times, to packed-out stage gigs the world over and recent collaborations with musical giants like film composer Hans Zimmer, Alan – who’s still in his early 20s – has become a global phenomenon.Recorded during a visit to London, long before Covid-19 devastated live shows, Alan talks to John Wilson about his early upbringing in the UK, how he creates his music, and the crucial importance of ‘the drop’ to electronic dance music.

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  • 09.09.2020
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    31:01
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    Nelson Makamo: celebrating children from rural South Africa

    Eighteen months ago the work of South African artist, Nelson Makamo, featured on the iconic cover of Time magazine. It placed the already popular artist - with fans like Oprah Winfrey, Ava DuVernay and Giorgio Armani – firmly onto the global stage.The painting Makamo created for the cover was of Mapule, his now 12 year old cousin, who he’s been painting ever since she was a child. In a touching and practical exchange, he pays for Mapule’s studies.As he prepares for an exhibition, In the Studio’s Mpho Lakaje meets Nelson at his studio in Johannesburg, to watch him at work and discover why he so often places children from rural South Africa centre stage.

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  • 09.09.2020
    15 MB
    31:31
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    The Bold and the Beautiful: returning to our screens

    U.S. daily television soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful has been running since 1987, and at roughly 8,300 episodes and counting is a huge hit all around the world, making 250 new programmes a year.When coronavirus hit, filming stopped as the industry went into lockdown, but the makers are pioneering new creative ground as they go back into production in Los Angeles, and onto our television screens, at a time when Coronavirus is still rife.Laura Hubber follows the producers, directors and actors of the daily soap, which includes a lot of intimate scenes, as they use their Hollywood creativity to get the series safely back on air.How can they show an on-screen kiss in a world of masks and social distancing? We hear about a ‘new normal’ where actors’ real-life partners’ now work as ‘kissing doubles’, joined by a cast of mannequins, dedicated Coronavirus Coordinators, and strict new acting rules.

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  • 09.09.2020
    16 MB
    34:23
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    Costas Cacoyannis: Cyprus’s One-Man Orchestra

    Costas Cacoyannis is one of Cyprus’s most prolific composers – turn on the TV or head to the cinema on the Mediterranean island and there’s a good chance you’ll hear his music. Add to that his compositions for ballet, theatre, Hollywood soundtracks, and the more than 25 albums he has released and you get a sense of the scale of his creativity.He lives and works from his studio high up in the Troodos Mountains in central Cyprus and it’s there that the BBC’s Karl Bos went to meet Costas in 2018, as he prepared for a major performance of his music that June - his biggest live concert in over 18 years - at the Maison de l'UNESCO in Paris.Follow Costas on a walk through a nearby forest as he derives inspiration from nature, then to a rehearsal in Limassol with his choir, as he guides them on how to express and perform his music as the concert quickly approaches.

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  • 09.09.2020
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    31:28
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    Mira Nair: the making of A Suitable Boy

    Mira Nair is one of the world’s great film directors. Born in India, but now a self-called ‘global citizen’, she has spent over 30 years making her mark, from Hollywood to Bollywood, and from the fun and laughter of Monsoon Wedding to the sharp politics of The Reluctant Fundamentalist.In the Studio joins Mira on location in the ancient city of Maheshwar, for her biggest and most ambitious project to date - a six-part television series for the BBC, based on Vikram Seth’s epic novel, A Suitable Boy.The novel encompasses many of the filmmaker’s favoured topics - family conflict, the portrayal of India, love, humour, beauty and politics. So when she heard it was being made into a TV series she says, “I threw my sari into the ring…It was something I had to do with every fibre of my creative journey.“Mira Nair talks exclusively to Ravinder Bawa about her own creative journey - from small town girl, to world famous director – and shows how some of the most evocative and dynamic scenes are put together, with the film crew she uses in almost every film she makes.

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  • 09.09.2020
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    32:10
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    Eric Whitacre: Creating the Virtual Choir

    As Covid-19 has swept the world we’ve become used to seeing musicians in lockdown presenting videos of virtual performances. But for the Grammy-award winning American composer and conductor Eric Whitacre, the idea of a virtual choir is nothing new, because he pioneered the concept over 10 years ago. His first choir of 185 singers became a global phenomenon and has been seen by millions on YouTube. More virtual choir projects followed and the choir videos have featured as installations and as part of the 2012 Olympics and the Davos World Economic Forum.Now Eric’s just released his largest Virtual Choir project to date, which premiered on YouTube a few days ago. It features 17,572 singers from around the world performing his new piece “Sing Gently” for which he’s written the words and the music.Eric talks to Emma Kingsley about creating this latest project, the inspirations for his other compositions, the idea of the musical “golden brick” and how his early dreams of becoming a pop star changed through singing Mozart in the college choir.

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  • 09.09.2020
    15 MB
    32:47
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    Janet Echelman: Bending Arc

    The artist and sculptor Janet Echelman works on huge pieces of public art that combine high tech design, history and visual imagination to soar above the heads of the public and interact with the environment. Her latest, Bending Arc, has been waiting out the Covid crisis before finally being unveiled to the public in St Petersburg, Florida.Spanning 427 feet, and held by some 180 miles of twine, this giant net sculpture has needed a team of architects, model makers, computer scientists, aeronautical and structural engineers - all led by Echelman - to create a billowing, multi-coloured artwork that will cast shade and inspire the pier walkers of St Petersburg. It is also an artwork that draws directly on Echelman’s own family history in ready-to-wear fashion.Andrea Shea has been documenting Echelman's creative processes and now, all that awaits, is the grand opening scheduled for July when the artist’s imagination will billow and dazzle in the sea breeze.

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  • 09.09.2020
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    Operation Night Watch

    This week our guest is a Dutch icon - The Night Watch.This masterpiece by Rembrandt is nearly 400 years old and sits centre stage at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, where more than 2 million visitors come to see it every year. So when it became clear the painting needed a serious makeover, taking years to complete, the idea of removing it from display was rejected. Instead the museum’s Director, Taco Dibbits, decided to make Operation Night Watch accessible to all, by building a specially-constructed glass chamber for restorers, scientists and conservators to work under the public's watchful eye; both in the museum and online.Anik See follows Taco and his team during this key phase of Operation Night Watch, diving into state-of-the-art imaging techniques and discovering the masterpiece’s secrets and storied past, to find out why this painting remains so important to us.

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  • 09.09.2020
    15 MB
    32:18
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    Elif Shafak: Writing in Lockdown

    The British-Turkish writer Elif Shafak is renowned for her award-winning novels including The Forty Rules of Love and her most recent 10 Minutes 38 Seconds In This Strange World. She’s also known for being an advocate for women’s rights, LGBTQ rights and freedom of speech, which have led to her being investigated by the Turkish government. Now she’s writing a new novel and has completed a manifesto on staying sane in an age of division, which will be published later this year.Covid-19 has meant that Elif has been experiencing what it’s like to create and write in lockdown in her London home. In conversation with Emma Kingsley, she describes her new routines, how ideas come to her and the way in which her working life has been altered by the pandemic. She also talks about the importance of using fiction as a space to ask questions about contentious issues and the role of literature as a means of keeping people connected during this new age of self-isolation.

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  • 09.09.2020
    15 MB
    31:38
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    Eimear Noone and Craig Garfinkle: Composers in isolation

    Cellist Matthew Barley connects with composer and conductor team Eimear Noone and Craig Garfinkle, as they race to complete a film score from their temporary lockdown studio in rural Ireland.Eimear and Craig create soundscapes and soundtracks for feature films and video games, including the global hit World of Warcraft. Early in 2020 Eimear and Craig and their two young children travelled from the US to Dublin to compose and record the score for the animated movie Two by Two: Overboard. They recorded the first half of the score in February but then the Covid-19 restrictions radically changed their plans. They had to leave Dublin with what little equipment they could carry and head to Eimear’s family home on the West Coast of Ireland.With an out of tune piano, limited IT resources, no access to a recording studio or live musicians, and the delivery date looming, the pressure is on. From trying to write upbeat music at a moment of crisis, to managing the baby’s nap time and homeschooling while working out the perfect chord progression for a scene of utopia, Craig and Eimear are navigating new territory. Will they do it?

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  • 09.09.2020
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    31:45
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    Demond Melancon: The bead master of New Orleans

    This week’s In The Studio is presented by acclaimed actor and New Orleans resident Wendell Pierce (The Wire, Suits, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan). We join him as he meets Demond Melancon, a fine artist from New Orleans who is also the Big Chief of a Black Masking Indian tribe, the Young Seminole Hunters.The Black Masking culture of New Orleans is a centuries-old African-American tradition. Around 45 neighbourhood groups - or tribes - spend thousands of hours each year hand-sewing exquisitely beaded ceremonial suits, trimmed with rhinestones, velvet ruffles, and hundreds of brightly coloured feathers. On Mardi Gras day they take to the streets to compete against each other for the prettiest suit.Every suit tells a story, and this year Demond is depicting Ethiopian history and culture, beading an ancient Nyabinghi warrior on a white horse as the centerpiece of his front ‘apron’. Surrounding it on the left and right sides will be beaded portraits of Empress Menen Asfaw and her husband King Haile Selassie of Ethiopia. On his arms are patches with portraits of reggae music icon Vaughn Benjamin and an Ethiopian soldier.Usually it takes 12 months of beading to make a suit, but Demond is a rising star of New Orleans’ contemporary art scene, and in high demand for exhibitions and art fairs across the USA, so this year he has just three months to prepare. We join him and his wife Alicia as he works night and day in his Bywater studio doing ‘the needle dance’, as he calls it, in the run up to the city’s world-famous Mardi Gras celebrations.

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  • 09.09.2020
    15 MB
    32:07
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    Nnedi Okorafor: Creating sci-fi worlds

    The award-winning science fiction author Nnedi Okorafor always has a project - or three - on the go. From her home outside Chicago she creates stories driven by what she describes as Africanfuturism and Africanjujuism for children and adults - a legacy of her Nigerian roots. Her work now ranges across comics for Marvel, screenplays and yet another new novel due out in the summer.But she wasn’t always destined to be a writer. She spent her youth training hard to be a top class athlete until she developed curvature of the spine, which put an end to her dreams. After corrective surgery she became temporarily paralysed and it was then, during her darkest time, that she began to create stories.Now, as Chicago, like the rest of the US endures lockdown, Nnedi’s been adapting to her changed life and restricted movements. Mark Burman talks to her about her work and how her creative process has been affected during the Covid-19 pandemic. During recordings made in April and early May he eavesdrops on some of her writing moments including her fruitful collaboration with the Kenyan director Wanuri Kahiu and their story of an A.I. traffic police robot – and hears about the therapeutic distraction of her trumpet-playing daughter and magnificent cat which now has his own Twitter account!

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  • 09.09.2020
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    Julie Baines: The making of a movie, part two

    Starring Russell Brand and Matthew Goode – and featuring Michael Caine – the film Four Kids and It is a culmination of 8 years hard graft by award-winning British independent film producer Julie Baines.Never afraid to take risks to achieve her cinematic dreams this film demands more of her talent, insight and sheer hard work than ever before.Based on Jacqueline Wilson’s best-selling novel, itself inspired by the E Nesbitt classic 5 Children and It, the story requires an array of sophisticated special effects including flying, dare devil rock climbing and the staging of a pop concert at the O2 in London.After two failed attempts to finance the film, it was finally given the go ahead and shot in Ireland in the summer of 2018. It’s a wrap, the film is in the can – but this is where our story starts.Will the film be completed on time avoiding hefty financial penalties? Will the special effects make the grade, without access to the type of budget Hollywood studios can command? And finally, how well will it sell in a very competitive marketplace in a bid to get it in front of the family audiences it was made for?Hilary Dunn follows British independent film producer Julie Baines for a period of nearly two years, on a revealing journey into the little known art – and science – of post-production.

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  • 09.09.2020
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    Julie Baines: The making of a movie, part one

    British film producer Julie Baines knows all about long lead times. She often has to work for years to get a project financed before any filming can happen at all. For over six years, Julie had been fighting to bring ‘Four Kids and It’, a script she loves, from page to screen. The story is based on a retelling of the 1902 book ‘Five Children and It’ by the hugely popular children’s writer Jacqueline Wilson.When we first met Julie in March 2017, filming was scheduled to start in just a few months but there were still deals to be done and actors to be cast. Film stars, including Russell Brand and Academy Award winner Michael Caine, were on board and the locations had been earmarked but would the money start flowing in time for filming to begin?Film director Joseph Adesunloye followed Julie through the ups and downs of wrangling with lawyers and financiers as she worked to get the cameras rolling.

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  • 09.09.2020
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    Tyler Childers: Run these roads

    Tyler Childers was nominated for a Grammy in early 2020. He’s an emerging talent who is true to his Appalachian roots.He grew up in the foothills of East Kentucky, his father worked in the coal industry, and his songs reflect the tough life in that part of the world - unemployment, broken relationships, drugs, alcohol. He draws on these themes in order to stay faithful to the place: "I hope that people in the area that I grew up in find something they can relate to. I hope that I'm doing my people justice and I hope that maybe someone from somewhere else can get a glimpse of the life of a Kentucky boy."The lyrics of one of his songs describes the exhilaration of driving recklessly: “A damn good feeling to run these roads". For his most recent Country Squire album, Tyler says much of it was written on the road, including love songs dedicated to his wife. He also drew inspiration from unusual sources, including Allen Touissant's 1970s album Southern Nights.We take a deep dive into the contemporary life, music and culture of East Kentucky, with help from Brett Ratliff, programme director of community radio station WMMT in Whitesburg, Kentucky, in the heart of Appalachia's coal fields, and hear about Kentucky story-telling from author Silas House.And with his US tour suspended because of the coronavirus lockdown, we hear how Tyler and his wife Senora May - also a singer songwriter - are drawing on their home, and their own relationship, for creative inspiration.

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  • 09.09.2020
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    Marc Quinn: Creating 100 sculptures of refugees

    British artist Marc Quinn has been one of the world's leading contemporary artists for over 30 years. A prominent member of the group known as the Young British Artists (or YBAs) who dominated the British art scene in the 1990s, his high-profile works have included Alison Lapper Pregnant, for the inaugural fourth plinth sculpture in London’s Trafalgar Square; and Self, a series of self-portraits of his own head - made out of ten pints of his own blood - cast and frozen every five years.In this episode of In the Studio, Marc Quinn takes Edwina Pitman behind the scenes of an ambitious new work called 100 Heads, in which he documents the stories, and casts in concrete the heads, of 100 refugees. Spurred by the images and news reports of the refugee crisis in 2015, Marc began to make plans for not-for-profit public artworks to both raise awareness and money for refugees around the world. 100 Heads is being created in part therefore to raise funds for another ongoing Marc Quinn public artwork called Our Blood, in which 2,000 litres of frozen human blood - drawn from 10,000 resettled refugees, celebrities and other participants - will be encased in a pavilion on the steps of the New York Public Library in 2021.From the initial meeting and interviewing refugees, through scanning, moulding and casting the concrete, Marc reveals the many processes as well as the technical and logistical challenges of creating 100 portrait heads of people from all over the world. The eventual creation will, he hopes, be a monument to our common humanity, one that emphasises through the power of art, that more unites than divides us.

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  • 09.09.2020
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    Romesh Gunesekera: Breathing life into every word

    Sri Lankan born author Romesh Gunesekera does not transcribe reality, he recreates it from a mixture of memory and imagination. Nominated for one of the world’s most prestigious literary awards, the Man Booker Prize for Fiction, for his debut novel Reef – Romesh has been publishing novels, short stories and poetry for more than 30 years.Harriett Gilbert meets Romesh at his London home in early 2018, to find out how he is crafting his latest novel, Suncatcher. It tells the story of two boys growing up in 1960s Sri Lanka, examining their friendship and the beginnings of a political awakening. Romesh has been working on his book for several years and is now meticulously revising the text – questioning each word – as he prepares to send his precious manuscript out into the world.

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  • 09.09.2020
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    Belarus Free Theatre: Directing from a distance

    The award-winning Belarus Free Theatre was founded 15 years ago to create drama around issues of human rights and creative freedom in a country which has been called Europe’s last surviving dictatorship. It creates provocative physical shows attended by audiences in secret locations around Minsk and has achieved international recognition and support.BFT’s founding artistic directors Natalia Kaliada and Nicolai Khalezin cannot rehearse the actors face to face because they are now political refugees living in the United Kingdom. So, for the past nine years they have been using a Skype line to connect with the performers hundreds of miles away.Natalia and Nicolai have been rehearsing the actors in a new play called Dogs of Europe, based on the novel by the contemporary Belarusian author Alhierd Bacharevic, which depicts life in a dystopian super state where individual freedoms are taken away. As well as performing in Minsk, the actors were also set to come to London and perform at the Barbican Theatre. But Covid-19 has put an end to that plan. So what will the company do instead?The BBC’s Olga Smirnova follows Natalia and Nikolai during the process of rehearsal and performance and hears from them and the actors about the techniques of directing from a distance. She also talks to the British actor and writer Stephen Fry who is taking part in BFT’s newest venture.

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  • 09.09.2020
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    Mo Abudu: Creating blockbuster movies in Nigeria

    Mo Abudu has been described as one of the most successful women in Africa. She made her name presenting the chat show Moments with Mo, that earnt her the title of Africa’s ‘first lady of chat.’She is the CEO of Ebony Life Television, Africa's first global black entertainment and lifestyle network. In 2013 she set up Ebony Life Films and as Executive Producer is behind films such as the comedies The Wedding Party and its sequel, The Wedding Party 2, which became the highest-grossing Nigerian film in the country’s box office history.In 2018 Anna Cunningham followed Mo onto the set of her film Chief Daddy – which tells the story of what happens when a flamboyant billionaire industrialist suddenly dies and his family and friends uncover hidden secrets and discover who’s getting the money.With a star studded cast including Funke Akindele, Kate Henshaw, Folarin ‘Falz’ Falana, Mo hoped Chief Daddy would be a Christmas blockbuster in Nigeria. In this updated episode, find out if she got her wish.

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  • 09.09.2020
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    Jakub Józef Orliński: Countertenor in Karlsruhe

    The Polish countertenor Jakub Józef Orliński is rapidly becoming one of the most sought-after performers on opera stages and in concert halls around the world. A YouTube video of him singing Vivaldi has had more than 5 million views, his many prizes include a recent Gramophone Classical Music Award and he’s released 2 critically acclaimed albums.And he’s not just known as a singer - he also has an impressive record as a breakdancer and a fashion model.Earlier this year, Jakub was preparing to sing the title role in Handel’s opera Tolomeo at the Badisches Staatstheater in the German city of Karlsruhe. Emma Kingsley joined him there to watch him in rehearsal and to hear how he goes about not just perfecting his singing voice, but also writing his own musical ornaments and cadenzas for the solos and duets that he will be performing for these performances and the production’s revival in 2021.

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  • 09.09.2020
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    Kari Kola: Lighting up the world

    Kari Kola developed his love of working with light in his native Finland, one of the world’s most northern countries, where the winters are long and very dark. Teaching himself to use light in those months - to utilise the darkness – is what inspired Kari to become…a light artist.For Galway 2020, European Capital of Culture, Kari and his team of Finns are setting their sights on the wild and beautiful Connemara mountain range, as he attempts to create Savage Beauty, the largest lit artwork ever made.Using the latest technology, and transporting a vast amount of kit to an Irish mountain range in the middle of March, has its own unique set of challenges. It’s a challenge that seems second nature to Kari, who taught himself to play piano without ever learning a note, and has overcome accidents which have left him unable to walk and hear at various times in his life. No wonder, perhaps, that the artist’s motto is “Nothing is impossible; it is just a matter of deciding how much you want to use your energy towards achieving it".Reporter Orla Higgins pursues the creative process in Galway, and we spend time with Kari in his studio in the easternmost province of Finland, but as the four-day event approaches amid gales and a Coronavirus pandemic, will it all come together?

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  • 09.09.2020
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    Michael Rakowitz: Crafting ‘ghosts’ from Iraq’s lost culture

    Michael Rakowitz’s Iraqi heritage is a cultural thread running through much of his art. We follow him at work on a new installment of a long-running project called The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist, which creates what he calls ‘ghosts’ of archaeological objects that have been destroyed or looted from Iraq in the 21st century. Sarah Geis follows him throughout the process of recreating carved reliefs which adorned a room of the Northwest Palace of Nimrud, destroyed in 2015 by the Islamic State group. However, he’s not making them from stone but colourful Arabic food packaging and cardboard – for a fast-approaching exhibition.We check back in with Michael in March 2020 to see how the project has progressed.

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  • 09.09.2020
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    Celeste Mountjoy, aka Filthyratbag

    Best known by her alias Filthyratbag, 20 year old artist Celeste Mountjoy’s brightly coloured line-drawn illustrations and phrases are at once confessional and relatable, humorous and heart-breaking. Their appeal, as her 384k Instagram followers testify, extends far beyond Celeste’s native Melbourne. From partying and relationships to mental illness and social media vanity, the artist’s satirical observations about everyday life encapsulate her experience as a Generation Z’er, and a young woman navigating today’s world. As work begins on new illustrations, reporter Rosa Ellen meets up with Celeste to find out what makes her tick, how she creates her artwork - and why her alias is Filthyratbag.

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  • 09.09.2020
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    Dada Masilo: From Soweto street dancer to ballet star

    Growing up in the township of Soweto, Dada Masilo never thought to dream of ballet training or world tours. She liked street dancing to Michael Jackson and was only introduced to ballet two years after the end of Apartheid, at the age of 10. It was a strange world, she says, of pink shoes and tights. But she loved the discipline and went on to train internationally as a classical ballerina. Still only 34, she now tours the world with her very contemporary takes on traditional ballet. Her Swan Lake tackled Africa’s AIDs epidemic with male dancers playing the love triangle. Her Giselle is a feminist revenge story conceived long before #MeToo. She’s celebrated at Arts festivals from Perth to California, but the themes of her work make it less welcome in parts of Africa.

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  • 09.09.2020
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    Lady Pink: The first lady of graffiti

    Nicknamed the “first lady of graffiti”, Lady Pink’s work is known for its celebration of women. The Ecuadorian-American artist was one of the first women active on the New York graffiti scene at the end of the 1970s and early 1980s, earning her a lead role in the seminal hip hop film, Wild Style, in 1983.While still at high school Pink began exhibiting in art galleries and by the age of 21 she had her first solo show. More recently she has designed a perfume bottle for Lancôme and turned her signature designs into a clothing range.Pink’s latest project is to create a 33 foot long mural on the walls of one of the new World Trade Center buildings, built to replace those destroyed by terrorist attacks on September 11 2001. The artist’s creation for this particular space will be based on her Unity Tree design, because she says, “The world has never been the same, but what we can celebrate is all the peacefulness and happiness that we enjoy in New York City with all the nations and nationalities living together”.New York reporter Tara Gadomski joins Lady Pink over the course of a week to witness her new painting come to life.

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  • 09.09.2020
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    Zanele Muholi: photographer and visual activist

    What does it mean to be a visual activist? This week, In The Studio meets pioneering non-binary South African photographer Zanele Muholi, who aims to give the marginalised a presence in the visual archive with their striking portraits of the black South African LGBTI community.Ahead of Muholi’s first major UK retrospective at Tate Modern this Spring, reporter Mpho Lakaje follows Muholi, in Johannesburg and Durban as they work on their ongoing series “Faces and Phases”. This is an evolving photographic record and part of Muholi’s life’s work to map and preserve an often invisible community for posterity. It also serves to address the serious issue of hate crime in South Africa and its neighbouring countries, where the stigma of homosexuality can often lead to rape, violence, and murder.We follow Muholi capturing images, interviewing participants and hearing their stories before creating their powerful images in black and white, highlighting and celebrating the beauty of black skin.

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  • 09.09.2020
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    Madeleine Thien: The first draft

    The Canadian writer Madeleine Thien is working on her next novel, the follow-up to her prizewinning 2016 book Do Not Say We Have Nothing. But she’s finding that it’s difficult to find the internal peace and privacy to begin again, especially after having being catapulted into the public eye after the previous novel’s success.As the narrative and characters shift and evolve in the author’s mind, there’s much painstaking research and many rewrites to be done. How can Madeleine blend the aspects of past and present which are pre-occupying her at the moment? And will she ever be satisfied enough with the novel to allow it to see the light of day?Paul Kobrak follows her over several months as she creates different versions of the first draft of the new novel. It’s a process which moves from Berlin in Germany (and a coffee shop which is central to Madeleine’s writing process) to Brooklyn USA (where she teaches Creative Writing to University students) and finally to Portugal's capital city Lisbon, where she hopes to complete it.

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  • 09.09.2020
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    Artificial Improvisation

    Professor Gil Weinberg has created the world’s first robot musician. Shimon is a marimba-playing robot with eight arms that can improvise live music in any genre.The world is familiar with musical robots that can play programmed music, but Gil has created robotic musicians. This means they are musicians first, and robots second. In real time, these robot musicians come up with fresh ideas designed to inspire human musicians to play music in new ways.Award-winning jazz composer Kris Bowers (Green Book, Dear White People, How They See Us) is in the studio with Gil, and many of Gil’s students and local jazz musicians. Together, they are exploring how artificial intelligence can push our understanding of what humans are capable of, and examine whether AI can enhance the abilities of musicians. They also ponder the question of whether a robot can truly be as creative as a human being.Kris is examining three aspects of Gil’s robotic musicians, and taking part in some experiments that are happening publicly for the first time. The first aspect that Kris examines is Shimon’s ability to mirror the playing style of his fellow musicians; through this, Kris will be able to objectively analyse his own playing, with the hope of improving his craft in unprecedented ways. The second is exploring how Shimon has now been given the ability to improvise lyrics in a live rap battle, and the third is Gil’s work in the field of prosthetics. Kris plays with amputee drummer Jason Barnes, whose prosthetic drumming arm holds a stick that Kris can control with the music he plays.

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  • 09.09.2020
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    Ron Arad

    In The Studio enters the endlessly surprising and shape-shifting world of architect, designer and artist Ron Arad.Born in Israel but based in London for over four decades, Arad’s multi-disciplinary career has seen him design and produce everything from sunglasses to skyscrapers, and from hats to hotels.A Royal Academician and Professor Emeritus at the Royal College of Art, he has designed for numerous major international furniture and design brands, and his public art work can be found in cities across the world including Tokyo, Milan, Toronto, Tel Aviv and Singapore.Like the man himself, Arad’s work has always evaded categorisation. His constant experimentation with the boundaries and possibilities of materials and his keen interest in cutting edge technology means that nothing is ever as it seems. What at first glance appears to be a map on the wall, turns out to be a bookcase, a vast mirrored sculpture is in fact a ping pong table, a quartz pendant on a necklace doubles as a magnifying glass.In this programme, Ron welcomes Edwina Pitman into his labyrinthine studio, filled with prototypes and iconic design pieces, to chart the making of one of his many ongoing projects. Inspired by an object found in a flea market forty years ago, Ron’s idea is to create a string quartet that plays itself. Over the course of a year, he reveals how he and his team work on the technology, the design and the commercial possibilities to make this ghostly vision a reality.

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  • 09.09.2020
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    Bert & Bertie: Directing Troop Zero

    There are very few female film directors in Hollywood, but directing duo Bert and Bertie, otherwise known as Katie Ellwood (Bertie) and Amber Finlayson (Bert), are forging a name for themselves.Aleks Krotoski joins Bert and Bertie as they direct their latest film, Troop Zero, which stars McKenna Grace and Oscar winners Allison Janney and Viola Davis. The film is set in 1977 in rural Georgia, where a misfit girl dreams of life in outer space. When a competition offers her a chance to be recorded on NASA's Golden Record, she recruits a makeshift troop of Birdie Scouts, forming friendships that last a lifetime.To get a real insight into the Hollywood system and the role of directors in the making of a film, Aleks joins the Berts on location in Louisiana as they shoot the film, and in the studio during the edit. Not only are the directors both women with young children, but the writers, producers and the majority of the production crew are also women. Bert and Bertie talk to Aleks about how they are proactively trying to change women’s opportunities in the industry through their hiring practices.Other contributors to the programme include co-writer Lucy Alibar, executive producer Jenny Hinkey and cinematographer James Whitaker.

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