Inside Culture – S2#23 (HearSay Audio Festival Special)

Kilfinane is a mountain village in Limerick that hosted three days and nights of the HearSay Audio Festival. The village was taken over by the world’s finest audio makers. There were 90 events mounted across 19 venues around the village.

Hearsay fosters collaboration & imagination, compelling insights, creative challenges, unique experiences for audio artists and producers to participate in, attend and experience.

In this episode we hear from Jonathan Mitchell and Diana McCorry whose multi-award-winning piece ‘Can You Help Me Find My Mom?’ illustrate beautifully the potential of audio to engage listeners, immerse them in a subjective story that could only really be told through an audio format.

We also hear from Judy Meg Ni Chinneide whose piece The House won the Hearsay Prize for best Irish produced work. In it she features three four generations of her own family as they reminisce on an old family home Frascati.

We hear from one of the many sound installations which were in Kilfinane over the weekend. Rear Mirror is a car – apparently abandoned – in the centre of the village. People sit in and close the doors and hear audio work by Eugene Boyle and Rodrigo Crenier.

One of the most interesting and charming aspects of the festival is that all the events take place in non-traditional venues. For example, Diarmuid O’Leary’s home is host to one of the listening events, Lucy Dearlove’s Potluck. While dishing up delicious dumplings as well as Diarmiud’s own homemade bread and jellies, guests sit around the kitchen table to listen to food related documentaries.

Chris Brookes and Cathy Fitzgerald are two international producers who have come together at Hearsay to co-produce a piece. Canadian Producer Chris Brookes has been making radio for over 30 years and has, amongst other awards, won the Peabody. Multi-award-winning producer Cathy Fitzgerald makes radio in the UK mainly for BBC as an independent. They speak to Fionn about the location based pieces they’ve made in the village of Kilfinane and their work for CBC and BBC.

Eric Nuzum is Senior Vice-President of Audible has sealed its position as the world’s largest provider of audiobooks with more than 300,000 titles available. Eric spoke to Fionn Davenport about audio as a creative space, monetising your work and future trends for producers and distribution.

Clare Patey opened a shoe shop over the weekend in Kilfinane but not the ordinary shoe shop familiar to most small towns. Hers is part of London-based art project called The Empathy Museum and the shoes were previously worn by people whose life stories were shared over the weekend in an innovative and very personal way. A Mile In My Shoes is the name of the project. Visitors to Clare’s shoe shop try on pairs and before leaving the shop in them, they are handed small headphones and hear stories from the life of person whose shoes they are wearing. No better way, says Patey, to encourage empathy and understanding between people whose lives might never meet.