Easily the most stressful project of my university degree was SMILEcast 2013, a daily podcast, proposed and produced by my self over the course of Solent SMILEfest 2013 (an annual music festival, stemming from Southampton Solent University, bringing together live music staged by students, workshops and conferences featuring guest industry experts. Having acquired college qualifications in Music Technology and Performance, and coming to the end of a BA in Music Journalism. How difficult could it be? As it turned out, very. That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy myself though, and I surprise myself in saying that I would do it again were I given the opportunity for next month’s SMILEfest 2014.
My mission statement: Create an entertaining daily podcast providing coverage of each day’s events, for distribution by Southampton Solent University, the official SMILEfest 2013 website, and Southampton-based web radio station, Radio Sonar. This is a list of the episodes and their content.
- Episode 1: Thomas Yeo of Critical Wave (2’10”), Welcome Pariah (4’15”), Mr Tom (9’05”) and Sons & Lovers (12’00”). The chaotic production process of this episode is best remembered for the nearby police raid’s sirens regularly interrupting interviews (heard in the opening) at SMILEfest 2013’s opening event at Southampton-based club UNIT.
- Episode 2: Lumberyack Promotions (1’05”), Posh Cow Promotions (3’45”), YUZU Performers (5’20”) and Cloudi Lewis (7’05”). Due to the particularly lengthy New Riot interview, it had to be cut in two. References to the night’s performance made it in, and regrettably any references to their latest record, had to be removed. For the full interview, one had to venture onto the SMILEfest website.
- Episode 3: Electric Banana (2’30”), The Kaleurs (5’00), Skymarshal (12’30”) and Mitchell Stevens/Cholombian (15’40”). This production was best remembered for the The Kaleurs’ refusal to tell me how to pronounce their name. As a result, I felt forced to type their name into a text-to-speech program to find the result. The result was funny enough that it featured in the podcast itself, channeling my stressed-out mood with an emotionless “*beep* you”.
- Episode 4: Karvel (1’40”), Written in Waters (6’45”), All My Sins (13’05”), Old Crows (14’55”), Gnarwolves (16’15”) and Mitchell Stevens/Cholombian (22’35”). This extended edition features the series’ largest list of events and interviewees. At the time, this was a nightmare, but the resulting interviews with multiple performers and promoters (successful showcasing Southampton Solent student talent), conducted by all of the cast’s interviewers led to what became my definite favourite episode.
- Episode 5: Concert promoter Andy Copping (2’00”), Wall of Sound founder Mark Jones (11’30”) and music journalist Simon Price (14’00). This episode was introduced as the ‘Conference Special’, almost exclusively consisting of interviews conducted by myself, with industry professionals who visited Southampton Solent University.
Sadly, a finale episode never did materialize, due to the planned finale interview with Jon McClure of Reverend and the Makers (headliners of the closing event of SMILEfest 2013) falling through. The episode was planned to feature myself, as well as other crew members in conversation with presenters Rebecca Rayner and Andrew Yates, discussing the events of the previous few days.
Aside from this cancellation, the outcome was a rousing success. These five episodes had a cast and crew of 62 people (and even more if omitted content is considered), and I’m very proud to say that I was at the reins of the project. Mission accomplished.
Presented by Rebecca Rayner and Andrew Yates
Produced by Nick Pollard
Music by Shelley Huckle, Nick Pollard, James Williams and Toby Wise
Idents by Jonny Orwin
Interviews by Nick Pollard (all episodes), Tom Hutchin (Episodes 2 & 4) and Raven Lyness (Episode 4)
Additional Sound Technician: Ines Punessen