Production Notes: Andy Parfitt, R1's commissioning editor, mixed in poetry with the pop last week. Here, he explains how
Tuesday 10 May 1994
Our view was that this wasn't a poetry meeting, it is Radio 1 FM - we had to make the poems sound appropriate for the network, most obviously by putting them to music.
The music came from some composers in Bath who have worked with Peter Gabriel and who use the full range of rock music tools. They took the basic reading, put it into the sampler and just composed the music around it, using the rhythm of the poem to dictate the rhythm of the musical accompaniment.
We then had to match the poems to different shows. We thought about the broadcasters, their tone of presentation and their personality. For instance, Nicky Campbell is quite literary in his sentence construction and the references he uses are slightly more classical than, say, Steve Wright or Mark Goodier, so we gave him some Shelley and Shakespeare. The characteristic of Steve's programme is that everything lasts for 20 seconds - it's right up front - so I gave him Benjamin Zephaniah and John Hegley.
Another consideration is that, for Simon Mayo's programme in the morning, for instance, we knew that there is a slightly older, slightly larger female audience, so we selected appropriate poems such as Paul Merton reading The Jolly Hunter and Jabberwocky.
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