East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

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Songs, with a bang, & Food, in context

I mentioned the course I am following about podcasts.
One of the added values of the course (that is excellent, BTW) is, I am exploring the podcast offer out there, and I have found two that I think my readers might be interested in.

Song_ExploderThe first is called Songs Exploded, and it’s a very simple idea: each program is a 15/20 minutes interview with a musician, about the bits and pieces that make up one of their songs… followed by the song itself.
You get established artists and indie artists, all stripes and colors and genres of music. It’s absolutely great, and if you are curious about how music works, how imagination and storytelling and technique mix into the final product, it’s absolutely perfect.

gastropodThe second is called Gastropod and is, get this, a podcast about history and food – and the history and science of food. Food is a huge component of any culture, and by looking at how a food – or a spice, or a recipe – developed, evolved and was intertwined with culture and historical events makes for fascinating listening.
This is an excellent find for history buffs and for writers – because you never know where a story idea can come from.

Both podcasts can be followed through iTunes or directly with your podcast client/podcatcher of choice.
I am using that old reliable, the VLC media player, and I am growing my personal “radio programme”.
Is there any podcast you are listening regularly and you’d like to suggest?
The comments are open.

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Back to school (once again)

Summer is drawing to a close, and as usual I enrolled in a few courses to increase the number of reasons because of which my CV will be rejected due to overeducation.
But really, screw them.
I like learning new things, I like trying new activities.

So I went and I enrolled in a course by the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas. The course is called Listen up! How to launch and grow a hit podcast, and it will hopefully help me get back on track with my podcasting experiments.


The course is fun, the instructors top notch, and I am really happy with what I’ve seen so far. Continue reading

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KaravanCast, episode 0

So here it is, Episode zero for the KaravanCast, the very first experimental broadcast from the podcast that will start its transmissions in February 2017, to celebrate the fifth year of the Karavansara Blog.

While I am still very dubious about the technical side of the thing, I have no doubt whatsoever that my voice is horrible, and my pronunciation barbaric.
The whole result is ghastly.


But what the heck that’s all I’ve got right now.

You can listen to a general overview of how I’ll organize the future episodes of the KaravanCast from the link above.
And tomorrow I’ll do a proper presentation post and all that.

In the meantime, rest assured that I hate my own voice just as much as you do.

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Listening to the radio in the night

radio-graphicI think I already mentioned how much I like radio.
Radio dramas (old and new, with a soft spot for the Thrilling Adventure Hour), music (and vintage wonders like the Buddies’ Lounge), and talk radio.

Now, something happened two nights back.
I was not feeling well (what with old age, the cold and the mileage thing), and so I stood up the whole night, and scanned the airwaves with my small, cheap multi-band radio receiver to try and get my mind off my aches.
My brother was up with me, and a little worried, but in the end we chanced upon a strange radio program from a very local station. Vinyl Dust it’s called and no, it’s not a fetish sort of thing – it’s an all-night talk and music show in which a guy that does not know how to properly pronounce English talks about vintage records, and plays old 45s.
The show focuses on covers and alternate versions of classic songs from the 60s, weird stuff produced for the European and Italian 45 and juke-box markets. Always quirky, often bad. And my oh my, was the show we caught focusing on bad. Continue reading

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Seven points plot

WX-bannerThe Writing Excuses podcast is so good, I’m linking it here in the sidebar.

And as I am at it, I’d like to point out this very interesting, simple story structure that was discussed in a not-so-recent podcast. It’s the seven-points story structure, and I like it quite a lot.

  • Hook
  • Plot Turn I
  • Pinch I
  • Midpoint
  • Pinch II
  • Plot Turn II
  • Resolution

I wonder if I’ll be able to adapt it to a 10.000 words story.