Comments by Rekha Murthy

Comment for "Arthur C. Clarke Q&A" (deleted)

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Review of Arthur C. Clarke Q&A (deleted)

The production values are very good. It made sense to write around his voice rather than air a straight interview, given the difficulty in understanding Arthur C. Clarke's voice. The piece covers the bases - his life and some of his works - but it's all a bit out of order. I wish the interviewer had asked more sophisticated questions about Mr. Clarke's vision, and given the listener more of a thematic, rather than chronological, narrative to follow.

Comment for "StoryCorps Griot: Wydenia Perry and Essie Gregory"

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Review of StoryCorps Griot: Wydenia Perry and Essie Gregory

This is great. The women are such close friends - you can tell from the way they interact. What's so quirky about this piece is that their voices are frankly not what one expects when you imagine people traipsing across the world. And the stories are fantastic. Air this!

The reason I give four stars is because my friend, who knew how StoryCorps works, couldn't believe it wasn't scripted. Don't know if that's truly how these ladies talk or if the editing was too tight.

Comment for "Glasnost"

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Review of Glasnost

This piece was beautifully done. Contentwise, I loved how seamlessly the writer went between her own observations and her parents' voices. The translations were done very well, allowing her parents' personalities and feelings to come through. I liked the touch of humour throughout for what must have been very difficult. I would have liked one more anecdote from those 2 years of adjustment after the writer came out - an odd comment made by her parents, a visit to the Castro, etc. Maybe her parents generally quiet about it, keeping their thoughts to themselves?

Productionwise, excellent. The rhythm, the pacing, the voice were all easy to follow, and drew me in right away.

Nicely done!! If this hasn't already been licensed, it definitely should. Several times.

Comment for "The Accordion Files"

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Review of The Accordion Files

This is a fun, sound-rich, well-produced piece that gets at one of my favorite topics: subcultures. I love the multiplicity of voices, and the choice of what music to post in the clear, and how quickly Amber gets to the first yodel! Her writing and read are appropriately amused and respectful and support the scenes rather than dominate them.

Comment for "StoryCorps: Phyllis Johnson" (deleted)

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Review of StoryCorps:Phyllis Johnson (deleted)

I assume these are supposed to be short, but, oh my goodness, did I want to hear more! If there's any way to include enough time to recount *and* reflect, or to use this piece as a promo for a longer reflection (even 3 minutes instead of 1), that would be more satisfying.

Comment for "Barry, Bob & Me"

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Review of Barry, Bob & Me

This is a great piece! I love the voice, the premise, and the pacing. The commentary moves from broader, philosophical scale to a focused scene and back to philosophizing, and remains clear and easy to follow the entire time. It's personal but has plenty of elements for a wide variety of listeners to connect with: While it's primarily about writing and the creative process, it's also about role models and finding our own personal style in whatever we do. The music matches the voice well. I might have chosen something less obviously "writerly" sounding, and at some point the music's constant presence became slightly distracting. But these are small, highly subjective comments in an overall excellent production.

Comment for "Women Making Music: Suzanne Vega"

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Review of Women Making Music: Suzanne Vega

This is a generally good piece that manages to give a broad sample of Suzanne Vega's music in under 3 minutes. The interview and music selections are very interesting and illuminating - it's great to hear from someone who was part of my adolescent/college soundtrack. My preference would be to not try to cover so much thematic territory in such a short span of time; rather, to go deeper in one or two areas.

Comment for "Hip-hop in hunting boots"

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Review of Hip-hop in hunting boots

i like the choice of group to profile - good story, good music. i would have preferred the first bit of music i hear of theirs to be pre-produced, rather than the lower quality you get during a live performance. the first cut of produced music doesn't come in until 2 minutes in, and it's not posted long enough to enjoy - which i really would have.

the whole piece could use more music in the clear and under some of the more mellow-sounding interviews. it's great music - let it breathe! also, i got a little lost on who was speaking when - not sure how to get around that besides doing self-announcements.

overall, though, the piece turned me onto a group i hadn't heard of before who i will certainly seek out.

Comment for "Musicians in their own words features on Grammy winners"

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Review of Joseph Shabalala segment

I'm most familiar with the Joseph Shabalala piece. I've listened to it several times, and each time it makes me smile. As a long-time fan of Ladysmith Black Mambazo, I was naturally drawn in by the music. What this piece gives even to people familiar with the music is Shabalala's beautiful voice and manner of speaking, as well as backstory that I never knew. The music is woven through seamlessly and the story ambles comfortably down one of many possible narratives of Shabalala's rich life. The piece is not intended to be a full documentary; rather, David Schulman has selected a few places to go deeper and reveal something more of the humanity, not just the skill or formation of, the performer. By including but not overemphasizing the connection to Paul Simon, he has also provided a way in for a listener who is familiar with the Graceland album and who might be interested in delving into the Ladysmith Black Mambazo's other work.