Comments by Emon Hassan

Comment for "The Basement"

Review of The Basement

Radio theatre that does not spoonfeed you. I did have a laugh out loud moment when he says that sometimes "the ghosts come out to see you". I can sum it up by saying that all 'Sixty Second Radio Hour' pieces are exceptionally well produced and edited. This is one of them.

Comment for "Sit Perfectly Still, The World Will Present Itself to You"

Review of Sit Perfectly Still, The World Will Present Itself to You

A 15-minute masterpiece! What a richly constructed soundscape. I am a sucker for this type of radio work where actuality does it all. It's like the piece has found the perfect producer. You will recognize, or may not, some of the voices and incidents in the collage. In short, 'Sit Perfectly Still' is a film customized for each listener. Just brilliant!

Comment for "Wim Wenders; Phoned-in Dialogue"

Review of Wim Wenders; Phoned-in Dialogue

Well, it's just my opinion, but the three separate Wenders pieces would work much better as one longer piece. This piece continues some of the thoughts on filmmaking Wenders began talking about in 'Workaholic'. Listeners choosing only one segment out of the three may will be shortchanged. Listen to all three if you can.

Comment for "Wim Wenders; The Fortunate Workaholic"

Review of Wim Wenders; The Fortunate Workaholic

A short glimpse into Wim Wenders's movie making process, and why he is able to keep making a lot of them. A good introductory piece also, if one hasn't been introduced to this diverse filmmaker yet.

Comment for "A Tribute To Eva Cassidy"

Review of A Tribute To Eva Cassidy

In 2000, while browsing the aisles at Borders Bookstore adjacent to New York's World Trade Center, I randomly stopped at a listening station, picked up a set of headphones and decided to check out an unknown artist. I was blown away, to use a very common term, and have, ever since, been telling people about her. She's one of the best singers to give written words emotion they deserve. A wonderfully produced piece, this tribute piece is long deserved and succeeds to give us a taste of her music. Her version of "Fields of Gold", as well as renditions of other classics, some included in this piece,is simply breathtaking. Her last public performance, which is released later as a live album, is a must have. If you haven't discovered Eva Cassidy yet, thank Fred that it's now one click away.

Comment for "Bharati Mukherjee"

Review of Bharati Mukherjee

This piece is worth listening to because Bharati Mukherjee, besides being a wonderful writer, is very articulate and sophisticated in this conversation, as she always is. Listeners are treated with sections read by the author from previous books, and her writing process. As a Bengali, it is easier for me to relate to some of the cultural references she mentions or writes about, but non-Bengali readers and listeners will find no difficulty in understanding them. And please allow me to get one thing off my chest. I have yet to hear an English interviewer pronounce Ms. Mukherjee's first name right. Why not ask the author before the interview?

Comment for "Sneaker Fiend"

Review of Sneaker Fiend

An offbeat story of a man who claims to have gone through every emotion known to man when it came to collecting sneakers. His knowledge and love of sneakers, and the care he gives to maintain them is straightforward and unapologetic. And why not. After all, it's as legitimate as collecting anything else, really. If you think this story ends with him, wait till you meet his girlfriend.

Comment for "My Body My Temple"

Review of My Body My Temple

An emotional piece that captures the pain of being someone with breast cancer, and how accepting it is even harder to deal with. Opening the piece with the Spanish version of the poem 'My Body My Temple' is brilliant and very effective. Everyone should listen to it.

Comment for "Ursula Le Guin's Riff on Writing"

Review of Ursula Le Guin's Riff on Writing

In 2 short minutes author Ursula Le Guin shares with us, among a few other things, her writing style as well as her thoughts on plot and story.
I must admit I've never read any of her works, but it's being bookmarked now. A nice and compact piece.

Comment for "The Book"

Review of The Book

Sometimes a single voice is enough to create a rich soundscape. A good writer knows how to use certain words over others in telling us a story. Notice how Hans creates tension in the piece as the story builds to a crescendo. The piece does not have a single SFX, but I bet you'll recall that you've heard all the creaks, squeaks, footsteps, echoes and telehone rings. My favorite line in the story "'Help Me' was back by supper". If building tension wasn't enough, Hans ends the story with a bang... or so I thought I heard.

Comment for "Bridge Spitting"

Review of Bridge Spitting

One of those rare pieces where all elements of radio writing, narration, editing, and sound designing merge to tell a humorous story. Bill Palladino's writing is half of this piece's success. The other half is...Bill Palladino's narrating and editing skills. Of course this is a good example of "If it ain't on the page..." The story on paper was audio friendly even before it went in front of a microphone.

Comment for "Three Tales of Old Hollywood"

Review of Three Tales of Old Hollywood

Anyone who's loved watching cartoons growing up will love this piece. The title, however, may get listeners to think of it as a supplementary piece to recent Oscar news, it's anything but.
The piece is more of a collage of voices and faces behind famous characters of the cinema. For instance, Mel Blanc explains how he came up with the 'voice' for Bugs Bunny. There are revealing moments with William Holden, Walter Brennan, and the man who played Lincoln in D. W. Griffith's 'Birth of A Nation.'
Third part of the piece is a delight, quickly giving us sound clips of famous cartoon characters and the voices who'd brought them to life. The piece is good for broadcast any time of the year.

Comment for "A Short History of Music as a Weapon"

Review of A Short History of Music as a Weapon

This is audio narrative at its finest and worth 5 minutes of your time.

Comment for "Sounds Like Yesterday"

Review of Sounds Like Yesterday

An excellent piece of radio introducing us to Gene Leitner who grew up during the golden age of radio. As a child, Leitner marveled at the 'pictures' radio could paint for him and still finds the medium superior to others. Leitner eventually gets his own show in 1972, playing tapes of recorded old time radio plays, forms a radio drama enthusiasts club, and does re-creation of dramas that had once entertained him. There are some great moments in the piece where Leitner demonstrates how old time radio created sound effects by using simple props. He also recalls moments from one of his favorite radio series 'Lights Out' with excerpts played side by side his recount.
Funny how, in 1972, radio stations weren't keen on broadcasting radio drama, perceiving it 'dead' whereas college students and the younger generation were intrigued by the art form. 33 years later, the perception hasn't changed a bit. While Generation X and onward listen to radio drama and say "If that's radio drama, I like it", radio stations still shy away from the art form.
This piece, thankfully, inspires us to keep those radio plays coming.

Comment for "The Singing Yeast Cell"

Review of The Singing Yeast Cell

What an intriguing piece! Talk about science as the composer, or interpreter rather. Nano technology helps UCLA scientists listen to the 'music' created by yeast cells. The piece may inspire artists or musicians to create unusual rhythms or sounds. It may inspire other scientists to stop and listen to their experiments for a change. Every living being has a voice, some have unprecedented ways of expressing them. We just have to listen between the sounds. Great for educational purposes.

Comment for "Andrew Bird"

Review of Andrew Bird

A quiet piece of first person narrative by Andrew Bird, violinist and songwriter, about spending a period of time by himself to find his voice. He, as well as his music, speaks of that time away and the person he has become as a result.
Good use of music at the right moments.

Comment for "Andrew Manze, British Violinist Interviews"

Review of Andrew Manze, British Violinist Interviews

Candid phone conversation with violinist, Andrew Manze who talks about his entry into playing Baroque music from studying the Classics. He also discusses techniques, influences and how musicians interpret their own or other's music.
Quite different from violinists I've heard interviews with over the years, Manze is very articulate and open to different styles of music without being full of himself. He mentions the great Stephane Grappelli of the legendary "Hot Club of France" with Django Reinhardt, well known, among others, for his improvisational techniques. Manze too, as the conversation reveals, likes to improvise select passages during his performances.
Unfortunately, the piece doesn't give the listener a taste of his playing style. An excerpt or two of music would have been great.

Comment for "Tango!"

Review of Tango!

At 47, Robin Tara quits her job and follows her heart to New York, and later Argentina. She eventually realizes she could do more for Tango besides dancing to her favorite music.
And of course...there's Javier.
Inspiring piece that, once again, reminds us being passionate shouldn't end at 'being'. It can take us places we couldn't have dreamed of if we act on it, no matter what stage are we at in our lives. There's a reason they say "better late than never."

Comment for "The Real May Day"

Review of The Real May Day

In 2:55 minutes Dick Meister gives us a concise history of May Day, as well as the long struggle behind the realization of the 8 hour work day.
It's an important piece of history to know about. Give it a listen.

Comment for "Creative Business Leaders" (deleted)

Review of Creative Business Leaders (deleted)

A highly inspiring conversation among three creative personalities, Jim Clawson, Charles 'Chic' Thompson, and Michael Gelb, each established in his own right in the field of business. They share their thoughts and lessons learned in, amongst others, leading, strategic, independent and innovative thinking as well as their personal experiences.

The lessons one can learn, and certainly did I, from them is applicable to any profession, personality or organization. Business is just another medium.

The best part of this piece lies in the clarity and simplicity with which each guest was able to communicate their analogies and metaphors with the listener. The host provided just the right input during the whole program.

Simply put, this piece is a must for all programs or institutions to aid them in teaching/discussing creativity.

Comment for "Jerry Douglas: In his own words"

Review of Jerry Douglas: In his own words

Chances are you've heard his guitar playing on albums and tracks without knowing it is Jerry Douglas.
A master dobro player, Douglas has played with an enviable roster of musicians, one of very few who is equally adept as a studio musician as well as a live performer.
Then again, if you listen to country music this review and introduction is completely unnecessary.

Comment for "Chuck Campbell: In his own words"

Review of Chuck Campbell: In his own words

You won't quite know what Chuck Campbell is really playing by the sound of it until you look up close. A pedal steel guitar player with the Campbell Brothers, Chuck's guitar convincingly assumes the identity of several intruments, including re-creation of voices and everyday sounds, not because of the instrument itself, but the way he is able to interpret them.
His ability to do all of that while complimenting the songs is impressive in an age where flashy acrobatics around an instrument is considered an achievement.

Comment for "Hard to Say"

Review of Hard to Say

What a sweet, simple, and brilliant work of radio art! A piece this short that captures the essence of a man's life is worth praising. I'm sure the producer had a hard time deciding what to leave out. But I applaud the choices he made because they pluck the right heart strings. Great use of background sound and music.
Makes you want to pick up the phone and find out how's Ed doing these days, or simply tell someone "I'm thinking about you".

Comment for "Chasing Love"

Review of Chasing Love

I had the good fortune of being one of the first few to listen to this piece when Miguel presented it last year at Brooklyn College. I saw how everyone in the room sat silently the whole hour listening to the piece, smiling, laughing, and sometimes losing themselves in their own thoughts and memories.
Besides being a very polished production, it balances the different voices/personalities so well. It manages to delve into the topic of love from all possible aspects, and the dynamic of the piece is just right without being mushy. Good use of music, and that's important.
Great for broadcast at anytime of the year. Well done!

Comment for "You either surf or fight!" (deleted)

Review of You either surf or fight! (deleted)

I recently saw the 'Apocalypse Now:Redux", and it was like being in an opera. I know a lot of you will say, "This guy's nuts!".
But, please, hear me it with headphones on. If you only take this movie from a sound perspective, it is undoubtedly a masterpiece. All other elements combined, it's untouchable.
This piece made me laugh out loud. The Robert Duval sequences are one the funniest I've ever seen.
He should've won the Oscar for best supporting role that year.

Comment for "Revoking My Citizenship to iPod Nation"

Review of Revoking My Citizenship to iPod Nation

With this short, but successful, piece the author makes us realize..."We are gradually not listening one another, to our surroundings, and maybe even to ourselves".
The phenomenon is more apparent in a large city like New York. Makes you wonder if the iPod nation is emphasizing too much on the 'i'.

Comment for "On The Line: Union Actors In New York"

Review of On The Line: Union Actors In New York

You have seen actors standing in line to audition many times. You probably know someone who is trying hard to put together a show. Ever wonder what what they think about while about their profession? What makes them wake up everyday and deal with the lifestyle they've chosen?
This piece gives us a tiny, but intimate, glimpse of people who are on both sides of that audition table. Some of you will smile in recognition, some may rethink their decision about going into show business.
Kudos to those who keep on going.

Comment for "The Beatles In America - 1964 (Hour 2)" (deleted)

Review of The Beatles In America - 1964 (Hour 2) (deleted)

Well, the second hour is times two of everything I said about Hour 1 of this piece.
After listening to two hours of the piece I couldn't help but think "Wow, all of that happened in 1964 alone?"
I predict someone, in the near future, at a University proposing a new course on the Beatles. Unless there is one already.
Why not? Look at how they've shuffled all aspects of popular culture and media. Without coming off as a Beatlementalist, what would the world be like today if there were no Beatles? Besides their obvious influence on the musical landscape. 'Beatle Effect 101' anyone?

Comment for "RN Documentary: The Quest for Mechanical Man"

Review of RN Doumentary: The Quest for Mechanical Man

This piece has a lot of "I didn't know that" moments. The discussions and comments are thought provoking and very informative. Can mechanical beings really replace the flesh and blood humans no matter how well manufactured they are?
What requires more intelligence...playing chess or buttering a bread? Listen and find out.

Comment for "Here There is No Moon (U.S. version 26:37)"

Review of Here There is No Moon