As is often the way, when things get busy, my updates here have to take a bit of a ‘back seat’, which is unfortunate, but ultimately good, because it means that at some point, there’ll be something, hopefully of interest, to talk about.
September was quite an exceptional month, which saw 12 audio releases, including all 215 hours of The House of Niccolo by Dorothy Dunnett. I was recently asked to write an article for the Dorothy Dunnett Society quarterly magazine, Whispering Gallery, to give an idea of what my experience of recording the books had been. The magazine, along with some, if not all, of my article, is scheduled for a December publication date. At some point after publication, I will also post the article here. At around 4,000 words, I talk about the specific experience of the Niccolo books, but also take a slightly broader view of the whole process of audio performing. If the idea of a more ‘in depth’ posting sounds appealing, perhaps you might like to check back in and give it a read.
Last month was a bit odd in a way; a month of two halves, the first part taken up with extended audio book preparation and the second, with lots of intense prep, followed by the recording of two audio books in four days (!) and some audio drama, which concluded at the end of last week. I now have to prep another audio book, which is scheduled to record during the week of the 11th. I can’t give any more details away at the moment alas and for the usual reasons; there’s lots I’d love to mention, but will have to be patient and wait for official marketing to properly launch each individual production.
In the last posting, I said I’d come back to say more about the release of Barbarians by Stephen P. Kershaw. I think my intention was to reflect on how exacting non-fiction can be and how preparation can be even more time consuming than fiction. Of course, non-fiction, by definition, means that featured names and places actually exist, or did exist at some point and therefore, even greater care has to be taken to ensure they are pronounced authentically.
In the 9th April posting, I talked about the prep and recording of In The Closet Of TheVatican and how tricky it was to get personal and place names ‘right’. I have to say, it was just as time consuming and tricky to research the pronunciation of such personal and place names for A Certain Idea Of France, running at 35 hours - 19 minutes which, unsurprisingly, contained lots of French!
Articulating the vast array of names that featured in Barbarians was even more challenging. I am grateful to producer Neil Gardner, who contacted Dr. James Harland of the University of Tübingen, to help me with a written and spoken pronunciation guide - 30 A4 pages of names and places, all of which had to be assimilated and articulated fluently. I am also grateful to Susan Omand, who proof-listened to what I’d done and who highlighted any errors I’d made, so that I could go back to the studio and correct them. I haven’t heard either recording in full yet, though I fervently hope to be forgiven for any incorrect pronunciations that might have slipped through the net; we all did our very best!
And so, to wrap up for now; I’m not sure what might be released this month, though there’s a particularly exciting project in the pipeline which, after many months of work, might actually soon see the light of day. I’m certainly aware of a couple of releases scheduled for December - though we shall all have to wait and see!
In the meantime, I can’t publish a posting consisting only of massive blocks of text, so why don’t I just insert this fantastic image to appease - and tease...?