On a clear day, this view from Skye to the mainland would be majestic. No matter the rain, we were there to talk and listen. We were interviewing for a spoken portrait about an extraordinary life lived across continents and through war and civil strife. A profoundly moving, meaningful and rewarding project to work on.
It was so uplifting to hear about a happy wartime evacuation while interviewing for a 90th birthday spoken portrait. Two sisters with wonderful memories of seeing the Lakes for the first time, of croquet on the law, and loving hosts reading bedtime stories and helping with piano practice. Life-long friendships forged in just a few months.
These clips are taken from a 40 minute piece in which the subject recalls her childhood growing up during the war, her time studying fashion and working as a professional dress designer, and her early married life. We were commissioned to produce the portrait by her daughter, who thought it would be a lovely project for her mother to work on. Rather than attempt to cover all aspects of her mother’s life during those years, we decided to focus on two of her great passions and joys: food and fashion. She embraced the themes, and the whole family loved listening to the finished portrait.
Sir Bob Scott recalls his time as Managing Director of the Manchester Palace and Opera House.
The spoken ‘self-portrait’ is based on material from interviews with Bob at his home. The music is from the shows, ballets and operas that he talks about.
This short five minute clip contains extracts from the spoken portrait we produced for the London Sinfonietta, as a gift for their retiring Chair, founder of the Groucho Club Tony Mackintosh. The full 30 minute piece features past and present members of the Council, staff and players. Their recollections span key moments in the thirteen years that Tony was Chair and pay tribute to his huge contribution to the achievements of the London Sinfonietta.
We worked closely with the Chief Executive of the London Sinfonietta to map out key dates and events during Tony’s time as Chair, and identify suitable people to speak. The interviews were held at people’s homes and offices, and in one case in the auditorium of the Royal Festival Hall.
We added short excerpts from music performed by the London Sinfonietta with their kind permission. The pieces featured here are from Louis Andriessen’s Very Sharp Trumpet Sonata and Oliver Knussen’s Two Organa, Op. 27 (1994).
This 17 minute ‘spoken portrait’ of Margareta Holloway was commissioned by her children as an 80th birthday gift. It features nine of Margareta’s closest friends and family recalling different stages in her life, talking about their friendship and wishing her a happy birthday.
We worked closely with Margareta’s son Dan to map out key aspects of her life and identify suitable people to approach to speak. Dan chased down names and dates, gathered phone numbers and emails, and then contacted the interviewees to explain the project. We followed up with them directly to arrange a time to talk and give an idea of the kinds of things to be prepared to cover. We conducted all of the interviews by phone, including long-distance calls to Sweden and South Carolina, USA. The traditional folk songs are performed by one of the interviewees, Dave Houghton, and his group Flash Company.