By The Way

JB is an audio producer crafting narrative documentaries, audio drama and podcasts in the heart of Perthshire; Scotland’s Big Tree Country.

The By The Way podcast is a sound-rich blend of true stories, extra information and unsolicited opinion from around Scotland. JB also produces high quality audio drama, either alone or with writing partners. If you like what you hear, why not get JB to collaborate on your project?

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Real Sound Effects

My trusty old Marantz digital recorder

I prefer to use real sound effects in my audio. I’m working on an audio drama set on a Scottish island, so a ferry trip when I went back to visit friends on the Isle of Arran was too good a chance to miss recording its noises.  Although my listener may never concentrate on the background sounds in a piece of audio, it’s still important for them to be genuine.  The subliminal effect of hearing actual sounds makes the audio much more believable.

Recording in public places presents some legal niceties.  Not least of which is, what is a public place. Still, I work on the basis of being discrete and not offending anyone. Secret Squirrel, OK? 

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Interview with Arran Sound.

Arran Sound logo

My interview with Arran Sound, the island’s community, internet radio station, was my first stop when I spilled off the ferry in Brodick on a recent visit to the Isle of Arran . Mhairi, who runs Arran Sound, asked me about my previous career, how I became interested in audio, recent and upcoming projects and more. Is my soul laid bare during an interview in the bar at the Douglas Hotel?

I was staying with friends for my visit to Arran, and hadn’t expected to be there for quite so long. The strength of the breeze is always something to consider for a November visit to Arran. A hoolie blew up and the ferry was stormbound for almost two days. Despite intending to stay only for a couple of nights, I stayed for four. I’m forever grateful for good friends. They’ll know who they are.

You can listen to the whole conversation of my interview with Arran Sound here:-

Mhairi and I also talked about my feature, “Gunner Graham” about a soldier of the Great War, which, appropriately for The Armistice Commemoration, was broadcast immediately following the interview in mid November 2021.

The Escort by Jill Korn

Alex's sparkly high heels

In The Escort by Jill Korn, Alex is The Escort. She believes an unscrupulous entrepreneur ordered unspeakable violence that shattered her family.  Will she succeed in exacting the revenge she is planning? The Escort is Jill Korn’s murder mystery and I’m delighted to be able to publish it because I created the sound design. I think we’ve produced an audio drama that stands comparison with anything you’ll hear. 

LISTEN TO “THE ESCORT” NOW
© Jill Korn 2021

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The Strathaven Weaver

The Boo-backit brig near the centre of Strathaven

James “Purlie” Wilson, the Strathaven Weaver, was a local leader of the Radical Movement seeking social reform in early 19th century Scotland. He was tried on trumped-up charges of treason and executed on Glasgow Green on 30 August, 1820. His ghost returns 40 years later to confront a doctor with his own demons.

The watercolour above is of the Boo-backit Brig, which features in The Strathaven Weaver. The watercolour was painted in the 1960s by local teacher and artist, Stewart Frame.

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The Selkie.

A Selkie holding her sea-skin.

The Selkie is a mythical sea creature of Scottish folklore. In the sea a Selkie is a seal, but when they occasionally come onshore they take the form of a beautiful woman. Men should be wary in case they are beguiled and end broken-hearted when a Selkie they’ve met returns to the sea. What surprise awaits my Selkie when she falls for a special man she meets on land?

It’s a challenge to record audio with other contributors in these plague straightened times. I hung my story on the Selkie legend and produced a solo drama combining faerie tale and love story.

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Galore!

Galore Audio Drama

I collaborated with Jill Korn to produce Galore! an audio drama inspired by the events in Compton Mackenzie’s 1947 book, “Whisky Galore” and the film made two years later.

Galore! is an audio drama. Jill Korn wrote and performed the words, which is challenge enough. I am her “partner in crime” and provided the sound design. It’s been a sustained project to build immersive soundscapes that transport our listener to the hotels, shores and hillsides of the Isle of Donan.

Socially distanced working has been a challenge. Even so we’ve achieved an audio drama that just works. I’ve had such a great time making this audio drama there will be more.

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Sparrows in the Buddleia

Buddleia bush by the River Ericht

The delight of hearing hundreds of wee speugs feasting, squabbling, socialising or whatever it was they were doing in the middle of a buddleia bush at the side of the River Ericht lifted my heart. I hope yours too.

Don Roberto and the Four Fathers.

I’m proud to claim Don Roberto among my relations. Robert Bontine Cunninghame Graham founded the Scottish National Party. He was a passionate advocate of independence for Scotland. His memorial at Gartmore is carved with the words “Famous author, traveller and horseman. Patriotic Scot and citizen of the world. He was a master of life – a king among men.” I really wish I’d met him.

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