200 words

JB's headshot for 200 words

JB meets a challenge to write 200 words inspired by each of the eight letters of an acronym – CLANGERS. 

It was a serious writing challenge with the strict discipline of sticking to 200 words. Mind you, I was always going to take the cynical, least literal approach because that’s how my mind works. 

I always write for audio nowadays, but I didn’t expect to produce such highly personal audio essays. There are heart-on-the-sleeve moments that took me by surprise. I had to think before I put them out there. 

Each piece has its own sound design and Foley; everything from a pistol that’s actually a Mole-grip to the sound of a single engined plane from the flying school near where I live. 

The acronym comprises: Connect, Learn, Be Active, Notice, Give Back, Eat well, Relax, and Sleep.

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The Lady and The Poet

Statue of Robert Burns

I’m delighted to share the next episode in an Ayrshire Trilogy by Jill Korn with JB’s sound design. The Lady and The Poet explores the relationship between Robert Burns the poet and Mrs Frances Dunlop through their letters.

“Canny Rab, to send his book to Frances Dunlop! She was weel-kent in Ayrshire society, and she it was who made sure his fame would quickly spread about the county and beyond.”

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High Spirits

high spirits, a play for radio by jill korn

Jill Korn’s audio drama High Spirits with sound design by John Boyd.

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An angelic fantasy tale set on a remote Scottish island. The bees have all left, apparently forever, and spring has not arrived. Everything is out of kilter and only Breagh, it seems, can put it right. High Spirits is about finding friendship and facing fear. “You’re a child of the air. Your job is to cross the barriers that separate the different elements in this world. Your job is telling stories, and bringing back harmony.”

People are starting to wonder what’s happening on the Isle of Donan when springtime fails to arrive. Added to which, a mysterious young woman has made her way back to the island after long years spent trying to escape its pull. What’s the connection?  

High Spirits is part of An Ayrshire Trilogy, three audio dramas which celebrate our rich history and culture. The Trilogy is supported by Creative Scotland.

Diane Brooks is nominated at One Voice.

Hearty congratulations to Diane Brooks.  Diane has been nominated at One Voice 2022 for the Award of Audio Drama Best Performance – Female.

Diane won the IVR Award at One Voice in 2019, and now she’s been nominated for her performance as Mrs Hunter in The Strathaven Weaver, the audio drama JB wrote and produced for By The Way.

One Voice recognises the skill of Voiceover Talent and Voice Actors in the UK.  JB says, “I was delighted to have a company of professional voice actors for The Strathaven Weaver.  Their skill and versatility are what bring a script to life and make it sparkle.  I’m thrilled for Diane, and maybe her success will spread the word about audio talent in Scotland.”

JB went on, “From a personal point of view, I never thought my name would even be on the same list as the people here, including some heroes. I’m fair chuffed.”

You can listen to the whole of The Strathaven Weaver here.

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. 

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© 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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