THE BRITISH LIBRARY

Sound and vision blog

16 posts from September 2016

30 September 2016

Albert Spalding - American violinist

In a recent blog about swans, my colleague Cheryl Tipp used a recording of the famous work by Saint-Saëns, Le Cygne.  The work is normally played on the cello, but Cheryl found an arrangement for violin played by the American violinist Albert Spalding.  Along with Maud Powell (1867-1920), Spalding was one of the first American violinists to make recordings.  Powell made her first discs for Victor in 1904 while Spalding began to make his recordings a few years later for Edison.

Albert_Spalding_1911

Albert Spalding in 1911

Spalding was the son of James Walter Spalding who founded the famous sports goods company in the United States with his brother the baseball pitcher Albert Spalding.  The violinist, apparently named after his uncle, was born in Chicago in 1888.  He studied in Europe and made his Paris debut at the age of eighteen.  After serving in the First World War, Spalding had a career in the States, notably giving the premiere of Samuel Barber’s Violin Concerto in 1941 with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Charles Munch.  During the Second World War he served in London, North Africa and Naples where he gave a concert to stranded refugees.  Spalding retired in 1950 and died at the age of 64 in 1953.

Spalding recorded for Edison in the early years of the twentieth century on both cylinder and disc.  Many of the cylinder recordings (some of these are dubbings of diamond disc recordings) have been made available on line by the University of California Santa Barbara.  Below you can hear one of the recordings not featured in the Santa Barbara collection, a popular encore by Henri Wieniawski of the Scherzo-Tarantelle Op. 16 which was recorded in 1920 and dubbed from an Edison diamond disc. 

Spalding Scherzo Tarantelle

Dialects not only connect, they sometimes divide

Towards the end of the 1980s a close northern friend once confided in me his disappointment at being consistently overlooked for international honours in cricket and rugby due to perceived selectorial bias towards players based in the south of England. The fact he hadn’t played either sport for a recognised club since leaving school seemed irrelevant: there was a principle at stake. There are constant debates in sport about the relative likelihood of selection for national squads depending on which school or club a player represents, but until this week I hadn’t considered the possibility that quizzes might be anything other than geographically impartial.

As a fan of Only Connect I was intrigued this week to see a question which required contestants to predict the final element of a sequence given the following stimulus:

Only Connect Clue
The sequence required contestants to solve a mathematical and linguistic puzzle by recognising that a descending mathematical sequence of 2 to the power of the given number produced an answer supposedly homophonous with a synonym of the corresponding word or phrase:

23 = consumed (i.e. ‘eight = ate’)

22 = in favour of (i.e. ‘four = for’)

21 = also (i.e. ‘two = too’)

20 = was victorious in a quiz (i.e. ‘one = won’)

Only Connect Solution

The first problem here is that, for many speakers, eight and ate are not homophones. For most speakers in the UK eight rhymes with ‘gate’, but for many ate rhymes with ‘get’. Both words were included in the questionnaire of the Survey of English Dialects – a nationwide study of regional speech in England carried out in the 1950s and 1960s. For the vast majority of informants the simple past tense of the verb ‘to eat’ rhymed with ‘get’ and there are very few unambiguous examples of rhymes with ‘gate’. The only examples of an apparent past form rhyming with ‘gate’ were in places like Yorkshire, Lancashire, Devon and Cornwall where, historically, the local dialect makes no distinction between present and past tense – i.e. eat is unmarked for tense but is pronounced to rhyme with ‘gate’ regardless. This reflects a middle English vowel sound that survives in a small set of similar words – meat still occasionally sounds like an RP pronunciation of ‘mate’ in these dialects. Interestingly, despite only fleeting glimpses in this survey of ate rhyming with ‘gate’, we increasingly hear this pronunciation nowadays, presumably as a result of a pronunciation falling in line with spelling – a trend confirmed by data published in the Longman Pronunciation Dictionary (Wells, 2008:54). A similar process is happening with says so that, as with your pronunciation of ate, whether you pronounce says to rhyme with ‘fez’ or with ‘phase’ may reveal a good deal about your age.

Four and for and two and too indisputably rhyme in most varieties of British English (if we exclude for convenience the Scots preference for twa), but one and won present a similar problem. If you speak RP – the regionally neutral middle-class accent of England – you probably rhyme one with won and chances are if you’re from the south of England you will, too. If, like my sister-in-law, you come from Leeds you might also do so, but with a completely different vowel to the one used by RP speakers and southerners. For many speakers in the UK, however, one rhymes with ‘gone’ while won rhymes with ‘gun’. Data from the Survey of English Dialects suggests that one was almost universally rhymed with ‘gone’ in the north and Midlands, apart from a small pocket of West Yorkshire (cf. my sister-in-law’s pronunciation in Leeds) and the far north, where the dialect form yan competed with one.  In contrast, speakers in the south of England varied between a rhyme with ‘gone’ and a rhyme with ‘gun’ with the latter more common. According to a survey conducted for the Longman Pronunciation Dictionary roughly 70% of British English speakers favour a rhyme with ‘gone’ meaning that one and won are homophonous for a minority of speakers (Wells, 2008:563). Thankfully the captain of the team presented with this clue was a young RP speaker, but I wonder if contestants from the north (or older speakers) subconsciously struggled to make the connection between the mathematical and linguistic clues, as for them the link may not be immediately apparent for either the first or fourth item in the sequence (or both).

So my friend may have been deluded all those years ago about his chances of ever playing for England, but he might genuinely have a case to argue about his relative chances of winning TV quiz shows.  The British Library holds the entire set of recordings made for the Survey of English Dialects thus allowing researchers to explore and enjoy these fine distinctions between dialects.

Only Connect Series 12 Episode 12, Genealogists v Surrealists. 2016. BBC2. 26 September, 20.30.

29 September 2016

The future of radio: no. 2 - Matt Deegan

The British Library is working with the UK radio industry to develop a national radio archive and has invited experts from across the radio and music industry to consider what the future of radio might look like.

Matt Deegan, September 2016 (Photo by Paul Wilson)
Matt Deegan

Matt is the Creative Director of the new media and radio consultancy firm Folder Media. Prior to this Matt worked in the Strategy and Development department for the GWR Group and GCap Media (now Global Radio). In 2011, with James Cridland, he created the annual Next Radio conference.

The future of radio from an audience development perspective

The media sector has seen a huge amount of change as the world has become constantly connected with high performance devices in everyone's pockets. This change has meant that some new media has replaced old media, but devices and connectivity have also extended the amount of time that people have to consume all sorts of content, new and old. Some forms of media have been better at coping with this behavioural change than others.

The big transition the most successful media companies have made is in better understanding consumer behaviour and making sure the content they produce is what people want to consume, delivered in a way they want to consume it.

Many legacy media operators confused the historic barriers to entry in their sector with a belief that they were making the perfect product for their consumers. If there's only one TV channel, it'll likely have 90% reach. That doesn't mean that everyone likes it.

Radio's history has been littered with pronouncements that the medium will be replaced – by television, CDs, the iPod, the Internet, mobile devices – the list goes on. In the UK though, radio has stayed remarkably stable with around 90% of the country consuming some radio each week, around a billion hours of radio each week in total. If anything radio's consumption has seen increases over the past few years, not declines.

My personal take on this success is that radio has always been quick to evolve. From cat’s-whisker receivers to transistors under the bed, from in-car sets to radio being available on a Walkman, from being part of digital television to being on a Nokia mobile (next to Snake!), and of course in streamed form on desktop and mobile apps.

Radio has used this technological progression to consistently launch more content to better serve listeners. The few AM frequencies were supplemented by FM and now DAB, taking people's station choice from 5 to 20 to 70. Alongside this there’s been an explosion in specialist jukeboxes online and through mobile apps.

On form, radio has also changed, from only broadcasting live to most stations now providing seven-day catch-up alongside downloadable material in the form of podcasts. As a platform, radio is also an aggressive user of social media with stations running strong Facebook, Twitter and now Instagram and Snapchat accounts. Radio’s liveness means it's been quick to adopt Facebook Live and Periscope. The fact radio is based on sound without pictures has always meant that it can be fleet of foot, something that positions it well as it adopts and occupies any new platforms.

The internet has often been seen as the destroyer of legacy media, though I think this is often inaccurate. The internet has heavily affected newspapers by decimating their key income drivers: classifieds and job ads. Newspapers were the best way to deliver this content until websites did a much better job. US print revenues declined from $44.9 billion in 2003 to just $16.4 billion in 2014 – a devastating structural change to that industry. TV and Radio have fared much better through a more solid control of platforms and distribution. For television, their content has become more highly valued with the explosion of new platforms like Amazon Video and Netflix. For radio, the internet is still a small part of distribution with most listening still happening on broadcast radio receivers.

Perhaps the greatest risk to the future of radio is complacency. Radio stations are so used to being listened to on radio receivers that they are ignoring the fact that they are badly consumed on some other platforms, particularly mobile. This is where radio's co-option of platforms has started to look a little shaky.

Radio stations have essentially taken the approach of transferring their existing linear product: expanding it to cover more formats and shoving it on new things. Mobile, though, seems to be a little more resistant to the Today programme and Chris Moyles' charms.

While linear radio is certainly available on mobile devices, data collected from radio operators around the world has shown linear mobile listening has plateaued. Where audiences are increasing it is for the more interactive services – services like Pandora (the internet radio streaming service currently available in the US, Australia and New Zealand with plans to launch in the UK soon).

The mobile is a complex device that can do lots of things. You have a much wider choice of content types to allow a more specific, tailored experience. The games that you choose, the videos that you choose, are not the same as everyone else. A mobile does not have the limits on content choice that a broadcast device has, so the types of media and types of content are split a number of ways. For radio broadcasters – who tend to be in the mass, non-personalised business – this makes mobile less easily conquerable.

For broadcasters, on-demand and mobile are still a very small part of listeners' consumption, and broadcast has remained reliably resilient. There is still little sign of this particularly changing. It would be quite easy for broadcasters to ignore mobile/on-demand and still be very successful and I'm sure we'll see many operators do just that.

The question for the future is can radio remain aligned with consumers as differentiated format and programming demands continue to increase. Netflix, YouTube and iPlayer are training consumers to pick and choose, self-scheduling content that appeals to them. Radio needs to continue its journey by allowing listeners to pick and mix its product to continue to satisfy these needs.

Products like Capital Xtra's app have already started to do this, allowing listeners to skip tracks from its broadcast streams and replace them with songs and content consumers better like. To achieve this requires shifts in how content is created, stored and distributed. It also means that stations have to re-think the priority that they give to live and the primacy that the linear product has.

For radio, unlike other media, it's not about thinking mobile first – potentially that would be disastrous – as for the foreseeable future that would still represent a small part of its audience. The best approach will be to think about audiences and content first, and then the means of distribution second. What is the piece of content, who is it for, what job does it do, and then how is it distributed and marketed to listeners to encourage consumption? Considering audiences and content first allows any broadcaster to support multiple products for different audiences. This is what’s needed to ensure radio's future multi-platform success.


The views and opinions in these blog posts are those of their authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the British Library.


Other blogs in this series:

The future of radio: no. 1 - Charlie Phillips

The future of radio: no. 3 - Paul Bennun

The future of radio: no. 4 - Nicky Birch

Listen to a special British Library podcast discussion of The Future of Radio

 

28 September 2016

Anna Pavlova and the Swans of Abbotsbury

When it comes to dancing legends, the Russian prima ballerina Anna Pavlova (1881-1931) is up there with the best of them. Her unique style, infinite charm and forward-thinking attitude towards ballet cemented her place in the annals of classical dance.  

As with many ballerinas, swans played an important part in Pavlova’s repertoire. One of her most revered performances was The Dying Swan, a solo set to Saint-Saëns' Le Cygne and choreographed, at her request, by Michel Fokine. The piece was first performed by Pavlova in St Petersburg in 1905 and quickly became known as her signature role.

  Anna Pavlova The Dying Swan_Library of Congress

Photograph of Anna Pavlova in The Dying Swan, n.d., no photographer (retrieved from the Library of Congress)

Saint-Saëns' sombre composition symbolises the final moments of a dying swan, a scenario which lent itself well to ballet. Pavlova’s expressive technique, coupled with Fokine’s experimental nature, produced a dance that was full of emotion. As the dance critic André Levinson reported:

“Arms folded, on tiptoe, she dreamily and slowly circles the stage. By even, gliding motions of the hands, returning to the background from whence she emerged, she seems to strive toward the horizon, as though a moment more and she will fly—exploring the confines of space with her soul. The tension gradually relaxes and she sinks to earth, arms waving faintly as in pain. Then faltering with irregular steps toward the edge of the stage—leg bones quiver like the strings of a harp—by one swift forward-gliding motion of the right foot to earth, she sinks on the left knee—the aerial creature struggling against earthly bonds; and there, transfixed by pain, she dies.”

Le Cygne_Camile Saint-Saens

(Performed by the violinist Albert Spalding, 1914, Blue Amberol 28185, British Library reference 1CYL0001658) 

In preparation for the role, the ballerina apparently spent time observing the movements of swans found in the parks of her native St Petersburg. This desire to draw inspiration directly from nature was something that Pavlova carried with her throughout her career.

After performing with leading companies such as the Imperial Russian Ballet (Mariinsky Ballet) and Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballet Russes, Pavlova decided to form her own ballet company. The move gave the ballerina complete control over her performances as well as the freedom to choreograph and tour without restriction.

While preparing for her production of Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake, Pavlova turned once again to the natural world. The ballerina and her dancers travelled to the small Dorsetshire village of Abbotsbury to visit the only managed colony of Mute Swans in the world. First mentioned in the written record towards the end of the 14th Century, Abbotsbury Swannery is believed to have been formed by Benedictine monks three centuries earlier. With up to 1500 individuals descending on the swannery during the breeding season, the location was the perfect spot for Pavlova and her troupe to come and watch the comings and goings of these graceful birds.

Abbotsbury Swannery was the focus of Keeper of the Swans, a BBC Radio 4 programme broadcast on 17th March 1969which featured an in-depth interview with Fred Lexster, the man tasked with caring for the swans. Following in the footsteps of his ancestors, Lexster had been the swannery's official swanherd for over 50 years and had many a tale to tell. When quizzed about famous visitors, Lexster spoke of encounters with luminaries such as Sir Thomas Lipton, George Bernard Shaw, Augustus John and, of course, Anna Pavlova:

Anna Pavlova visit

Pavlova tragically died in 1931, at just 49 years of age, yet her legacy as one of the most captivating and influential ballerinas lives on to this day. Soon after the Second World War, members of the Continental Ballet came to the swannery to perform a piece from Swan Lake in memory of the legendary Pavlova. Lexster had been instrumental in securing the visit so, when the necessary publicity had been concluded, the company's director, Molly Lake, invited the old swanherd to dance with her swans:

Fred Lexster dancing with the ballerinas

When the pioneering wildlife sound recordist Ludwig Koch came to Abbotsbury to record the vocalisations of the Mute Swan, he too was struck by their courtship dance:

“I left Abbotsbury towards the end of May with an unforgettable memory of two swans dancing round and round in the Fleet estuary. Their grace is unique among creatures, and I can understand the immortal Pavlova’s fondness for watching swans at Abbotsbury.”

Despite performing the piece over 4,000 times around the world, very little footage of Pavlova dancing The Dying Swan survives. In the brief segment that remains however, one can perhaps see traces of the swans that so fascinated this most fascinating of ballerinas.

26 September 2016

The future of radio: no. 1 - Charlie Phillips

The British Library is working with the UK radio industry to develop a national radio archive and has invited experts from across the radio and music industry to consider what the future of radio might look like. 

Charlie Phillips
Charlie Phillips

Charlie is the Head of Legal and Commercial Affairs for the Association of Independent Music (AIM) in the UK and the Worldwide Independent Network of music companies globally. He was formerly Music Manager for Napster UK and Head of Music for Capital Radio’s DAB stations.

The future of radio from the independent music sector's perspective

Today there’s so much choice for listeners and music fans, both from multiple ways to access music, and from other pulls on our entertainment and leisure time outside of music. Radio listening has declined over the last few years, but overall use of music has grown hugely. So radio has a challenge ahead if it’s to stay relevant.

From the independent sector’s perspective, indie record labels love radio. We are very supportive of all broadcasters, with a particular relationship having developed with the BBC. However there are always concerns over access to playlisting and actually getting music on air. This is becoming more transparent, and AIM has helped develop relationships with the indie sector and the BBC and other broadcasters over several years. But it’s still a crowded place with only so many hours in the day for radio to be able to fill with music. Concerns about the proportion of independent music that makes it onto radio is a permanent agenda point in AIM’s work with its members.

So what does the changing music landscape mean for the future of radio? As the amount of music released increases, the challenge radio faces to ensure the ‘best’ music gets airplay will only get harder. Some radio stations are broadening out their services and launching narrower, more focussed, stations, for example Absolute Radio’s ‘decade’ stations on DAB. But by doing so the audience for each station may decrease, perhaps moving away from flagship stations. Is there a paradox in offering a range of services that risk taking audience away from ‘flagship’ stations?

Indies are concerned that commercial radio is under more pressure than ever to deliver audiences to satisfy ‘mainstream’ corporate advertisers and sponsors. This seems to have narrowed the playlists of many commercial stations (although not all), and has led to access only being available to those with the capacity to support high level plugging and media campaigns for obviously mainstream, ‘commercial’ music.

Access to radio is easier for the larger labels with deeper pockets, who tend to champion more mainstream music. Airplay can be harder to achieve for many indies, and especially those who produce more specialist music. Mainstream music is an expensive and crowded place, with a lot of very large players chasing the next big airplay hit.

Most independent labels are not so focused on the mainstream but more interested in seeing choice and discovery develop, such that traditional radio can happily exist alongside today’s very broad on-demand digital music services. If narrowing of playlists is happening, this means narrowing of choice and discovery for listeners, and this in turn means a less attractive radio offering, and perhaps fewer listeners listening for less time. This can’t be good for radio, audiences or music producers. Add to this the fact that streaming services offer almost the opposite experience (access to millions of tracks whenever you want rather than linear programming) and you have a situation where many indies are thriving on streaming services and have in some cases left ‘traditional’ radio behind.

From a purely commercial perspective, the successes of collective licensing organisations like PPL in the UK and its counterparts overseas in extracting real value from broadcasters’ use of music is very much something to applaud. In fact in most years since 2000, global revenues from performance rights as a whole (including broadcast and public performance together) have seen double-digit growth year on year, according to IFPI figures.

Broadcast usage of music is now a key revenue stream for music companies, and when independent labels do achieve airplay, the financial rewards can be significant. The downside is, as mentioned already, that bigger players are able to deploy significant resources to achieve and sustain airplay of their repertoire, which smaller players are less capable of doing. As a result, the bigger players go on to take the lion’s share of the available licensing revenues.

To ensure future sustainability of audiences, radio will need to work with music companies to manage music selection carefully, in order to prevent stagnation and ‘copy paste’ music programming policies which favour bigger players, and which may risk turning audiences off. Radio needs to remain fresh and exciting, and the independent sector is the home of the freshest and most exciting music around.

Looking ahead to the future, radio will have to deal with a number of challenges. Radio is not set to disappear any time soon, but it will need to change to keep up with a very fast moving digital marketplace. Developing offerings to compete with the breadth of other music and non-music services will be critical. Ensuring music programming is relevant and not too narrowly focused will also be essential, to allow for competitive differentiation as well as a fresh and interesting offerings to serve and maintain audiences, and in turn to enthuse advertisers and sponsors.

Radio needs to recognise that there are commercial drivers on the music industry producing the music they play. This requires radio to be vigilant and attentive to ensure broadcasters are doing all they can to find the best music, rather than favour what is directly offered to them. This is happening, and there’s cause for optimism as the industry develops better relationships with radio, be that through AIM for the indies, or on an individual basis.

The question of ensuring enough independent repertoire makes it onto radio is not set to disappear any time soon. The independent music sector is keen to keep working with the radio industry to develop this, and hope that the future of radio, whatever this looks like, will bring increased opportunities for independent music. This will be the best outcome for listeners, broadcasters and producers of music.


The views and opinions in these blog posts are those of their authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the British Library.


Other blogs in this series:

The future of radio: no. 2 - Matt Deegan

The future of radio: no. 3 - Paul Bennun

The future of radio: no. 4 - Nicky Birch

Listen to a special British Library podcast discussion of The Future of Radio

 

Recording of the Week returns!

After a bit of a career break, Recording of the Week returns to the Sound and Vision blog! Every fortnight we'll be shining the spotlight on some of our most treasured recordings, from poets to politics and everything in between. Specially selected by experts from across the sound archive, these recordings will offer tantalising glimpses into a much larger collection of over six million items

We'll be keeping these selections short and sweet so, without further ado, let's kick off the new season with some singing steel, courtesy of National Life Stories interviewer Paul Merchant.

Metallurgist Sir Harry Bhadeshia tells the story of a steel that cried out. Its crystals sang as they formed themselves into the shapes that make 'Super Bainite' the strongest armour in the world.

Sir Harry Bhadeshia and the Crying Steel - Voices of Science

Harry Bhadeshia_021I-C1379X0100XX-0001M0

You can hear more stories about environmental science, British technology and engineering from 1940 to the present day by visiting the brilliant Voices of Science website.

Follow @BL_OralHistory and @soundarchive on Twitter for all the latest news.

23 September 2016

Europeana Sounds second editathon!

As part of our Europeana Sounds project we will be holding our second wildlife sounds editathon at the British Library between 10am and 4pm on Saturday the 8th October.  Join us on a sound safari, as we explore the sound holdings on African wildlife.

Sound safari

Europeana Sounds is a three year European funded project, coordinated by the British Library. As part of the project we are aggregating over half a million audio recordings into Europeana and have been working on licensing and enrichment and participation, which includes smaller crowdsourcing projects.

The editathon enables participants to work with our African and British Wildlife sounds collections to expand Wikipedia and enrich existing pages. Whether you’re a fan of editing Wikipedia, have a passion for sounds, or would like to know more about our collections, come along and spend the day with the Europeana Sounds team. There will be Wikimedians available throughout the day for hands on training so if you’ve never edited before, now would be an ideal time to come and learn how it’s done. If you have previous experience of editing, bring your headphones and listen to some of our wonderful collection whilst improving Wikipedia.

The full event details are available on our project website, and the sign up page can be found here. We just need you to your laptop, headphones and enthusiasm and we’ll provide the rest (including lunch!).

Workshop Programme:

10.00-10.30 Arrival and welcome coffee. Log on and computer checks.

10.30-10.45 Introduction to the British Library and an introduction to Europeana Sounds.

10.45-11.00 Introductions to British Library Sounds and Wildlife collection from curator Cheryl Tipp

11.00-11.15 Introduction to Wikimedia

11.15-12.45 Hands on session editing Wikipedia and training available throughout.

12.45-13.00 Recap and sharing

13.00-14.00 Lunch

14.00-15.45 Edits continue

15.45-16.00 Recap of the day and work done

16.00 End!

If you have any further questions or would like to know more please contact Laura Miles: laura.miles@bl.uk

22 September 2016

The Future of Radio - a special British Library podcast

Where are the current trends in radio and online audio leading to? What will radio be, and what might it sound (and look) like in its 2022 centenary year and beyond? Some leading figures in UK radio today, with very different perspectives, came together at the invitation of the British Library, for a discussion on the future of radio. These are issues of importance not only to the industry, but to the Library which is planning to increase the amount of radio that it archives.

Find out what they had to say about radio today and tomorrow in this special podcast:

While one strand of our Save our Sounds programme is concerned with preservation of our existing sound collections - the sounds of the past - other strands  are addressing the sounds of today and tomorrow. One of these has the objective of a more extensive, representative record of radio broadcasting around the UK.

Future of Radio session. Photo by Paul Wilson

Recording the Future of Radio podcast. L/R Femi Adeyemi, Matt Deegan, Helen Boaden, Miranda Sawyer, Ruth Barnes.

Incredibly, despite the fact that recording, storing and sharing of digital audio has never been easier or cheaper, over 90% of the UK's radio output today, from as many as 700 licensed stations, is not being permanently archived and may never become available for study or research unless action is taken. Next year, the Library therefore plans to implement the first stages of a pilot project aimed at assembling the equipment, technology and processes which should finally allow us to record radio output selectively from all sectors of the radio industry and from all corners of the UK.

But what to record, and why? Today the radio industry is once again in a period of transition, with a host of new digital audio platforms and playback devices, and some very different approaches to programming and live broadcasting emerging.

Allanah Chance and Nicky Birch at the Future of Radio session. Photo by Paul Wilson
Producers Allanah Chance (L) and Nicky Birch (R). Nicky is working with the British Library on its study into the future of radio.

Our podcast launches a debate on where radio is going, and how we keep it. The participants are leading podcaster and broadcaster Ruth Barnes as chair, and a panel comprising Matt Deegan (Creative Director of Folder Media and co-founder of the Next Radio conference), Helen Boaden (Director of BBC Radio), Femi Adeyemi (founder of Internet station NTS) and journalist and broadcaster Miranda Sawyer. 

The podcast will be followed by a series of blog posts presenting individual specialist opinions on where radio is going, published to coincide with the Radio Festival, which is taking place again at the British Library on 26 September.

Please listen, and tell us what you think about radio's future - and archiving that future - through the Comment link at the head or end of this post.