Saturday 25 July 2015

The Cut-Up Method: ‘The End of the Civilized World’

As a follow-up to my recent documentary for Radio 4, ‘Cutting Up the Cut-Up’, I have been working with Dan Shepherd of Farshoreline Productions  on an online supplement: ‘Cutcast Up-Pod’, which is currently available from Soundcloud. When editing the original programme Dan and I quickly discovered that we had recorded far more material than we could comfortably fit into a show that was scheduled to come in just shy of half an hour. This is quite often the case when making a radio show for the BBC. In this case, however, we found that we had accumulated a lot of really fascinating material on the audio cut-up process – Vicki Bennett, Lenka Clayton, Cassetteboy and Armando Iannucci all went into great detail about what kinds of methods to follow, which machines work best and what kind of material it is best to start with. Vicki Bennett and Armando Iannucci shared a passion for local radio news , while Lenka Clayton and Casstetteboy both demonstrated a more systematic and painstaking approach to cutting up words.  Editing the four speakers together, with an absolute minimum of scripted links, offers insightful information to anyone interested in developing their own cut-up skills. As William Burroughs always liked to remind us: ‘any number can play.’

'Cutcast Up-pod' – featuring additional material from Chris Morris and Negativland – is available here.

A short piece on the cut-up method I wrote for BBC News Online – also with online examples from Negativland and Chris Morris – is available here.

RIP Don Joyce (1944-2015) – ‘….then I feel so bad.’

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