Friday, 30 December 2011

Supermarket Symphony - A 'Guardian' radio moment of 2011

Time to celebrate  - Elisabeth Mahoney has selected 'Supermarket Symphony' as one of her Radio Moments of 2011 - What an honour;

Here's a link:

At present the feature isn't available to listen to online, however you can hear the Aisle Tango section I composed on my website here:

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Supermarket Symphony Review by Elisabeth Mahoney - The Guardian

Supermarket Symphony (Radio 4, Friday) was one of those transfixing radio experiences. Nina Perry's composed feature about the hidden beauty and rhythms of a supermarket was a delightful, life-affirming half-hour.
It felt a bit like a Between the Ears programme in its use of haunting music to amplify its themes, but also Lives in a Landscape with accompaniment on cello, violin and viola. Somehow, it wasn't patronising to the people whose stories it lighted upon, and it didn't feel self-indulgent for a moment.
The reason for that was a deft blend of supermarket characters who were both ordinary and absolutely extraordinary. They spoke of the mundane routines ("then I do chocolates and chewing gum") but also the theatricality of opening up the shop, and performing to customers. Julie, at her till and cackling through fleeting banter, recalled one couple saying, "You've made us feel so good we're going to go home and make love".
Michael, a 75-year-old working on the cheese counter, remembered a customer buying dolcelatte and giving it back to him as a birthday present. "Out of the blue he did this for me," he said, close to tears.
This original and hugely moving take on a part of modern life that's often derided as soulless was full of such moments: soaring, surprising and enriching.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Supermarket Symphony on BBC R4 Friday 8th July 11am - Previews

Supermarket Symphony

Friday 08 July 
11:00am - 
BBC Radio 4
The sounds of beeping scanners, clattering trolleys and electronic sliding doors combine with orchestral strings and the musings of customers and staff in Nina Perry's engaging exploration of life at a supermarket over the course of one day. Perry has caught a number of colourful characters on tape, from Father Pat Brown, who likes to see his weekly shopping trip as a chance to commune with his congregation, to cashier Julie, who greets life's little inequities with a cheery smile. But the best of the bunch has to be Michael, a theatrical 75-year-old who mans the cheese counter, and who compares his work to the experience of having dinner with Miss World and meeting the Queen. His tale of the young man and the dolcelatte will melt your heart .

Radio Times reviewer - David Crawford

Saturday Mail:

'This oddly charming programme turns the sounds of a supermarket into a work of audio art. The crash of trolleys and the noises of the checkout are woven into a tango, while the beep-beep of the scanners provides a backdrop to the stories of the staff and customers' Susan Jeffreys

Supermarket Symphony on BBC Radio 4 Friday 8th July 11am

Nina Perry's composed feature 'Supermarket Symphony' reveals the beauty, musicality and personal stories found in supermarkets over a day. Specially composed music and the sounds of the supermarket are interwoven with some of the human encounters to be discovered along with the weekly shop.
Amongst stories and rituals of shoppers and supermarket workers, we hear from Michael, a theatrical cheese counter assistant, who now in his 70's reveals his many past lives, and the happiness he finds serving people with cheese; Father Pat, a priest who enjoys the chance to connect with his local community whilst wheeling his trolley down the aisles and Julie who works on the tills, and has a gift for turning a frown into laughter.
Produced by Nina Perry
A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Music Recording and final mix

Before Easter I recorded the music I've composed with the superb musicians Oli Langford (violin and viola) and Danny Keane (cello). I then hot footed it to the final mix with Peregrine Andrews (Moving Air).. I think we're nearly done!

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Oliver Harrison helping with sound design

Oliver Harrison is helping out with sound design he's busy creating some loops and moments of beauty from the sounds recorded in supermarkets.

here's a link to his myspace site

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Shelf Life

Currently reading 'Shelf life' by Simon Parke - 'A vicar for 20 yrs, Simon Parke called time on his dog collar to work in a supermarket... A hilarious shopumentary of the highs and lows of retail - dedicated to anyone who loves life and hopes for more, no matter they find themselves'

I found 'life on the tills' a little sardonic, useful as an overview, but not much warmth for humankind! perhaps 'Shelf life' will be more rounded.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

A life on the tills

Currently reading 'Checkout - a life on the tills' by Anna Sam who spent 8 yrs as a checkout girl. 'a witty look at what it's really like to work in a supermarket..'

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Together Sounding

The word Symphony derives from the greek words 'Sym' meaning together and 'phony' meaning sounding....

And I'm thinking about form both symphonic and sonata:

Can this be used as a structure for a radio feature?

Lost in the supermarket

When I told my friend Matt I was doing a piece on the musicality of supermarkets he recommended this song by The Clash - later echoed by Geoff as we meandered around the aisles searching for inspiration. Probably not part of the symphony, but food for thought "I came in here for a special offer, guaranteed personality"