Unsolicited advice on your unfinished creative work is one of the most common reactions you’ll ever receive. But it seems that no matter how many times you go through it, it always stings to hear someone offer their two cents on your latest draft. Especially if you’re only sharing it to air the work out and let off some steam after an uphill slog. So, what do you do when impulsive and often ignorant feedback pin you down?
When This American Life launched its groundbreaking show Serial in 2015, they chiseled into the relatively misunderstood medium all sorts of legitimacy and validation as both a storytelling and journalistic medium. Since then, we’ve watched the floodgates open and podcasters compete to fill the feeds with spoken word, interviews, music, theatre, book readings and inspired messages on every topic imaginable, from news to horror fiction to hip hop culture.
Alibi is a South African radio show by award-winning journalist Paul McNally. The story follows the case of a man who may have been wrongfully imprisoned for 18 years. The story, which begins in Johannesburg in 1994 and tracks the case to the present day, was originally aired in 2017 on SAFM over the course of eight weekly episodes.
Listen to an episode
Presented by: Freddy Mabitsela & Paul McNally
Additional production and music composed by: John Bartmann
Mixed by: Kutlwano Serame
Additional scripting by: Elna Schutz
Editorial help by: Tom McNally, Gavin Haynes and Kyla Herrmannsen
Editorial oversight by: Franz Kruger & Nooshin Erfani
Press and Awards
- We won The Vodacom Journalist of The Year Awards 2017 for Best Radio Feature
- Memeburn listed us as one of the top South African podcasts.
- The Irish Times listed us as one of the best new crime podcasts.
- TalkCentral featured us (around the 45 minute mark)
- Chai FM featured us for a full hour on their show Corruption Busters.
Ever watched a film where someone throws a beer bottle out of shot and the sound of it breaking just…isn’t how it would really sound? Or the overt ‘creaky doorness’ of a creaking door makes you laugh out loud? Sure, probably only audio editors would notice these moments. But in a radio drama or a podcast, the same sound effect in the same context would seem way more obvious and out of place. Why is that?
Somewhere Nice is a medium fast, royalty-free African podcast music track. Its Mood is gentle, calming, nostalgic and uplifting, while the Instrumentation includes electronic beat, plucked sounds, skin drums and shaker. My Suggested usage is for sentimental moments, sunset moments and travel memories.
West in Africa is a medium fast, royalty-free African podcast music track. Its Mood is upbeat, happy, uplifting and exciting, while the Instrumentation includes acoustic-guitar, skin-drums, hand-claps and woodblock. My Suggested usage is for childrens’ activity, festivity and team-building moments.
Writing the music for the podcast Alibi was a project that resonated very strongly with me early in the dialogue with the show’s multiple award-winning creator Paul McNally. The written material deals with a distinctly South African theme – injustice; one benefiting from another’s misfortune. Every day in South Africa, you’re presented with opportunities where you feel compelled to balance out this injustice of your own volition. The ongoing parade of unfortunate individuals begging at traffic lights, lying on the sides of the street and drinking their hopes away is a byproduct of a systematic, decades-long oppression that all South Africans feel, whether they want to or not.
Iyanetha is a slow, royalty-free African podcast music track. Its Mood is pensive, reminiscent, nostalgic and sad, while the Instrumentation includes marimba, plucked sounds, electronic beat and shakers. My Suggested usage is for travel memories, sentimental moments and rainy day moments.
Electro Swing New Generation 01 is an electro swing and dance music compilation album which was released in September 2017 on Wagram Music (Paris). The album was compiled by international DJ duo Bart and Baker and features the original track ‘Night and Day (ft Tamara Kesner)’ by our Cape Town future jazz band PRAVDA. The album also features tracks by progressive dance jazz luminaries Caravan Palace and Parov Stelar. We were very proud to have been considered and ultimately included in this fantastic collection of electronic swing jazz music.
Listen to the album
Track Credits: ‘Night and Day (ft Tamara Kesner)
Composition: John Bartmann
Production: John Bartmann, Django Flaherty, Zimasa Gysman
Mixed by: Ross Gabriel (Your Voice Productions), Django Flaherty
Mastering: Django Flaherty
Recording artists: John Bartmann (guitar, vocals), Tamara Kesner (vocals), Callan Wolff (double bass, keyboard), Gareth Harvey (trombone), Kolawole Gbolohan (trumpet)
Press and Awards
- South African podcast Tune Me What featured us on their online radio show
- Chicago blog After Retro featured us
- South African blog Underground Press featured us
- South African blog MusicMagSA featured us
I was commissioned by the theatre team behind Medieval comedy podcast The Saga of the European King to score some of the music for a live theatre presentation. The event was held at the ONCA Gallery as part of the Brighton Digital Festival and was funded by Arts Council England. The 5-minute piece was composed according to a brief by the clients describing the need for ‘an epic fight scene on the back of a dragon’. The mood transitions from a rallying war speech to epic action to melancholy denouement.
Listen to the recording
I’ve done a fair amount of music composition for the (zany!) creators of The Saga of the European King in the past, including a Will Smith rap song, film music composition and this jazzy film noir character sketch of ‘Detective GoGoGorilla’: