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Thread: Roger Wright talks to Mark Damazer at St Peter's College, 15 Oct 2012

  1. #31
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    The first few minutes are a bit dire, and it is worth listening further - use the fast foward button!

    Russ

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Russ View Post
    The first few minutes are a bit dire, and it is worth listening further - use the fast foward button!

    Russ
    Thanks Russ, I will .
    "What day is it ?" asked Pooh.
    " It's Today", squeaked Piglet.
    " My favourite day", said Pooh.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Russ View Post
    Be careful, ff. My reading of those style markers, and yes, they were interesting, was that it betrayed far more of Damazer's own agenda as R4 Controller than it did of any association to the perceived views or stance of the body calling itself 'FoR3'.
    I find it hard to think that Damazer would be unaware of those references betraying something about what he was saying. I'm not sure that he would have wanted to convey the message you read into it. Radio 4 broadcasting 'speechy stuff'? And since he was clearly knocking FoR3 in the rest of what he said ...
    On which subject, whilst I fully understand the distinction between the positions being taken by 'FoR3' and the views expressed by individuals on this forum, it is not clear how the processes of 'FoR3' operate and how its positions are arrived at, so in a sense it is not surprising that Mark Damazer or his informants could have become misinformed or at least very confused.
    Well, I'm not sure that it's any more arcane than, say, Voice of the Listener and Viewer ...

    I think Roger captured it quite well when he said: "... some of the feedback that I get from some members of that particular group will say it’s wonderful for example that tonight we kick-off a 30-part series on the Anglo-Saxons. Now, could that exist on Radio 4? Possibly it could. Are those members of the Friends of Radio 3 very happy that Radio 3 is doing that? Absolutely, because it plays to the heritage of the Third Programme."

    The general mix of what Radio 3 does isn't hugely different from Third Programme days, except in having less speech/spoken arts programming, on which our consistent approach would be that that's a pity. Jazz goes back to Third Programme days and world music was reflected pre-'world music' in global traditions. Current affairs and politics moved to Radio 4 with the arrival of generic broadcasting.

    Like the Third Programme - again consistently - the line would be that whatever Radio 3 broadcasts, it treats it in a different way from how any other station would treat it: more seriously, more depth, and satisfying the audiences who have a particular enthusiasm for that genre, whether drama, jazz, classical music, world music. And that's where the problem arises with classical music when the strategy changes to target a lighter audience. It would be (is?) the same with jazz listeners if - to use Roger's example - it was no longer distinct from Radio 2's coverage (and cutting the output or marginalising it in the schedule is again a problem). And we've several times on the old boards tried to describe what we mean by a 'Radio 4 play' and a 'Radio 3 play'.

    The main research work is finding out what the BBC's up to - and why! The main aim is to check the BBC's arts and cultural programming and its intellectual standards, funding, hours of output.

    What we've found is that a lot of people 'out there', without coming to meetings or receiving briefings, instinctively understand that consistent approach; it's what they want; and they contact us with examples which show that they share the same 'values'. That's the only explanation I can find for the sudden sharp rise in support following the September 2011 changes.

  4. #34
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    Gets really interesting about 25-ish minutes in

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    Quote Originally Posted by DracoM View Post
    What surprised me about the remarks about the Friends and The Radio 3 Forum was that an ex-DG was so wildly ill-informed, and I began to wonder why. It struck me that maybe that was how these bodies had been characterised TO him by various R3 apparatchiks, because they were so manifestly wide of the mark I did not want to think that they had come from his own imperfect and clearly prejudiced take on the forums.

    What always amazes me about THIS forum is that any one contributor has views / awareness and in many cases depths of knowledge across a whole spectrum of music, that the BBB diet is by no means the core awareness at all, that world music, LJ, Jazz, choral music, opera et al all have both their individual adherents as well as a number of followers with astonishingly catholic tastes. Such an idea seems not to have either occurred to the Master of St Peter's, or shows how badly and prejudicedly he had been briefed by clearly ill-informed or mischievous underlings with their own agenda at his time at the BBC all clearly seeking to shape the DG's decisions/ concerns.

    I sincerely hope that he is swiftly disabused of his warped and plain factually inaccurate opinions.
    Totally agree - except that I'm less amazed at the breadth and depth of knowledge we find here, and the willingness to share it. It's just - well, should be - the spiritus loci, right?

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    I thought Damazer came over very poorly, not just in the fatuous questions which opened the interview and the misinformed attack on FoR3, but in his rather smug manner, almost treating the discussion as a mutual backslapping exercise between two of the great and the good. He gave the impression of someone who rarely listened to R3 and knew little of it or its listeners (most of the discussion focussed on the Proms rather than R3). RW by contrast equipped himself reasonably well, making some good points. There were a couple of instances where I wish he had been challenged, though: one, where he seemed to claim (if I heard correctly) that 57% of R3's music output was live - he must have included recorded live in that figure; and the other, where he expanded on his enthusiasm for the detail of programming concerts, the way a concert was put together. If he is so enthusiastic about this when it comes to the Proms, why is he not bothered about the way R3 is chopping up recorded concerts for rebroadcast as it is doing in many lunchtime concerts and also for Ao3?

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    Quote Originally Posted by aeolium View Post
    There were a couple of instances where I wish he had been challenged, though: one, where he seemed to claim (if I heard correctly) that 57% of R3's music output was live - he must have included recorded live in that figure
    Yes, it's the 'live or specially recorded' figure. And it wasn't the highest ever - it was 58% not many years ago .

    Also, I think Damazer misguided on one question (that one?). I'm sure the woman asked about live recorded concerts/music and mentioned the archive. I thought she meant legendary performances from the R3 archive (if it exists). If she did mean that, RW avoided the question by following Damazer's steer about live broadcasts.
    and the other, where he expanded on his enthusiasm for the detail of programming concerts, the way a concert was put together. If he is so enthusiastic about this when it comes to the Proms, why is he not bothered about the way R3 is chopping up recorded concerts for rebroadcast as it is doing in many lunchtime concerts and also for Ao3?
    This is where he often manages to escape because his questioner/interviewer doesn't know the facts and isn't familiar with the schedule.

  8. #38
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    Dracs - I accept the general thrust of what you describe in attempting to portray the views of people who 'share the values of FoR3', and please don't misunderstand me, it is highly unlikely I would diverge from them, but I know how difficult the process of hammering out consensus positions can be, if only in an attempt to prevent individuals of a group talking off-message, and it sounds to me that the process of formulating and promulgating FoR3 positions and responses is remarkably vague.

    The nub of this matter concerning us here is that, whilst Roger Wright was fortunately in a position on this occasion to rebuff Mark Damazer's opening stance, the bottom line for us is that an influential character like Mark Damazer developed or obtained that (clearly long-established) stance from somewhere; moreover, it is likely there is a whole bunch of people who also hold or align with Damazer's perception: if the 'FoR3' position is to remain illusive, or under the radar, or entrusted only to a few lieutenants of a secret enclave, then realistically what grounds have we, whether official members of FoR3 or otherwise, got for publicising a corrective view?

    Who, for example, is qualified to respond to news of the talk on the About the BBC blog?

    Russ

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Russ View Post
    Who, for example, is qualified to respond to news of the talk on the About the BBC blog?
    Well spotted, Russ.

    I think I'll leave it to Roger - by posting the transcript of what Damazer said and what he replied.

    With a link to this thread?

    Hmmm ... premoderation in operation
    Last edited by french frank; 02-11-12 at 22:06.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Russ View Post
    The nub of this matter concerning us here is that, whilst Roger Wright was fortunately in a position on this occasion to rebuff Mark Damazer's opening stance, the bottom line for us is that an influential character like Mark Damazer developed or obtained that (clearly long-established) stance from somewhere; moreover, it is likely there is a whole bunch of people who also hold or align with Damazer's perception: if the 'FoR3' position is to remain illusive, or under the radar, or entrusted only to a few lieutenants of a secret enclave, then realistically what grounds have we, whether official members of FoR3 or otherwise, got for publicising a corrective view?
    Russ

    It's a difficult one. There have over the past few years been some very strange stories appearing in the press, a lot of them. I can't fathom out where they originate. People - like Damazer - seem very sure of their ground. I just tracked down a comment from Ed Baxter of Resonance (in the Guardian), saying he imagined we would be delighted that Late Junction had been cut and Mixing It axed. Why? Mixing It we clearly had down as one of the twin prongs of contemporary/experimental music on Radio 3 (the other being Hear and Now) and we hold no 'view' on Late Junction because some people are enthusiasts, some aren't.

    In another article it was implied that we had made a 'public outcry' (where?) when Jonny Greenwood was appointed Composer in Association to the BBC Concert Orchestra. Why? We said nothing - in fact the journalist had put the suggestion to RW and he'd doubted it, but it still got into the paper (The Telegraph). We were set up by an Independent journalist who had a particular angle he wanted about a jazz programme. He got in touch with us to 'help him with a story' and the story ended up accusing us of complaining about the jazz programme - which until he told us we knew nothing about.

    I could go on. But that's one reason why we steer clear of the press. Yet when I wrote a piece for the Guardian music blog, by far the majority of comments were in favour of what I wrote.

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