The Programme

A poetic sanctuary within all our minds. The place we collect and cultivate memories, experiences and try to understand life. Stuart Russell explores this landscape, this brain garden.

Produced by Stuart Russell in association with Eyebrow Media.

Warning: This programme includes sensitive subjects that listeners may find distressing.


Final Edit

I am almost finished editing the programme. I sent my final draft to my executive producer who has suggested edit points that will tighten up the programme. Although it is pitched towards Resonance FM, he suggested I edit it down to 28'40" in line with BBC Radio Three, Between the Ears. Between the Ears has inspired me throughout the process of making this programme and it would also fit well with their creative target audience. It will also be good to challenge my abilities and prove I can edit to time.

My executive producer mentioned one part of my show needed more information added but I felt I wanted to keep this section mysterious. You don't know if M is real or if he is imaginary. Its an idea I used in my media photography module. I took images of taxidermy animals staring at their reflection in a museum. The idea that in death a being becomes an object, the way humans become memories, they are objects of our mind. I like this metaphor and the audience doesn't need to understand every part of the programme, its supposed to be variety and visions, strung together with sound, as if the listener is having an experience in a sensory deprivation tank. Saying that though my show certainly doesn't deprive the senses. It is cacophony.



I am making good progress with the programme. I got over the hurdle and I am close to completing the production. I think in hindsight I was very ambitious with my ideas and a team would have been beneficial to brainstorm sections of the programme and have help collecting all the elements needed, which are extensive.

It is very close to my initial vision. If I was to do it again though I would eliminate interviews all together and create pure sound with poetic narrative. I think the other voices do add something beautiful though. The show has this ethereal, otherworldly nature, which I enjoyed crafting with sound.

I just hope my executive producers understand the nature of it and enjoy being immersed in The Brain Garden.


Creative Block

I have hit a wall in production. It is review week and I have the first ten minutes of my show made. I am finding it hard to get beyond these ten minutes. I want the programme to have personal elements, where I am struggling is figuring out where and how to place other interviews.

I will ask what my executive producers think. I am becoming aware we are running out of time and I have two other classes to worry about. I feel time is not on my side.



I feel I am out of the slump I was in with  the lack of interviews. Its the first time in a long time I have really struggled to get people involved. Everyone told me my idea was exciting and interesting but no one wanted to be a part of it. It knocked my confidence.

I have collected a number of great interviews over the past few weeks and I have my SFX and actuality ready to edit together and work out the narrative flow. Its going good! 



I had this idea about pre-life, that we are the music of our parents. We are our parents lifestyles, influences and decisions before and whilst we are in the womb. I also spoke to Helen Driscoll who suggested there is a battle going on between parent and the baby in the womb. At this time of pregnancy, of connection and joy there is a serious fight for resources. It got me thinking, when do we begin the battle for survival and when do we stop, or do we stop?

Trees move in cycles or stages so I am also looking at human stages, splitting the show into six parts. I wrote a poem about the life cycle of a tree and my own life cycle as a human so far. I also mention those who didn't make it to see me at this stage. I think many people will relate to this air of life and loss. A circular narrative that we are bound into through no fault of our own. Did we choose to be? Or did we simply win the fight? Birth and life is winning the battle but is death not the war we rail against?



I am exploring sound effects and recording actuality. This project is turning into a very important collection. A collection of sounds and voices. I think very hard about each element and I hope it shows in the final production. The elements I hope to represent in sound are important. I am imagining life up until the fear of death. I want every part of the show to display artistic significance.



Question I hadn't thought about that came from my last post. What is your earliest memory? When does memory begin in The Brain Garden? Something to think about.