Thursday, March 8, 2012

One quick update

Norman Darlington forwarded this email from Stephen Gill:

SUNDAY, MARCH 11, 16:30 (G.M.T.), repeated SATURDAY, MARCH 17, 23:30 (G.M.T.)


In Japan, this becomes March 12 (Mon.), 01:30 and March 18 (Sun.), 08:30. Listen live here: or listen during the week at your own convenient time on the i-player here: . Go to the A-Z strip and see if the programme is there under N for ‘Narrow’ (or type ‘Narrow Road’ in the search box at top right). The 28-minute feature should be available on that site for listening for at least one week; maybe more.

The programme is about a recent visit to Tochigi, Fukushima and Miyagi prefectures in the north of Japan, tracing part of haiku poet Basho’s Oku no Hosomichi route as much as possible, but presenting a contemporary, hopefully somewhat poetic, account of the present situation there. I proposed this feature to the BBC back in April last year, but they took forever to commission it, which meant we had to travel at the coldest time of year. It was tough. Because of time constraints, the producer, Julian May, who escorted me with a microphone through Tohoku (a la ‘Sora’), has been putting the thing together without a bona fide script, although we did manage to agree on a rough running order of many of the takes. I could not write the script before we went, and was given no time to write it afterwards. In fact, I had to present ‘live’ in the field and come up with poems on the spur of the moment! Anyway, I did a lot of research before we left, so some classical Japanese haiku and tanka poems should be in there, too. I also interviewed and translated several contemporary Tohoku poets’ work. Fingers crossed that it works and that the wonderful people we met up there shine, even via their voice-overs! A great deal of material had to be left out, but has been 'archived' for possible future use. The BBC describe the programme thus... .

If you wish to donate money to a group that will use it well, might I suggest It's Not Just Mud , with whom Julian and I squeezed in a day of work. You can see some photos of the trip on my Facebook page: .

I hope you enjoy the programme.

Best regards,

Stephen (Tito)

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