Studio 360 brings you stories created by some of the best independent radio producers in the country. Here are some of the people whose extraordinary stories you hear most often.
Peter Crimmins used to tinker with electronics as a child. He would take radios apart and figure out the schema of capacitors and transistors. He never figured out how to put them back together, so he became a radio producer rather than an electrical engineer. Peter became senior producer of Ben Manilla Productions, in San Francisco, and made programming for public radio, commerical radio, and corporate projects. Since becoming an independent producer, he has reported from England, Spain, Tijuana, Philadelphia, and New York. In addition to Studio 360, his stories have aired on Weekend America and Marketplace. He is a part-time news reporter at WHYY, in Philadelphia. His long-awaited film project may never be completed, but it's great. You'll see.
West Virginian Trey Kay came to New York to pursue acting, writing, and music. This led him to create and host The Natural Coffeehouse Radio Hour, channeling a Garrison Keillor-like character, for New York's WBAI. A Studio 360 contributor since the program launched, Trey has delighted in interviewing many of his heroes -- Edward Albee, Tom Waits, Sharon Olds, Spalding Gray, Diamanda Galas, Willie Nelson and Billy Joe Shaver. One of his stories was featured in Studio 360's Peabody Award-winning hour "American Icons: Moby Dick." Trey has also reported for WNYC's Morning Edition, Day to Day, Weekend America, Marketplace, The Next Big Thing, Osgood Files and PBS's Frontline. He sings and plays guitar in the band Uncle Moon.
Sarah Lilley grew up in Philadelphia and spent most of fourth grade under the covers listening to CBS Radio Mystery Theater. Graduating with a degree in Music from U.C. Berkeley, she moved to New York in 1990 and over the following decade worked at the American Composers Orchestra, Bang on a Can, Nonesuch Records, and RCA Victor. A regular contributor to Studio 360 since 2002, she is the consulting producer for our series on Science & Creativity. She also creates museum audio tours for Acoustiguide.
Jonathan Mitchell has spent his career looking for new ways of using musical ideas in narratives, exploring the potential of the recording studio, and expanding the vocabulary of storytelling on the radio. He studied music composition at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and at Mills College. He has been contributing to Studio 360 since 2001, and he was part of the team that produced the Peabody Award-winning program "American Icons: Moby-Dick." Jonathan has also worked with and contributed to WNYC's Radiolab, All Things Considered, Marketplace, Living on Earth, Fair Game, Beyond Computers, and Loose Leaf Book Company. In 2004, he won a Golden Reel Award for Shades of Gray, an hourlong documentary about abortion. Jonathan composed the music and sound design for two episodes of PBS' Nova, "Astrospies” and “The Spy Factory.”
Eric Molinsky knew he wanted to be a public radio producer by the tender age of 32. He had been hooked on Studio 360 while sitting in his cubicle along Sunset Boulevard, drawing storyboards for Rugrats. Finally it was time to stop annoying his fellow animators with his lunchbreak theories about the cultural zeitgest, and he moved back East to hook up with the Studio 360 crowd. He quickly became the program's house cartoonist, and went on to coproduce in Studio 360's "American Icons" programs on the Wizard of Oz, the Lincoln Memorial, and Superman. He's also produced stories about many of his favorite artists, like Aimee Mann and Jules Feiffer. Originally from Massachusetts, Eric studied at Wesleyan University and the California Institute of the Arts.
Lu Olkowski used to work a stressful and boring job at a huge cable television channel. She would listen to the radio and think, "that sounds like a lot more fun." Lu produced her very first radio story for Studio 360: it was about an artist who sent the sound of vaginal contractions into deep space to communicate with aliens. She immediately become a regular contributor. Her profile of documentary director Zana Briski won a Gracie Award in 2006. Lu has also produced stories for All Things Considered, Day to Day, Radio Lab, This American Life, and Weekend America. Her radio work has been honored by the American Women in Radio & Television, the international competition New York Festivals, the literary magazine The Missouri Review and the Third Coast International Audio Festival.
Rob Weisberg is the host of WFMU's Transpacific Sound Paradise, the New York area's "peerless world music show" (in the words of Time Out New York). In a given hour Rob might be playing a chanteuse, a Chinese pipa player, a Balkan-style accordionist, a Jewish American trumpeter and a Brazilian pianist. Global Rhythm and Roots magazines have published his writing on world music, and he was profiled by the Greek music magazine Difono. Rob's stories have also aired on Global Village, Pacific Time, and The Next Big Thing. He works as an engineer and producer for WNYC.