A proud native of the Second City, producer Jenny Lawton joined Studio 360 in 2007. Since then, she's produced the show's American Icons specials on the Disney parks and I Love Lucy, lots of stories in the Aha Moments series, and a portrait of the Japanese tea ceremony from Kyoto. She also serves as the managing editor of studio360.org and coordinates the show's internship program. Jenny started recording interviews as a Watson Fellow in India and Spain, researching the origins of flamenco dance. She cut her teeth in journalism at Chicago Public Radio, where she filed stories on culture, politics, technology, and the environment for WBEZ as well as NPR's Morning Edition and PRI's The World, among other programs. Jenny was awarded a USC-Annenberg/NEA Arts Journalism Fellowship, and lectures about radio and sound design at NYU and her alma mater, Kenyon College.
Kurt, Pico, and Bambi
Tuesday, November 18, 2008 - 07:06 AM
Yesterday the whole team was in Nara (30 minutes by train from Kyoto) to meet with the writer Pico Iyer -- we've turned to him several times on the show for his keen, beautifully expressed observations of life in various corners of the world. Pico first came to Japan 20 years ago -- and although he has long lived near Nara with his Japanese wife, he explained why he is and will always be a foreigner there. Yet his insights about language, politeness, rebellion, and deference (and a ton of other Japanese things) revealed so much to us about the art we've seen (as well as our own experiences) thus far in the trip.
We taped Kurt's conversation with Pico in Nara-koen -- a giant park that covers the east side of the city. It's home to several famous temples and shrines -- and 1200 deer that roam free throughout the park. (Suddenly I was five years old again and had the urge to scream 'Bambi!' But I didn't.) In days of old, the deer were considered to be messengers of the gods -- today they're official national treasures. And noisy ones: they kept making this eerie whining sound to each other -- some a high-pitched screech, others a low moan (mating calls?). After the interview, Pejk wandered around the park to get more of those sounds. The deer weren't as friendly as the ones drawn by Disney.
- Jenny Lawton