Mon 14 Sep 2020
It can be quite odd in the goldfish bowl that is Studio 5.

The live performance room looks out into our main office with floor to ceiling windows. Staff go about their daily work, while an artist pours out their soul live, right next to them.

Kristin Hersh is an unique and incredible artist.

We were lucky enough to have her drop in for a set during a solo tour of Australia in 2014.

Artist travelling alone on solo tours often inhabit a very surreal place. Oscillating between being under scrutiny, with all eyes on them, and being completely alone and seemingly unnoticed in a strange place.

As a producer, our role is to make this strange and unnatural experience as comfortable as possible, to shut out all of the white noise of daily life and provide a safe space for their expression.

That’s not always easy. Every artist is different in what they require. Some can shut out all interference and go straight into their muse. Some need a little more care. That could just be providing a good cup of coffee and a comfortable stool, or it could mean extended consultation and philosophical discussion on the nature of performance itself, the role of the artist in society and the ubiquity of radio, or some point in between. It could be talking about fishing. Or bicycles. Or sandwiches. Anything but what we are here to do.

In Kristin’s case, I felt incredibly lucky to be able to share a small space and a very intimate performance, to shut everything else out and get to work on delivering the ephemeral and temporary to a radio medium. Kristin enjoyed the PBS coffee.

I have no idea what microphones I used, or how the room was setup. All I ever really remember from these sessions is the atmosphere the artist creates, the space they inhabit, the magic they bring. Technical details evaporate from my memory almost instantly, but the human expression, the mood, the art; that remains as clear as if it happened this morning.

Listen back here if you dare!