Radio Week (14)

by Fiona Rae / 16 August, 2008

SATURDAY AUGUST 16

Saturday Morning with Kim Hill, Radio New Zealand National, 8.10am. The wonderful John Clarke, satirist and creator of Fred Dagg, will be on the line from Melbourne; the occasion is his 60th, but he may have something to say about the Olympic Games and perhaps Rob Sitch's new comedy, The Hollowmen. Also today, eminent -theologian and liberal philosopher David Ray Griffin, who has written extensively about what he considers to be the US Government's complicity in the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on Sept 11, 2001. He continues to probe inconsistencies in the official version of events in his latest book 9/11 Contradictions: An Open Letter to Congress and the Press. In other publishing news, Fighting for My Life: The Confession of a Violent Offender is JJ Joseph's account of his violent life and arrest for assaulting his wife. Determined to change, he accepted his punishment and underwent anger management. Celia Lashlie, who wrote the foreword, will be in attendance. Plus, hold the phone, as legendary out-there Beach Boy Brian Wilson will be on the line. He has returned to Capitol Records (the band's first label) and is about to release a solo album, That Lucky Old Sun.

Jazz at Lincoln Center, Radio New Zealand Concert, 1.00pm. The father of jazz fusion, Joe Zawinul, is profiled today. Zawinul co-founded the multi-genre, improvisational freak-out super-group Weather Report and, later, led the Zawinul Syndicate, which incorporated world music. In his early days, he played with saxophonist Cannonball Adderley and trumpeter Miles Davis and he pioneered the use of electric piano and synthesizers. He died last year in September, aged 75.

SUNDAY AUGUST 17

Spectrum, Radio New Zealand National, 12.15pm. Ceinwen Curtis follows one of those acts of generosity that restore your faith in humanity. Pitt Islander Eva Gregory-Hunt, her husband and their six children are in Oamaru for two school terms so Eva can donate a kidney to her cousin John Kamo. If he didn't have the operation, he would have to give up his farm on Pitt Island and live in New Zealand, where he could undergo dialysis.

Opera on Sunday, Radio New Zealand Concert, 3.00pm. Opera Today joked that there was "a 'false-set' of four countertenors in the cast" in today's production of Handel's Giulio Cesare by Opéra de Lausanne. Counter-tenor Andreas Scholl takes the title role, which was created by Handel for the famous castrato Senesino; interest was also high (excuse the pun) in male soprano turned countertenor Max Emanuel Cencic, who plays Sesto. Cleopatra is sung by Elena de la Merced, who was an "admirable, even feisty" queen of the Nile.

WEDNESDAY AUGUST 20

Book Reading, Radio New Zealand National, 10.45am. Lloyd Geering is a -theologian who has been tried for heresy, a former Presbyterian minister who doesn't believe in the resurrection. It seems as if all his life he has been in a tussle with the man upstairs - he called his autobiography Wrestling with God and begins a 12-part reading today.

Music Alive, Radio New Zealand Concert, 8.00pm. French pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard has his fingers in so many pies (pianos?) that the Independent called him "ubiquitous". Among his many professorships, directorships and concert appearances are the year-long Messiaen Festival in London and a similar event in France, and he kicked off the BBC Proms in July. He is known for his interest in the old and the new and, as the Indy put it, making "connections between art forms which might seem at first to have nothing in common". Consequently, the programme consists of Schumann, Messiaen and Bartók and a work by the 99-year-old American composer Elliot Carter from 1980 called Night Fantasies.

Jazz Footprints, Radio New Zealand National, 11.06pm. Featuring American jazz guitarist, composer and all-round freaky dude Bill Frisell. Frisell is known for his use of diverse effects to draw unique sounds from his Fender Telecaster and for taking the American canon and warping it to his will. On his 1992 album Have a Little Faith, he played a psychedelic rock version of Madonna's Live to Tell; at a recent concert in Chicago, he deconstructed the Beach Boys' Surfer Girl. His latest album, History, Mystery, was given four stars by the Guardian, which called it "mesmerising".

FRIDAY AUGUST 22

WOMAD Taranaki, Radio New Zealand National, 11.06pm. Local bluesman Midge Marsden is captured in all his harmonica-puffing glory at WOMAD, where he played a red-hot set with the Midge Marsden Band and former Chicago Smoke Shop guitarist Darren Watson.

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