From radio dramas to broadcast advertising, Earwax Production has been creating award-winning radio and television projects since 1983. KQED’s Truly California and Neighborhood Series, collaborations with accomplished Bay Area radio dramatist Erik Bauersfeld of Bay Area Radio Drama and over twenty-five years working together with the Kitchens Sisters on their various series with NPR and Morning Edition.
Jim and Barney like to record real people talking about things they know. It has an authenticity that can never be achieved by actors. Then they like to bring out the natural musical qualities in those recorded voices by creating song forms and poetic forms they call “Audiographs”. Their first audiograph piece, created with Markos Kounalakis, who coined the term, was SONGS FROM THE TENDERLOIN, about homeless panhandlers and life on the street. Since then they’ve made pieces about heavy metal musicians, virtual reality , the logging industry, and now they’re recording caregivers.
Davia Nelson and Nikki Silva are a force of nature in and outside the radio community. They produce, teach, write and tell stories that help build community. Lost and Found Sound, The Sonic Memorial, The Hidden World of Girls, Hidden Kitchens: War & Peace & Food and their latest podcast Fugitive Waves have introduced us to people and brought us to places in a story telling style that is intelligent, thought provoking and gut-wrenchingly funny. Jim and Earwax associates Andrew Roth and Jeremiah Moore have had the privilege to help mix most everyone of these projects.
Bay Area Radio Drama
Erik Bauersfeld began his career in radio at Pacifica’s KPFA station back in 1961 as director of the Drama and Literature department. In the mid 1990s he created the non-profit BARD. Bay Area Radio Drama allowed him to pursue grants and include artists, thinkers and producers outside of Pacific. Over the years, Erik has mentored some of the most creative sound artist of or time. For more than fifty years Erik has collaborated with writers, playwrights, actors, musicians on a body of work ranging from early Black Mass readings, Hörspiel/USA project with WDR in Cologne Germany, Eugene O’Neil series, Locations and currently Taos: A Visitable Past, a work that documents with sound, the place and times of DH Lawrence and his time in Taos, New Mexico.
Working with ad agencies and advocacy groups, Earwax helps to record and direct talent, score, design and mix online spots. Over the past decade we have had the opportunity to collaborated with Charlie Cardillo of Underground on a number of projects ranging from Agent Orange with the Aspen Institute, Linked Learning with the James Irving Foundation and Fracking, Soot and Fable of the Wolf with Earth Justice The wolf video received 2016 Motion Graphics award from Communication Arts Illustration Annual as well as 2016 Best Animation award from Los Angeles Film and Script Festival.
Jim and radio producer extraordinaire Harri Huhtämaki have traveled the world lecturing and instructing the art of radio practice and technique. Having met in Berlin in 1993, the two somehow managed to collaborate every year for nearly twenty years on projects and workshops from Johannesburg to Tonga, Helsinki to San Francisco.
Some of the talents developed in or radio documentary and drama productions even made it in the world of advertising. Here’s a short list of some of the people and projects we worked with.
Stop Waste & Recycling – Alameda Waste Management Authority / Viking Cruises / Aiwa / California Grapes