Researching the Zone: Tony Barrell, the Auteur and the Institution

Macquarie University
Publication Type:
Journal Article
SCAN, 2009, 6 (3), pp. 1 - 9
Issue Date:
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Luckily for ABC radio documentary producer Tony Barrell, the answer to this question was a largely unqualified yes. Barrells prolific thirty-year career includes conventional current affairs and historically based TV and radio documentaries. However hes best known for his more innovative work: what he calls his hybrid radio programs, examined elsewhere by this author. Described less politely as weird shit by one of his former managers, many of these works can be heard as aural equivalents of the avant-garde cut-up: a montage of interviews, location sound, music and found audio. The legacy of this style can be heard in the ABC Radio National program The Night Air. The Night Air is a program that continues to tease at, and subvert, rigid categories of style and content, refusing to recognise the barriers between politics and pop culture, serious analysis and entertainment.
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