Welcome to Nightjar. We create inspired content for the radio, web and mobile platforms. We specialise in music, the arts and international culture. We believe in the power of stories, in the one-off and the hand-crafted.
We’re based at the Nightjar Studio just off Piccadilly. Click here to meet the team, or scroll down for news and current projects.
On BBC Radio 3 from 27 – 31 May, 2013, 10.45 pm
The Cairo Genizah is a treasure trove of medieval manuscripts found inside the ancient, crumbling Ben Ezra synagogue. Reflecting 800 years of community life, the documents contain everything from prayers to children’s exercise books and business letters to the complaints of disgruntled wives. In this Essay series a group of scholars from the Genizah Research Unit navigate the archives to reveal their favourite fragments and weave a tale of the life of a multi-cultural medieval society not so different from our own.
Now available on the BBC iPlayer.
12 June, 2013
We’ve just completed the sound for this short animation about the hunger strike in Guantanmo Bay for legal charity Reprieve. It was launched on the Huffington Post with a brief editorial by David Morrissey, who did the voiceover.
Click here for the French version.
Animation by Mark Abbott. Music composed by Cyrus Shahrad. Voiced by David Morrissey and Remi Bazerque (French version). The director was Nicole Paglia.
27 November, 2012
The V&A has opened the doors to its new Furniture Gallery, presenting the Museum’s outstanding collection of British and international furniture from the 15th century to the present day, and with it, our series of interviews with makers, conservators and curators.
Click here for more.
This is the last of a series of posts looking at how cultural institutions are using apps and other mobile web technologies to engage their audiences. The previous post took an in-depth look at apps. Here, I’ll be looking at some other mobile web technologies.
19 October, 2012
Let’s consider what organisations can achieve if they decide ‘not to app’. Bearing in mind the prediction that by 2013, most of us will be browsing the web on a mobile device – there has never been a better time to think about adapting online presence for mobile. There are many things that cultural institutions can do in this area. Here are just a few:
This is part of a series of posts looking at how cultural institutions are using apps and other mobile web technologies to engage their audiences. In a previous post, I sketched out the broader challenges and opportunities of the ‘mobile revolution’. Here, I’ll be looking specifically at apps.
13 October, 2012
Choosing to create an app must – in the end – be informed by the available budget. At the time of writing, based on personal experience and conversations with software developers and museum practitioners and taking internal staff costs into consideration, apps can cost anything from around £8,000 to £40,000. For smaller cultural institutions, this may appear prohibitive. But by their very nature, apps cut across the traditional functions of curatorial-interpretation on the one hand and marketing-outreach on the other; so they might draw on funding from across those departments. Institutions might consider whether an app could achieve the same amount of publicity as a city poster campaign, bring in a larger audience than a re-design of the website, or be used to deliver the handheld interpretation at a temporary exhibition.
But what can apps actually do? In broad terms, based on the nature of their content, apps can be divided into three categories:
This is part of a series of posts looking at how cultural institutions are using apps and the mobile web to engage their audiences. Here, I’ll take a look at the ‘mobile revolution’ and consider the challenges and opportunities of the mobile web.
9 October, 2012
For several years, we’ve been living through a mobile revolution; this is the tipping point. In 2011, across the world, internet capable mobile devices began to outnumber computers. This year, they may well outnumber us.
In the run up to the WOMEX Conference, this is the introduction to a series of posts taking a detailed look at how museums and other cultural institutions are using apps and other mobile web technologies.
8 October, 2012
The posts are adapted from a chapter I wrote for the 2011 book Interactive Galleries: digital technology, handheld interpretation and online experiences. As a producer, presenter and consumer of a range of mobile media, I was asked to evaluate apps versus other kinds of mobile web technologies as tools for reaching new audiences. In the course of research, talking to colleagues from a range of organisations and backgrounds, I become convinced that museums and cultural institutions are actually at the forefront of innovative, rich, mobile digital content, putting them ahead of other, perhaps more likely, industries, such as the broadcast media or publishing.
15 September, 2012
Nightjar’s next radio production will be a series of Essays for BBC Radio 3
The Cairo Genizah is a treasure trove of medieval manuscripts found inside the ancient, crumbling Ben Ezra synagogue. Reflecting 800 years of community life, the documents contain everything from prayers to children’s exercise books and business letters to the complaints of disgruntled wives. In the series five scholars from Cambridge University Library’s Genizah Research Unit will navigate the archives to reveal their favourite fragments and weave a tale of the life of a multi-cultural medieval society not so different from our own.
To find out more about the Cairo Genizah, click here.
Nightjar’s documentary series for BBC Radio 2 has been reviewed in the Independent.
8 February, 2012
Radio critic Chris Maume said:
“if you’ve never heard Indian brass music, you really should, with its machine-gun drums and crazy, skittering rhythms. I guarantee you will not be able to keep still.”
Miranda Hinkley hears why Hans Holbein’s Ambassadors are worth a closer look.
10 February, 2011
Over a thousand world-famous artworks, panoramic views of galleries, super high-res, zoomable images; this is the new Google Art Project.
Launched earlier this month, it’s the result of a long-term collaboration with institutions including the National Gallery, Tate, The State Hermitage Museum, Uffizi, Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum. It allows users anywhere in the world to learn about the history and artists behind a huge number of works, at the click of a mouse.
Production on Nightjar’s new series for BBC Radio 2 has kicked off with a visit to India.
30 November, 2010
The odyssey began in Delhi, where we tagged along to a high society wedding with British ensemble Bollywood Brass Band. Highlights included a visit to Jaipur Kawa Brass Band – a stone’s throw from the Amer Fort – and the City Palace in Udaipur, where we heard a bagpipe band with a twist and discovered a dynasty of royal trumpet players.
App producer Miranda Hinkley gives us a preview in Museum ID Magazine:
30 August, 2010
To enter the V&A’s Quilts: 1700-2010 is to step into a private, inner world created by hundreds of hands. In places this world is centuries old, in others contemporary, but it’s always haunting, complex and quirkily beautiful. My challenge as producer of the exhibition guide was to do it justice on a mobile, digital platform; Apple’s iPod touch.
Best-known for playing baddie Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter films, actor Jason Isaacs recently recorded at Nightjar Studio.
26 April, 2010
Born and raised in Liverpool, Jason was recording an audio guide to Liverpool Town Hall. The guide is an Imagineear Production and is available on site.