Earbones Productions is an award-winning radio and audio documentary design studio.
The Earbones name refers to malleus, incus & stapes, the three bones of the middle ear. We thought they would be fun nicknames. We are the Earbones: Malleus is me, Paolo Pietropaolo. Incus is audio luminary Chris Brookes, and Stapes is the bright-eyed-inevitable visionary Jowi Taylor.
Our collaborations have won the Prix Italia, Peabody Award, Third Coast International Audio Festival Directors’ Choice Award, and several New York Festivals Gold & Silver Medals. That’s us in Chicago in 2005 (L-R: Stapes, Malleus, Incus) picking up our Third Coast Award.
Our first series was called The Wire and it was all about the impact of electricity on music in the 20th century. (Just so you know. We chose that title before the TV show of the same name took the world by storm. Had we known…weeeeell then we might have chosen something different.)
Later on we created an audio portrait of Toronto called Invisible Cities: Toronto for CBC Radio’s Ideas. We also produced a sequel to The Wire called The Nerve – all about music’s power over our hearts and minds.
Here’s the citation from the Peabody Award Jury about our series, The Wire:
In The Wire: The Impact of Electricity on Music, an eight-part CBC radio series, host Jowi Taylor observes that while the invention of the electric toaster didn’t really change toast, “Making music with electricity changed everything-the art, the social structure, and the economy of music. Think about what it did to guitars. Here’s this genteel kind of instrument and all of a sudden Chuck Berry is duck-walking across the stage with a Gibson ES 335.” Taylor, who displays a winning offhand eloquence that courses through the series, and his co-producers Paolo Pietropaolo and Chris Brookes duck-walk listeners through 100 years of electrification. They illustrate how the almighty current changed how we hear music, how we play it, even what we think it can be. The Wire is not so much a documentary as a sonic collage. It mixes and merges commentary, analysis, and interviews with innovators such as Les Paul and Robert Moog. Sound clips abound. There are glorious samples from dozens of recording artists: from Enrico Caruso to Billie Holliday; from the Beatles to film-score composer Bernard Herrmann (The Day the Earth Stood Still); from Brian Eno to DJ Spooky. Taylor and his guests not only make the technology comprehensible, they convey their awe at how we now think nothing of bathing or strolling to the sound of a symphony, once the sole privilege of “a Sun King.” For providing listeners with an ear-opening experience and reminding us how much about electrified music we take for granted, a Peabody goes to The Wire: The Impact of Electricity on Music.