Claire Cunningham is an independent radio producer, specialising in programmes on arts subjects and international development.
Contact me to obtain recordings for personal use, license them for broadcast or to discuss a programme idea.
The Poetry Programme is presented by Olivia O’Leary and broadcast weekly on RTÉ Radio 1. The 2017 series began on 9 September and ended with an hour-long Christmas Special on Christmas Day. A new 2018 spring series will begin on Sunday 25 March at 7:30 pm on RTÉ Radio 1.
Home Againe (working title). This programme retraces Irish poet John McAuliffe’s journey between England and Ireland in his poem sequence ‘Home Again’ and interweaves it with the poem which inspired John’s work, ‘Colin Clout’s Come Home Againe’, written 400 years previously by Edmund Spenser. The programme will be broadcast as a Lyric Feature in 2018.
What’s for homework, Miss? (working title). 80 years after it was created, this programme tells the story of the Schools’ Folklore Collection and explores its treasure trove of contents with historians, researchers, and the children of today. The programme will be broadcast on Newstalk and Shannonside/Northern Sound.
Ducks Down (working title). Children of today learn about the games played by children of the past. They try out games recorded in the Schools’ Manuscript Collection 80 years ago and give their verdict. Is there any chance that they might bin the batteries and switch off the screens in favour of playing ‘Ducks Down’? This series of short programmes will be broadcast on RTÉjr Radio.
Lola Ridge (working title). This programme is about the life and work of Dublin-born poet Lola Ridge. When she died in 1941 the New York Times described her as one of the leading poets of America, but she has been largely forgotten. The programme will be broadcast as a Lyric Feature in 2018.
Bantry Bay (working title). A dramatized reading, with music and sound effects, of a sequence of poems by poet Mick Delap which tells stories of Bantry Bay from 1796 to the present day. The programme will be broadcast as a Lyric Feature in 2018.
Home Thoughts A one-hour programme which is part meditation, part performance, as poet Gerald Dawe and singer Eleanor Shanley explore the idea of ‘home’, with prose, poetry and songs from Belfast, Galway and Dublin. Broadcast as a Lyric Feature on RTÉ lyric fm on Sunday 28th January 2018.
The Banshee and the Tiger The story of the life and work of the controversial and ground-breaking American composer Henry Cowell (1897-1965), who produced dozens of compositions influenced by his Irish heritage and by Irish music and folklore. The programme is presented by pianist and radio producer Guy Livingston. Broadcast as a Lyric Feature on RTÉ lyric fm on Sunday 21st January 2018.
An Oriental Romance: Thomas Moore’s Lalla Rookh A programme to mark the 200th anniversary in 2017 of the publication of Thomas Moore’s epic oriental poem Lalla Rookh. The programme was made in collaboration with Project ERIN, which is based at the School of Arts, English and Languages, Queen’s University Belfast, and was first broadcast as a Lyric Feature on Sunday 10 September 2017 at 6 pm on RTÉ lyric fm.
Mince Pies and Minor Chords A one-hour programme on the life and work of Amy H H A Beach (1867-1944), considered to be the first successful American female composer of large-scale art music, who again and again during her composing career returned to Irish sources for inspiration. The programme was broadcast as a Lyric Feature on Friday 1 September 2017 at 7 pm on RTÉ lyric fm.
His Chosen Islands A tribute to the poet Richard Murphy, who celebrates his 90th birthday this year. The programme was broadcast as a Lyric Feature on Friday 4 August 2017 at 7 pm on RTÉ lyric fm. Repeated Sunday 31st December 2017 at 6 pm on RTÉ lyric fm.
When the War is Over. The story of the life and work of Francis Ledwidge through his poetry, from his childhood in Slane to his death in Flanders on 31st July 1917. Broadcast as a Lyric Feature on 23 June 2017 on RTÉ lyric fm.
Crystalline is a 40-minute documentary funded by the BAI’s Sound & Vision scheme telling the story of an extraordinary journey undertaken by artist Siobhan McDonald to the Arctic circle. Broadcast on RTÉ lyric fm on 7 October 2016.
The Sounds of Grief is a 40-minute documentary funded by the BAI’s Sound & Vision scheme telling the story of one of our most infamous and persistent traditions – caoineadh/keening – the Irish funeral cry. Broadcast on RTÉ lyric fm on Friday 29 January 2016 at 7 pm.
Three Score Years and Ten – a series of five reflections on ageing and facing death, written and presented by Bishop Richard Holloway. A Butterfly Wings Production. Producer James Murray. Executive Producer Claire Cunningham. Broadcast on BBC Radio 4 18-22 January 2016.
Making the Grade is a one-hour documentary on the Local Centre Exams of the Royal Irish Academy of Music, which are central to the musical education of Ireland’s music lovers and music professionals. Broadcast on RTÉ lyric fm on Friday 6 February 2015 at 7 pm.
History on a Plate, Series two – a six-part series made in collaboration with Catherine Cleary, freelance journalist and restaurant critic with the Irish Times, and social historian Juliana Adelman. Broadcast on RTÉ Radio One on Saturdays at 7:30 between 22 November 2014 and 10 January 2015.
A fugue a day is a one-hour radio documentary on beloved music teacher and composer Joseph Groocock, who made an immense contribution to music education in Ireland. Broadcast on RTÉ lyric fm on 21 November 2014 at 7 pm.
Counting the milestones – one hour documentary on the life and work of author and tramp Jim Phelan. Broadcast on RTÉ lyric fm on Friday 18 July 2014 at 7 pm.
Wagner’s Music in Ireland, a two-part series exploring the relationship of Irish audiences, authors, critics and composers with the music of Wagner over the past 150 years. Presented by Michael Murphy of the Department of Music, Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick. Programmes broadcast on RTÉ lyric fm on 27 September and 4 October 2013.
History on a Plate, a six-part series made in collaboration with Catherine Cleary, freelance journalist and restaurant critic with the Irish Times, and social historian Juliana Adelman. Broadcast on Fridays at 7 pm on RTÉ lyric fm from 5 July to 9 August 2013. Re-broadcast on RTÉ Radio One on Saturdays at 7:30 pm from 11 October 2014.
A Tale of Two Siblings, a one hour documentary on Edith and Charles Hubert Oldham.
Lafcadio, a two-part documentary on the life and work of writer Lafcadio Hearn. This programme is a collaboration with independent radio producer Julien Clancy.
The Belgian Connection, a half hour documentary on Belgian soldiers based in Northern Ireland during World War 2.
Women of Note, a six-part radio series on Irish woman composers.
My Mount Everest, a documentary in which adult literacy students tell their stories.
From the Darkness, a documentary on Ina Boyle (1889-1967), a major Irish Composer of the early 20th century.
Remembered Words, a series of short features on forgotten/neglected writers.
The Fulbright Experience, a series about the impact of a Fulbright scholarship on the lives and careers of Irish people who went to study in the US and Americans who came to Ireland.
Dancing with Two Left Legs, award-wining documentary on music projects which have been set up in Bosnia since the war.
What’s the Irish for Bedtime Story?, a documentary on the first ever Irish language production of American composer Tom Johnson‘s Bedtime Stories.