Producer Spotlight: Conor Gillies of Stylus

Each month we’ll be highlighting a different PRX producer to find out what they’re working on and hear about the challenges they face as indies as well as the stuff that gets them stoked.

How long have you been using PRX?
Been using it for three years or so.

What are you working on right now?
Producing a weekly show and podcast for Radio Open Source and working on a couple new podcast pilots, too. Trying to get Stylus on the airwaves, as always.

Can you tell us more about your show, Stylus?
Stylus is a radio series about big ideas in sound, music, and listening. It started when my coproducer Zack and I and a cadre of people in and around WBUR pitched the show and produced a pilot, which led to the station funding us for a four-episode first season: “Silence,” “Seeing and Illustrating Music,” “Songs of the Earth,” and “The Sound of Science Fiction.” It’s a kind of left-field, non-narrated documentary show for music people and art fans, but also anyone who’s interested in the links between sound, place, history, and society.

What is your biggest challenge with that project?
Finding new listeners through the Internet. Of course, everyone doing community radio or longform audio faces that challenge—largely because social media isn’t designed for sound or not-for-profit content. But also I’m just bad at tweets. [Editor’s note: aren’t we all, Conor.]

What are you most excited about in public radio or podcasting?
For shows, I’m excited about Reveal. I hope it gives old-school muckraking a shot in the arm. Wicked excited Scott Carrier is podcasting. Also, I’m excited about the serial format generally. I’m listening out for the big return of radio drama.

Want to learn more? Sam Greenspan of 99% Invisible wrote a nice little thang about Stylus and the first episode, Silence, was featured on HowSound.

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