.... beautiful and unexpected stories
- About Us [+]Rockethouse is a small production company that makes radio, film and other delights. The company was founded by Matt Thompson and takes its name from the old building on the Scottish coast where he works. Below is the view from the office of the Bass Rock.
- News... [+]October 2017
What do Sadhus do on their day off? BBC World Service radio documentary in production with Sir Mark Tully. Recorded in India by Matt ThompsonOctober 2017
The Little Chinese Maiden BBC Radio 4 - production finished, awaiting transmission date.
The poet William Wordsworth’s daughter Catherine was born in 1808 and died three years and nine months later. She lived her short life at Grasmere in an extended family which included the aspiring author Thomas De Quincey. On re-reading the Wordsworth letters, the biographer and poet Grevel Lindop realised there might be a lot more to this infant.
Producer Matt ThompsonOctober 2017
Behind the Scenes BBC RADIO 4 Choreographer Crystal Pite and the Royal Ballet reveal the making of Flight Pattern, Crystal's moving debut with the company.
Flight Pattern is a moving and profound response to the international refugee crisis, set to the first movement of Henryk Górecki's Sympony no. 3, Symphony of Sorrowful Songs. It received 5-star reviews when it premiered in the spring.
Such is the vast repertoire of the Royal Opera House, Flight Pattern was scheduled for very few performances in its first run. But, for two months this year, Crystal brilliantly described her working process to Radio 4. It's extremely rare for the Royal Ballet to allow access to the making of an artwork to this degree, and Crystal's openness was exceptional.
Crystal illuminates her process, her insights, her doubts. The programme accompanies her as she turns her early vision into a dance work for a major international stage - her dance phrase-making and her particular movement style, the challenge of working out how to dance to such powerful music (especially to the soprano's lament) and how to convey the experience of refugees. We hear costume fittings, the arrival of the set design and conjure up the power of light and shadow on stage.
Other speakers include Kevin O'Hare, the Director of the Royal Ballet, and Music Director Koen Kessels. Kristen McNally and Calvin Richardson, two young dancers, describe the impact of Crystal, a creative presence who flew in from Vancouver to make such a wrenching barefoot dance.
Recorded and produced by Frances Byrnes.January 2017
Out of Hand - our second film has been completed and has been entered into a myriad of competitions. Whilst we await judgement it has to remain private to the general public but please do send an email if you would like the password so you can see it. MattDecember 2016
The Christmas Carol Audible/WirelessTheatre dramatised audiobook. This was a Cherry Cookson directed production for which I created the sound. Cherry had a fabulous ensemble cast including Sir Derek Jacobi. It was a complete pleasure working on such a high class project with Cherry and Mariele and the audible team. The music was terrific and composed by Isabel Sarah Herschmann.
I learnt new techniques in creating phantoms. It is always fascinating to see how Cherry uses music.
It has received over 1400 5 star reviews. The average is 4.7.December 2016
Langston Hughes at The Third BBC RADIO 3 Presented by David Hendy. In 1964 - a presidential election year in the United States - the Third Programme broadcast an epic series about African-American life called 'The Negro in America'. In a coup for the BBC, it was co-produced by the great poet of the 1920s Harlem Renaissance, Langston Hughes. His series brought to the airwaves a range of sounds and voices of the Civil Rights struggle, of jazz music and black literature: sounds and voices that had rarely been heard in Britain. 'The Negro in America' is also the tale of an unlikely relationship.
It was a privilege to work with someone of David Hendy's calibre. I felt we did justice to the work created by Langston and Bridson all those years ago.November 2016
Drugs and the Dentist BBC World Service programme. Drugs like crystal meth and opiates wreck the teeth as well as the mind. In America, more than just about any country, good teeth are a sign of success and so dentists like Dr Bob Carter are helping fix addicts’ teeth.
I had a fascinating 7 days in Greenville, North Carolina witnessing the work of dentists. I learnt something new about how to use generalisations rather than specifics in telling the story and in characterisation.August 2016The Beautiful Cosmos of Ivor Cutler a Vanishing Point/National Theatre of Scotland production adapted for BBC Radio 3 by Sandy Grierson and myself. Band recorded by Julian Simons at DIn. Click on link above for full details and behind the scenes footage.