About

Blanket produce specialist audio and video, ranging from content for radio, podcasts, events, websites, teaching and training packages, music/dj mixes, documentaries, features, education and vocational training and mentoring services, with a bias towards sound-based content. We also produce amazing promo films.

The founder of Blanket is Sue Bowerman.

If who we are is a composite of everyone we’ve known and everything we’ve been then Sue Bowerman and her creative endeavours are informed by previous incarnations as a choir girl, shaven haired club kid, information extrapolator, Red Bull Music academy graduate and long distance swimmer.

Growing up in the suburbs of South East London, the fledgling music obsessive kept herself sane listening to a crackling pirate station called Kiss, raiding the Jazz collection at Bexleyheath library and reading the memoirs of music journalist and maverick, Val Wilmer.

Wired for sound and inspired to escape the humdrum to seek out the extraordinary, Sue has since carved her niche as a travelling audio auteur. Her production company Blanket is behind a series of idiosyncratic podcasts and radio programmes for people, networks  and diversified diasporas: Roots, a documentary for BBC 1Xtra on the history of African Hair which includes stories from pop icon, Estelle and noted presenter, Nesha; a biographical insight into the world of singer songwriter, Randolph Matthews; Nigeria 70 and Grand Master Flash album and documentary features, artistic enterprises initiated by UK label, Strut. Sue’s latest Radio Documentary, Bring The Noise is launching the Red Bull Music Academy Radio documentary strand on the 17th January 2013. Keep your ears to the ground for this future exclusive from I. G. Culture and Robinhood of hiphop, Xuman’s ventures into the world of Senegalese politics and saving a nation. Film and music education industry events have become transformed into sonic and visual reference series for Film London and Urban Development.

Sue credits her first tentative steps into journalism to Straight No Chaser magazine. What started out as a two-week work placement developed into a ten-year plus relationship with her list of contributions reading like a who’s who of interplanetary sounds: ancient to future; Youssou N’Dour, Carmen Lundy, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Seun Kuti (Afrobeat founder Fela’s youngest son and protégé), and Ursula Rucker.

However it was a year long sabbatical in Africa that changed everything. Sue fell in love with a continent and its culture. Fired and inspired by her experiences she translated her passion for Africa into profound and pioneering projects such as the Nigeria 70 album with Strut and Sight to Sound, a four part series for the BBC World Service presented by notable poet Laureate and political warrior, Wole Soyinka.

Among her proudest moments in documenting the evolution of Nigeria 70 was clinching an interview with King Sunny Ade, successfully navigating the notorious Lagos traffic contusions and tracking down the elusive drummer, Ginger Baker. As well as compiling the history of that funky era Sue also learnt that there’s a whole wealth of music out there to make the pulse quicken that’s rarely given props by mainstream radio.

Having consolidated her reputation as a dedicated and innovative producer Sue went on to create Sight to Sound, galvanised by the idea that political activist and personal hero Wole Soyinka would be the perfect presenter for the show. Naturally the poet laureate resonated with the idea of Nigerian writers contributing original pieces of prose, which were then reinterpreted by Nigerian musicians. The series incorporated the talents of Pulitzer Prize winning novelist Helon Habila, ‘Half of the Yellow Sun’ author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and veteran actor and more recently ‘Shadowline’ star Chiwetel Ejiofor.

Leaps of faith and jumping in the deep end have continued to serve Sue well. When Grandmaster Flash released an album of his favourite tracks and exclusive mixes for Strut, Sue was invited to create the interceding audio montages and seamless segue-ways. During her time with Somethin’ Else, the production team behind Gilles Peterson’s Sony award winning Worldwide show on Radio 1, she was instrumental in producing their first ever live session at the BBC’s Maida Vale studios. She also produced the syndicated version, Gilles Peterson Worldwide, and initiated its expansive distribution to fourteen countries around the globe.

Fast forward some years and Sue is now sharing her vast experience and knowledge at Camden’s Roundhouse with a new generation of aspiring producers, guiding them through the diverse and ever evolving world of radio production. Furthermore she is a key component in the establishment and growth of its online radio station, Roundhouse Radio. Her latest strategy to share knowledge to the masses is ‘The Sofa Sessions’ which began its days hosted within the Roundhouse’s listed walls, whereby creative industry big-wigs including Mary Anne Hobbs (of BBC and XFM radio fame) and Eastenders icon, Chucky Venn joined their rising young counterparts on the sofa to inspire and ignite the next generation. As an educator Sue both consulted and delivered for the government initiative, Creative Partnerships, working with schools and enabling them to explore the impact that the development of the creative use of new technologies has on learning and teaching within both the current curriculum and beyond. She continues to work with schools and young people, using radio as a tool for confidence building, creativity, literacy enhancement and so much more. Her most recent ventures into learning have been in partnership with the Royal Opera House and their ground-breaking education team and School21 in Stratford, producing a beautifully crafted promo film which masterfully captures the extraordinary nature of this new school.

If there’s a common thread that binds her diverse portfolio together it’s articulating and recording meaningful experiences and stories that deserve to be heard. This ethos is exemplified in her most prolific trip to Africa where she was invited by the British Council to document ‘Bring the Noise’, a one off collaboration between traditional and contemporary Senegalese musicians under the watchful eye of its Musical Director, prolific music producer, I.G. Culture. Slowly melting in Dakar’s 40 degree heat and spellbound by the magic unfolding in front of her eyes she was once again reminded that as long as music continues to articulate the connection between the beat of the heart and the beat of the street, there’s still work to be done. Listen here

Blanket = sound vision