Rachel Hopkin

Folklorist and Radio Producer

Audio Gallery

Here is a small selection of my radio documentaries which can listen to online. They featuring just a few of the many wonderful people who have so kindly allowed me to share their unique stories, work and experiences. I’ve also included a few examples of my shorter reports made for broadcasters around the globe.


Roger Knox

Country Down Under

A documentary about the popularity of American style country music amongst Australia’s Aboriginal people for broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and the World Service.

Cousin Emmy, painting by Gary Bewley

Banjo Pickin’ Girls and Fiddlin’ Women

A feature about early Kentucky women musicians for the Australian Broadcasting Company

Musical Migrants

I made three series of Musical Migrants via Falling Tree Productions for BBC Radio 4 and the World Service. Each series consisted of five audio portraits of people who relocated their lives for the love of a particular genre of music. The most recent series was broadcast in October 2011 and participants included an Englishman in Zanzibar, a Brazilian in Nashville, and an opera-loving Venezuelan couple in Milan. You can listen to these programs via the BBC website and I’ve also included a selection, taken from all three series, here.

Yoko Noge

Musical Migrants – Chicago

This program was about the move of Japanese musician Yoko Noge to Chicago for its west-side blues. It was featured in the Third Coast International Audio Festival’s first Filmless Film Festival in 2009 and also in their Re:Sound show.

Bruce Green

Musical Migrants – South

This is a portrait of the Kentucky fiddle music expert Bruce Greene. He has been described by his peers as the “alpha fiddler”.

Amber McPhersony

Musical Migrants – Leipzig

This traces the journey of the American violinist Amber McPherson. Amber found her passion for baroque music and historic performance practice in Germany.

Ann Savoy

Musical Migrants – Cajun

Ann Savoy was raised to be a ‘southern lady’ but the wild freedom she found in Cajun music lured her to the prairies of Louisiana.

Jesse Lee Jones

Musical Migrants – Nashville

Brazilian born Jesse Lee Jones had an American Dream that eventually took him to Nashville, Tennessee – the birthplace of country music.

Daniel Sanden Warg

Musical Migrants – Norway

Norway’s national instrument – the hardanger fiddle – drew Daniel Sandén-Warg, originally from Sweden, to the tradition-steeped Setesdal Valley.

Working in Harmony

This series explored relationships between members of different musical partnerships. The programs, which were broadcast on BBC Radio 4, were described as “perfectly formed” by the UK Guardian Newspaper’s radio critic.

Beaux Arts Trio

Working in Harmony – The Piano Trio

The Beaux Arts Trio formed in 1955. This program, which was recorded in 2004, featured founder member Menahem Pressler (piano) along with Antonio Meneses (cello) and Daniel Hope (violin).

Ailish Tynan

Working in Harmony – Agent and Soprano

This program featured Irish soprano Ailish Tynan and her agent Colin Ure.



An exploration of a beautiful genre of folk music from the north east of Argentina. This documentary was broadcast on Into The Music on Australian Broadcasting Company’s Radio National.

Zoltán Kodály

Music and the Method

I spent a year studying at the Zoltán Kodály Institute in Kecskemét, Hungary in the mid 1990s. This program for BBC Radio 4 explored the contemporary international significance of the Hungarian composer’s educational ideas. The broadcast drew nearly 400 calls and messages from listeners who had enjoyed it (almost as many, the Commissioning Editor told me at the time, as had called in to seek further information following a documentary on irritable bowel syndrome which was broadcast earlier the same day!). The presenter is Ivan Hewett.


Women Appalacian Ballad Singers

Appalachian Women Ballad Singers

A short feature on the women who preserved this traditional form of music. This report was broadcast during an edition of BBC Radio 4’s flagship program Woman’s Hour.

The Plaza de Mayo, Buenos Aires

Dirt Stains

A report for WNYC’s On The Media that looked at press freedom both during and since the last military dictatorship in Argentina.

Seth Wulsin photographs The Caseros Prison Demolition Project

The Caseros Prison Demolition Project

Seth Wulsin is an American artist. He created an artwork entitled the ‘The Caseros Prison Demolition Project’ in a suburb of Buenos Aires. This report about the project was for the BBC World Service.

Gauchito Gil

Gauchito Gil

This report is about the unofficial saint of Argentina’s poor which I made for APM’S Marketplace.


La ESMA: Buenos Aires Torture Centre becomes Museum

This report for the Canadian Broadcasting Company’s Dispatches program is about the conversion into a museum of Buenos Aires infamous’ Navy Mechanics School (ESMA) which was used as a concentration camp and torture center during Argentina’s last military dictatorship.

Freeman Kitchens

Kentucky Folkloristic Radio: The Vintage Sound Collections of Freeman Kitchens

This piece, which I made for WKYU, was linked to a exhibition held in Bowling Green about the life and work of the man who founded the Carter Family Fanclub from his Post Office in the tiny town of Drake, Kentucky.

Combat Paper Nevada

Combat Paper Nevada

Made for KUNR, this story explores Combat Paper Nevada, a paper-making project for veterans.

Lost City Farm

Lost City Farm

This report, also for KUNR, is about Reno’s first commercial organic agriculture enterprise.

Columbus Baker

FolkOhio: Columbus Baker Uses Opera As Inspiration

This piece for WOSU is about Jonas Laughlin, a former opera singer who turned to baking when an illness destroyed his voice.

Carousel Works

FolkOhio: Mansfield Firm Keeps Carousel Craftsmanship Alive

Also for WOSU, this is about Carousel Works – based in Mansfield, Ohio – is the largest maker of wooden carousels in the world.