Audio / 2022 / 14mins
BBC Radio 3

Unread is an experimental audio drama broadcast on BBC Radio 3, which vocalises the way in which we are constantly inundated with text and information. Calum created it after the experience of clearing his grandmother’s house after her death, realising how much we can learn of a person simply by looking through their domestic detritus.

In this play, a visit to an uninhabited house reveals fragments of text: Junk mail, barcode numbers, county of origin labels, website addresses, safety warnings, serving suggestions, discarded notes, fridge magnets and magazines. A mother-daughter relationship is re-examined as new discoveries are made.

Featuring actor and singer Keeley Forsyth, Calum recorded the whole play binaurally, emphasising the spatiality and intimacy of the domestic space. The majority of dialogue is simply readings of pieces of text found around the house, which makes sound and space and important narrative tool. As the play progresses, we move from the domestic world of speech and sound into the psychological world of music and singing. Original music and song composed by Calum emphasise the character’s sense of both discovery and loss, while questioning the role of music and text in audio drama more broadly