Francesca Panetta is a multi-award winning radio producer and sound artist. She’s known for her richly layered through -composed sound work and experimental formats.
Francesca started her career as a trainee sound assistant at the BBC. Merging her classical music training with her love for feature making and technology she threw focused her early career in experimental radio.
For BBC Radio 3’s radio art Between the Ears series she has made a range of pieces that experiment in form from Deliverance a radio poem made with Lemn Sissay and six pregnant radio diarists, to the Dhammazedi Bell which fuses the writing style of Hans Christian Anderson into fantastical but true modern fairytale set in Burma.
She moved from radio to podcasting when iPods had just been created in 2006 moving from the BBC to the Guardian to work as an audio producer launching shows on British Islamic Life, Politics and Culture. As Head of Audio she led the podcast team pushing the department to explore what audio could look like as the podcast form developed through the decade.
Alongside her Guardian work, she launched her own podcast the Hackney Podcast, drew a global audience and won awards around the world.
Francesca has produced and Executive produced radio and podcasts on topics across the field. She covered the 2008 election (primaries and general election) in the United States. She launched podcasts on UK politics and Islamic life in Britain and made a BBC world service programme in Burma as the country began to open up in 2013.
In 2015 she executive produced the Guardian’s climate change series The Biggest Story in the World which let you behind the scenes as the paper’s editor in chief Alan Rusbridger and team set out to find a new narrative for climate change.
In 2010, Francesca began to further experiment with what technology could mean for audio with a series of Audio AR apps which triggered stories dependent on your location using GPS data.
Hackney Hear was the first which won awards around the world. Commissioned by the Arts Council of England, it portrayed a rapidly changing area of East London through oral history stories, interviews and commissioned poems, short stories and music layered and woven together over a square mile of London Fields and Broadway Market.
Built for the National Trust, Soho Stories brought together 60 years of Bohemian Soho vividly to life in an audio tour, narrated by veteran Soho entertainer Barry Cryer. All the important landmarks were included — Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, Foyles Bookshop, the Windmill Theatre, Carnaby Street — alongside recollections of the past from locals like Frankie Fraser (talking about criminal gangs) and Barry Miles (speaking on the beginning of teenage culture). The histories, and poems, give a warts-and-all overview of the area — including its infamous sex industry.
Diamond Street was made with Rachel Lichenstein to take readers on a journey through the historic jewellery quarter of Hatton Gardens. Guided by Rachel, along with a host of other characters, the secrets of the streets around the Hatton Garden area are be revealed to users as they wander around the area, listening and exploring.
Boardwalk Stories from Sandy was a walking tour app. Produced by Benjamen Walker and Francesca Panetta, it bring you stories of people who were affected by Superstorm Sandy. On October 29th 2012, the superstorm hurricane Sandy hit New Jersey, USA. The storm that had started in the Caribbean sea was to be the second most deadliest hurricane in US history, second only to hurricane Katrina. At least 233 people lost their lives throughout the course of the storm, 34 of which were from New Jersey, close to the Boardwalk. As well as the tragic loss of life, hurricane Sandy caused over two million households in the state to loose power and 346,000 homes were left damaged or destroyed when storm surge and flooding hit.