RADIA # 223: Martin Williams for Resonance104.4fm
Fragments of Stratford Shopping Centre. A patchwork portrait of the shopping mall at Stratford , east London , blending music, field recordings and spoken narratives.
Stratford Shopping Centre. I go there every day. It’s unmissable. Not because of the magnetic pull of Percy Ingle’s cheese and onion pasties or the many bargains to be found in the 99p Shop. And not because the place itself is distinctive or eccentric in any particularly appealing way. If anything it’s an unremarkable small shopping mall, with its chain stores and discount shops, bright lights and the sonics of a crowded swimming pool. It’s unmissable—for me and thousands of others—simply because it is the only way to get from Stratford town itself to the very busy tube and rail station there. In a feat of hubristic urban planning the shopping centre sits in the middle of a teeming ring road and is the only route from one side to the other. I’m funnelled through this dystopian high street every day, and respond with a conflicting mix of feelings about the place. So this programme is both paean and protest, a tribute with its tongue in its cheek.