Minister of the Month: Matt Hill

Posted by Bhavani Esapathi on 29th January 2018

We love our volunteers at the Ministry and every month we like to celebrate them by handpicking our ‘Minister of the Month’. How do we make these tough choices? It’s not easy but every time we reflect on our amazing pool of volunteers we’re in awe of how fortunate we are to have such talented people on our side and this is one way of us saying, thank you – you are simply brilliant!

This month, we have Matt. He has been with us over a variety of projects and is a brilliant human being, we hope you enjoy getting to know him as well.

I’m a podcast producer, that means I make audio programmes you can listen to using an app, whenever or wherever you like. I’ve been doing it about ten years. TEN YEARS. Crikey.

I first heard about the Ministry through an event called The Story. Lucy and Ben had recently opened Hoxton Street Monster Supplies, and told this audience of storytellers about their remarkable work. There were quite a few people that signed up for the Ministry that day, and I was one of them.

Most volunteers have a skill that they bring to workshops, and my role is to record the stories of ministers, and turn them into podcasts. I add music and sound effects that help make the sound as dramatic as the words.

The first time I tried this was for a series for CBeebies that we recorded at the Ministry of Stories, inventing stories for younger children. Jenni Murray from Woman’s Hour came along and did a wonderful impersonation of The Chief (The Chief, as we know, hates the sound of their own voice). The stories were totally original: we had magic coconuts, a bunny that wanted to be a comedian and a robot that dreams of going to the moon!

The best times I’ve had are when I find a piece of music or effect that perfectly matches the story (I love a good dun-dun-dah! noise). And the most challenging part of the job? It’s still listening back to my own voice. I avoid it where possible.

I do a lot of listening for my job, and because of that I get to hear lots of interesting people tell me things I couldn’t possibly know from reading or googling a subject. So yes: listening. It’s really important.

I love working with the Ministry of Stories – every project reminds me of how creative and clever and silly we can all be when we really try. I hear there’s plans to do some MoS audiobooks at the publisher Penguin Random House, which sounds fantastic. I can’t wait to get started!

Love what you read and want to be part of one of our amazing projects yourself? You can find out more about Matt's experience on Twitter @virtualmatthill or register as a volunteer so you can come talk to us directly.
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