Wednesday 4 January 2012, 09:04
This time last year I wrote a computer program (technically a collection of scripts - please see ** note right at the bottom of this page if you want to know more about the technologies involved) to help me assemble the music show.
I had become sick of typing out the same website/Twitter addresses etcetera for each of the artists I play when I put running orders together (the playlists for each individual show). So all of this information is now compiled in a database.
If I play The Joy Formidable, the database already knows their website and twitter addresses, their record label contacts and so on.
This allows me to contact artists (easily) before I play them in any given show. I can share contact information with colleagues whenever they're looking for bands or recommendations. It has been a very useful tool.
Because all of this information is to hand, I can see - easily - which artists I have played the most in the last 12 months. For the sake of transparency, and because we all like a statistic to mull over, here are the pertinent statistics regarding my show last year.
It's not an entirely scientific exercise. I'm not a statistician. I'm not even a programmer (well, scripter). But this information is accurate enough to give you a good idea of how successfully - statistically, at least - this show supports Welsh music.
Before we get to the table of artists and their respective amount of plays, here are the overall stats for the show:
I played 2,149 songs in total last year. 1,638 of those were unique songs (ie played for the first time). I featured 879 different artists in 51 shows. 92% of the tracks were Welsh*. There was an average of 42 tracks in each show, and each show featured - on average across the year - 17 unique artists.
*For the sake of the show's remit, Welsh isn't the same as a qualification to play for the national rugby team, say. Welsh is artists who are either Welsh (obviously); based in Wales (eg Los Campesinos); on a Welsh label and/or with Welsh management (eg Girls); produced by a Welsh producer (eg The Lovely Eggs), or remixed by a Welsh artist.
Here is a list of the top artists, with regards to the number of individual plays they received in 2011. If 117 seems like an arbitrary amount of artists to feature, I simply drew a line under the artists who had received five plays or more.
If you have any questions, please feel free to ask them below and I'll do my best to answer.
If you have any observations, I'm fascinated to hear/read them.
Bear in mind, this isn't a league table of my favourite artists. Georgia Ruth, as one example, doesn't feature on this list at all, despite the fact that I love her music. This list is most influenced by what each artist released in 2011, and how they contributed to the programme. Exceptions to this 'rule' are the archive tracks/artists that I have played (60ft Dolls/Mclusky and the like). I could remove those artists from this list, but I think it's interesting to see how much 'older' Welsh releases feature in the playlists.
Top artists played in 2011 (artist name/number of plays):
** The technologies used to implement the database, and collate this information, are all available under Open Source licenses. I chiefly use the php scripting language, MySQL databases and the MAMP environment that lets me run both on my own local server (ie home computer!).
Feel free to comment! If you want to have your say, on this or any other BBC blog, you will need to sign in to your BBC iD account. If you don't have a BBC iD account, you can register here - it'll allow you to contribute to a range of BBC sites and services using a single login.
Join the discussion...