Carolyn Jensen Chadwick

CJC Photos:
Elephant sealElephant seal, California’s Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

humpback whaleHumpback whale near Maui, Hawaii.

Mali camel herder “On the Edge, Timbuktu.”

Roy Sesana, Bushman elder (Kalahari Desert, Botswana), on a hike in the Santa Monica Mountains, “From the Kalahari to Malibu.”

CJC, EP of Radio Expeditions, on the Rio Tiputini (photo: Flawn Williams).

Splendid with Sound: The audio world lost a great producer today, Carolyn Jensen Chadwick. With her husband Alex she co-founded NPR’s Radio Expeditions (article in Current) and produced the Interviews 50 Cents films.

Carolyn was Maya Lin’s sound consultant for “What is Missing?” She produced scores of sound-drenched, audio-intense stories for NPR — we’ve run several, with more coming.

We hope you’ll spend an hour soaking in her sonics below. Hubby Alex once described a jungle as “splendid with sound.” That phrase also does justice to CJC’s enveloping, enrapturing, sometimes ecstatic, and always engaging work.

Master-engineer Skip Pizzi (NPR, Microsoft) would play this first piece at workshops to illustrate how a simple story can be superb, when elegantly enhanced with stereo sound. David Molpus narrates a portrait of “Equestrian Olympian: Bruce Davidson” (1984 / Carolyn Jenson Chadwick, producer / 12:39 mp3):

Radio Expeditions often recorded those who recorded sound, such as Rex Cocroft on “A Journey to the Edge of the Amazon(2006 / Carolyn Jenson Chadwick, producer / 8:54 mp3):

Among the natural sounds CJC captured were those of human nature, as when her husband Alex pitted wits with the regulars at a small-town casino, playing “Poker at the Ox” (Carolyn Jenson Chadwick, producer; Michael Schweppe, engineer / 9:55 mp3):

The Chadwicks spent time in India charting the Geography of Heaven: Vrindavan. In this first of three-parts, they walked “The Streets of a Holy Hindu City(2005 / Carolyn Jenson Chadwick, producer; Flawn Williams, engineer / 8:57 mp3):

And in the mountains of Payette National Forest, it’s all guns, guitars, guts, and wild game, inside an “Idaho Hunting Camp” (Carolyn Jenson Chadwick, producer; Michael Schweppe, engineer / 12:57 mp3):

We’ll miss you, Carolyn.

Carolyn's Memorial notice in LA

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Comments (25)

Oh we are so sad and send our deepest love and sympathy. A great, beautiful, intelligent, kind, warm, fine person who will stay in our hearts forever.

Comment added by Meg and Dev on 08.15.10

Dearest Auntie we will all miss you so much. It is both wonderful and hard to hear what you gave so much of your life for. We reconnect with you and celebrate your life and your wonderful marriage and partnership with Alex (Uncle A).
Go where the angles whisper their songs, and find peace in those gentle voices. God speed, we celebrate you every day.

Comment added by kim welch on 08.15.10

[…] Golding put together this collection of some of the things Carolyn produced.  Give it a listen.  I never heard her voice on the air, […]

Pingback added by carolyn « why? why not? on 08.16.10

Thinking of you Alex

Comment added by Doug Mitchell on 08.16.10

My condolences Alex. This is a great tribute.

Comment added by Will Parrinello on 08.16.10

On the first day of my Radio Expeditions internship I used the word “noise” … Carolyn gently corrected me: “in radio we say sound.” Five years later, I’m still at NPR thanks to her. She taught me how to listen.

Comment added by Beth on 08.16.10

I am only one of a good-sized army of radio journalists who learned from Carolyn and Alex how sound could elevate story-telling to something unique and sublime. You changed radio forever, made it better, and all who listen are in your debt.

Comment added by chris joyce on 08.16.10

Carolina (as I lovingly call her) was the best sonic radio producer. Her dedication to a story and professional energy inspire everyone to do the best whether in the field or in production. Thanks to her, we have a better understanding of our world.

Comment added by Leo on 08.16.10

Caroline, like all great artists, would never compromise when it came to bringing her vision to life. But unlike so many highly talented people, she was as warm, open and loving an individual as anyone could imagine. She gave so much more than she took.

Comment added by Steve Proffitt on 08.16.10

Alex—holding you “in the light”. Caroline’s passion and commitment made us all better.

Comment added by ellen Mcdonnell on 08.16.10

Sending thoughts and love to you and your family, Alex. What a lovely tribute, Barrett.

Comment added by Marjorie Van Halteren on 08.16.10


We’ll keep you and memories of Carolyn close to our hearts today.

Comment added by Rchard Gonzales on 08.16.10

Fondly remembering Carolyn’s creativity, passion, tenacity, and devotion to storytelling and sound.

Comment added by MJ Jacobsen on 08.16.10

So sorry to hear. Sending love and healing to you Alex.

Comment added by Jessie on 08.16.10

Great work, glad to get a chance to hear this superb radio again.

Alex, you’re in our hearts and minds today. Be well.

Comment added by ron on 08.16.10

Luke, my prayers are with you and your family. I did not know your mom and haven’t known you that long either, but based on your character, and comments from family/friends, she was a wonderful person. We here at Shell NVBD extend our condolences to you all. God Bless and Keep you in your time of need!

Comment added by Patricia on 08.16.10

We will miss you so much – you were always gentle, kind and amazingly intriqued in others. You were a role model to me in many ways and I feel grateful to have been related to you. We will really miss you. Ashley, John, Noelle and Aydan

Comment added by Ashley Welch on 08.17.10

Working with Carolyn at NPR was like nothing else I ever experienced. Never before or since have I witnessed such dedication to the craft and appreciation for the power of sound. She knew how to give a story abundant life.

She produced a piece on the training of the U.S. equestrian team for the Olympics, put a wireless lav mic on the bridle of a horse and captured his breathing as he went through his paces, including holding his breath as he went over jumps. Who knew?

She had the utmost patience and tact with everyone she encountered and I never heard her say an unkind word toward anyone. I’ll miss her. Thinking of you Alex and the wonderful life you and Carolyn had together. –David

Comment added by David Molpus on 08.17.10

Carolyn, not only my aunt but a talented, beautiful loving woman who cared so much for others and helped us all stop and listen to what most never hear. Thank you all who have supported our family, Alex, Hadley and Luke, we all feel very lost at this moment. Thank you for this beautiful piece and for everyones comments.

Comment added by Shandy, Hans, Finn, Ayla on 08.23.10

My deepest condolences to Alex and all in Carolyn’s family, all of her close friends. I never met Carolyn in person, but her work touched me as intimately as my dearest friends. All of us who listen will miss her.

Comment added by Ellen Rocco on 08.26.10

We just found out about Carolyns death and are so sorry for youe loss. We new how much you loved her and hope your doing ok considering you missing you best friend. Please email when you get a chance. We now live on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake.
Love, Paul & Holly

Comment added by Paul & Holly Fine on 09.26.10

We just found out about Carolyns passing and are so sorry for your loss. We know how much you loved her and hope your doing ok considering your missing you best friend. Please email when you get a chance. We now live on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake.
Strengh, Paul & Holly

Comment added by Paul & Holly Fine on 09.27.10

[…] best producer. She died August 2010; a few remembrances: All Things Considered | The Atlantic | Hearing Voices | LA Observed | Cornell Lab of Ornithology | Morning Edition. var addthis_pub="hearvox"; var […]

[…] best producer. She died August 2010; a few remembrances: All Things Considered | The Atlantic | Hearing Voices | LA Observed | Cornell Lab of Ornithology | Morning Edition. var addthis_pub="hearvox"; var […]

I am still missing Carolyn’s lush work featuring Alex on Radio Expeditions, and still upset at NPR’s shameful treatment of them and other great NPR pioneers.

Comment added by IT Greybeard on 01.30.14

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