18 September 2014

Pledge Noise - Airs Sept 10th + 17th

The Beat of a Heart, the Tramp of a Fly from Noise: A Human History of Sound and Listening
In the early years of the nineteenth century new technology allowed people to hear sounds that had always existed – but below the threshold of normal human perception. Professor David Hendy of the University of Sussex tells us the story of medicine’s listening revolution: the discovery of the stethoscope.

The New Art of Listening from Noise: A Human History of Sound and Listening
Once upon a time musical performances were quite a relaxed affair. Most audience members were so busy chatting, flirting and eating they didn't actually do much listening at all. But then came the era of grand concert halls. Professor Hendy explores how the Victorians stopped all the shuffling and learned to hush.

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09 September 2014

Hostile Planet - Airs Sept 9th

Hostile Planet from Love + Radio
We think of certain events as profoundly life-altering. Getting married or emigrating to a new country. But you can always get divorced, and you can almost always move back. Nick van der Kolk, Brendan Baker, and Elizabeth Jenkins bring us the story of a woman weighing a life decision from which there would be no turning back. Starting in 2024, the Netherlands-based project Mars One Mission plans to send four people on a seven-month one-way trip to Mars for colonization. Four more rocketeers would follow every two years. Interest in participation for the so-called "suicide mission" has been stunningly high - and now only 705 finalists remain from an initial 202,586 applicants. We'll hear the thoughts of one of those potential astronauts, Taylor Rose Nations, as she imagines what her potential future off Earth may hold.

03 September 2014

Operation Tomorrow - Airs Sept 3rd

Operation Tomorrow from The Mysterious Traveler
"This is The Mysterious Traveler, inviting you to join me on another journey into the strange and terrifying. I hope you will enjoy the trip, that it will thrill you a little and chill you a little. So settle back, get a good grip on your nerves, and be comfortable--if you can!"
The Mysterious Traveler radio series produced about 400 episodes between 1943 to 1952 for the Mutual Broadcasting System. Unfortunately, only about 70 of those survive today. The show always began with the eerie, lonely sound of a distant locomotive followed by the malevolent voice of host Maurice Tarplin. It featured themes ranging from science fiction or fantasy to horror and crime drama. In tonight's broadcast, which first aired April 11, 1950, a time traveler discovers a future writhing in perpetual war. Now knowing the human race's fate, can he race to the present and prevent this awful future?

27 August 2014

Extreme Noise - Airs Aug 27th

Revolution and War from Noise: A Human History of Sound and Listening
In Paris 1789, politics moves out of the palaces and into the streets... as the hushed voice of court diplomacy gives way to the angry howls of the crowd. Professor David Hendy of the University of Sussex introduces the noises of revolutionary Paris, before traveling to the USA to explain how an 'acoustic shadow' helped the Confederate forces launch a surprise attack during the American Civil War. Plus, the eerie sound of the 'rebel yell.'

The Conquering Engines from Noise: A Human History of Sound and Listening
Henry David Thoreau is one of his history’s great listeners. His classic work ‘Walden’ is dense with descriptions of the natural sounds he discovered when he swapped his Concord home for a simple cabin in the woods. But his peace was disturbed by a penetrating noise that presaged the age to come: the snort of the iron horse. Professor Hendy explains how the sounds of nature gave way before the coming of the industrial din.

20 August 2014

Music From Unexpected Place — Airs Aug. 20th

The Avant Guardian by David Weinberg

In 1980s Los Angeles, Skid Row was known for two things: the homeless and avant garde theater. Clyde Casey was a struggling street performer who often slept in parking lots behind the fledgling theaters. When a security guard failed to show up for work one night, Casey agreed to watch theater-goers’ cars under one condition: he could stay in character. Thus was born “The Avant Guardian,” a surreal crimefighter that policed the area using music instruments and a utility belt full of toys. David Weinberg tracked Casey down decades later to discuss his unique brand of peace keeping.

The Symphony of Sirens by Charles Maynes

Every city is filled with its own unique sounds, but can you compose an orchestra from them? In 1923, Soviet composer Arseny Avraamov gave it his best shot with “Symphony of Sirens.” He attempted to conduct Moscow’s everyday sounds while perched on a rooftop overlooking the city. No recordings exist, but producer Charles Maynes imagines what Avraamov may have heard and explores how the city sounds now.

Finding Music In The Sounds of Antarctica from KALW

The frozen expanse of Antarctica might seem like a quiet place, but composer Cheryl Leonard can tell you it’s anything but. In 2009, Leonard traveled to Antarctica to capture the sounds of the icy continent. She has since made music from the sounds of cracking glaciers, and even fashioned original instruments from penguin bones. In this piece, KALW’s Martina Castro interviews Leonard about her subzero composing experience.

(Photo by Andrey Smirnov showing Soviet composer Arseny Avraamov conducting the "Symphony of Sirens" in Moscow.)

13 August 2014

Bacall's Bold Venture - Airs Aug 13th

Sailor is a Wealthy Widow from Bold Venture
To commemorate the life and talent of Lauren Bacall, we will be airing an episode of her cult-classic radio show, Bold Venture. Humphrey Bogart frequently spoke of his wife's fondness of the broadcast, "I never listened to it, but Betty did. She liked to hear her voice." We do too and so we're pleased to bring you another choice chapter from this ace series. There have been few Hollywood Power Couples which held as much draw as "Bogie and the Baby" but despite the popularity of radio serials, the Bogarts continually refused to tie themselves down to a microphone every week. However, after years of turning down opportunities and lucrative contracts, there came a new wonder of technology -- the advent of tape recording. Now the pair would be able to work around their busy film schedules and were finally lured to radio after hearing a brilliant story pitch and asked to join a specially selected team of first-rate writers and top-grade talent. The premise was like combining their movies To Have and Have Not, Key Largo, a dash of The Big Sleep and set it with a backdrop of Havana. In each installment, the captain's ship, Bold Venture, set sail for "adventure, intrigue, mystery, and romance." In this episode, the pair find themselves entangled in a dangerous insurance fraud plot when Duval misplaces her gun -- and apparently a husband! Will Slate Shannon (Humphrey Bogartbelieve his trusty, sultry sidekick Sailor Duval (Lauren Bacallto be innocent when this husband turns up dead?

06 August 2014

True Outlaw Stories - Airs Aug 6th

On the Road with Willie Nelson from Joyride Media
Rodney Crowell hosts an special hour of songs and stories about the country legend and his travels aboard the "Time-Tube" with the "band of gypsies." Interviews with Willie Nelson, his longtime band members, road crew, friends, and "extended musical family" give us a unique look at the past 40-plus years of touring together. Tune-in for Willie's tales of run-ins with the law, Rick James, high-jackings, drummers, and Hells Angels.