31 December 2014

New Year's Eve Blues- Airs Dec 31st

Happy New Year from The Truth
Walt Avery is throwing a New Year's Eve party. He's invited all his friends, and expects a big crowd. Who will show up? Who won't? In this short story, we spend an evening with a man coming to terms with the perseverance of friendships, the death of his wife, keeping her memory, and perpetuating their traditions.

Clandestine Recording of My Parents at New Year's by Laura Kwerel
A secret recording of some late night gaiety. Laura was alone in her room when her parents and some neighbors began to celebrate the coming new year. They started making these unbelievable sounds with their noisemakers, like some kind of strange, bizarre -- sad geese -- and she knew she simply had to catch it on tape.

Dec 31st, 1995 from Random Tape
Kenneth and Miriam ring in the New Year... perhaps their last. Random Tape is a radio show that features odd voice messages, rants, poetry, music, any and all found recordings -- even some other random sounds. 

19 December 2014

Risky Stories for the Holidays - Airs Dec 24th

True Stories for the Holidays from RISK!
RISK! is the podcast "where people tell true stories they never thought they'd dare to share." Writers, actors and ordinary folks tell their most intimate secrets -- the most loaded moments of their lives. It's hilarious, heartbreaking and often, just plain wonderful. Some stories are told on stage at RISK! live shows while others may include music and sound design. 
This is a special holiday episode features author Elna Baker on the time she managed "adoptions" of baby dolls at toy store FAO Schwartz; author Michele Carlo on her first kiss in a Christmastime snowstorm; Steve Spatucci on his childhood quest to find Santa Claus; and Scott Whitehair on his teenage quest to make sure his baby brother continued to believe in Old St. Nick.
Enjoy.

17 December 2014

Stories of Hanukkah - Airs Dec 17th

The War on Hanukkah from Eric Molinsky
Hanukkah has become the pinnacle of assimilation for American Jews. Dreidels and Menorahs hang in holiday displays alongside Christmas trees and wreaths. But the real history of Hanukkah is sometimes forgotten. The ancient war that Hanukkah celebrates was very much a civil war between religious and secular Jews. While cooking latkes, a former Orthodox Jew explains how this 2,000 year old struggle over assimilation has affected her life. 

La Nona Kanta by Julie Subrin
Flory Jagoda grew up in a family of singers. Her childhood, in a mountain village outside of Sarajevo, was filled with songs sung in Ladino - the language passed down by Jews expelled from Spain during the Inquisition. After the horrors of World War II, she and her parents were the only survivors of the 42-member Altaras family. Since then, Jagoda, winner of a NEA National Heritage fellowship, has dedicated her professional life to composing, performing and teaching songs that preserve her memories of that lost life. Jagoda is perhaps best known for what has now become something of a Hanukkah standard, her original composition, "Ocho Kandelikas."

Chanukah with Byron by Terin Mayer
A student at Carleton College in Northfield finds herself working on campus during the winter break rather than heading home. Chanukah is a particularly important holiday to Emma - she enjoys her parent's traditions and rituals. But this year Emma can't be with her family; so instead she spends the festival of lights with Byron. He's a big personality on campus, the kind of guy who's friends with everyone, but that nobody really knows. This is the story of their dorm-lounge holiday, and how they got to know each other.

10 December 2014

Typewriter and Extractors, Oh My!

If you love typewriters, this isn't the show for you. On this episode of the Listening Lounge, the reporting team of The Kitchen Sisters takes us inside the studio of a sculptor who makes it his mission to disassemble those antique writing machines.

"I destroy typewriters," says Jeremy Mayer of Oakland, California. Mayer turns those keys and pieces of metal into full-scale, anatomically correct human figures. 

Also on the show: The Extractor from The TruthProducer Jonathon Mitchell spins whole worlds in his radio stories for The Truth. In the  "The Extractor," we start with some startling "what if"'s and spiral out from there: what if the sounds we make don't just fade away? What if they're embedded in the wood around us? What if someone invented a device that could retrieve these sounds from hours, years or even centuries ago?

By the way, if you really love typewriters, check out Clickety-Clack: A Visit to Vale Typewriters from The Listening Lounge's Todd Melby, a senior producer at 2 below zero.

03 December 2014

Noise War - Airs Dec 3rd

Shell Shock from Noise: A Human History of Sound and Listening
The rumble of artillery bombardment in Northern France could be heard as far away as Kent during the First World War. Up close in the trenches soldiers experienced a sonic onslaught that continued night and day: howling shells, the machine gun’s rattle, and the screams of injured men. Professor Hendy of the University of Sussex visits Flanders to relay echoes from the Front. 

Radio Everywhere from Noise: A Human History of Sound and Listening
Radio seemed like magic to begin with... then the Nazis exploited its darker powersIn the early days, listening to radio was an uncanny, miraculous experience. Amazingly, voices arrived out of thin air from hundreds of miles away. In time, the radio became a trusted part of family life - and by the 1930s and 40s, it was the perfect medium for propaganda, as Joseph Goebbels recognized. In this thrilling chapter, we consider the seductive power of the disembodied voice. 

26 November 2014

The Persistence of Desire - Airs Nov 26th

The Persistence of Desire by John Updike
Written in July of '58 and originally published in The New Yorker on July 11th the following year, the short story is read here by the author in 1969. Triumphantly known as a cataloger of civilizationMr. Updike describes writing his early stories in a small, rented, musty office in Ipswitch by saying, "I felt that I was packaging something as delicately pervasive as smoke, one box after another, in that room, where my only duty was to describe reality as it had come to me -- to give the mundane its beautiful due." We'll listen intently as Updike itemizes the human experience through a character who is eventually "dismissed into a tainted world where things evaded his focus."
Clyde lived in Massachusetts with his wife and 2 children. He was visiting his home town in Pennsylvania and had arranged an appointment with Dr. Pennypacker because he had an annoying twitch in his eye. In the doctor's waiting room he saw Janet, a girl he had wooed in high school. She was married now too. He found that his former feeling for her still existed. She did not know how to react to his attentions. Just before they parted she gave him a note and then went off to meet her husband. He could not read the note because of the drops that had been put in his eyes, but just her familiar handwriting brought her close to him.

19 November 2014

Leaving a Mark - Airs Nov. 19

Some people buy stuff on CraigsList. Other people sell stuff on Craigslist. Then there's radio producer Emily Hsiao. She prowls CraigsList for story ideas. And what she found is essential listening. Hsiao met Bruce, a middle-aged man who was looking for a tattoo artist to cover up the offensive ink on his arm. Turns out Bruce spent a lot of his life doing heroin and robbing drug dealers. Also: We hear stories about a man who loses his voice to illness and a woman who buys too, too much. It's our pre-Black Friday tale for Listening Lounge listeners.
More here: Leaving a Mark by Emily Hsiao, winner of a 2014 Third Coast International Audio Festival award. Parts of Speech by Emily Kwong, winner of a 2013 Third Coast International Audio Festival award. Consuming Desire, excerpt from a 2005 documentary by Diane Richard and Todd Melby.

12 November 2014

This is Crohn's Disease - Airs Nov. 12th

What happens when you can get a horrifying, rare disease and there's no real cure? And the best medicine has to offer isn't enough? That's what happened to Jack Rodolico's wife. In "This is Crohn's Disease," Jack chronicles her illness and their efforts to make her life better. The microphone and recorder are there during doctor's visitors and painful treatments. This is a touching story that also gives listeners insights into how doctors think and treat disease. The story is one of several science stories produced as part of the Public Radio Exchange's STEM series. Reporter Jack Rodolico works at New Hampshire Public Radio.

Also on the program, a story from Eric Molinsky titled, "Take Me To Your Leader." It explores how some Native Americans see a similarity between alien invasion movies and the European-American invasion of their homeland.

05 November 2014

Capturing Noise - Airs Nov 5th

Life in the City from Noise: A Human History of Sound and Listening
Professor David Hendy considers the comforts and irritations of next-door's noise. As cities grew, neighbor's hullabaloo became increasingly hard to escape. We will explore the writer Thomas Carlyle’s grumpy attempts at soundproofing, before travelling to New York to imagine the teaming, boisterous world of the Lower East Side tenements in the early twentieth century.

Capturing Sound from Noise: A Human History of Sound and Listening
Sounds were ephemeral until recording technology made it possible to capture them. Professor Hendy of the University of Sussex introduces bottled moments from the past, including the voices of Robert Browning and Florence Nightingale as well as 9/11 answerphone messages.

29 October 2014

Dr. Frankenstein's Monster - Airs Oct 29th

The Frankenstein Family Crypt from The American Forces Network
In 1952, announcer Carl Nelson's producers sent him to the Frankenstein Castle near Darmstadt, Germany to explore the family crypt. Little did he know, they had set up a prank which was waiting for him. Despite the rising fear in his voice, Nelson dutifully reports everything as it happens, even going so far as to examine a grotesque statue he thinks he saw moving. Panic and terror rightfully ensue.

Frankenstein from The Witch's Tale
The Witch's Tale was the first horror radio serial. The series ran from 1931-1943 and was created, written, and directed by St. Paul's own Alonzo Deen Cole. The stories were hosted by an old Salem witch and her black cat, Satan. In this episode, a young scientist named Victor conducts experiments into human anatomy, physiology, and electro-chemistry; intent on improving the human race. Eventually he succeeds in creating life but is instantly repulsed by his creation. Upon his return, after fleeing his laboratory in horror, Dr. Frankenstein realizes his monster ...has escaped.


"Douse out them lights, settin' in the spooky shadows is the way to hear our pretty tales."

22 October 2014

Claustrophobic Calliope - Airs Oct 22nd

Introduction by Alfred Hitchcock
Are the lights out? Good.

The Murder Ship from The Strange Dr. Weird
The S.S. Arctic Star gropes its way through a thick all-enveloping fog when tragedy strikes. Rammed and taking on water, the ship speedily submerges below the surface. With hopes of a pending rescue, a lucky pair of lovers are the only survivors aboard the sinking vessel. Will the couple be able to survive... each other?

The Book by Hans H. Anderson
Despite repeated, excessive applications of WD-40, a spooky pantry door still creepily squeaked for years - perhaps generations. Eventually, one very brave, determined, and foolish man decides to finally fix it for good.

15 October 2014

War of the Welles - Airs Oct 15th

War of the Welles by R.H. Greene & John Rabe
George Takei primes us for a KPCC radio documentary that goes behind the scenes of the famous Halloween Eve broadcast of Orson Welles' and the Mercury Theatre's "War of the Worlds" in 1938 on CBS. It truly was a radio production so realistic, so convincing that it panicked listeners who believed the Martians really were invading our East Coast. Contrary to some accounts that only a few hundred or thousand were spooked by the broadcast, it can be figured that many more than one and a half million listeners felt an invasion was imminent. We'll hear the back-story of this stunning production, correcting many of these myths, and why exactly it worked so well and continues to captivate us today.

08 October 2014

The Black Cat - Airs Oct 8th

The Black Cat from Mystery in the Air
In the late 40s, Peter Lorre, the infamous silver screen star, was briefly featured on a radio serial which brought us great, exciting stories both strange and unusual - dark and compelling masterpieces culled from the four corners of world literature. In this episode, which originally aired on September 18, 1947, we hear the final confession of man about to hang for murdering his wife. It's an audio adaption of Edgar Allan Poe's immortal American classic, The Black Cat; a psychological thriller concerning the slow mental deterioration of a man, followed quickly by his complete moral disintegration. The tale was first published some one hundred years earlier in The Saturday Evening Post on August 19, 1843. Not surprisingly, Poe himself owned a black cat.

01 October 2014

Bloody Fingers - Airs Oct 1st

Bloody Fingers from Love + Radio
To ease-into our month-long string of spooky episodes, we're starting nicely with a dark story that took place in one of the finest art galleries in Cambridge, MA. It's the tale of a horrible accident and a complicated friendship. A gripping nude showdown and dazed detective story. A hunt for a missing finger... or more importantly, a lost pack of smokes. This pair of graphic, horrific stories were woven together by the brilliantly twisted Nick van der Kolk for your listening pleasure as only Love + Radio can do. If you'd like to hear more in-depth, otherworldly-produced interviews ranging from seedy to sublime, you can find more at loveandradio.org.

18 September 2014

Only On KFAI - Airs Sept 17th + 24th

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.

30 July 2014

Master, Servant, Slavery, Rebellion - Airs July 30th

Master and Servant from Noise: A Human History of Sound and Listening
Grand town houses in the eighteenth century seemed to promise privacy. But in fact they offered anything but – the family home often included not just parents and children, but also elderly relatives, unmarried sisters, paying lodgers, and the nosiest neighbors of the lot… the servants. Professor David Hendy of the University of Sussex eavesdrops on the whispers, gossip and scandal of the eighteenth century house, and tells the salacious tale of John Burt, a navy captain from Canterbury, who took his young wife Harriet to court for impropriety - on the evidence of his cook.  

Slavery and Rebellion from Noise: A Human History of Sound and Listening
Many slaves would have heard the sounds of home for the last time as they waited at Ghana’s Gate of No Return for a ship to the new world. Far away on the Carolina plantations they were expected to be quiet or to sing to demonstrate contentment with their lot. But in 1739, one of the largest and most violent revolts in American history took place – and for a brief time the slaves were anything but silent. Professor Hendy tells us the story of the Stono River revolt. 

22 July 2014

Stories from Beyond the Border - Airs July 23rd

Stories from Beyond the Border by Claes Andreasson
In June of 1987, President Reagan stood in front of the Berlin Wall, saying: "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" Today, the United States continues to build its own walls along our southern border. The boundary between California and Mexico remains one of the most popular places to cross. Despite two fences, heat sensors, plus an increased number of patrol officers, hundreds of people still try to make it across every day. We will hear the stories of some who have lived their entire lives here in the U.S. yet were deported, failed border crossers, and the Mexican Border Patrol, Grupo Beta, as they go looking for migrants and trying to help them on their way.

16 July 2014

The Hospital Always Wins - Airs July 16th

The Hospital Always Wins by Laura Starecheski
A special hour-long program this week!!! We will be presenting an award-winning documentary from Al Letson's State of the Re:Union which takes a close-up look at love, guilt and forgiveness. Back in 2004, producer Laura visited a mental hospital in Queens, NY. While there she met a handsome artist named Issa Ibrahim who seemed to have no perceptible symptoms of mental illness. He was talented, charismatic, funny, engaging -- but he’d already been at Creedmoor Psychiatric Center for more than a decade, and had little hope of getting out. So, why was Issa still stuck in this hospital? Laura’s quest to uncover the story took years to unfold and revealed both the brightest and the darkest parts of human nature.

09 July 2014

The Walker - Airs July 9th

The Walker from Radio Netherlands
In the space of seven years, Jan Visser walked 40,000 kilometers, the equivalent of the earth's equator. Producer Laura Durnford joins Jan for a wander through one of his favorite national parks, to find out why he has made pedestrianism part of his life's philosophy, and to step into the realms where walking connects with human health and cultural history. We will also hear quotes from Rebecca Solnit's book, Wanderlust, which argues for preserving the time and space in which to walk in our ever more car-dependent, accelerated world.

02 July 2014

Bogart's Bold Venture - Airs July 2nd

The Kuan Yin Statue from Bold Venture
To honor Christmas baby Humphrey Bogart's 114th-and-a-half birthday, we will be airing an episode of his cult-classic radio program, Bold Venture. The show was a hugely popular syndicated serial which aired thrice-weekly from 1951 to 1952 on over 400 stations. It was recorded just prior to Bogart's departure from the United States to film The African Queen and was later adapted into a television series. In each chapter, the captain's ship, Bold Venture, set sail for "adventure, intrigue, mystery, and romance." Also, despite being a "quick-paced adventure story for the entire family," according to the star, "...we usually kill-off someone every night." In this episode, Slate Shannon (Humphrey Bogart) and his sultry sidekick Sailor Duval (Lauren Bacall) become involved with a deadly quest for a rare Chinese statue of Kuan Yin which is thought to have been smuggled aboard.

25 June 2014

Noise Pollution - Airs June 25th

Colonists from Noise: A Human History of Sound and Listening
The colonists liked to imagine that their new homeland was an empty wilderness -- but of course they weren't the first to live there. Settlers arriving in the 17th century decreed the songs and sounds of native American Indians to be bloodcurdling, barbaric, and wild. Professor David Hendy of the University of Sussex explores how for many Native Americans sound itself was thought of as being alive.

Shutting In from Noise: A Human History of Sound and Listening
In the eighteenth century, Edinburgh was one of most overcrowded cities in Europe. Narrow alleys separated looming tenement buildings, each housing multiple families. Individuals of very different classes and ways of life had to rub along in cramped conditions. We will squeeze in among them, to hear how a similar situation in Paris led to a surreal and brutal massacre of cats

17 June 2014

Mystery Men - Airs June 18th

Pay No Attention to that Man Behind the Curtain by Sarah Boothroyd
A sound collage that mixes printing press rhythms and interview scraps that would usually be edited out of a journalistic radio segment, including material that draws attention to the technical and interpersonal machinations of reporting. It's a behind-the-scenes view of journalism, which is a process of editing and selecting, rather than transmitting a complete record to the public. 

Do You Have a Minute for Equality? from The Truth
A mysterious man offers the large donation a desperate street canvasser needs -- but it at a hefty price. The story was written by Chet Seigel, developed collaboratively by the Truth, with dialogue improvised by the actors. Performed by Chet Seigel, Tom LigonMelanie Hoopes and directed by Jonathan Mitchell.

Love Bombed from Bring Your Own
Bring Your Own is a live storytelling pop-up series that takes place in living rooms, backyards, and other intimate spaces within the New Orleans community. Each month, stories are told live, unscripted, and true to the teller. On this night, Amy Allison Shipley gave her audience a window into the experience being recruited and indoctrinated as a member of a cult.


11 June 2014

The Art of Listening - Airs June 11th

The Unusual Sound on Your Radio by Delaney Hall
Resonance 104.4 FM is the world’s first radio art station, established by the London Musicians’ Collective. Its mission? To provide a radical alternative to the universal formula of mainstream broadcasting. You might tune in and hear Vietnamese pop music or machine noises or a man calling operators all over the world and trying to track down a phone number for the local zoo. Whatever you hear, station manager Richard Thomas hopes you'll be surprised. Or shocked. Or delighted. Or all three.

The Sonic World of Nancy Scott by Sam Greenspan
With the help of her mentor Alyce Ornella at Spindle Works Co-Op, Nancy has begun to express her talents aurally. There is an art to listening and sound artist Nancy Scott's ears are tuned to the sounds most of us overlookSpindleworks is a non profit art center for adults with disabilities in Brunswick, Maine. While there Nancy spends her time there exploring the tonality of the everyday world -- the scraping, the humming and buzzing, the creaking and clicking noises that we usually filter out.  

Signal To Noise by Paolo Pietropaolo
Tinnitus (ringing in the ear) is becoming one of the most common medical conditions in North America and Paolo has wrestled with it since 2004. Sometimes, noise can be his ally, especially at night -- but at other times -- it is his enemy. The lines between noise, silence, and music has greatly blurred for him and it’s led him to believe that we are all suffering from a sort of societal tinnitus.


03 June 2014

Three Records From Sundown - Airs June 4

Nick Drake died in 1974, a mostly unknown songwriter with three failed folk albums to his name. Fast forward to the present, and Drake is widely considered among the most important musicians of his era. In Three Records from Sundown, Charles Maynes retraces the roots of the Nick Drake legend through interviews with Drake’s producer Joe Boyd. To learn more about Nick Drake, check out stories from NPR and The Guardian.

30 May 2014

In Good Hands - Aired May 28th

In Good Hands from The Truth
We here at The Listening Lounge are big fans of producer Jonathan Mitchell's work -- and this week we're gladly featuring another audio adventure from his series, The Truth. The folks at The Truth develop stories as a collective, often improvising the dialog on location. The recordings are then taken to the studio for editing, sound design, & score. They are yielding extraordinary results thus far and tonight, they will be taking us urban spelunking. If you're not already out doing it yourself, Urban Exploration is the risky hobby of infiltrating private areas barred from public-access or poking around long forgotten ruins. In this story (which stars another Listening Lounge favorite, Emily Tarver,) a pair of explores sneak into an abandoned subway tunnel and stumble onto... you'll just have to tune-in and hear.

19 May 2014

Oh Coqui! - Airs May 21st

Oh Coqui! from Long Haul Productions
The Coqui, a tiny, but very vociferous tree frog, is the national symbol of Puerto Rico. It is beloved in folklore and in song. But while the coqui’s lusty “croak” is a cherished part of the Puerto Rican soundscape, lulling residents to sleep every night, it’s a different story on the big island of Hawaii. Coquis showed up on the island as stowaways a few years back. And because the frog has no natural predator there, they’re proliferating like crazy -- 'taking over' some locals would say. Dan Collison and Elizabeth Meister bring us the story of Hawaii’s reaction to the coqui’s invasion.

14 May 2014

Noise Cancelling - Airs May 14th

Carnival from Noise: A Human History of Sound and Listening
Feast days in Medieval Europe were noisy affairs – the streets filled with processions, animal baiting, games and mystery plays. Professor David Hendy of the University of Sussex tells the story of a Somerset town where a ‘church ale’ got out of hand and the party went on for eight weeks. Then, as now, being raucous in the streets was a way for the dispossessed to literally make themselves heard – and revelry could easily tip into revolt.

Restraint from Noise: A Human History of Sound and Listening
The sixteenth and seventeenth centuries brought a new emphasis on self-discipline in every day life – and with it a revulsion against noise of every kind. City authorities banned singing and feasting from public squares and tore down maypoles, while town-dwellers raised petitions against noisy neighbors. Spitting, snorting and breaking wind – once part of everyday life – were now a cause for wrinkled noses and dismay.

07 May 2014

Talking With The Wind - Airs May 7th

The Mystery of Opal Whiteley by Dmae Roberts and Dorthy Velasco
Opal Whiteley was a naturist, writer, and dreamer who lived in a fantasy world of kindness and magical creatures in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon. At age six, writing with colored pencils on scraps of butcher paper, she began a secret diary about her time in the woods, talking with the wind, and her love of natureOpal was long considered by her family as an odd child; what they didn't know was that Opal was schizophrenic. The illness seemed to manifest itself in a heightened sense of awareness of the sights and sounds around her. Her heightened sensibilities and her genius for expressing herself combined to create the most fascinating diary ever written. It became wildly popular -- but due to it's sophistication was later condemned as a hoax. The controversy took a toll on Opal and eventually led to a further decline in her mental health.