29 December 2015

Sound and the Sea + Ode to the Salish Sea - Airs Dec. 30

Sound and the Sea is a documentary exploring the name and place that is the body of water that runs from south of Seattle to north of Vancouver and out to the Pacific Ocean, currently known by a number of names depending on where you are (including Puget Sound, the Strait of Georgia and Juan de Fuca Strait). Its companion piece, Ode to the Salish Sea, is a composed documentary honoring that same body of water. In the past few years a new name, the Salish Sea, has gained increasingly common usage, used in publications by area residents, marine biologists, First Nations/Native Americans, and even Parks Canada, the Government of Canada's national park department. This informal use of a name that honours the area’s original inhabitants, the Coast Salish nations, has developed into a movement to officially add the name to the waters (without doing away with their current names). A note from producer Paolo Pietropaolo: "I gathered materials for the documentary by making field recordings of voices and sounds of the region. "There are three voices heard in two languages (Hul’qumi’num and English): George Harris of the Chemainus First Nation, a native Hul’qumi’num speaker and a proponent of the new name; Keith Roy, spokesman for the Monarchist League of Canada, who opposes the name; and Briony Penn, a geographer and environmental activist whose family has lived on Salt Spring Island, BC, since the mid-nineteeth century. The sounds are those of the waters: creeks, waves, boats, ferries and ambient sound, and the sounds of wildlife that depend on the Salish Sea for survival. In addition, I have used a snippet of “God Save the King” to honour the origins of the name Strait of Georgia. "I have layered, twisted, shaped, cut, processed and weaved these recordings into a composed documentary, musical in structure and ambient in aesthetic: an Ode to the Salish Sea. The end result creates a dream-state balancing the reality of what the Strait of Georgia & Puget Sound sound like today with imagined past and future sounds of the Salish Sea. "Place names are often spoken, and these audible sounds carry with them memory and culture – and thus, great meaning. Native languages are disappearing at an alarming rate as elders die out. In addition, every day, tonnes of earth from Seattle and Vancouver construction pits are dumped into the Salish Sea; every year, the salmon fishery is further threatened. By capturing the sounds carried by the air and waters of the Sea, the Ode seeks to draw attention to the inter-connectedness of the area and its peoples and cultures." Ode to the Salish Sea was commissioned by CBC Radio's Outfront and the Deep Wireless Festival of Radio Arts on the theme of Ecology: Water, Air, Sound, and premiered on CBC Radio across Canada on May 15, 2009 and in octophonic surround sound at the Deep Wireless Festival in Toronto, Ontario on May 29 & 30, 2009.

21 December 2015

Shortcut to the North Pole - Airs Dec 23rd

Shortcut to the North Pole by Peter Bochan 
Shortcuts is a theme-oriented audio extravaganza with no narration that has been airing on numerous public radio stations for over forty years. It's a splice-of-life montage which mixes music, film dialogue, press conferences, news, commercials, sound effects, and other sources. This holiday installment was produced in 1975 and features Gene Autry, Bing Crosby, The Chipmunks, Howdy Doody, John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Laurel and Hardy, Martin Mull, The Firesign Theatre, Otis Redding, Elvis Presley, The Who, The Boss, George Bernard Shaw, among many more.

04 December 2015

The Story of Star Wars - Airs Dec 9th + 16th

The Story of Star Wars from Superscope
Roscoe Lee Browne brilliantly narrates an abridged, tighter version of the events depicted within A New Hope. Many listeners feel this condensed retelling rivals (and may even best) the silver screen's theatrical release -- including me. The script was faithfully adapted by E. Jack Kaplan with Cheryl Gard and uses dialog, music, and sound effects from the original film. George Lucas himself is said to have overseen the project with the aid of Alan Livingston (the children's record pioneer who created Bozo the Clown, Rusty in Orchestraville, and signed both the Beatles and Sinatra to Capitol.) We will be playing the 1977 album in it's entirety over two weeks. Side A, which takes us up to the Millennium Falcon's arrival at the Death Star, will air on December 9th.
"A dark presence enters the ship. The ominous commander of the Imperial forces, Darth Vader, tall, and threatening in his black helmet, flowing black cape, and a face forever masked by a foreboding metal breath screen. Darth Vader, a figure who moves forever in a cloud of awesome evil.”- Roscoe Lee Browne narrating The Story of Star Wars

01 December 2015

Stranded Nisei - Airs Dec 2nd


Trapped on the Wrong Side of History by Richard Paul 
In 1939, Mary Kimoto Tomita, an independent-minded farm girl from outside Modesto, CA took a long trip to Japan to learn the language and culture of her ancestors. However, on December 5th, 1941, during her seemingly routine voyage back home, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and her ship reversed course. She was now stranded in the middle of a bloody war between the country of her birth and the country of her heritage. Trapped in Japan for the duration of World War II, Mary would experience deprivation, danger, and cultural collision. This story -- told through Mary’s personal reminiscences and letters from the time -- is a rare account of an unexplored side of WWII history.

20 November 2015

Mind Over Marketing - Airs Nov 25th

Mind Over Marketing by Michele Ernsting
From the moment we wake up until we go to sleep, we are bombarded by advertisements carefully designed to seduce our senses. This 24-hour marketing culture permeates all areas of our lives. But is there a way to protect ourselves from this onslaught? This program offers some unusual solutions from three very different experts: Theo Poiesz is a professor of marketing at university of Tilberg in the Netherlands, Dr. Susan Blackmore is the author of “Consciousness, an Introduction” and Patricia Ramaer who is a modern day shaman that teaches meditation.

18 November 2015

Noise, Pt. 10 - Airs Nov 18th

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 soundof 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.

06 November 2015

Messages from a Forgotten Troopship - Airs Nov 11th

Messages from a Forgotten Troopship by Kelley Libby and Allison Quantz
In the 1960s, it took almost three weeks to cross the sea from America to Vietnam. Three weeks for young men in crowded cabins, with salt water showers and absolutely nothing to do but think: about home, about the war, and about what’s next. For some, it was a roundtrip journey; others never made it home. We'll hear three stories from and about soldiers who all traveled on a single troopship, the General Nelson M. Walker. Through found tape and contemporary interviews, we recreate the troopship and capture the moments outside of combat - three weeks there, and for the lucky ones, three weeks back.
Produced with help from the Vietnam Graffiti Project for With Good Reason.

04 November 2015

Riot Grrrl Revolution - Airs Nov. 4

Bikini Kill. Sleater-Kinney. We celebrate the Riot Grrrrl movement with stories featuring Kathleen Hanna, critic Greil Marcus' celebration of Bikini Kill and one gay boy's personal tale of how Riot Grrrls saved his life. Oh, and guess what else? We've got tickets to the upcoming Sound Unseen festival feature Revolution, Riot Grrrl Style. It screens Nov. 15 at Bryant Lake Bowl.

27 October 2015

Monsters I've Met - Airs Oct 28th

The Hand of Fate from Tales of the Frightened
Boris Karloff recites us a spooky tale from mystery writer Michael Avallone. Recorded in 1963.

A Cold Freezin' Night by Katie Mingle
Was it just a dream? The story of a chance meeting with "the enigmatic man."

Why We Tell Ghost Stories by Michael Kraskin
David Terry of UNC-Chapel Hill describes the narrative structure of ghost stories and why we are drawn to them.

True Vampires by Eric Molinsky
Twilight, True Blood, The Vampire Diaries – there seems to be no end to the vampire craze. But the existence of real vampires isn’t so glamorous. Actual vampires are nothing like the ones we see depicted in movies like Dracula. In fact, most of them are just trying to get by.

Melaina Hates Clowns from Columbia College Radio
Some scary things are fun, others can be kinda disturbing, and then there's terrifying clowns. For student producer Melaina de la Cruz, facing her coulrophobia was one of the hardest, bravest things she's ever done. Perhaps the best place to start isn't "The Clown Room" at a haunted house though. 

Chloe Loves Horror Movies by Katy Sewall
Chloe loves watching horror movies. The catch: She's only four years old. How does her father feel about that? Very, very proud. Does that make him a bad parent? You'll have to judge for yourself.

Monsters I've Met by Shel Silverstein
Mr. Silverstein tells us about his encounters with ghouls, witches, and devils. Published in the 1981 anthology A Light in the AtticPoem read by the author in 1985.

21 October 2015

Double Feature: Night Frights - Also Airs Oct 21st

Night Frights from Vox Humana
It’s the middle of the night. You wake up with a start. There’s a presence in the room -- watching you. You sense that it is evil. But you are paralyzed and powerless. It’s your worst nightmare. Is there help? Producer Michele Ernsting explores the strange and surprisingly common condition of sleep paralysis with Dr. Al Cheyne, a leading expert on the subject and several victims of “night frights." 
KFAI will be broadcasting this double dose of the Listening Lounge in lieu of Art Matters this evening. Night Frights will air at 7pm.Painting: The Nightmare (1781) by Henry Fuseli.

19 October 2015

Murder at Midnight - Airs Oct 21st

Murder Is a Lonely Business from Murder at Midnight
A study of crime by a difficult duet written by William Norwood. Originally broadcast December 16th, 1946 on the Mutual Network. This episode stars Helen Shields, Wendell Holmes, & Carl Emery. It was directed by Anton M. Leder, hosted by Raymond Morgan, and features the effective creepy organ stylings of Charles Paul.
"Midnight, the witching hour when the night is darkest, our fears the strongest, and our strength at its lowest ebb. Midnight, when the graves gape open and death strikes."

13 October 2015

The Crow - Airs Oct 14th

Birds of a Feather from Israel Story
Every summer tourists flock to the beautiful beaches of Eilat, Israel. But a new kind of tourist has made its way down south: crows. This invasive species wreaks havoc during the summer months. During June alone, the municipality hotline received over 60 calls reporting crow attacks. The city needed to do something - that's where Yoram comes in, Eilat's first hit man for crows.

Do Crows Mourn Their Dead? from Here Be Monsters
When a bird dies, crows swarm, squawk loudly and gather as many feathered friends as they can to come and see the dead body. Much of what we know about "crow funerals" comes from the work of John Marzluff, a biologist at the University of Washington in Seattle. He and grad student Kaeli Swift are trying to get to the bottom of these strange phenomena. Producer Jeff Emtman examines the strange behaviors of crows and how they might be able to teach humanity about the origins of funerals and emotions.

07 October 2015

Noise, Pt. 9 - Airs Oct 7th

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.

29 September 2015

Pledge Drive - Sept 23rd + 30th

The first episode of our Pledge Drive brought the triumphant return of crack reporter, Mr. Todd Melby! He played for us some of his most recent pieces from his acclaimed Black Gold Boom series.
In our coming show, we will spin a few short favorite docs that we've aired over the past year. Tune in, enjoy the show, and please make a donation -- big or small, each pledge is extremely important to us. You can contribute online right here or you can give us a call at 612-375-9030 and show your endorsement of truly public, listener-supported, independent community radio!

17 September 2015

Fear on the Inside - Aired Sept 16th

Fear on the Inside: A Story of Domestic Violence from Long Haul Productions
According to the CDC one out of three American women will experience some form of domestic abuse at some point in their life. Dan Collison has one such story in Chicago. He brings us a woman's audio diary recorded over one week in 1994 as she attempted to escape a physically and emotionally abusive marriage. The document begins three days after her estranged husband has threatened to kill her and their baby at gunpoint.

08 September 2015

Entrepreneurship - Airs Sept 9th

Work in Progress by Zak Rosen
Detroit is in the midst of an economic and cultural revolution, “as awesome as the transition from Hunting and Gathering was to Agriculture 11,000 years ago and from Agriculture to Industry a few hundred years ago," says Grace Lee Boggs. We'll explores how in Detroit's underclass, out of creativity, necessity, and compassion, a new idea of Work is emerging. 

Entrepreneur by Jesse Dukes
Adam Johns is a self-styled entrepreneur. These days, that means digging for bloodworms at thirty cents a worm, or anything else to make a quick buck. Adam is frustrated by his circumstances and worried that he might not even be able to dig worms anymore. Even so, he still manages to laugh at life sometimes.

02 September 2015

Noise, Pt. 8 - Airs Sept 2nd

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

25 August 2015

The Volga Boatmen - Airs Aug 26th

The Wanderings of an Icon from Vox Humana
The Volga Boatmen, who worked as human beasts of burden hauling barges along Russia's rivers, eventually became folk icons, portrayed in literature, music and painting as heroic symbols of the Russian soul. This program traces the story of the Volga Boatmen in art, starting with Ilya Repin's painting of the Barge-Haulers in the Russian Museum in Saint-Petersburg. An interview with art historian David Jackson of Leeds University explains how Repin hit upon the subject and went to the village of Shiryayevo to sketch the men at their work. We also look at the theme in Russian literature and at the large number of musical compositions inspired by the Song of the Volga Boatmen, from Balakirev, Glazunov and Tchaikovsky to Chaliapin, Stravinsky and even Glenn Miller. The motif of the Volga Boatmen illustrates how generations of artists have created a Russian folk icon out of an unlikely subject.

19 August 2015

Eyes on the Road - Airs Aug 19th

Road Dogs by Elias Schutzman
Have you ever heard of a "Road Dog?" It's what they call long-haul truckers. It's also what they call touring musicians. The difference is that when a trucker gets home, he takes a nap; but when a musician returns, he goes back to his day-job. Elias Schutzman is a road-dog of the latter variety; working as a waiter and sometimes radio producer. Tonight, he brings us a profile of pieman and fellow touring musician, Lazlo Lee.

Eyes In South America by Elias Schutzman
This March, the Baltimore rock band The Flying Eyes took off on a two week tour through Brazil and Argentina. The band had toured extensively in the States and Europe before - but this was their very first time playing in South America. Drummer Elias Schutzman brought along a portable recorder and chronicled the experience for us in this audio-postcard.

12 August 2015

Deadly Force - Airs Aug 12th

Deadly Force: Police Shootings in Black and White from Making Contact 
Why are so many of those killed by police young people of color? A recent ProPublica investigation found that a young black male is at twenty one times greater risk of being shot dead by police than his white counterparts. We’ll hear from one of the reporters who analyzed the data on police killings to come up with that startling conclusion, as well as stories of family and community members who say the justice system itself needs to be put on trial. This documentary also features audio segments from the film Arresting Power.

05 August 2015

Noise, Pt. 7 - Airs Aug 5th

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.

29 July 2015

Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar - Airs July 29th

The Deadly Debt Matter from Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar 
This week we bring you a classic radio drama from "the man with the action-packed expense account, America’s fabulous freelance insurance investigator, Johnny Dollar!" 
Johnny was a smart enough insurance investigator but, at making out his expense account, he was a genius. A fella who could pad said expense account with the very best of them. It is hard to believe this premise made for great radio - but apparently it did. Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar had a stunning stretch; airing for over 12 years on the CBS Radio network. There were 811 episodes created, of which a remarkable 720 still exist. In our program, Johnny Dollar is played by Bob Bailey and co-stars Sam Edwards and Virginia Gregg. It was written, directed, and produced by Jack Johnstone of Buck Rogers and The Adventures of Superman fame. The Deadly Debt Matter was originally broadcast on August 28th, 1960. 


21 July 2015

Sherlock Holmes - Airs July 22nd

The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans from The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
We open to a smothering fog and the great detective lamenting the current lack of crime in London. But happily the game is soon afoot! In a very rare appearance, Sherlock's brother, Mycroft, begs help with a dire case that threatens the very security of England. It is the mysterious death - an apparent suicide - of government employee Cadogan West. His body found in the dark tunnels of the Underground and alarmingly in possession of stolen top secret documents, of which three essential pages are missing! 
This production stars the quintessential acting team of Basil Rathbone with Nigel Bruce and is based on the short story by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle first published in 1908; later appearing in Doyle's 1917 book "His Last Bow." Program originally broadcast November 6th, 1939.

14 July 2015

Vulnerable Adult - Airs July 15th

Vulnerable Adult by Amy Salloway
Very special guest host Kevin Allison brings us a true tale boldly told at RISK! Live's last appearance here in the Twin Cities. Local performer Amy Salloway tells us about the time she was asked to write a stage musical regarding traumatic brain injuries. Along the way she reveals her own struggles with failure and self-loathing. This was recorded at the Brave New Workshop on December 4, 2014. RISK! is a podcast where folks share their most personal experiences - intimate moments from their lives which they thought they'd never dare to share - often hilarious and sometimes heartbreaking. 
RISK! LIVE returns to Minneapolis this Friday night at 7:30. You can find out more information & get your tickets here. The theme for the evening is Shock.

08 July 2015

Noise, Pt. 6 - Airs July 8th

Tuning the Body from Noise: A Human History of Sound and Listening
In the Middle Ages sound played a key role in the battle between Good and Evil. There were horrible sins of the tongue - idle words, boasting, flattery, lying, and blaspheming – as well as sins of the ear: eavesdropping and the seduction of devilish words. The ears were the gateway not just to the body, but also the soul. Professor David Hendy of the University of Sussex considers the importance of noise to Medieval morality.

Heavenly Sounds from Noise: A Human History of Sound and Listening
Worshippers in the Middle Ages would have been struck not just by the visual spectacle of great churches and grand cathedrals, but also their sound. Medieval churches in the west had very different acoustics to the low-roofed, wattle and daub homes where most of their congregation lived. David explores how preachers and singers created sounds that fitted these holy spaces beautifully, from Romanesque churches, to the musical pillars of Hampi, and an extraordinary 16th century experiment in stereo in St Mark's in Venice.

29 June 2015

Pacific Ocean Blue - Airs July 1st

Dennis Wilson's Pacific Ocean Blue from Joyride Media
In 1977 Pacific Ocean Blue became the first solo LP to be released by a member of the legendary Beach Boys. Dennis, the band's surfer, drummer and free spirit, emerged from the shadow of his older brother, pop genius Brian Wilson, and shocked everyone with a sound and style unlike any other. Today, it stands as cult-classic. Throughout this one-hour special, Dennis Wilson's friends and family recall how he developed his musical voice - one that was full of surprises, but also one that reflected Wilson's dark, moody, hard and fast lifestylePlans for an even grander follow-up album, Bambu, were left unfinished at the time of his drowning death in 1983, but many songs from those last sessions were filled with a hopefulness that belied his tragic decline.

23 June 2015

Inside the Adoption Circle - Airs June 24th .

Inside the Adoption Circle from Transom
Adoption reveals some profound but basic aspects of the human story. It’s an act of caring, love and bravery. An emphatic and ancient statement about human nature, it is also rife with questions about identity. Producers Viki Merrick and Samantha Broun wanted to get to the personal stories that live inside those questions. They recorded first-person voices from all sides of adoption. Stories about living with questions and searching for answers. In this special hour-long episode we hear from birth families, adoptees, and adoptive families including instances of both open adoption and international adoption.

17 June 2015

Bringing My Father Home - Airs June 17th

Bringing My Father Home by Will Coley
Will stumbled on an article in the New York Times about the upcoming anniversary of the Southern Flight 242 accident. It was on that flight, when Will was seven years old, his father died in a commercial plane crash. He already knew of course, it’s a fact he simply grew up knowing, but Will had always been reluctant to learn the details about the disaster that took his father away from him. 15 years later he was finally ready to visit the crash site. Will also chose this pilgrimage as his first ever radio project. It was a big, difficult journey and took far longer than he'd expected, in part because it was so deeply personal. Tonight, we hear the results of his search.


10 June 2015

Noise, Pt. 5 - Airs June 10th

The Ecstatic Underground from Noise: A Human History of Sound and Listening
The sound-world of the first Christians was filled with the subdued voices, measured singing and solemn prayers that would later echo through the medieval churches and cathedrals of Western Europe. Early Christians needed to be quiet to avoid persecution - but they often weren't. David Hendy explores the ecstatic sounds of the underground in ancient Rome.

The Bells from Noise: A Human History of Sound and Listening
In the Middle Ages the peal of the church bell was one of the most dominant features of the soundscape. Every time it rang out, religion’s hold over the secular world was signaled loud and clear. Professor Hendy of the University of Sussex visits one of the oldest church bells in the UK and explains that the sound’s power lay in ancient, pagan associations. Inscriptions written on bells were understood to function as spells: when a bell rang out it was believed any words on it would also be sent flying through the air.

03 June 2015

Split Brain - Airs June 3

As a brain scientist, Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor is an expert on strokes – especially her own. In “Split Brain,” she gives a fascinating and terrifying personal account of her own life-altering stroke. When it struck, she knew exactly what was happening, and watched as one function after another shut down. In this production with “Love + Radio,” she shares the experience in vivid detail.

20 May 2015

Noise, Pt. 4 - Airs May 20th

The Noisy, Everyday World of Ancient Rome from Noise: A Human History of Sound and Listening
As the Roman empire grew, the city sucked in exotic goods, tastes, smells, and, --of course-- sounds from all around the world. In mindbogglingly narrow street-ways you'd find bellowing animals, street-hawkers, the babble of a dozen languages; some inhabitants loved this sensory over-load, but others ran from it. What would we have heard had visited the city in its heyday? And here could Romans go to get some peace?

The Roaring Crowd from Noise: A Human History of Sound and Listening
Professor David Hendy of the University of Sussex travels from the barrage of sound that was the London Olympics to the ruins of the Roman Colosseum. He will explain to us the visceral impact and power of the collective crowd: how it showed approval... and what happened when it was displeased.

13 May 2015

Birth Behind Bars - Airs May 13th

Prison and Pregnancy by Audrey Quinn
The United States incarcerates six times as many women as it did thirty years ago. Many of these women are already mothers, and four percent of incarcerated women enter prison pregnant. What happens to the babies born in the correctional system? What happens to the children left behind, as their mothers serve out their sentences?

Visiting a Prison Nursery by Shannon Heffernan
What happens when a women gives birth behind bars? Usually those babies are sent home with family members or put into foster care. But some prisons are trying an alternative: prison nurseries. Reporter Shannon Heffernan spent six months visiting a prison nursery in Decatur, Illinois, to find out how the experiment in keeping families together, at least for the infancy stage, is working.

06 May 2015

Go Ask Your Mother - Airs May 6th

Foster Care Teen Talks With Her Biological Mom from Curie Youth Radio
As a ward of the state, Shantaye has lived in 17 places in the last 14 years. She's been removed from her mother's care twice. Now a senior in high school, she feels ready to have an adult conversation with her biological mother. And wants to know what exactly was her mother was thinking while Shantaye was bouncing around? 

She's Just Like Me from Outfront 
When Leah was just a baby, her mother Marilyn died of cancer. Her father eventually remarried and Leah has never really asked her family about Marilyn, because she didn't want to bring up painful memories. But she's always felt that something was missing. Now, over thirty years later, she seeks out her mother's best friend to find out about the mother she never knew.

Sean Lennon interviews Yoko Ono from StoryCorps
Often, the pair are asked about Sean's famous father, but in this conversation, Sean had a chance to ask his mom about her own life.

29 April 2015

Noise, Pt. 3 - Airs April 29th

Epic Tales from Noise: A Human History of Sound and Listening
In 1933, a young classics scholar called Milman Parry made a journey through the hill villages of the Balkans to record poets and singers. He captured an oral tradition that's all but died out - peasant performers who recited epic tales over days from memory without any form of prompt. We'll learn how these ancient tales were remembered and passed down, and travel to the ancient Theatre of Epidaurus in Greece. Featuring archive extracts of traditional stories from the Balkans, Kyrgyzstan, West Africa, and India.

Persuasion from Noise: A Human History of Sound and Listening
From Cicero to Martin Luther King, Jr., over the centuries, great orators have changed our minds, given us hope, and sent us to the barricades. Professor David Hendy of the University of Sussex reveals their rhetorical tricks, and explains why President Obama's sharp ear for dialogue is one of his greatest assets.

22 April 2015

Unlikely Poets - Airs April 22nd

Voices of the Stringtown Poetry Workshop from Abby Wendle
In the late 1970's, Mary McAnally led a poetry workshop for the inmates at Stringtown Prison in Oklahoma. She taught at the prison twice a week for three years, helping many of the prisoners get published in literary journals across the country. In this segment, we hear McAnally discuss the movement to rehabilitate prisoners. We also hear two of the prisoner poets, Milton Gracen and William "Indian Bill" Hogner, read and discuss their poetry.

Warrior Poets by Samara Breger
Clearly there is a need to increase understanding between cops and the communities they serve. And so the Portland Police Department recently faced down a daunting task: writing poetry. Local performance artist Marty Pottenger wished to harness the transformative power of poetry to bring officers more in touch with their emotions, improve moral, and change preconceived notions about them. It should also make them better at their job; the creative process increases our ability to see contradictory perspectives, work collaboratively, and analyze complex challenges. Can poetry really help to serve as the bridge that shifts notions of the police force from obstacles to allies? 

14 April 2015

Confronting Hatred - Airs April 15th

Confronting Hatred from The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
This hour-long radio special, narrated by Morgan Freeman, examines the ways in which the Holocaust continues to inform contemporary discussions about hate speech, propaganda, and human rights. We hear stories from people confronting hatred in their lives, their communities, and sometimes in their own hearts. We hear how easily a young boy got recruited by skinheads in Pennsylvania, how one man is working to reshape international criminal law after the genocide in Rwanda, and how both an imam and a heavy metal rock band confront hatred in their communities.

09 April 2015

Noise, Pt. 2 - Aired April 8th

A Ritual Soundscape from Noise: A Human History of Sound and Listening
Humans have learned to control sound for rituals with impressive monuments. Prof. David Hendy travels to the Orkney Islands in Scotland to hear the bizarre effect of beating a drum while standing in one of Orkney’s Neolithic sites. The space feels like a theater stage, made for performance. When these literal sound effects were discovered -- they were exploited for use in magnificent rituals. These are the kind of places where our ancestors came to make a spectacular racket. But we'll also explore the places where they came in search of silence and sensory deprivation.

The Rise of the Shamans from Noise: A Human History of Sound and Listening
Around the world charismatic individuals claim the ability to talk to spirits, heal illness and help crops grow. Proffessor Hendy will explain how sound - and its manipulation - is so central to the shaman's power. We'll travel all the way from the eerie rituals of Siberian reindeer herders as they summon spirits to a very mysterioussinging angel located high in the facade of Wells Cathedral.