Friday, March 17, 2006

Help from Above (five) - Help is on its Way / broadcast your podcast

Another month and I will be in Amsterdam. A month is a misleading unity. In this century the biggest revolution will abolish time. Einsteinian notion will become common knowledge: there is only space. Instead of a calendar we will read coordinates. These coordinates will tell us the exact position in the galaxies. These coordinates will change all the time: Everyone on earth will live in the notion that the planet is moving like a giant spaceship.

Anticipating I can state that my kitchen was a control room. The daily messages arrived from a studio in Amsterdam. They communicated that the city was moving into my orbit. Or maybe the other way round.

So far science-fiction, back to radio. On Wednesday Vpro-radio transmits Café Sonore at 23.00. Café Sonore commissions sound artists to compose a radiophonic work. Then they play it life in the studio in what they call a world premiere. Good! One hour of some kind of music out of 168 hours that go into a week. Translate this to night life and start walking.

At the beginning of this month a great friend of mine called from Amsterdam. He tries to find some concerts for me over there. Among a novel full of other stories he also offered me the one that send my bird's eye to the inner city of Amsterdam, in search of that 1 venue in 168 with an untraceable name, where I might end up performing.

A week later, in the same month, a mail by Patrick Murmer reached me. Patrick does sounds, but he also presents Framework on ResonanceFM, the local London radio. He got offered extra time by the Resonance people, and asked his friends and colleagues to help him out. Within a week he got positive reactions. Each one will contribute with 57 minutes of field recording based compositions. The schedule of the framework friends shows reaches way into next year, 2007.

Curiosity is growing. And communication techniques are improving. What Patrick Murmer can do on a local scale, an organisation can do on a larger scale. Which makes me wonder.

EBU stands for European Broadcasting Union. They exist since 1950, go to their website and learn that the main focus is on collaboration. A department of the EBU is the Ars acustica. Radio makers from diverse countries unite and organise events. There doesn't exists something like EBU 1, EBU 2 EBU 3 etcetera. You won't find EBU programmes on your FM- radio.
(This is not a critic to EBU. It is just that with a name like that, one can almost expect that it's only a matter of time and europewide radio will be a fact)

Which makes me wonder. The European Community (E.C) is called Europe, to make thing easier. Europe, though, is a piece of land that stretches from Ireland to Cecenia and from Finland to Portugal.

Radio Europe on your radio. Imagine a call like that one of Patrick that goes out to all the countries of Europe. Radio Europe on your radio. Imagine thousands of contributors a year who submit one hour of 'some kind of music, presented in their language; the kind of music that ars acustica programmes broadcast. Imagine all those programmes on your pocket radio, wherever you are in Europe, no matter what time of day.

Maybe it is not possible technically spoken. Maybe some team is already working on this idea:to be able to listen to the same radio in Sofia or Stockholm, in Tallinn or Porto, in Tbilisi or on Creta, a radio with my kind of music, that now is presented like a sermon on some obscure hour of the day.I send this question out to ars acustica: Do they know if some organisation is already working on this idea. Or, does it already exist, and I missed something?

Let's write something statesman like. In a period of international tensions, curiosity could lead to the understanding of cultures and other people's habits. And such understanding is a first step - but an important one - to peace and maybe it will lead also to getting a bit more then 12 euro after a concert.

A few weeks later I found this mail in my mailbox: it was not send to me in person, but to the mailinglist I'm subscribed to.


"BYP offers podcasters the chance to transmit their podcasts on FM. BYP
units are handmade FM transmitters made by BYP following the circuit
design of micro radio pioneer Tetsuo Kogawa. By connecting a BYP unit
to your computer or mp3 player podcasts can be transmitted on FM to
your neighbourhood.BYP is an idea and a technology. The idea is to
allow people to hear podcasts without the need for expensive equipment
or fast internet connections. The technology is the BYP transmitter. By
using a BYP transmitter podcasts can be broadcast on FM for anyone to
hear using a simple radio tuner. BYPs strategy is to distribute these
units for free to podcasters so they can extend their practice,
reaching beyond the net and into local radio space.

To enable this BYP has designed several self contained transmitting
units that are capable of broadcasting in a radius of about 100 meters.
Transmitting on FM with these is as easy as plugging them into an audio
out of a computer or MP3 player. The units are designed by Amsterdam
artist Lotte Meijer to be robust and portable. Fitting easily in your
pocket and powered by standard batteries BYP can be used at home or as
a mobile broadcast unit"

a project by Lotte Meijer

Ars Acustica:

Café Sonore:

Patrick Murmer and Radio Framework:


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