Radio Rocks my boat still. But I have been hard-pressed to find a program I can listen to here at home – a program I can be in tune with, an artistic creative radio show that can draw me in so high on air I start to dream big… this Talk Talk Talk has turned the air-waves into a black board with chalk screeching and scraping down your ear over and over all over ….. talking heads, music being the only peaceful break we get from loud screaming, shouting, voices laughing, talk,talk,talk,talking heads about nothing on a stale formats. Maybe it is a South African thing, what’s on air in your country?
What made me fall in-love-so deeply with radio was its captivating quality, in the form of radio Dramas and Plays, which left room to be a little creative about what I was hearing, I engaged in a creative-give-and take relationship with my radio. And the any beautiful voices that presented dry(news) information or difficult subjects as if it were the most delicious dish on earth, sultry and beautiful, oh, the hair’s on my back stands up at the thought.
A good radio voice does not seem to be part of the requirements of being on air. if you can talk its cool, which is also cool but…
I have fallen in-love with radio voices, even though the people behind the voice were well not exactly my type. But there is some-thing in the voice that can just speak to you, touch, pierce deep into you (if the messaging, content is right) in places only you are aware of or never thought anyone could reach, people who can sing well understand the power of voice – which can at once captivate, and transfix people, regardless of their race, colour and or creed. Music is Powerful still.
So you would think that those given that platform (radio-platform) today, would know what to do with it and be aware of the power they have in their hands, on a daily basis, and treat their work with the serious consideration it deserves. But very few people seem to think about radio beyond the sound of their egos. I’m still working on mine. I think the radio platform is still an underused even – abused canvass… people are not using it creatively enough in the same way they are on print and television, everything today is about the image…. the face
There is something about it that so captures my imagination in a way that Social Media still doesn’t for me today. Sometimes I wonder why with all this technology we have at our disposal, we still have tired and boring radio formats, like how many talk-call-in-shows about Politics do we need? Anyway to be fair, I have tuned out of what’s on air because it hasn’t captured my imagination least of all “entertain me” we’re all sounding like each other, doing the same thing everyday, someone has got to try a pie in the sky method to make radio the theater of the mind it once was.
I used to enjoy the World Radio Network, (WRN) I would listen to it around midnight while sleep paid visits to more deserving people, it felt like i was travelling around the world listening in to what makes other societies tick, what problems they are facing and how they are dealing with them. It almost always felt like eave’s dropping in private nocturnal conversation people were having around the world, but as an invited guest. For an hour or so I could step out of my bedroom and spend time with this woman living in a monastery in Holland talk about the flours that were booming there and how she ended up living there alone…
The US-based National Public Radio (NPR) – has good examples of what makes for a good news and current affairs radio show, just the right balance in terms of pace, delivery, content and intensity. The hosts have nice warm pleasant voices that really want to make you listen, as if to say, come in you are invited.
In Africa? BBC Africa is what Africans listen to if they want to know what’s going on in other parts of the continent. I still haven’t found one that speaks to me. With all my varying tastes, languages and my short attentions span there’s not a calm voice I have found on-air. Radio is still the most basic way to communicate on the continent, now people listen to radio on their phones every-where they go, imagine how that could revolutionize the dissemination of information… educate, inform, entertain.
This America Life : Is FUN and FACTUAL, and is indeed the theater of the mind. This I used to spend hours and hours listening to online, because you can and it sounds like its recorded live – and really its a good example of what we can do with radio, while driving, or waiting for something to happen.
Radio is not only about the personality, it’s not only about the voice, it’s not only about content, it’s not only about the presentation, but if you can get all these ingredients together in a nice mix then I you have a captive Audience. But if you ask me the Voice is still remains the most important ingredient of all.
So I think I might just have to do something about it…..