Bedside Radio was the umbrella title for a series of radio artworks produced by Mark Vernon during his time as digital artist in residence at Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert, Scotland. The four-part series was an attempt to explore the creative potential of hospital radio, challenge some of its conventions and gently push at the boundaries of what exactly hospital radio might be. The programmes adopted a number of different strategies to get the voices of staff and patients on the air; to increase speech based content overall and to encourage the production of crafted features to play alongside the regularly presented live shows. The aim was to offer patients a more thought provoking alternative to the traditional presented music show format and give consideration to programming for after hours listeners out with the normal broadcast schedule.
A dedicated arts channel, Channel 604, was set up to broadcast the radio works over the patient’s bedside monitor systems. It became a virtual space for experimentation; a revolving radio-art gallery where each programme played on a continuous loop for a two-week period.
Programme 1: The Tonic Garden
Programme 2: FVRH A Portrait in Sound
Programme 3: Deep Sleep Trawler
Programme 4: A Day in the Life
Channel 604 began transmissions in April 2013 with it’s inaugural broadcast – ‘The Tonic Garden: a sonic survey of soothing sounds’, the first programme in the Bedside Radio series.