Community RSL Stations

Working across four communities in Plymouth Nowhere Island Radio was a six day radio project broadcasting on 107.9FM. It was created by community arts project Take a Part to compliment the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad project Nowhereisland. The station was conceived by sound artist’s Mark Vernon and Neil Rose who were also responsible for content and programming. Live broadcasts took place in four separate locations in Plymouth, Devon between the 8th and 13th of August.

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Efford FM was a community radio station initiated as part of the Take A Part programme in 2010. Artists Sophie Hope, Neil Rose and Mark Vernon were commissioned to create a one-day community radio broadcast working with local people and community groups to generate content for the station. This included soundscape workshops with local schools, interviews with community figures and local historians, voxpops, audio tours of the area, sound portraits of people and their homes and a radio play developed with ‘Headspace’, an afterschool group and performed by a local amateur dramatics group. Many local characters were trained up as radio presenters taking charge of their own shows and the song requests came in thick and fast. In June 2011 Efford FM returned as a live webcast for ‘Take a Party’ – a community celebration of recent art and regeneration projects in the area.


The audio featured here is from a live audio-visual mix of material from the archives of both Nowhere Island Radio and Efford FM by Mark Vernon and Neil Rose, two of the artists behind the stations. They spent many hours sifting through the archives of these community based radio art projects, re-working selected elements to create a one-off live performance at the Plymouth Arts Centre on Saturday 24th November, 2012. Nowhere Island Radio and Efford FM are both initiatives of Take A Part


In 2001 Radio Tuesday undertook a residency in North Glasgow as part of the Royston Road Regeneration Project, initiated by the Centre. In an area rife with sectarianism, drug and alcohol problems and with significant levels of social depravation there were many challenges to face.

Their response to this unique situation was to set up an RSL community radio station to be run by local volunteers. They worked closely with young people from ‘The Moving on Project’, (a youth club set up by Molendinar Drugs Services) to create content for the broadcasts.

Volunteers with no prior broadcasting experience were trained up as DJ’s and presenters. The modest studio was a broom cupboard in St. Pauls church hall that also housed the water tank for the building. The sound of dripping water could be heard quite clearly on air in some of the quieter moments, especially if someone flushed the toilet. Despite this the ten-day broadcast was a huge success that gained momentum (and new listeners) daily.

At the end of the its first run the station was handed over to a board selected from the volunteers with the hope that it would continue on into the future. From these humble origins Bolt FM has gone from strength to strength and is still on air more than 17 years later.

Bedside Radio

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.

 

Hairwaves

selected tracks from ‘Hairwaves: a cautionary tale’

 

A radio station, audio CD and publication devoted to all aspects of hair. Hairwaves was a collaboration between Zoë Irvine, Mark Vernon and Freight Design with specially commissioned illustrations by Danielle Lemaire. Created from recordings and interviews made in hairdressers and hair establishments between 2001 and 2006, the scope of the project quickly broadened out to include pet grooming, wig making and psychic barbers.

“…from anecdotes blowing hot and cold on the subject of hairdryers, to accounts of the bald facts on barbers. We have snipped and textured, layered, added some highlights and brushed away the clippings so we can now offer up this cautionary tale.”

The publication and CD Hairwaves: a cautionary tale was launched at the CCA, Glasgow with a live, day-long RSL radio broadcast targeted at all salons, hairdressers and barber shops within the broadcast radius. As well as featuring works from the audio CD the broadcast included contributions received from an open call for radio works and music on the theme of ‘hair’.


The original Hairwaves FM radio broadcast went out across Glasgow on 87.7fm on the 8th December 2006.
The CD was featured on Radio 3’s Mixing It and a highlights show aired on Resonance FM later the same year.

Radio Tuesday

Radio Tuesday committee:
Duncan Campbell, Alex Frost and Mark Vernon


 

Radio Tuesday was an artist-run radio station based in Glasgow set up to produce and broadcast sound art, experimental music, new music, poetry, documentary and other uses of sound. Starting in 1999 sporadic broadcasts took place across Glasgow and the surrounding area involving hundreds of artists.

During February 2000 Radio Tuesday set up a station and broadcast in Helsinki as part of a residency organised by The Modern Institute (Glasgow) at KIASMA Museum.

Later that year Radio Tuesday installed themselves at Transmission Gallery (Glasgow). For the duration of the exhibition the space became a resource area, recording studio, conference room, a venue for gigs, cinema space, gallery and of course – a radio station.

In 2001 Radio Tuesday completed a residency with Molendinar Drugs Services in the Royston Road area of Glasgow. This culminated in the creation of a local radio station, Bolt FM, run and programmed by members of the moving On Project, local residents and other volunteers.

The Cassette only release ‘Wide General Vicinity’, covering the first series of broadcasts was released in 1999. ‘e.g. Sometime Instant’, the follow up CD was released in 2002. Both releases feature a broad range of the artists and musicians involved with the broadcasts.

PRESS

C.V.

Radiophrenia

Radiophrenia is a temporary art radio station exploring current trends in sound and transmission arts. Broadcasting from the Centre for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow Radiophrenia aims to promote radio as an art form, encouraging experimental approaches to the medium not catered for by mainstream stations. The station was founded by Glasgow based sound artist and radio producer Mark Vernon and is coordinated and co-curated by Barry Burns and Mark Vernon.

Radiophrenia’s first series of transmissions took place in April 2015 broadcasting 24-hours a day for a full week. The station was granted a restricted service license (RSL) transmitting on 87.9fm with a simultaneous live webstream. A second two-week long broadcast took place in 2016 with a third season following in November 2017.

The schedule includes live shows and pre-recorded features, soundscapes, spoken word, documentary, drama, radio experiments, found sound and some radical new programme ideas, the majority of which are selected from submissions to an international open call for sound and radio works. In its short time, Radiophrenia has commissioned more than 50 new radio works for broadcast and live performance and facilitated the broadcast of more than 800 hours of artist’s radio and sound work.

At the core of this celebration of radiophonic art are a series of specially commissioned ‘live-to-air’ performances by a mix of local and international artists. Selected artists are asked to respond to the unique circumstances of creating a work that is both a live performance and a radio broadcast, reflecting the fact that there will be an audience present in the theatre in addition to an unseen audience of listeners at home. Commissioned artists have included; Sue Tompkins & Russel Haswell, The Modern Institute, Asparagus Piss Raindrop, Sarah Angliss, Felix Kubin, The Resonance Radio Orchestra, Cucina Povera, Espen Somer Eide, Ben Knight & Tom White, Shelly Nadashi, Kathryn Elkin, Elizabeth Veldon, Jim Colquhoun, Maya Dunietz, Cara Tolmie, Zoe Strachan & Nichola Scrutton, Secluded Bronte, Rebecca Wilcox, Xentos Frey Bentos, Sister and Fallope & the Tubes.

From 2016 onwards Radiophrenia has commissioned a series of new radio productions for it’s broadcasts, one new work for each day of the 2-week schedule. Commissioned artists have included: Gregory Whitehead, Alessandro Bosetti, Meira Asher & Maya Dunietz, Jason Lescalleet, Sarah Tripp, Sisters Akousmatica, Luke Fowler & Richard McMaster, Wojciech Rusin, Doog Cameron, Lisa Busby & Rose Dagul,  Klaysstarr, Rob Kennedy & Jess Worrall, Catherine Street, Isabelle Stragliati, Zoe Irvine, Joe Howe, Chris Dooks, Stuart Gurden, Amble Skuse, Lin Li, Andreas Oskar Hirsch, Jean-Philippe Renoult & DinahBird, Diacoustics, Sean Burn, Catriona Shaw, Sarah Angliss, Anna Friz and Graham Lambkin.

For up to date details visit the Radiophrenia website – radiophrenia.scot