Tag Archives: Radio Canada International

World Premiere: Spectres of Shortwave/Ombres des ondes courtes

unnamedI’m very pleased to share this press release from filmmaker Amanda Dawn Christie:

WORLD PREMIERE :

Thursday, Sept. 22, 7:15 pm AST (11:15pm UTC)
Spectres of Shortwave / Ombres des ondes courtes
A film about radio waves, relationships, landscape, and loss.
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Exciting news! Spectres of Shortwave is finally finished!

After seven long years, it’s finally time to share this film and the radio doc with the public! The final corrections to subtitles and credits were completed two weeks ago, and the DCP shipped out last week! The world premiere screening takes place at the Atlantic Film Festival in Halifax next Thursday, September 22, at 7:15 pm.

This documentary about the Radio Canada International shortwave towers is both a film and a radio documentary, and while viewers watch the film in one part of the world, listeners can simultaneously listen to the radio doc in other parts of the world.

The film will be premiering in Canada at the Atlantic Film Festival in Halifax, while the radio documentary simultaneously makes it’s premiere on Wave Farm Radio out of New York.

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About the film:

Long before the internet, there was shortwave. A mysterious web of international shortwave radio towers once dominated the Tantramar marshscape. Meanwhile, local residents heard radio broadcasts emanate unexpectedly from their household appliances.

The Radio Canada International shortwave relay site was built during World War 2, to broadcast to Europe and Africa. It continued to broadcast around the world during the Cold War and beyond, not only for Canada, but also relaying transmissions for Radio Free Europe, Voice of Vietnam, Radio Korea, Radio Japan, and Radio China, among others. Located in Sackville, New Brunswick, it was perfectly positioned to transmit across the Atlantic Ocean, and covered most of the globe with its transmissions.

This experimental documentary film focuses on the flat marshland landscape accompanied by stories told by local residents and the technicians who worked at the site.

After beginning this project, the Canadian government announced that the Radio Canada International shortwave relay site would be shut down and dismantled. As such, a final chapter was added to the film, which documents the dismantling of this historic structure.

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About the Radio doc:

While the images of the film capture landscape imagery of the towers over four seasons in various weather conditions, the sound track of the film doubles as a radio documentary as stories told by local residents and the technicians who worked at the site are accompanied by field recordings from the area as well as contact microphone recordings made from the towers themselves.

In the final chapter of the documentary, the audio is comprised only of the contact microphone recordings of the towers and the sounds of their demolition. The beginning of the demolition is a rich soundscape with the drones of all thirteen towers playing together. As each tower falls and crashes to the ground, it’s voice is removed from the mix, until we are left with the single drone of the last tower standing until it falls.

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More info on the film, including video clips, photos, and press clippings can be found here:
www.spectresofshortwave.net

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World Premiere Film Screening:
Thursday, September 22, 7:15pm AST
Atlantic Film Festival: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Cineplex Cinemas: Park Lane: Theatre 5
Ticket purchases and info: click here

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World Premiere Radio Simulcast
Thursday, September 22, 6:15pm EST (11:15 UTC)
Wave Farm Radio: Acra, New York
Tune in and listen online here :
www.wavefarm.org/listen

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This film was made possible with the support of
the Canada Council for the Arts,
the New Brunswick Arts Board,
the Shaw Hot Docs Completion Fund
the Linda Joy Post Award
the National Film Board of Canda : Atlantic Centre
the Atlantic Filmmakers Cooperative
studio Prim, and
Wave Farm WGXC FM

Listening to The Link via Shortwave Service?

TheLinkRCI

As we mentioned in a post last month, Radio Canada International’s program “The Link” is now being broadcast via Shortwave Service in Germany.

If you’ve been listening to The Link via shortwave, SWLing Post contributor, Richard Langley, encourages you to send RCI a short listener report.

You can either send a brief e-mail to Mark Montgomery via info@rcinet.ca or use the contact form at http://www.rcinet.ca/en/contact/.

Spectres of Shortwave: Help Amanda put the finishing touches on her film

Curtain antennas in operation at RCI Sackville

Curtain antennas in operation at RCI Sackville

Many thanks to SWLing Post reader, Jason, who shares the following:

Not sure if you’ve seen this Indiegogo campaign to help finish a doc on the RCI transmitter site…I think I may have first heard about this from your blog?

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/spectres-of-shortwave-last-steps#/

Thanks, Jason! Yes, you might have heard about Spectres of Shortwave here as I’ve been posting updates on the SWLing Post since 2013!  I’m very happy to see the film nearing completion. Since my wife has worked in film production, I’m well aware of the enormous amount of time and effort it takes to produce a documentary on a shoestring budget.

I just sent support to Amanda through Indigogo. Click here if you’d like to support her, too.

Amanda is also posting preview clips on her Indigogo page–here’s a teaser she posted yesterday:

RCI programming returns to shortwave via Shortwaveservice.com

SX-99-Dial-Nar

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Richard Langley, who writes:

Radio700Here is the response from Christian Milling, the director of Radio 700 and Shortwaveservice. Note that he is stressing the difference between Radio 700 (as a program and separate broadcasting station) and Shortwaveservice (as the provider of technical services for the shortwave transmitters at the Kall-Krekkel). The transmitters are actually maintained by Burkhard Baumgartner, DF5XV, under the name “Classic Broadcast”.

All three operations are closely linked so it’s understandable that there is confusion about who does what. Furthermore, in the WRTH, we have “Radio 700 Kurzwellendienst” (Radio 700 Shortwave Service). No reply directly from RCI yet.

Dear Richard Langley,

thank you very much for your e-Mail. Indeed we (not Radio700 but Shortwaveservice.com as technical provider) has set up an official cooperation with Radio Canada International which allows us to transmit the english, french and spanish programming. So this will be a long-term relay on a legal basis. As we prepare a spanish language outlet, the spanish broadcast of RCI will follow later on on SW.

The propagation conditions are a bit lousy at the moment, resulting in a bigger skipzone since a few days on 7310 kHz. Normally we boom into on that frequency also in Twente (which is approx. 200km away from our tranmitter [sic] site). We got some reception reports from the UK, which one from Manchester I’d like to quote: “Good clear signal, just some slight fading from solar disturbance that was taking place. How wonderful to hear Radio Canada International back on shortwave again, I really hope they continue broadcasting from Kall, I couldn’t believe it when I saw they would be broadcasting here this week.”

As the brodcasts [sic] are intended for the reception in europe and most speak either french or english and our weekend-schedule is very crowded, we only managed to find a slot for both languages at a time. But we will think about a re-run of the shows on a different day.

Thanks for tuning in!

If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to contact me.

Best regards,
Christian Milling

Thanks so much for the update, Richard!

Radio Time Travel: Brian’s 1974 shortwave radio recording

Many thanks to SWLing Post and SRAA contributor, Brian D. Smith (W9IND), for the following guest post and recording.

Note that Brian could use your help to ID a few unidentified broadcasters in this recording. If you can help, please comment:


HalliDial

Shortwave Radio 1974: Canada, Argentina, Spain, West Germany, Albania, utility stations

Want to know what shortwave radio sounded like in 1974?

This 55-minute recording, recovered from a cassette, was never intended to be anything but “audio notes”: I was an 18-year-old shortwave listener who collected QSL cards from international stations, and I was tired of using a pen and a notepad to copy down details of the broadcasts. I wanted an easier way to record what I heard, and my cassette tape recorder seemed like the perfect means to accomplish that goal.

But it wasn’t. I soon discovered that it was simpler to just edit my notes as I was jotting them down — not spend time on endless searches for specific information located all over the tape. To make a long story shorter, I abandoned my “audio notes” plan after a single shortwave recording: This one.

Hallicrafters S-108 (Image: DXing.com)

Hallicrafters S-108 (Image: DXing.com)

Still, for those who want to experience the feel of sitting at a shortwave radio in the mid-1970s and slowly spinning the dial, this tape delivers. Nothing great in terms of sound quality; I was using a Hallicrafters S-108 that was outdated even at the time. And my recording “technique” involved placing the cassette microphone next to the radio speaker.
Thus, what you’ll hear is a grab bag of randomness: Major shortwave broadcasting stations from Canada, Argentina, Spain, Germany and Albania; maritime CW and other utility stations; and even a one-sided conversation involving a mobile phone, apparently located at sea. There are lengthy (even boring) programs, theme songs and interval signals, and brief IDs, one in Morse code from an Italian Navy station and another from a Department of Energy station used to track shipments of nuclear materials. And I can’t even identify the station behind every recording, including several Spanish broadcasts (I don’t speak the language) and an interview in English with a UFO book author.

The following is a guide, with approximate Windows Media Player starting times, of the signals on this recording. (Incidentally, the CBC recording was from July 11, 1974 — a date I deduced by researching the Major League Baseball scores of the previous day.)

Guide to the Recording

0:00 — CBC (Radio Canada) Northern and Armed Forces Service: News and sports.
7:51 — RAE (Radio Argentina): Sign-off with closing theme
9:14 — Department of Energy station in Belton, Missouri: “This is KRF-265 clear.”
9:17 — Interval signal: Radio Spain.
9:40 — New York Radio, WSY-70 (aviation weather broadcast)
10:22 — Unidentified station (Spanish?): Music.
10:51— Unidentified station (English): Historic drama with mention of Vice President John Adams, plus bell-heavy closing theme.
14:12 — RAI (Italy), male announcer, poor signal strength.
14:20 — Unidentified station (Spanish): Theme music and apparent ID, good signal strength.
15:16 — Unidentified station (foreign-speaking, possibly Spanish): Song, “Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep.”
17:00 — Deutsche Welle (The Voice of West Germany): Announcement of frequencies, theme song.
17:39 — Unidentified station (English): Interview with the Rev. Barry Downing, author of “The Bible and Flying Saucers.”
24:36 — One side of mobile telephone conversation in SSB, possibly from maritime location.
30:37 — Radio Tirana (Albania): Lengthy economic and geopolitical talk (female announcer); bad audio. Theme and ID at 36:23, sign-off at 55:03.
55:11 — Italian Navy, Rome: “VVV IDR3 (and long tone)” in Morse code.

Click here to download an MP3 of the full recording, or simply listen via the embedded player below:


Wow–what an amazing trip back in time, Brian! Thank you for taking the time to digitize and share your recording with us.

Post Readers: If you can help Brian ID the few unidentified stations in his recording, please comment!

Note that Brian is a frequent contributor to the Shortwave Radio Audio Archive. Click here to listen to his contributions.