Alan Roe’s guide to music on shortwave

Shortwave-Music-Program-Schedule

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Richard Langley, for sharing Alan Roe’s excellent guide to music broadcasts on shortwave radio.

Alan Roe (who happens to be an avid SWLing Post reader!) has generously given me permission to post his guide here as a free (PDF) download. Thank you so much, Alan! I’ve already printed this guide and placed it with my WRTH and WWLG.

Click here to download Alan Roe’s guide to music on shortwave (PDF).

From the Isle of Music: a new music program on shortwave

Havana, Cuba (Photo: Wikimedia)

Havana, Cuba (Photo: Wikimedia)

Many thanks to Bill Tilford, Owner/Producer at Tilford Productions, who writes:

Beginning Monday, February 1, I will be hosting a weekly, hour-long music program, From the Isle of Music, dedicated to the music of Cuba, on WBCQ, 7.490 MHz, every Monday night from 8-9pm EST (currently 0100-0200 UTC).

I began listening to shortwave in childhood and now want to give something back to the medium.

This will be a cultural panorama of multiple genres from Classical to traditional music to Timba to Jazz to Funk, including a lot of things that people outside of Cuba might not know are played there. There will also be interviews. It will be partly in English, partly in Spanish. I hope to do this in the spirit of some of the best cultural programming of the golden years of shortwave.

There is a Facebook page, also titled From the Isle of Music, with more information.

Many thanks, Bill!  I will certainly tune in and look forward to your music selections and commentary. Please keep us informed if you have any updates!

Socotra Island: Myke posts tracks from 2013 travels

MykeMyke Dodge Weiskopf, over at ShortWaveMusic, writes:

“Hello friends: Long time no see. I’ve finally posted the final 21 tracks from our 2013 season on Socotra Island: transmissions from Eritrea, China, Iran, and Tajikistan. Enjoy.”

For more information about Myke’s on-going project, ShortWaveMusic, check out his website. Great to see a new post from you, Myke!

Music discovery via shortwave radio

SX-99-Dial

A few days ago, SWLing Post reader LondonShortwave posted a playlist on his blog; it’s a great playlist of music he’s been exposed to via shortwave radio broadcasters over the years. I was quite inspired by this playlist (of all absolutely brilliant songs, by the way), not to mention, by the clever concept.

So this morning I jotted down a few artists and songs I’ve also discovered via shortwave radio. Here are a just a few I could find on YouTube:

Ariane Moffatt’s “Montreal,” via former CBC North Quebec Service:

Istanbul Oriental Ensemble’s “Burhan Öçal” via Voice of Greece:

Ania’s cover of “Strawberry Fields Forever” via the Polish Radio External Service:

Novika’s “I Depend on You” also via the Polish Radio External Service:

Shiny Toy Guns’ cover of “Major Tom” via the pirate radio station All Along The Watchtower Radio (note this video is actually a car commercial featuring the song by STG; a strange combo):

Boards of Canada album “Tomorrow’s Harvest” via the pirate radio station BOCHF:

Have you made any music discovery via shortwave radio?  If so, please feel free to comment.

Orchestral music on shortwave?

Photo: Thomas Fries / License: cc-by-sa-3.0 de

Photo: Thomas Fries / License: cc-by-sa-3.0 de

SWLing Post reader, Eric (w4OTN/3), asks:

Years ago I loved tuning in Radio Bulgaria and listening to their orchestra play. The ether would deliver the beautiful music to my ears with some fading at times but I loved listening to it. That is, of course, until they stopped broadcasting. I’ve tried to find an alternative without success.

I wonder if you know of any shortwave station that still broadcast orchestras?

Thanks,
Eric W4OTN/3

Any suggestions for Eric?  Please comment with details!

Wilco’s “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot” and shortwave radio

YankeeHotelFoxtrot

After posting our articles about Joe Strummer and Peter Gabriel, Mike Barraclough writes:

“Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot is my favourite shortwave radio related album, I was a fan of the band anyway so when I read about the theme I was really looking forward to the album and was not disappointed.

Reprise rejected it for not being radio-friendly, somewhat ironic given the theme, after streaming it free they released it through Nonesuch to critical acclaim and is to date their best selling one.

“On YHF, Wilco use short-wave radio as a metaphor for communication in a relationship. Short-wave radio allows people to speak who are not in physical proximity, but there’s no guarantee that the coded messages will be received successfully, and atmospheric interference is a given. People involved in a relationship often find their communication imperfect and cryptic, not unlike the experience of those relying on radio. After all, language itself is inherently flawed, inaccurate, and misread—a code often misinterpreted; further complicating matters are external distortions and distractions—a metaphoric radio static. With all of this interference, can we ever succeed in communicating with someone else?”

[Quote taken from this article.]

I later went to see them live at the Hammersmith Apollo.

My favourite track, Poor Places, includes the Irdial recording of the Yankee Hotel Foxtrot numbers stations fading in at the end on top of the music. They hadn’t sought permission to use this so Irdial sued them for copyright breach and won, think it was an out of court settlement. Halfway through the gig they started playing this number, I was waiting with great anticipation for the numbers station recording to fade in during the closing of the song, one I remembered hearing regularly on shortwave from back in the 60s, but was disappointed, just noise came up over the music. Guess the out of court settlement meant a ban on using it live.

Many thanks for sharing this, Mike! I like Wilco too, though haven’t seen them live yet–but I hold out hope as they have been known to venture into my part of the world.

Peter Gabriel: inspired by shortwave radio

Peter Gabriel Photo by By Skoll World Forum (Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship Ceremony) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Peter Gabriel Photo by By Skoll World Forum (Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship Ceremony) via Wikimedia Commons

SWLing Post reader, Chris, writes:

Your recent post about John Lennon triggered my memory about an interview I heard years ago with Peter Gabriel. He too had a fascination with Shortwave Radio listening and it inspired some of his music. 

Chris then shared a link to the following promotional video for the Real World 25 music collection with Peter Gabriel’s introduction:

“I was listening to shortwave radio in a village about seven miles away from here. As night came, you’d suddenly pick up all sorts of radio stations that you couldn’t in daylight. So that was quite mysterious to me and beguiling…and I would explore all sorts of strange sounds, noises and music.”

Real World Records is Peter Gabriel’s label–and Real World 25, a three-disc collection, is the story of their first 25 Years. I listened to samples of songs and purchased my own copy. At $17 US, it was a no-brainer; I love world music (as well as Peter Gabriel’s music) and appreciate anything that Gabriel would consider for his label. (Note: the CD set is actually less expensive than the MP3 album at time of posting.)

Chris also noted this quote from Peter Gabriel, which describes his “obsession” with shortwave radio and its influence on his hit song, “Here Comes The Flood.” Via the website Planet Jeffro:

“When I wrote this song [Here Comes The Flood] I had an obsession with short-wave radio and I was always amazed at the way in which the radio signals would become stronger as daylight faded. I felt as if psychic energy levels would also increase in the night. I had had an apocalyptic dream in which the psychic barriers which normally prevent us from seeing into each others’ thoughts had been completely eroded producing a mental flood. Those that had been used to having their innermost thoughts exposed would handle this torrent and those inclined to concealment would drown in it. (‘Peter Gabriel’ by Armando Gallo, Omnibus Press, 1986.)”

Fascinating! I particularly like this live version of “Here Comes The Flood:”

Chris, I owe you a debt of gratitude: while I’ve been a fan of Peter Gabriel for well over two decades, I never knew about his connection with shortwave radio. Time to revisit some of his tunes with that in mind…