Tag Archives: SRAA

Cities and Memory Shortwave Transmissions released to mark World Radio Day!

We at the Shortwave Radio Audio Archive are truly honored to have been a resource for this incredible and diverse sound project organized by Cities and Memory.

We encourage you to explore the creative work from over 120 artists and composers.

A great many of these remarkable dynamic works draw on a wide array of recordings from the SRAA; the resulting compositions and soundscapes are rich with sonic textures, evocative collages of sound and memory, which emerge into further sources of inspiration.

Our profound thanks to Cities and Memory––and all of the participating artists––for this truly brilliant collection:


 

13 February 2022

UNIQUE ARCHIVE OF SHORTWAVE RADIO COMPOSITIONS LAUNCHED TO MARK UNESCO WORLD RADIO DAY

To mark UNESCO World Radio Day on 13 February, a unique collection of compositions built from eight decades of shortwave radio recordings is being released.

Shortwave Transmissions, a project by one of the world’s biggest sound projects Cities and Memory in collaboration with the Shortwave Radio Archive, sees more than 120 artists remix and recompose iconic shortwave recordings to create brand new compositions reflecting on and celebrating our relationship with radio.

 

The project can be explored in full at https://citiesandmemory.com/shortwave and features:

  • Recordings from the mysterious spy radio and “numbers stations” around the world
  • Coverage of world-changing events such as 9/11, the invasion of Kuwait, Kennedy’s assassination, Tiananmen Square protests, the death of Fidel Castro and many more
  • Rare international recordings from North Korea, Saudi Arabia, St. Helena, the Falkland Islands and Antarctica
  • Recordings covering a huge period of time from 1934 through to the present day
  • Space travel documented including the Sputnik, Apollo and Challenger missions
  • Recordings of famous voices such as Winston Churchill and King George V
  • Station IDs, interval signals and final broadcasts from radio stations
  • Stuart Fowkes, founder of Cities and Memory, said:

“Shortwave radio is one of the most fascinating sonic worlds – each recording is a unique time capsule capturing vital moments in world history as well as the thrill of pirate radio, clandestine radio stations, secretive number stations and military and spy radio.

These are sounds to be treasured: all of humanity is truly out there to be listened to at the turn of a dial – and is source material for some extraordinary compositions.”

Taking the world of shortwave radio to an entirely different place, each recording has been reshaped and reimagined as a creative recomposed sound by more than 120 musicians and sound artists, in turn reflecting on current concerns covering everything from climate change to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Shortwave Transmissions is the latest project from Cities and Memory, a global, collaborative network of sound recordists and artists based in Oxford, UK. Previous global sound projects have included #StayHomeSounds (a global mapping of the sounds of the Covid-19 lockdown), Protest and Politics (the biggest ever collection of the sounds of protest) and Sacred Spaces, the first global survey of the sounds of churches, temples, prayer and worship.

It has more than 5,000 sounds on its global sound map covering more than 100 countries and territories, and more than 1,000 worldwide contributing artists since its launch in 2015.

Spread the radio love

Cities and Memory: “Remix and reimagine the world of shortwave radio”

I’m absolutely chuffed to announce that the excellent Cities and Memory sound project has partnered with the Shortwave Radio Audio Archive for an all-new take on the soundscape of cities, and YOU are invited to be part of it.

From Cities and Memory:

Open call – remix and reimagine the world of shortwave radio

Shortwave radio is one of the most fascinating sonic worlds – capturing vital moments in world history as well as pirate radio, clandestine stations, secretive number stations and military and spy radio, all of humanity is there to be listened to at the turn of a dial.

We’re delighted to have teamed up with The Shortwave Radio Archive to present 100 incredible recordings from the history of shortwave radio all over the world for artists to remix and reimagine.

Shortwave Transmissions is our latest global project, and we’re calling for sound artists and musicians to get involved by reimagining shortwave radio recordings from across the world.

Here’s how to get involved:

    1. Email us to let us know you’re interested – and we’ll send you the database of recordings to choose from.
    2. Let us know your top two choices, and we’ll allocate one of those sounds to you to work with.
    3. Create your composition – it must contain some elements of the original recording in some form, but otherwise is a completely free composition (music, sound art, radio art, composition, narrative storytelling – everything is valid!).
    4. Submit your composition – the final deadline will be Sunday 14 November.

There are some incredibly rich recordings to work with as source material – here is just a sample selection:

    • Recordings from the mysterious “numbers stations” around the world
    • Coverage of world-changing events such as 9/11, the invasion of Kuwait, Kennedy’s assassination, Tiananmen Square protests, the death of Fidel Castro and many more
    • Rare international recordings from St. Helena, Nicaragua, Saudi Arabia, the Falkland Islands and Antarctica
    • Recordings covering a huge period of time from 1934 through to the present day
    • Space travel documented, including the Sputnik, Apollo and Challenger missions
    • Recordings of famous voices such as Winston Churchill and King George V
    • Station IDsinterval signals and final broadcasts from radio stations

Compositions will be presented in the Shortwave Transmissions project in late November and to thousands of listeners across the Cities and Memory podcast, and a selection of compositions will be chosen for an accompanying album release

Sound artists and mixers, jump in to the Archive and see what you can unearth from the depths of our audio. We hope you’ll want to part in what we believe will be one of the most intriguing projects we’ve launched; in partnership with Cities and Memory, there’s no doubt it can be.  We look forward to your contributions!

Click here for full details at Cities and Memory.

Spread the radio love

Radio memories on the Shortwave Radio Audio Archive

The Shortwave Radio Audio Archive (SRAA) is a pure labor of love. I founded the SRAA back in 2012 as a place to archive and freely share off-air recordings shortwave radio enthusiasts have made over the years.

I fund the archive out of my own back pocket and the site is open to everyone free of charge. All of the recordings in the archive are safely stored in multiple off-site locations as well as in the archive’s online database.

We currently have over 2,400 RSS and podcast subscribers who automatically download each recording as it’s published. Many of these subscribers have a copy of the full archive at home.

All of the recordings come from our amazing contributors who take the time to digitize or share recordings with us.

Radio memories

One of the things I truly enjoy about the Shortwave Radio Audio Archive are all of the memories listeners leave in the comments section.

I was just reading through a few comments and thought I’d share a selection here. Note I’ve linked to each recording if you’d like to take a listen:

Comment from Heikki on Super Rock KYOI: September 13, 1983:

January 1985 to December 1986 I was a soldier in Soviet army at far east of Soviet Union.

Actually listening [to] this radio station was strongly prohibited for Soviet soldiers because Soviet communist propaganda [claimed] that rock’n roll music is not suitable for Soviet people. We [listened] anyway.

Once I switched this broadcasting into our military base public loudspeakers so Super Rock KYOI sounds widely and loud all around for all people. It lasted about 20 minutes.

After this incident the KGB agents [were] interested about me. Why I did it? Am I anti-Soviet propagandist or something? Actually, it was a good reason to put me into the prison for some years. Estonian guys in Soviet occupation army loved very much this radio station. It was only way to listen world’s newest music.

Comment from Ian Donaldson on 1991 cassette of shortwave IDs, interval signals and numbers stations:

Brought back many memories listening to your recordings, which seems a 100 years ago. I was a DXer in the 1970’s as a boy in southern Victoria. I had a radiogram with one shortwave band; no bandspread. My one compensation was living on a farm, and consequently, having ample room for long wires, etc. I remember listening to Radio Nacional de Espana during the days of Franco, and hearing very militaristic music at the beginning of their broadcast. When I wrote to Radio Peking, I received a picture book, calendar depicting impossibly happy peasants, etc. I sent a report to the BBC and thought that they didn’t take the bother of replying to me. A postcard of Big Ben came 12 months later. They had sent it via surface mail! During the Cold War, stations were jammed out, and I would hear day and night, high-pitched singing, which I learned later to be Peking Opera. I remember an announcement on VOA, which said: “This is the Voice of America, the following programme is in Special English”. And then It began: “President Nixon, today…..”, very slowly. So, thank you for allowing me to reminisce.

Comment from Mark Fahey on WRNO (Glenn Hauser’s World of Radio): April 11 & 25, 1982:

OMG!! This recording includes a news item about the pirate I ran in the 1980’s Radio CBN! Ha so cool! It was a slick operation, I built a fully featured professional studio for the station in my home and all of our on-air personalities actually used the station to launch professional careers at stations including TV New Zealand, CNN, Sky News, Radio Singapore and various Australian AM and FM stations. I’m so pleased hearing this – never head Glenn’s report back in the day. The transmitter was an FT-101 which I modified for broadcast quality AM bandwidth transmission and I used various antennas over time including verticals and half wave dipoles. We did eventually get received in the USA. We even received reports from Jerry Berg and eventually Glenn Hauser himself.

I still have all the reports, broadcast tapes and even blank QSL cards. I married one of the DJs (Shannon LaGuardia) and shut down the station when I needed the studio for another project.

Cheers,
Mark Fahey
Australia

Comment from Gino Galea Malta Wedding Photographer on Final sign off of BFBS Malta: March 31, 1979:

During the seventies, I had the luxury to tune in regularly to BFBS-MALTA, transmitting from St.Frances Ravelin, in Floriana, nowadays housing the MEPA offices.

This was associated with top quality entertainment varying from the latest UK pop music released in the charts to sports, particularly football, the golden oldies, Country music, the very latest news, interviews, etc. My favourite programs during those days were of course, the weekly UK TOP TWENTY. Another favourite has to be BFBS UK, aired daily in the afternoon, both presented by by the legendary Tommy Vance. I’ll never forget the other top presenters such as Richard Astbury, (Being the last station Controller) with his very own “Pop Around Europe”. Other top-class presenters were Richard Caperon, Alan Clough, Chris Russell, John Crabtree, P.McD, and Paul Gambaccini. Another favourite was “Solid Gold Singles” with Don Durbridge.

Christmas time with BFBS was also unique. We had the luxury to tune in to those amazing Christmas and ‘New Year’s Eve’ rich entertainment. That included the live charity program “Ring us up” which left its mark here in Malta to the extent that it inspired other local stations to come up with similar productions, even to this very day in support of the local charities! Being a student, BFBS MALTA was indeed a boost in my studies, particularly the language and current affairs.

Yes, I must admit that on the 31st March 1979, I really missed BFBS MALTA together with its great presenters. Although nowadays we have many other quality radio stations here BFBS MALTA always remained so very special.
Gino Galea

PS: I can also personally confirm that this clip is indeed the original voice, aired just minutes before the final closure by the station controller, Richard Astbury.

Many thanks, again, to all of our SRAA contributors! When your recordings are posted on the archive, they’re instantly shared with enthusiasts, historians, archivists, and (even) musicians around the world.

As you can see above, off-air recordings also bring back amazing memories for listeners.

Join us

You can subscribe to the Shortwave Radio Audio Archive as a podcast via iTunes or by using the following RSS feed: http://shortwavearchive.com/archive?format=rss You can also listen via TuneIn.

Of course, one of the best ways to listen to recordings and read all of the recording notes is by visiting the SRAA website.

If you’d like to contribute your recordings to the archive, check out this page.


Do you enjoy the SWLing Post?

Please consider supporting us via Patreon or our Coffee Fund!

Your support makes articles like this one possible. Thank you!

Spread the radio love

Help Brian identify this 1970s era interval signal

[Mystery solved! Click here to read the update.]

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Brian (W9IND), who writes:

I want to thank you for stirring a memory that I never thought I’d relive – even though it still doesn’t solve the mystery of what the heck I was listening to in the first place!

Back in the early 1970s, I was a teenage SWLer with a curiosity for the worldwide signals that emanated from the speaker of my shortwave radio. Bitten by the SWLing bug after stumbling across Radio Nederland’s Bonaire relay station, I spent many a happy hour twirling the dial in search of fresh game to hear and QSL.

But on one such occasion (I’m going to guess it was in 1971), I was surprised and fascinated by what sounded like a snake-charming horn playing notes at random. Stranger still, the transmission would seemingly go off the air for a couple of seconds and then return to play the strange melody again. I chalked it up to one of the countless beeps, hums and other electronic noises that often appeared on utility frequencies in those days.

I never recorded it, I never had a clue what it was, and I never heard it again.

Until recently. On the Shortwave Radio Audio Archive.

A couple of weeks ago, while looking for old shortwave interval signals from the 1970s, I saw a recording marked “Unidentified interval signal 1” listed right after the interval signals of Deutsche Welle and Radio Nederland.

“OK,” I thought. “Sounds like a challenge. Maybe I can even help figure out what it was.”

Then it played … and I almost fell off my chair! I literally sat with my mouth open as the long-lost sounds of the “snake-charming horn” played again. Could it indeed have been an interval signal – and if so, for what station?

I wanted to contact the person who recorded it, but then I learned the sad news that Mr. Greg Shoom is no longer with us.

So I remain mystified, probably forever. But it sure was fun hearing that weird recording again! Thanks for the memories.

Let’s see if an SWLing Post reader can help, Brian!

I know of at least a dozen readers who are experts on all that is interval signals, so hopefully someone can listen and ID this one.

I’ve embedded audio from this SRAA recording below. Note that the unidentified interval signal can be heard between time marks 1:27 – 2:07 in the following recording:

Can you positively ID this interval signal?  If so, please comment!


Do you enjoy the SWLing Post?

Please consider supporting us via Patreon or our Coffee Fund!

Your support makes articles like this one possible. Thank you!

Spread the radio love

Shortwave Radio Audio Archive: A treasure trove of radio history and nostalgia

One of the most amazing things about hosting and curating a massive collection of shortwave radio recordings is listening to each recording as they’re published on the site.

I created the Shortwave Radio Audio Archive (SRAA) in 2012 as a dedicated space to post and share off-air recordings with the world. Listening to SRAA recordings and subscribing to the podcast is 100% free, and entirely void of any advertising. The fact is, I pay for this site out of my own pocket, although some of your generous coffee fund and Patreon gifts are used to reinforce the archive’s longevity and future.

Not only does the SRAA serve as a historical record of radio–and even as audio samples for musicians–it’s also for radio listeners like us to enjoy.  We have over 3000 podcast and RSS subscribers. We invite you to subscribe as well as to contribute content in the form of your own radio recordings!

Great content, great contributors

Speaking of recordings, check out a sampling of our latest offerings from our amazing contributors:

Note that you can subscribe to the Shortwave Radio Audio Archive as a podcast via iTunes or by using the following RSS feed: http://shortwavearchive.com/archive?format=rss You can also listen via TuneIn.

Of course, one of the best ways to listen to recordings and read all of the recording notes is by visiting the SRAA website.


Do you enjoy the SWLing Post?

Please consider supporting us via Patreon or our Coffee Fund!

Your support makes articles like this one possible. Thank you!

Spread the radio love

RadioTapes.com: a treasure trove of airchecks from the Minneapolis/St. Paul markets

Cassettes

Photo by Ar Meftah

One of our contributors on the Shortwave Radio Audio Archive, Tom Gavaras, has been sharing some brilliant airchecks. I also discovered that Tom runs an amazing site simply chock-full of Minneapolis/St. Paul airchecks. Tom writes:

Hi Thomas,

[…]As an FYI … I own/run a website called RadioTapes (www.RadioTapes.com). It features more than 2,000 airchecks of Minneapolis/St. Paul radio stations dating back to 1924. You will also find some shortwave recordings that I previously posted (on the Special Postings page).

In addition to my collection, the website includes airchecks provided by more 100 contributors. RadioTapes also has a Facebook page with 1,400 followers.

Post readers: I strongly suggest you check out Tom’s amazing archive of airchecks.  If you ever lived in or DXed the Minneapolis/St. Paul market, you’ll certainly hear some familiar voices and IDs.

Thank you Tom!

Click here to check out RadioTapes.com.

Spread the radio love

From the Shortwave Radio Audio Archive: VOA and BBC on the anniversary of moon landing

Eagle in lunar orbit photographed from Columbia. (Image: NASA)

There are a hundreds of fascinating off-air radio recordings in our Shortwave Radio Audio Archive.

One of our frequent contributors, Tom Laskowski, has digitally converted numerous magnetic tape recordings from his personal collection to share with the archive. Tom made the following recording of the Voice of America on July 20, 1979 at 0500 UTC on the 31 meter band.

Tom notes:

The first 4:30 is from a VOA newscast that aired before the main part of the program.

The main recording was presented on the 10th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. I enjoy listening to this every year on the landing anniversary.

I’ve enjoyed listening to this 10th anniversary presentation as we, today, celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing::

Click here to download this recording.

[Update:] Tom also shares another recording that marks this anniversary:

I thought this might be [another] appropriate file to upload considering we are  marking the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11. I recorded this program thirty years ago on July 20, 1989 [5.975 MHz at 0400 UTC] the 20th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. Omnibus takes a look back at the historic Apollo mission and how and why it happened:

Click here to download the recording.

Thank you so much for sharing this, Tom!

Readers: Note that you can subscribe to the Shortwave Radio Audio Archive as a podcast via iTunes or by using the following RSS feed: http://shortwavearchive.com/archive?format=rss You can also listen via TuneIn.

Spread the radio love