Saturday, September 8, 2007

Contemporary Classical on Future Radio

Bob Shingleton (author of the blog On An Overgrown Path) is hosting a truly unique radio program dedicated to contemporary classical music on Future Radio in the UK. It airs weekly on Sunday afternoons from 17:00-18:00 in Norwich, eastern England. This converts to an airtime of 12:00 PM if you are in Eastern Standard Time in the US.

Anyone can listen to the show via streaming audio over the internet. Click here for direct connection to the audio stream. It can only be heard in real time so listeners must tune in at the appropriate time. (Bob suggests using Winamp or iTunes.)

I am personally excited about this program because of its focus on contemporary classical music, which is something too many public classical radio stations avoid (unfortunately) like the plague. Why? Well, as far as I can tell, many classical stations are afraid of alienating the narrow-minded but deep-pocketed patrons who only like easy-listening (translate: OLD and BORING) classical music programming. But how much Baroque guitar music and endless replays of Haydn symphonies can one person take before falling asleep or switching to the much more exciting rock/pop stations? (Of course, those are getting more dreary and overly commercialized as well…but that’s another topic for another day.) It’s time to put some excitement back into sleepy concert music broadcasting, and this radio show is a great place to start challenging ears and expanding musical minds. The programs in September (of 2007) will feature music from many interesting composers including Terry Riley, John Adams, Judith Weir, Elisabeth Lutyens, Lou Harrison, and Vanessa Lann.

Future Radio is a community radio station that features a great deal of music programming that ranges all over the map from rock and gospel to blues and world music. They are doing the right thing broadcasting online (in addition to their local radio broadcast) for world-wide exposure. Online radio is providing wonderful forums like this for marginalized music in every genre, but it’s especially needed for the promotion of good contemporary classical music. Please support the good fight for accessible contact to great concert music that is being written now and later: tune in on Sundays at 12:00 EST.

After all, hearing music that is new and unfamiliar can be fun and exhilarating!
(Suggestions for links to other good contemporary classical broadcasts are welcome.)