Wednesday, March 12, 2014
I'm all ears...
One of the unexpected delights of commuting to work by train has been the rediscovery of my ears. Poor neglected ears and poor overworked eyes - looking, reading, searching, appraising - only resting when it's too dark to see.
When I was growing up there was always a radio on in the kitchen usually some sort of talkback program or maybe the horse-races or the football. Sometimes the television would be on too and I still find that constant hum of voices in a house very comforting. As a teenager, radio was all about music and in 1980s Melbourne that meant listening to 3XY, THE rock station. As I got older I discovered the weird and wonderful world of independent radio and became an ardent follower of Melbourne's oldest independent radio station 3RRR. For a country kid it was mind blowing. My favourite programs were Film Buffs Forecast and a late night nostalgia show by 'Cherry and Mario' who among other things would do radio plays based on Hollywood musicals. They would play the soundtrack narrating the story between tracks and this embryonic performing arts historian was in heaven.
Not much has changed it seems because I am again in the thrall of radio, this time through the magic of the downloadable podcast. Although it took me a while to wade my way through the thousands of podcasts out there I'm finally finding my way now and eagerly wait for new instalments of my favourite shows. There are amazing things being done on American public radio (along the 'if you like us donate' model) and if you haven't already discovered them I can really recommend the following:
If you like the idea of fiction/ radio plays
The Truth - Movies For Your Ears
Welcome To Night Vale
If you're fascinated by history and culture
The Memory Palace
99% Invisible (architecture and design)
Each and every one is beautifully produced, truly a feast for the ears. They all run for about 20-30 minutes which is perfect for a weekday commute when you can plug yourself in, close your eyes and give yourself over to another world for a few stolen minutes.
If you have a favourite podcast I'd love to hear about it.