Category: Sound

In the Margin (of the Other)

In the Margin of the Other is a free form radio show I began producing in November 1988 on WMBR, MIT’s all volunteer radio station.  It’s taken various forms as I’ve adapted to what the rest of life and work require.  Inspired by my college economics prof’s adage “everything happens in the margin,” I find that this “secret world” I’ve maintained consistently over so many years has evolved into a rich and unexpected source for many of my ideas and approaches in my more public work.

I’m lucky to have Richard H. Lawrence maintaining my archive in his woodshop in Albion, ME, spinning show cassettes according the seasons.  He and Sama also grow fruit and vegetables and other interesting things.

More recently, I’ve begun editing and uploading selected programs at the request of various friends and colleagues who want to listen. With nearly 2000 hours accumulated, perhaps I will eventually create a stream! For now, you can download a bunch here, or listen some shorter clips on this site. You’ll let me know you’re listening, right?

Something I’m listening to

I’ve neglected you, dear blog. Here’s a few thoughts I circulated in an email awhile back, and decided to put it up here.

I’ve been noticing over the last year or so what seems to be movement afoot of people who are bringing music to storytelling in new ways. I tend to find it as I’m perusing WMBR‘s stacks prepping for my radio show, and maybe you’re on to it, too. I’m loving these new approaches and thought I’d share/attach the latest, Charles Spearin’s “Happiness Project,” which is a collection of some of his Toronto neighbors who frequent his front porch in the summertime.  He says, “I wanted to see if I could blur the line between speaking and singing and write music based on these “accidental melodies.”

Others in this vein include Phillip Bimstein (esp his homage to baseball, “Bushy Wushy Rag“) and the Matthew Herbert Big Band whose new CD “There’s Me and There’s You” includes “the sounds contributed by Palestinians of their favorite of their most hated sound…”

Good, all, for the ears.

Arriving is Leaving, again.

I love live radio best, and I’ve spent 19 years in a secret corner producing a live show on WMBR, MIT’s all volunteer, free-form station. In the Margin of the Other is an exploration of my wide-ranging musical tastes merging with sound/art and writing. I aircheck every show and listen to most of them but sometimes things slip by — like this show from last August, 2006. I was on a long, leisurely drive last week with my friend Adi and pulled this one up randomly on my iPod. I was surprised by what happened in one of the breaks. Surprised because I didn’t remember it (a consequence, I think, of being on air and in-the-moment), and surprised because it is little recapitulation of Arriving is Leaving from Between Here and Gone. A margin inside the margin.

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Between Here and Gone (work in progress)

I applied for a Radcliffe Institute Fellowship. Here is the audio that accompanied my application. I pulled it out last Friday to play for an ad-hoc listening group that meets from time to time here in Boston. I got some great feedback, and one of the most interesting parts of the discussion involved how producing with editing software (ProTools/CoolEdit Pro, etc…) compares to work produced live…the relationship of the presentation to music, sound elements, the difference in emotional impact… The majority of the group were station-based or national program producer-reporters, and hadn’t produced live radio before. Between Here and Gone is a “live” production. Me in a studio with a mixing board and a CDRW. I wrote out the script, picked out music and (rough) audio tracks, hit the “record” button on CD recorder and opened the mic.. mixed it all live. It took me about 5 “takes” to get what you’ll hear here.

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(15:42)

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