Retuning the Dial: Rethinking the Relationship between Radio and New American Music

Dennis Bathory-Kitsz and David Gunn have taken the idea of creating a community resource even farther with their site, for the program “Kalvos and Damian’s New Music Bazaar.” The show originates from WGDR in central Vermont, and you can tune in live from 4:30 to 6:30 every Sunday afternoon. The hosts are both composers, and their intent to use the site as a meeting-ground for composers, players, and listeners is obvious. For instance, there are two composer indexes. The first is an index of composers who have appeared on the show. Each composer is provided with his or her own Web page. Along with a picture and a bio, the page sports a link to the show on which the composer appeared, and may have additional links to sound files of music that was not broadcast, and to his or her personal homepage, if one exists. The second index, the “worldwide composer pages, ” is a list of links to the Web pages of any and all composers, even if they have never visited the show.

A playful page called “graffiti” is a grid of square buttons labeled art, music, talk, photo, essay, and so forth. When you click on many of these buttons, you get excerpts from past shows, or pictures related to it, but composers and listeners are encouraged to send in their own “graffiti” for posting. Bathory-Kitsz and Gunn have also set up a “notice board” and post an “occasional newsletter.” Like Moore, they provide an index of recording labels, and they provide access to the homepage of the Vermont Composers Consortium.

“Kalvos and Damian” isn’t as wild as the “Difficult Listening Hour,” but the playlists are still excitingly eclectic. Overall, it seems that Bathory-Kitsz and Gunn are fond of short works, and tend to play only excerpts of longer pieces. The program of November 27th was called “Tune Tech I,” the theme being the interaction between technology and “art music.” Compositions included three Player Piano Studies by Nancarrow, Laurie Anderson‘s “O Superman,” and excerpts from Charles Dodge‘s Earth’s Magnetic Field, Cage and Lejaren Hiller‘s HPSCHD, and John AdamsCommon Tones in Simple Time.

From Retuning the Dial: Rethinking the Relationship between Radio and New American Music
by Jennifer Undercofler
© 2000 NewMusicBox

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