Radio Garden

I challenged my friends recently to provide new sources of internet radio (suggestions still gratefully accepted). My thought was to make more use of the radio feature of the Sonos speaker which diligently loops the only record I ever listen to as I chop garlic. Matt Sage, he of the Catweazle Club and Art Theefe and all that, hit me back with this incredible website. It doesn’t work on the Sonos, but man it’s good.

radio-gardenRadio Garden essentially lets you scroll around the globe listening, live, to whatever is streaming from a given geographical location. In the picture above, I’m spending my morning with Big B Radio out of South Korea, but before I’ve finished typing this post I will have moved on – perhaps across the Pacific, perhaps down to Indonesia, to find a new station. It’s a really amped up version of scanning between stations in the car – but the variance in place puts an extra layer on the act of retuning. I love the sense of scale you get from this: it feels like an oddly comforting way of finding out what the human race is up to in real time (oddly, because, of course, 95% of what you hear is pre-recorded). I guess it falls into the same category, for me, as the recent-ish internet project which rebroadcast the telemetary from Apollo 11 in real time. Test matches fall into this category, too – it’s that sense of a developing event that’s happening right now, somewhere else, that you can tune in and out of. Perhaps what’s ultimately appealing is the sense of alterity: the the world is bigger than your journey through it.

I’ve always thought that radio is an underexploited medium. Radio Garden exploits it in an exciting and, I think, a moving way! So I put it on last night, listened to some devastating rap from the south of France, and built this Charizard. Life.

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