Thursday, September 24, 2009

Abstract Index Playlist - September 23/09

one last snapshot of 91 St. George St. as I left the building...

Indulge me for a moment.

Rock bands build entire careers on mythologizing the four to five years of high school's pressure cooked social dynamics. I spent 23 years at the building I first entered three short months after high school ended, so I feel justified in a little rose-coloured reminiscence.

CIUT blew apart my high school state of mind. Immediately, this 17 year old found himself hanging out with the architects of the soon to be launched radio station, most of whom were about a decade older than me and had deeeeeep collections. 20,000 albums, hundreds of 7" singles and walls of cassettes also contributed to warping my young mind.

As important as the musical bonanza was, it was the volunteers who made the place different than anything I'd experienced up to that time. I would meet Rasta militants, grizzled veterans of Toronto's jazz scene (re: Dick Wattam), ethnomusicologists and activists of every description - all of whom shaped my perspective on what the word "community" could encompass in this huge, diverse city.

91 St. George St. shaped me as a person as well as a musical entrepreneur. It taught me that being the singular person at the controls of 15,000 watts is an incredible thrill and a serious responsibility. It taught me to challenge myself every time I stepped up to the mic; to make spontaneous art which drew from a constant quest for knowledge and insight. At this point, I welcome the opportunity to pass on that enthusiasm to those who say "damn, I wasn't even BORN back then...". Each one teach one.

We're moving to Hart House, which has the potential to become an even more memorable physical manifestation of what CIUT can deliver. The facilities will be more accessible to students and the general public than ever before, and the technical setup more versatile. For someone who's always loved to push the limits of the form with live dub sessions and multi-studio broadcasts, this will hopefully unlock new creative initiatives.

In some ways, like the aforementioned rock bands, CIUT has been an extended adolescence - although it's been more like a never-ending undergraduate degree than high school. I've done other work in radio and audio programming jobs which has been fascinating and far better paid, but these experiences have made me appreciate the specific virtues of CIUT rather than make it seem juvenile or bush-league.

I remain a true believer: radio still represents the lowest-cost, most accessible and most massive of mass media. At its best, campus radio is a brilliant combination of physical facilities, vast musical resources, and most of all, an internal/external community spirit which powers personal and passionate statements by committed individuals.

Onwards and South-Eastward.

Podcast - for those of you who claim that nobody listens to radio anymore...

the alchemy of scott lafaro - ornette coleman (atlantic)
if i took your hand - fire! (rune gramofon)
here comes the family - the family of percussion and archie shepp (nagara)
nirvana - shafiq husayn (plug research)
alchemy - tasa (no label)
druid jazz - cymbali (music gallery)
butchenska ratchenitsa - ivo papasov & his bulgarian wedding band (hannibal)
somalia - k'naan (a&m)
be thankful - bunny clarke (trojan)
i will sing unto jah - squidly cole (no label)
chemical specialist - creation rebel/new age steppers (cherry red)
king tubbys badness - king tubby (trojan)
try love from zion - natto & mountain edge band (no label)
woman dub - chezidek (tabou 1)
tribute to drumbago - king tubby & the dynamics (pressure sounds)
east west north and south - vin gordon (shelter rock)

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Blogger judy said...

Thanks Dave, that's a fine tribute to a place that was, and is, a state of mind. You're doing a fine thing carrying on and twisting and adding to that audio experiment we started all those years ago.

12:26 p.m.  

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