Pop up Boat Radio launched as Folkestone hosts The Boat Project

Pop up Boat Radio launched as Folkestone hosts The Boat Project

A unique radio experiment in shore to ship broadcasting hits the South East this summer as a Pop Up radio station welcomes the wooden boat made of people’s donations to Folkestone on 10th July.

A world first, Boat Radio is supported by Arts Council England, and can be heard by listeners in Kent, Sussex, Hampshire and Essex throughout July.

The pop up station will broadcasting artists’ sound works, music and compositions by the boat’s crew. They include ambient recordings, pieces inspired by doomed yachtsmen and a lost flamingo, poetry, a recreation of a WW2 propaganda broadcast and songs written for each leg of the voyage by ship’s log Johny Lamb.

The Boat Project – the building and sailing around the south coast of the boat Collective Spirit constructed from donated wood – was commissioned for the London 2012 Festival. Collective Spirit arrives in Folkestone around 1600 on Tuesday 10th July.

Boat Radio is a fitting tribute to Marconi’s pioneering sound experiments at Dungeness and South Foreland, according to Glyn Jones of transmission company Arqiva: “More than a hundred years ago Marconi was experimenting with transmissions from shore to ship and across the ocean. Boat Radio has fantastic echoes back to those very early days of radio. This partnership also gives millions of people access to groundbreaking audio art at the push of a button on their digital radio. More than a dozen of our big transmission sites are beaming out Boat Radio across the coastal counties, made possible by a unique partnership between a big commercial company and a bunch of creative artists.”

Launched by Folkestone Fringe, Boat Radio is a new commissioning platform for transmission-based sound works on digital radio or via www.transmissioncommission.com. Diane Dever of Folkestone Fringe said: “Boat Radio draws on the stories of the 1200 people who donated wood to build Collective Spirit, notions of sea travel, mapping, plotting and navigating. Boat Radio allows the different audiences for the Boat Project to have an opportunity to be part of this epic maiden voyage, staying in touch with the project long after the boat has sailed past.”

The seven curated radio broadcasts will include audio work produced by individuals and organisations from the port of calls on Collective Spirit’s maiden voyage, recordings of local choirs singing on route, stop-off gigs with Johny Lamb, interviews with the crew, and a selection of stories about the wooden donations used to make the boat. Commissioned artists include: Alex Baker, Neil Hamon, Sarah Nielsen, Toby Oakes, Kelvin Pawsey, Jonathan Wright.

Boat Radio Shore to Ship Transmissions: “For as long as ships have sailed the sea we have signaled them with beacons, flags, lights, horns, telegraphs and radio. But while `ship to shore’ is a commonplace, the reverse seems less familiar.`Shore to ship’ describes a way we rarely go, an aspect of ourselves we seldom see. It is a space we apprehend as much by sound as sight, a band of resonance, the pulse of waves on water – waves of air – radiating echoes of the shore out to the sea, stitched across by the traffic of transmitted voices.”

Boat Radio is broadcasting on digital radio, listeners must do a complete re-scan to pick up the station, but if you can’t pick up the signal you can listen at www.transmissioncommission.com. The content is free to use for community radio stations.

Contributing artists and playlists to be released on @ff_transmission

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