There’s a new internet radio station coming for storytellers! programsound.fm will have its first-ever broadcast on July 25, 2021 and we’re tuning in! Created by the award-winning artist and performer Bahia Watson (The Handmaid’s Tale, The Expanse, Star Trek: Discovery) in partnership with immersive theatre company, Outside The March and in collaboration with over 30 supporting artists and organizations, listeners around the world can tune into a free, one-day only experimental digital listening theatre event.
Instead of an analog frequency dial, the stream of sound comes through the website and hosted by Watson. What you’ll experience are sounds and stories from across Turtle Island. This is an incredible opportunity to listen in on a constellation of stories during these times created to remind us that we are not alone.
Throughout the day, you’ll hear 25 diverse artists with unique voices. When the national call out for submissions beamed to the universe, they were elated to have received 110 entries. They knew they only had room initially for 20. “it was very difficult to decide – i had to say no to people i know and love! it was so hard!” explained Watson. The advisory council, comprised of Bahia Watson, Lucy Coren, Yolanda Bonnell, Jasmine Chen, Marie Farsi, Brad Hodder, Mitchell Cushman and Griffin McInnes, met over Zoom and discussed each and every submission. “we worked to shape a day of listening with a lot of variety in terms of form and content, and voices from as many regions of turtle island as possible,” said Watson. “they were all so wonderful and honestly, i was so humbled and appreciative that people took the time to engage with us, with this idea and experiment. it really is a kind of recognition when people respond to a call like that (i’m tearing up!).”
This is not your traditional storytelling format. A hint of what to expect… “you might hear a little choose your own adventure, you might laugh about friendships falling apart and then be warmed by a story that follows when they really stay together. you might go on a morning stroll with someone who is partially deaf and then learn about the history of south africa through grandma’s cooking,” says Watson.
If you’re wondering if there’s any content geared to children and families, Watson tells us there’s a very sweet story by Brendon Allen created and told with his children, August and Clover, about a secret society of solitary socks.
A full program will be available on the official site programsound.fm and you’ll want to tune in on the day as it won’t be available anywhere else. “in the turn, ephemeral spirit of both radio and theatre, you have to be there to catch it, before it disappears.”
“we’re really interested in the possibilities of radio and story to manifest connection and community,” says Watson. It’s just the beginning and this is a pilot broadcast. They’re very much interested in growing this idea together so feel free to reach out to them after you’ve had a listen!
programsound.fm airs on Sunday, July 25, 2021 from 12:00 pm to 12:00 am EST. For more information visit their site here.