All Glammed Up For Friday Night Radio

Otago Access Radio’s Friday night line-up has a little added sparkle, courtesy of two committed music lovers.

Dr Glam and Demelza’s Inflammable Spandex Cafe is hosted by University of Otago music lecturer, performer and author Dr Ian Chapman, with partner in musical crime Demelza May. As the title suggests, the programme has fun and weirdness at heart.

Dr Chapman, who laid glitter-rock alter-ego Dr Glam to rest in 2014 only to resurrect him for last year’s Planet Earth Is Blue tribute to David Bowie at Sammy’s, said it felt right to lend the name to a radio show.

“Dr Glam is all about fun and this show is certainly that, so I thought I would align it to my most fun character. Thankfully, Demelza is on the same wavelength.”

Ms May agreed that the pair shared some common ground but said the show also contrasted their respective collections.

“Ian is all about the ‘70s. The time I was discovering going out and having lots of fun was the ‘80s, but I just like whatever can get me dancing and feeling good.”

On any given episode, listeners might expect to hear Dr Chapman introduce tracks from the likes of the Sweet, Slade, Bowie, Iggy Pop and the Ramones, while Ms May favoured Style Council, De La Soul, UK Squeeze, Talking Heads, Was (Not Was) and House of Pain.

A regular feature of the show was a “Local Gem” – a track by Dunedin-based musicians, some of whom were Dr Chapman’s students.

Dr Glam and Demelza’s Inflammable Spandex Cafe launches a diverse evening of music every Friday at 6pm. It is followed at 7pm by indie music show Blip In The System, at 8pm by The Vinyl Vault, at 9pm byThe Afro-Caribbean Show, and at 10pm by house and techno show The Strobe Room.

Dr Glam and Demelza’s Inflammable Spandex Cafe airs Friday at 6pm on OAR 105.4FM and 1575AM, and live and podcast from www.oar.org.nz.

Photo: On fire: Demelza May and Dr Ian Chapman present Dr Glam and Demelza’s Inflammable Spandex Cafe on Otago Access Radio.

All About the Bass in the Strobe Room

If you don’t know your Acid House from your Dub Techno but love electronic music regardless, Otago Access Radio’s Friday night programme The Strobe Room could be just the thing for you.

The show’s host James Mather would prefer listeners simply enjoy the opportunity to sample from his huge collection of tracks, without splitting hairs over the many sub-genres of dance music that would confound even the most dedicated of train-spotters.

An Austria-based listener recently took him to task in an email over whether the music on the show was strictly house and techno.

“This is where the Internet warriors kick off,” Mr Mather said.

“I don’t care whether someone considers it house or techno; to me it’s more the vibe of the electronic music with a regular bass beat, synth sounds and percussion.”

A former “metalhead”, Mr Mather became a convert to dance music in the early 1990’s after helping organise a warehouse rave in an industrial estate in Cornwall, England. Resistance to the then Criminal Justice Bill’s proposed crackdown on anti-social behaviour saw civil liberties groups join forces with sound systems, groups of DJs and engineers working together as one, to organise unregulated dance events.

“We didn’t feel that we were doing anything wrong. We were just getting together and dancing,” he explained. “I was blown away. The music was such a physical force, it went right through the chest.”

Relocating permanently to New Zealand in 2006, Mr Mather found there was little in the way of a club scene to nurture his interest. But by that stage he had already “dialled back” the late nights and had turned instead to collecting electronic music and listening to it at home, focusing on the work of emerging underground artists and bedroom DJs.

The Strobe Room was a means of sharing his growing tracklist with the rest of the world.

“This show is for anyone with an interest in electronic music, from the harder end to the more melancholic and subdued side. There’s really too much choice.”

The Strobe Room airs Friday at 10pm on OAR 105.4FM and 1575AM. Podcasts are available from www.oar.org.nz.

Photo: In the house: James Mather is the host of The Strobe Room on Otago Access Radio.

Disability and Health Show Plenty to Digest

Dunedin-based social service organisation Disability Information Service (DIS) is using radio as a means of reaching a wider audience for advice about disability and health related matters.

Short bulletin The Digest is a regular feature of the Monday edition of Otago Access Radio’s OARsome Morning Show. The spot will include notices from the many community organisations in the Otago health and disability sector that contribute information for distribution by DIS, via email and newsletter.

Newly appointed DIS executive officer Debbie Webster said the opportunity to talk about the many events, workshops, conferences and classes on offer was a way of making information more accessible.

“Not everybody can access online material or read the printed version of the many notices we get. Being able to also use radio is really valuable.”

The programme would provide DIS with a platform for discussing its wider role in the region. Not aligned with any particular provider of health and disability services, the organisation was able to provide free and impartial advice on the wide range of resources, community groups and “natural supports” that were available.

“We are kind of like the Citizens’ Advice Bureau to the health and disability community. We join the dots, break down barriers and connect people to the services and information that will help them through whatever they are facing.

“Questions can be as simple as where do I get a mobility parking sticker for my car to identifying what supports were available for a child with an intellectual disability who is leaving school, or how best to manage a chronic health condition that has become quite disabling.”

Helping people navigate systems and funding streams so that they might access the support they required was a key role for DIS, as was the sale or hire of living aides, wheelchairs and continence products from its office at Dunedin Community House.

“There’s certainly plenty for us to talk about. We’re excited to get started.”

The Digest airs on the OARsome Morning Show on Mondays at 9.10am on OAR 105.4FM and 1575AM, and live and podcast from www.oar.org.nz.

Photo: Informed: Disability Information Service manager Debbie Webster (left) and information consultant Emma Brockie present The Digest on Otago Access Radio.

 

Radio Explores the Power of Positive Action

Rape Crisis Dunedin is using radio as a way of highlighting the achievements of organisations and individuals working in the interests of women and families, around the world.

Fortnightly show The Empower Half Hour is hosted by Rape Crisis community educators Anna Hoek-Sims and Rachel Shaw.

Anna said the focus of the programme was “not just feminism”.

“We’re coming from an all-encompassing point of view, so it doesn’t matter what the gender is of any person we might talk about. We want to celebrate that there are some stars shining brightly out there in the world.”

Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate, was one such inspirational individual. Her memoir I Am Malala and 2015 documentary film He Named Me Malala had provided insight into how determined advocacy for change had grown into an international human rights movement.

Rachel cited the wave of women’s marches that followed the election of Donald Trump to the United States presidency as another source of motivation.

“The amount of work and passion that went into those marches was very inspiring to me.”

The radio show would include updates on events closer to home, music by women artists and thoughtful quotes to ponder. It would also build on workshops the pair were conducting with Dunedin secondary school students on issues of consent and bystander intervention, and explore the latest initiatives to address online bullying.

“Radio is a way of branching out to reach some of the community we wouldn’t meet through the training we do,” Anna said.

“It’s a way of saying there’s still some positive, amazing things going on in the world today at a time when there are a lot of conflicts. And it’s a great way for us to maintain a healthy working environment. We hear a lot of negative things as support workers and when we debrief with other staff. So for me it’s part of my self-care.”

The Empower Half Hour airs every second Tuesday at 12.30pm on OAR 105.4FM and 1575AM, and live and podcast from www.oar.org.nz.

Photo: Inspiring work: Rape Crisis Dunedin community educators Anna Hoek-Sims (left) and Rachel Shaw are hosts of Otago Access Radio show The Empower Half Hour.

Radio Show Profiles Peninsula People in Trust’s Golden Anniversary Year

The Otago Peninsula Trust’s 50th Anniversary year promises a golden opportunity to share the beauty, history and character of the peninsula, with a new radio series at the centre of the celebrations.

Otago Access Radio show Peninsula People launches on Friday 13 January, hosted by the Trust’s marketing manager Sophie Barker. The 50-episode series will feature conversations with people dedicated to preserving and enhancing the wildlife and attractions of Otago Peninsula.

Ms Barker, a self-described “peninsula girl”, said the time was ripe to reflect on the achievements of the Trust, which was formed in 1967 as the first charitable conservation trust in New Zealand.

“These were some keen young men and women who saw the potential for Dunedin in celebrating its heritage and developing opportunities for the visitor industry.

“Their first task was to save Glenfalloch, which was under threat of subdivision. But they were also interested in the wildlife on the peninsula and opened the first public access to view albatross, as well as working on viewing points for the yellow-eyed penguin. They had a huge number of ideas.”

The radio series would open with stories of the Trust’s earliest achievements and would include interviews with such stalwarts as Bill Dawson, who had volunteered his time with the Trust since its inception. Later episodes would explore more recent projects and include conversations with some of the school-aged children who were the “next generation” of the peninsula’s guardians.

“This series will be a really valuable resource. There are so many personal stories to tell, about people who care deeply for Otago Peninsula. We’re looking forward to sharing them on the radio show and through podcasts that can be listened to in your car or at home.”

The Trust’s attractions now included the Royal Albatross Centre, the Fort Taiaroa disappearing gun, Blue Penguins Pukekura, Glenfalloch Woodland Garden, Fletcher House and Tiki Tours. Visitors could expect some special anniversary deals and public events through the year, including an exhibition during April’s Wild Dunedin Festival and a garden party in October.

Those sharing a 50th birthday with the Trust in 2017 were line for some extra treats.

“We’ll be announcing some 50 percent discounts for various peninsula attractions, so people should check out the Otago Peninsula Trust website for news so everything we have planned.”

Peninsula People airs Fridays at noon and Sundays at 7.30pm on OAR 105.4FM and 1575AM, and live and podcast from this webiste

Photo: Otago Peninsula Trust marketing manager Sophie Barker, host of Otago Access Radio show Peninsula People, with Trust stalwart Bill Dawson.

Plenty of Choice for Summertime Listening

Otago Access Radio listeners will have no shortage of locally produced shows to enjoy over the holiday period. The station’s two studios have been booked solid over recent weeks as volunteer broadcasters record fresh episodes of their programmes to air when they are spending time with friends and family.

Station manager Lesley Paris said several broadcasters were planning special Christmas and New Year editions of their programmes.

“Jazz fans will be happy to know that Calder Prescott and Lou McConnell will be jointly hosting a ninety-minute special on Christmas Day. It’s a tradition that goes back a few years and a nice way to bring our two jazz aficionados together.

“Other programmes will explore themes that are especially relevant to this time of year, from staying physically and mentally healthy to enjoying the outdoors and relaxing with great books and great music.”

Summer holidays also offered the opportunity to catch up on programmes listeners might have missed earlier in the year. Podcasts were available to download from the station’s website and from iTunes, to be listened to at any convenient time.

Southern Heritage Trust programme Heritage Matters was an example of an informative and entertaining series that lent itself well to an “immersive” online listening experience.

“Heritage Matters covers a lot of territory, from stories of Dunedin’s earliest settlers to debate around preservation of the city’s built heritage and plans to restore or establish historic sites. Anyone with an interest in local history and architecture would find it a pretty compelling series to tap into.”

For those who wanted to create a musical soundtrack to their summertime activities, there were plenty of music programmes available as podcasts.

“We have Celtic music covered on Celtic World, Americana on The Jukebox Highway, vinyl classics on The Vinyl Vault and alternative music on Blip In The System, as well as several shows on our Connecting Cultures Zone that celebrate the music of our migrant communities.”

Photo: Podcast potential: Otago Access Radio’s Heritage Matters team are (from left) Jane Edwards, Dougal Stevenson and Bill Southworth.


Radio Show Promotes Self-Help Health Resources

A new Otago Access Radio show is promoting access to reliable, evidence-based self-help health resources.

Listen Yourself Well is presented by Sophie Carty and Rebecca Llewellyn, members of WellSouth Primary Health Network’s health promotion team whose role it is to take a preventative and proactive approach to the health needs of the people of Otago and Southland.

Rebecca said the radio show took inspiration from WellSouth’s Books On Prescription programme, which launched in Central Otago libraries in 2011 as a collection of self-help books that could be prescribed by GPs, counsellors and other health professionals to patients who “needed a little bit of extra support”.

“This year, we expanded, rebranded and relaunched the programme with three streams. We have books, which you can get from a library, audio-visual resources available online, and apps for digital devices. You can now read, listen and tap yourself well.”

The books, podcasts and apps covered a wide range of health topics, from depression and anxiety to diabetes and heart disease, as well as “lifestyle” resources that addressed breastfeeding, food choices, relationships, alcohol and smoking.

Each episode of Listen Yourself Well would highlight an item from the WellSouth collection, all of which had been reviewed and recommended by experts in the relevant field. Interviews with health professionals would add specialist knowledge and a local context.

Sophie said the aim was to encourage listeners to see that the healthier choice was often the easier choice.

“We hope the show will be an interesting and informative look at a range of physical and mental health issues, and the resources, services and community-based initiatives that exist to support people with mild-to-moderate health problems.

“Health is much more than what you do as an individual. It’s about your family, whanau and wider social networks.”

Listen Yourself Well airs Thursdays at 1pm and Saturdays at 12.30pm on OAR 105.4FM and 1575AM, and live and podcast from www.oar.org.nz and iTunes.

Photo: The healthy choice: WellSouth’s Rebecca Llewellyn (left) and Sophie Carty host Otago Access Radio show Listen Yourself Well.

Listen to episodes from this series

New Show Draws Inspiration From Radio Legend

The latest volunteer broadcaster to join the stable of music show hosts on Otago Access Radio (OAR FM) is drawing inspiration from the man who has been described one of the most important men in music.

BBC Radio 1 DJ John Peel, who died in 2004, was instrumental in the promotion of new forms of music, from indie rock and punk to electronic music and hip hop. Stephen Neal, host of OAR FM show Blip In The System (Fridays, 6pm-7pm) was a regular listener to Peel’s programme while resident in the UK and plans to echo its eclectic sound in his own show.

Mr Neal, who settled in Dunedin three years ago, was schooled in the alternative music of the eighties and nineties, regularly attending gigs by the likes of Siouxsie and the Banshees and Morrissey. Radio played a complementary role in his developing interest as he searched for music that was “unique or unusual”.

“John Peel brought a lot of new music to me, things that I might never have heard about otherwise,” he said.

“I recently read an excellent book about him, Goodnight and Good Riddance by David Cavanagh, which directly inspired me to make my own radio show and play some of the music I’m passionate about.”

Peel’s commitment to featuring new artists on his programme, and the subsequent boost that gave to many careers, said much about the power of radio, Mr Neal said. Blip In The System would provide a similar gateway for up-and-coming Dunedin bands, and Mr Neal would welcome suggestions from listeners about acts he should check out.

“New Zealand music history is something I’m still learning about, and that’s one of the fascinating things about moving somewhere else in the world. It really broadens your horizons.”

The show title recognised that most people were in some way part of many social structures, and that “it’s lovely when that gets a little transposed or interrupted.”

“In whatever way, you’re part of a system you have to be part of. I hope to get you out of that at the end of the working week by offering some new sounds.”

Blip In The System airs Fridays at 6pm on OAR 105.4FM and 1575AM, and live and podcast from www.oar.org.nz.

Click here for the podcast

Love Affair with Braille leads to Multi-Platform Radio Show

Dunedin woman Julie Woods’ love affair with braille has led to an innovative podcast series, radio show and YouTube resource that takes a fun approach to learning the tactile reading system for the blind and visually impaired. More on that, later . . .

 

The Braille Biscuit Show, a 26-episode series supported by The Blind Foundation, airs at 10am on Tuesdays on Otago Access Radio, with replays on Saturdays at 8am. It is podcast from the station’s website, with YouTube clips of feature braille-education segments available on YouTube.

 

 

Julie, a motivational speaker and coach, is known as That Blind Woman. In 1997, at age 31, she was diagnosed with inflammation of the retina due to an unknown virus which left her legally blind. Preferring initially to focus on computer and speech recognition technology to aid with communication, she turned to braille in 2001.

 

“It was a goal I set myself, to make a positive change, and I quickly fell in love with the code,” she says. “I was reunited with the written word and was able to once again read, this time with my fingers. It was truly liberating.”

 

But it wasn’t just the code that captured Julie’s imagination. The story of Louis Braille, the Frenchman who lends his name to the system of small rectangular blocks that contain tiny palpable bumps, also intrigued her.

 

“Louis Braille lost his eyesight by age 4, due to an accident. At the age of just 15, he developed his code, which has transformed so many lives.”

 

The Braille Biscuit Show includes interviews with visually impaired and sighted people who use the braille system, readings in braille, music from musicians who are blind or have low vision, and quotations from deaf-blind American author and political activist Helen Keller.

 

And Julie has a special companion alongside for a programme segment that explains the braille system.

 

The Braille Biscuit Monster, a hand puppet with an appetite for the chocolate biscuits Julie uses to spell out each letter of the alphabet, makes appearances in weekly audio and video features of the show.

 

“Braille is for young and old,” says Julie. “And braille is fun. I’m looking forward to introducing listeners to braille, and to the story of the young French boy who made an impact on the world. That’s inspiring, because we all have the potential to make a positive impact on the world but I don’t think we often see ourselves in that way.”

 

Click here to listen to podcasts from this show

Education Focus for Pacific Island Radio Show

A new talkback radio programme aimed at Dunedin’s Pacific Island communities is focusing attention on education issues.

Otago Access Radio show Talanoa Tok Tok Pacific is coordinated by staff from the University of Otago’s Pacific Island Centre and is broadcast on Monday evenings as part of the station’s Connecting Cultures Zone.

Centre manager Tofilau Nina Kirifi-Alai said the programme would provide a platform for parents and students to discuss the challenges facing tertiary and secondary students from Pacific Island communities, and to celebrate their successes.

“Most of our Pacific students at Otago have come away from home, away from mum and dad, and are learning to be independent. It’s hard, but we need to acknowledge the support they are getting from our communities and our churches.

“The more we share, the more we discuss, we can understand that it is not just them that face these challenges and we can help our students succeed.”

There were currently more than 800 Pacific students enrolled at Otago University, which adopted a Pacific Strategic Framework in 2013 in realisation of a commitment made in its charter to meet the needs of Pacific peoples.

“We want to lift the performance of Pacific students. If we have successful graduates going out to work in our communities, it will help lift them socially and economically,” Tofilau Nina said.

National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) processes would be explored and Talanoa Tok Tok Pacific would also report on events of wider interest to Pacific communities, such as local fundraisers, concerts and public meetings. Listeners would be encouraged to phone in with comments and questions on any subject of interest to Pacific peoples.

“The word talanoa means the sharing of views, so that’s what our programme is about.”

Talanoa Tok Tok Pacific airs every Monday from 6pm on OAR 105.4FM and 1575AM, and is streamed live and podcast from www.oar.org.nz.