Arts Show Debunks Myths

If you don’t know much about art but you know what you like,The Arty Farty Hour on Otago Access Radio might be just the show for you.

Programme hosts and local artists Ron Esplin and Andy Cook are keen to debunk commonly held myths around engaging with the art world, including that it is for experts only.

“We need to keep this art business user friendly,” said Mr Cook, owner-operator of Dunedin art supplies shop Art Zone.

“I know a lot of people are intimidated. They think that only professional artists are allowed to paint, and that’s not true. What we talk about on the show helps to ease people into it, especially if they are just starting out.”

The Arty Farty Hour blends profiles of leading artists with discussion on technique and materials, accompanied by music that is either art-themed or performed by recording artists who also dabble in other art forms.

Mr Esplin launched the show in 2013, keen to provide a voice for the Dunedin art community in local media. The on-air partnership with Mr Cook began some time later, when a one-off guest appearance fired an engaging on-air rapport built on shared discovery, laughter and plenty of good-natured ribbing.

“I admire Andy’s work and that’s a great catalyst for our discussion,” he said.

“I tend to focus on watercolour painting and Andy on oils. It’s a lifelong occupation and I originally thought that once I had the hang of it, I’d move on. I now know that you never do.”

Much of the programme was well researched but unscripted, said Mr Cook.

“We have this mutual interest in arts and one thing leads to another. For me, it’s just a really interesting conversation.

“I’d be here, even if the mics weren’t on.”

Fortnightly programme The Arty Farty Hour  airs Saturdays at 1pm on OAR FM Dunedin 105.4FM and 1575AM. Podcasts are available from www.oar.org.nz.

Photo: Perfectly framed: Andy Cook (left) and Ron Esplin are hosts of The Arty Farty Hour on Otago Access Radio.

A Positive Spin To New Show

If the doom and gloom of daily news is getting you down, a new show on Otago Access Radio (OAR FM) might be the pick-me-up you need.

The Positivity Show is the brainchild of Julia Young, a Dunedin broadcaster with a determination to share the many good-news stories in her community.

Julia’s own story is a bright one. Having first got involved at OAR FM through participation in the Connections Collectionshow, made by the Connections Centre for people with high support needs due to intellectual and/or physical disabilities, she went on to take a producer’s role with IDEA Services’Switch Radio Show involving young people with intellectual disabilities who are exploring pathways to adult life.

“I thought it was time for me to evolve and broaden my skills, and I thought the best way for me to do that would be to focus on other areas such as producing and editing,” Julia said.

Not satisfied to leave her development as a broadcaster there, Julia decided to host and produce her own show, one that provided an alternative to the prevailing coverage of strife and conflict.

“I had to stop watching the news because there was so much negativity and never any good, positive stories about what was happening in the world.

“When I got the chance to create my own show, suddenly a lightbulb lit up and I thought, this is my chance to spread some positive thinking around.”

A crowdfunding campaign quickly raised the modest fee for airtime, and Julia was on her way.

The Positivity Show has to date featured interviews with Tommy Thomas, a support worker with the Switch team who has painted a mural in Stafford St, and with Jono Glassey from the Connections Centre.

Julia is joined on her programme by a “great bunch of bro’s” – imaginary lemur companions Ronnie, Ricky, Roger and Potato.

“They’ve been really good friends, to help me with the show and bring a bit of humour and fun.”

Fortnightly programme The Positivity Show next airs fortnightly Thursdays at 3pm on OAR FM Dunedin 105.4FM and 1575AM. Podcasts are available fromwww.oar.org.nz.

Photo: Nothing but good news: Otago Access Radio’s The Positivity Show is hosted by Julia Young and lemur friends (from left) Ronnie, Roger, Potato and Ricky.

Youth Activist Backing a Quiet Riot

Ashley King is calling on local youth to riot – or rather, be a riot.

The 18-year-old host of Project Rioteer on Otago Access Radio’s Youth Zone prefers the definition of riot as an impressively large or varied display, as in “a riot of colour”, over a violent public disturbance. The different backgrounds and interests of young people are to be celebrated, she says.

“What’s your colour? Your personality? And how can you contribute to making this world look so cool?

“Youth have so much potential to influence our future. After all, we are going to inherit this world.”

Ms King formed activism collective Ashley and the Riot in 2015, to bring young Dunedin people together to make a positive change in their community. The group’s stated mission is to work towards a better future, encourage diversity and to take a stand against bullying.

Following an appearance as an interview guest on another Youth Zone programme earlier this year, Ms King decided that her own radio show and podcast could provide a platform for discussing the issues Ashley and the Riot was formed to address. Programmes to date had focused on poverty and hardship, with activities including a collection of food and hygiene products for donation to the Salvation Army foodbank.

Project Rioteer co-host Esther Tamati (15) said she joined the show after meeting Ms King at a meeting of the Dunedin Multi-Ethnic Council. Her aims were to encourage confidence in young people and to help get their voices heard.

“It’s important to me that everyone is treated equally. I’m a bit younger than Ashley and have a different view on things. So I offer a different perspective.”

Ms King had recently been appointed to the executive committee of the Otago Community Broadcasters Society and was looking forward the experience.

“It means a lot to me and I’m really excited to contribute to Otago Access Radio on behalf of young people in Dunedin.”

Project Rioteer airs every second Friday at 4pm on OAR 105.4FM and 1575AM. Podcasts are available from www.oar.org.nz.

Photo: Young potential: Esther Tamati and Ashley King are hosts of Otago Access Radio show Project Rioteer.

Stronger Presence for Ethnic Communities On Air

The voice of Dunedin ethnic communities in local media just got a little stronger, with the Dunedin Multi Ethnic Council (DMEC) hosting a weekly show on Otago Access Radio’s Connecting Cultures Zone.

DMEC On Air had until recently aired in a monthly half-hour slot, focused on promoting networks and links with the wider community of Dunedin. The change to a weekly format was driven by DMEC vice-president Lux Selvanesan, a member of the Dunedin Tamil Society which presented its own show, Vanakkam Tamizha, on Tuesdays from 7pm to 8pm.

Mr Selvanesan said the Tamil group had learned much about the diverse traditions, backgrounds and interests of its own members through membership of a Society, and through making a talkback show. His role with DMEC opened his eyes to opportunities for other cultural organisations to tell their stories.

“I hadn’t realised the power of radio as a tool for connecting until I got involved with Vanakkam Tamizha. I wanted to expand that opportunity to all the other groups.

“If the large number of ethnic communities in Dunedin can connect and share learnings, it will make for an amazing family.”

DMEC community initiatives included Chai and Chat, a weekly opportunity for women of all cultures to share food and hear from guest speakers, and Koru International Playgroup for children under 6 years, open to migrant and Kiwi families. A community garden at Musselburgh School was another project for men and women interested in gardening, especially seniors.

DMEC On Air will feature updates on DMEC activities, profiles of Council members, and interviews of general interest to new and established migrant families. Hosting roles would be shared among members, including women from the Chai and Chat group.

The programme next Tuesday will include an interview with Whaea Tania Williams and Kai Tahu kaumatua David Ellison on the topic of tangata whenua.

DMEC On Air airs every Tuesday at 6pm on OAR 105.4FM and 1575AM. Podcasts are available from www.oar.org.nz.

Photo: Connected: Dunedin Multi Ethnic Council vice-president Lux Selvanesan coordinates DMEC On Air on Otago Access Radio.

Veteran Broadcaster Hosts Sunday Matinee

Sundays at 4pm is the time to take off your gardening gloves, put the kettle on and spend an hour immersed in the best of musical theatre from across the decades.

Veteran broadcaster Donald Saville-Cook has joined the Otago Access Radio team of volunteers as host of Musical Matinees For You, a programme of music from Broadway and West End productions, film, operas and operettas.

Mr Saville-Cook is no stranger to the mic, having spent 13 years at the helm of a nostalgia-themed music programme with Radio Dunedin. He once considered a professional career in singing and performed “most tenor parts” in Gilbert and Sullivan productions in the United Kingdom and New Zealand before interests in science and health took priority.

“I’m very interested in the study of the voice, and how voices are used in situations where words have to come over very clearly,” he said.

This was particularly important where lyrics were used to advance the plot of a stage production or musical film.

“People need to be aware of what’s going on. It’s not just a song, in many cases.”

Musical theatre and opera appealed because they addressed some of the “basic problems we all have in life”, he said. Having attended world-class Sadler’s Wells Theatre Company productions at Covent Garden and seen a New York State Opera performance of La Boheme, he considered himself a harsh critic but was impressed by the quality of the New Zealand productions he had seen.

“What we have lost in straying away from the traditional we have gained in terms of movement, bringing this music into the present day.”

Musical Matinees For You was a narrated programme of music, providing an opportunity for those who hadn’t previously seen or heard a production to discover elements of plot and character.

“It’s also simply an opportunity to enjoy beautiful voices making beautiful sounds.”

Musical Matinees For You airs every Sunday at 4pm on OAR 105.4FM and 1575AM. Podcasts are available from www.oar.org.nz.

Kiwi Music First Choice For Young Broadcaster

One of Otago Access Radio’s regular Youth Zone crew is stepping out on his own to host a new programme aimed at promoting Kiwi music.

Taieri College Year 12 student Karl Brinsdon (16) hosts fortnightly show Choice As, a half-hour mix of music and interviews with a local focus.

Karl said the motivation to start his own programme came from his belief that there was little opportunity for New Zealand bands to promote their recordings and gigs in the media.

“I don’t think we, as New Zealanders, value local music as much as we should. I’m a big music fan, so I thought it would be a cool thing to try out.”

While Choice As primarily focused on pop and rock music, Karl was keen to feature artists across a range of genres. The programme would also include interviews with Dunedin musicians and visitors from out of town.

Not content to limit his endeavours to radio promotion, Karl set his sights on improving opportunities for young bands to perform in public. His own rock-and-metal band Saurian was typical of many who struggled to find age-appropriate venues and support, he said. With that in mind, he was in the process of seeking funding from the Mosgiel-Taieri Community Board to put on a concert at the Wingatui Hall later this year.

“I feel that it’s necessary to get out there for my own music, and for the benefit of other musicians and people in the community who wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to see live music.

“Hopefully, if it goes well it will become a regular thing.”

Karl’s experience as lead singer and guitarist with Saurian had not made it any easier to front a radio show, he said. Having been “quite scared” of the microphone when starting with Youth Zone a year ago, his confidence was now growing.

“Now, it’s all good and I’m really happy that I’ve been given the opportunity to do it.”

Choice As airs every second Tuesday at 4.30pm on OAR 105.4FM and 1575AM. Podcasts are available from www.oar.org.nz.

Election Coverage 2017

Child Poverty Election Candidate Forum

On Wednesday 23 August 2017 a General Election Candidates Forum on Child Poverty was held at Knox Church Community Hall, Dunedin.

The forum was organised by Connect South in partnership with Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Workers, Public Health Association of New Zealand and the Child Poverty Action Group.

Candidates to address the forum were: Metiria Turei MP (Green), Clare Curran (Labour), Paul Foster-Bell (National), Warren Voight (NZ First) and Lindsay Smith (The Opportunities Party).

The forum is podcasts in its entirety.


Dunedin Youth Debate

In this special broadcast we bring you coverage of the Dunedin Youth Debate held on Thursday the 31st of August at Otago Boys’ High School, organised by the Dunedin Youth Council.

In this debate, representatives from four political parties discussed issues relevant to young people in Dunedin.

We will hear from; Shane Gallagher (Green), Paul Foster-Bell (National), Clare Curran (Labour) and Abe Gray (The Opportunities Party).

For more information on the Dunedin Youth Council, check out their Facebook Page


Election Forum: Climate Change and Environmental Issues

In this special event broadcast we bring you coverage of the ‘Election Forum on Climate Change and Environmental Issues’, held at the Otago Polytechnic on Wednesday the 6th of September.

This event was organised by Sustainable Dunedin City and Chaired by Jinty MacTavish.

We hear from six representatives as they discuss their parties policies on environmental issues

Niki Bould – Green Party
Miriam Mowatt – Democrats for Social Credit
Lindsay Smith – The Opportunities Party
David Clark – Labour Party
Warren Voight – New Zealand First
Lachie Ashton – Conservative Party


OARsome Morning Show – 08-09-2017
Elections 2017 – Dee Vickers, Registrar of Electors

Tech Explainers

A new show on Otago Access Radio is shedding light on the often murky world of technology.

Tech Explainers is presented by self-confessed “geeks” Dan Faulknor and Mike Beattie. A shared interest in all things technological led to the friends pairing up to create podcasts for Mr Faulknor’s Interesting Radio website.

Mr Faulknor said the Tech Explainers series arose from a comment on an online forum, asking why there was little support available for those who were unfamiliar with the language used around the technology that people use every day.

“As tech people, we have a habit of not explaining things in simple terms. So this was a bit of a challenge for us, to talk about technology in a way that regular people can understand.”

The radio show, which included some content that was not available on the podcast series, was something the whole community could benefit from, he said. Topics for the first few editions included the Internet, Wi-Fi and GPS, while password security would be covered when additional research was completed.

“We’re really looking to our listeners to determine what subject we should cover, so on each show we put a call out for people to get in touch with their questions.”

Mr Beattie said the show was for people with curious minds.

“You might know that your computer hooks up to something in the wall that gives you access to web pages, news sites, the weather and your email. But what gets this stuff to us?”

He pointed to smart fridges as an example of the “Internet of Things”, the interconnection via the Internet of computing devices embedded in everyday objects, enabling them to send and receive data. Grocery lists would be compiled and sent based on what items were detected as missing.

“That’s the future – more automation, delivery of things right to your door, things happening for you rather than you having to do it yourself.”

Tech Explainers airs every second Wednesday at 10am on OAR 105.4FM and 1575AM. Podcasts are available fromwww.oar.org.nz. Questions can be emailed tofeedback@techexplainers.com.

Photo: Geek talk: Dan Faulknor (left) and Mike Beattie host Tech Explainers on Otago Access Radio.

Bluesology

Dunedin blues fan Tony Nielsen is not letting his “one big regret” get in the way of delivering a diverse programme of blues music on Otago Access Radio.

The host of Saturday afternoon show Bluesology decided to sell his 1000-strong collection of blues LPs back in the 1970s, to free up cash to support his growing family. Despite some niggling remorse over the move, he says it has made him all the wiser in rebuilding his collection.

“The good thing is I’ve now got the knowledge of which are the best LPs to get. Back in the sixties when I was first importing them, it was a bit of a blind guess.”

While Mr Nielsen’s blues collection was well short of its former impressive size, he was steadily augmenting a sizeable CD catalogue with new vinyl purchases.

“I prefer to play vinyl because it does offer a greater authenticity to the sound, but everyone will have that debate.”

Mr Nielsen developed an appreciation of the genre as a teenager growing up in New Plymouth, first enjoying the blues-influenced rock of British acts such as the Rolling Stones, Pretty Things and John Mayall. He then moved on to what he calls “the real thing”, the music of black American blues artists from the 1920s forward.

Bluesology was an opportunity to share a passion for blues in all its forms, he said.

“I’m trying to convey the breadth of blues music from the 1920s right through to today, because there are a number of younger artists who are true to the tradition although they have modernised it somewhat. I don’t have any hang-ups or boundaries.”

Mr Nielsen, who spent more than 40 years working in radio across New Zealand and in Australia, has special memories of some of his heroes in live performance.

“The very first blues concert I saw was Muddy Waters playing at the YMCA in Auckland around 1969. It was incredible. And Freddie King, Hound Dog Taylor and BB King were others who came to New Zealand. I was very lucky.”

Bluesology airs every Saturday at 4pm on OAR 105.4FM and 1575AM. Podcasts are available from www.oar.org.nz.

Photo: The real thing: Tony Nielsen hosts Bluesology on Otago Access Radio.