Town Belt Plays Part in Thriller Podcast

Thriller: Local writer Emily Duncan has placed the Town Belt at the heart of three-part podcast Dark Dunedin: Heaven Looks On.

Dunedin’s Town Belt plays a special role in a three-part thriller podcast penned by local writer Emily Duncan.

Dark Dunedin: Heaven Looks On was presented as part of this year’s Dunedin Fringe Festival programme by Prospect Park Productions, formed in 2016 by Ms Duncan and Wellington-based producer H-J Kilkelly. The series was recorded and edited at OAR FM Dunedin and received its premier broadcast on 11 March.

It is now available as a podcast to be downloaded and shared.

Ms Duncan said the Town Belt provided the setting for the drama, which has a violent crime and “nostalgic and gothic Dunedin” at its heart.

“The podcast is set around quite a small geographical area where this crime takes place and where the protagonist, Louise Hepburn, resides. She lives alone and regularly walks the area at night.

“We begin not really knowing what her connection is, apart from being in the proximity. As the story unravels we see she is somewhat closer to it.”

Listeners could discover – or re-discover – historic, natural, and supernatural features of Dunedin including “the whoosh of Lamson pipes at Penroses Department Store, twinkling stars in the St James theatre, and Kēhua, sprites, and demons dancing under the moonlight in the Town Belt.”

Creating a podcast was a departure from writing for theatre, where once a production had been staged it was gone. A podcast could “live forever” on the Internet and be listened to at any time, in any location.

“We also have some fantastic talent and resources in Dunedin, so I saw a podcast as a way we could beam Dunedin talent to the world.”

The cast was headed by Julie Edwards, who played the part of Louise Hepburn, and included Dougal Stevenson, Terry MacTavish, Cheryl Amos, Robert Shand and Phil Vaughan.

Original music had been composed and performed by Marama Grant.

Dark Dunedin: Heaven Looks On is available as a podcast from OAR FM Dunedin website www.oar.org.nz and from iTunes.

Music Geeks Share Misadventures

Geeking out: Viki Kingsley-Holmes (left) and Amanda Mills host Misadventures in Sound on OAR FM Dunedin.

Two self-professed music geeks are bringing their diverse musical tastes together for a Friday night radio show that entertains and informs.

Amanda Mills and Viki Kingsley-Holmes present OAR FM Dunedin show Misadventures in Sound, an hour-long exploration of the connections between artists and their influences.

Having bonded a couple of years ago over a mutual love of local music and the Beatles, the pair have been waiting for the opportunity to share their music collections and in-depth knowledge of favourite acts with a wider audience.

While they shared much common ground in terms of musical preferences, there were opportunities to explore the outer fringes of each other’s respective collections.

“It’s all about taking listeners on a journey with us,” said Ms Kingsley-Holmes.

“I might learn a little bit about Kate Bush from Amanda and she might learn a little about Muse from me.

“We’re not here to influence anybody, but it’s not a bad thing if we do.”

Ms Mills, curator of Music and AV at the Hocken Library and a music writer for theAudioculture and New Zealand Musician websites, said the show provided each host with plenty of “light-bulb” moments, where a great song or an interesting fact about the artist led to an appreciation of something new.

“It’s always good to expose yourself and others to new music because that’s the way you find things you thought you might not like or have never heard of before.

“We also discover connections, where one artist influences another. We find those stories and tease them out to see if we can find those influences in their music.”

Ms Kingsley-Holmes summed up the Misadventures in Sound ethos in a few pithy words.

“It’s for music geeks who like banter.”

Misadventures in Sound next airs fortnightly on Fridays at 8pm on OAR FM Dunedin 105.4FM and 1575AM. Podcasts are available from www.oar.org.nz.

Free Dunedin Community Noticeboard Launched

Comprehensive coverage: OAR FM Community Liaison Jeff Harford holds flyers publicising the station’s free Dunedin Community Noticeboard.

Finding out what’s on in Dunedin and publicising community events just became a whole lot simpler with the launch of an online and on-air tool.

OAR FM’s Dunedin Community Noticeboard is a free service, providing community organisations, schools and not-for-profits with three effective ways to reach the eyes and ears of Dunedin people.

Notices can be listed on the station’s online noticeboard, broadcast three-times daily on 105.4FM and 1575AM, and podcast via the Dunedin Community Noticeboard webpage.

OAR FM Dunedin Community Liaison Jeff Harford said a lot of work had gone into making the service easy to use.

“From one link on OAR FM’s homepage people can explore listings of Dunedin events and notices, and list their own items. There’s even a way to attach posters and other images that will make a listing more interesting and colourful.

“A few clicks and it’s done. From there, we compile the notices for the online noticeboard and record items for broadcast and podcast to our Dunedin listeners.”

While it was expected that the majority of notices would be listed via the online service, OAR FM Dunedin was happy to take written notices and posters from those who were unable to access Internet services.

“We’re proud to provide Dunedin groups and individuals with a voice in the media, and that means being as flexible and comprehensive as we can be with our services.

“By making Dunedin Community Noticeboard listings free of charge, we’re ensuring that the many local groups and agencies that sometimes struggle for publicity for their fundraisers and events get the widest possible exposure.”

The Dunedin Community Noticeboard is optimised for easy use on all computers, smartphones and mobile devices.

Listings and podcasts can be found and submitted from www.oar.org.nz, and notices go to air daily at 9.56am, 12.56pm and 6.56pm.

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.

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.