Never Ending Journey Into Rock

A journey into the history of rock and roll that began on radio six and a-half years ago shows no sign of nearing an end.

Dunedin man Warren Voight hosts 360 Degrees ’Round Wazrock on OAR FM Dunedin, an hour-long exploration of a music genre he has dedicated a lifetime to, along with a fair amount of spare change.

With a personal collection of albums and singles, 78s, CDs, books and other ephemera that numbers around 5000 items, and a “wants list” that never seems to shorten, Mr Voight is not short of material for his radio show and podcast. It is made to be shared, he says, because “music is part of who we all are”.

From bouncing on his father’s knee to the sounds of Rock Around The Clock by Bill Haley and His Comets to purchasing his first long player 26 Solid Gold Rock ‘n’ Roll Hits as a teen, Mr Voight’s earliest musical experiences remain sharp in his memory. Teenage years spent listening to glam rock and heavy rock peaked a curiosity in the roots of these more flashy forms of the genre.

“It all started with Appalachian mountain music, the seedbed of what we know as modern music, along with the Jewish music hall tradition and other early forms.”

First going to air in September 2011, Wazrock had explored those country music influences before traversing blues, bluegrass, swing, the big-band era and the jive scene. It was then on to early rhythm and blues, rockabilly and the English beat groups.

“I’ve predominantly focused on that side of the Atlantic, so far. Now the show is heading into glam rock, which had a big part to play in reviving the fun side of music. It was getting a bit dirgy there in the seventies, with prog rock and the rest of it.”

The show would then “double back”, with future episodes exploring the American beat groups and bands of the 1970s. New Zealand and Australian acts would also feature, as there was “a couple of years’ worth in that”.

“I’ll look into all the main artists, because they’re always important, but I also want to touch back on the lesser artists that often get overlooked. It’s never ending, really.”

360 Degrees ’Round Wazrock airs on Saturdays at 3pm on OAR FM Dunedin 105.4FM and 1575AM.

Podcasts are Available Here

Photo: Shared collection: Warren Voight hosts 360 Degrees ’Round Wazrock on OAR FM Dunedin.

Podcasts Explore Wild Dunedin

A series of podcasts exploring our relationship with local wildlife is complementing the Wild Dunedin Festival that launches in Dunedin tomorrow.

Wild Dunedin Podcasts are the brainchild of Otago Museum science communicator Claire Concannon and University of Otago conservation biologist Jamie McAulay. The episodes air on OAR FM Dunedin and can be downloaded from the station’s website and several other podcast platforms.

Mr McAulay said the pair were “blown away” by last year’s Wild Dunedin festival and decided to seek the festival’s support to create an audio resource for this year’s events.

“We’re both big fans of well-produced podcasts where you can tell a story quite carefully, in a narrative kind of way. So we have a pretty open approach to how we do that, using sound effects, voice and music.”

University researchers and local wildlife experts had contributed to conversations over the six-episode series and had assisted with sourcing soundbites, such as bird and animal calls. Dunedin-based musician and educator Molly Devine had composed instrumental pieces for use as an ethereal backdrop to stories of the natural world.

Ms Concannon said there was a wealth of relevant knowledge that could be tapped into to promote interest in the flora and fauna of Dunedin. The podcast series and the Wild Dunedin festival were designed to encourage locals to better appreciate the “huge diversity at our doorstep”.

“The idea is to get the local community to fully embrace this incredible wildlife that’s around us, and also to understand what the wildlife needs from us so that we can share this space.”

Topics for Wild Dunedin Podcasts included migratory journeys, the work of Predator Free Dunedin, the prospect of southern right whales returning to Otago Harbour, sea lions of the Otago Peninsula, and the endemic plants and other “little things” often ignored.

Gecko smuggling would also get a mention, said Mr McAulay.

“We tell a story of why people are wanting to put these geckos in their undies and fly around the world with them.”

Wild Dunedin Podcasts air on Tuesdays at 3pm and Sundays at 6pm on OAR FM Dunedin 105.4FM and 1575AM.

Podcasts are available HERE

Photo: Wild stories: Claire Concannon and Jamie McAulay host Wild Dunedin Podcasts on OAR FM Dunedin.

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.

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.

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.

The Search Is On For Young Poets







Radio/Podcast Series to Profile 20 Dunedin Writers Aged 14-18 Years

Otago Access Radio’s Youth Zone in collaboration with Dunedin UNESCO City of Literature and Dunedin Public Libraries present an unmissable opportunity for young poets.

We’re looking for expressions of interest from 20 young poets to perform and record original works free of charge. Your poetry, your format, your style.

If you are between the ages of 14 – 18 and have a love of words, we want to hear from you. This is your chance to reach a broad local audience on 105.4FM and 1575AM, and podcast to the world from OAR FM’s website www.oar.org.nz.

Each 15 minute episode will include an interview with a young writer about their work and their interest in writing and performing poetry, and readings of their original poems. The recording sessions will take place over 20 weeks starting early February.

This is a unique opportunity as there are only 20 spaces available!

TO REGISTER YOUR INTEREST please use our online form


Register Your Interest Here

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

Loving the Lifestyle on the Taieri

You would be hard pressed to find a man more proud to be living on the Taieri Plain than Regan Horrell, who has channelled has passion for Mosgiel lifestyle into a weekly radio programme.

Otago Access Radio show The Plain Life finds Regan behind the mic every Tuesday afternoon, talking with Taieri residents, sportspeople and officials about events and issues of the day.

A background in journalism had stood Regan in good stead for the interview segments on the programme, most of which are live-to-air and others of which are recorded at shops, businesses and meeting places on the Taieri.

“I’m a people person so while making radio is challenging, exciting and a little bit terrifying, it’s an absolute buzz and I’m really enjoying it,” he said.

“It’s a platform for giving the community a voice. People are already coming up to me and saying, you need to talk with this person, they’ll be really great.”

Mosgiel was a welcoming community that had suffered the loss of some important businesses but had much to offer.

“There are a lot of people choosing to live on the Taieri for personal and lifestyle reasons, and the population is growing. The Dunedin City Council’s own plan identifies it as an area for growth and development.

“But there is something of an ‘us and them’ mentality with people who talk about living all the way over the hill.”

Programmes to date had included interviews with Mosgiel soccer stalwart Steven Brennsell and Taieri Community Facilities Trust chair Irene Mosley, and discussion about the future of the Festival of the Plain.

Regan, who wrote and recorded a song Loving The Lifestyle about his home territory, said local musicians would also feature on the programme.

“And not just country music – there are some amazing musicians out there, from high school students to buskers.”

The Plain Life airs Tuesdays at 5pm on OAR 105.4FM and 1575AM, and live and podcast from www.oar.org.nz and iTunes.

Jeff Harford
Community Liaison – OARFM