A Voice for South Asian Women

The voice of South Asian women should be stronger in contemporary discussions of feminism, says a local broadcaster.

Swaroopa Unni hosts fortnightly programme HerStory on OAR FM Dunedin. The show features profiles of Indian and South Asian women who have made a contribution to the women’s movement.

“The feminist discourse is mostly from the Western perspective,” said Ms Unni.

“The voices of women from South Asia have to come forward. We’re always on the fringes and we need more visibility.”

HerStory was an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of “everyday women, artists, performers, and women from mythology or legend”.

“It could be my mother, grandmother, auntie or friend. These women are sometimes not recognised for the effort they have put in.”

Ms Unni is founder and choreographer of Dunedin’s Natyaloka School of Indian Dance. Her ‘liberal” upbringing instilled a confidence to voice her opinions and make decisions about career and family that not all South Asian women enjoyed.

“Some women are entrapped in patriarchal ideas of how and what a woman should be. Most of the time these definitions do not take into account what a woman wants.

“I’ve seen the struggles that my friends and family members have gone through, so compared to that I’m definitely more privileged. There are women who can’t do as they wish, but that doesn’t mean they are not talented and are not part of the women’s movement.”

The radio show had so far included profiles of Indian freedom fighter Savitribai Phule, Indian-born American astronaut Kalpana Chawla and Carnatic singer, cultural activist and scholar Bangalore Nagarathnamma.

Podcasts could be downloaded and shared from oar.org.nz.

HerStory airs fortnightly on Mondays at 7.30pm.

LISTEN TO PODCASTS

Photo: Recognising women: Swaroopa Unni hosts HerStory on OAR FM Dunedin.

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.

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.

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.

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