Press your Ear to the Rail
Art Transmissions part 1
A Community Radio broadcast with a twist.
BRFM the community radio station from the Isle of Sheppey has embarked on a unique project to air new broadcasts by three local community groups who have been working with artists to capture the individual sounds of the groups.
Working with arts organisation FrancisKnight, ‘Press your Ear to the Rail’ is the first of the Art Transmissions, which features the Sittingbourne and Kemsley Light Railway and sound artist Jim Whelton. Jim has immersed himself into the daily routines and lives of the volunteers as they go about restoring and maintaining the working railway.
Jim has explored the acoustics of the yard and recorded a wealth of anecdotes and technical detail from the volunteers. From the throaty growl of the diesel engines ticking over, to the gentle chug of steam power, listen to the evocative sounds that brim with meaning and memory on the Daniel Nash, Arts and Community Show from Monday 7th April between 7 & 10pm.
Karen Day, BRFM Station Manager, said: “This project has involved and enabled local community groups to work with BRFM. Similar projects have been undertaken and then played on air. This project has been designed specifically for radio and BRFM are proud to be the station to air it. The Community Media Association (CMA) has been very pleased with the progress and is being kept updated throughout by Daniel Nash (Community Liaison Coordinator / BRFM Presenter). It is very exciting to be a part of a project recording social history as it is hoped it will be shared with the CMA and then archived in the British Library when it’s completed.”
BRFM 95.6 is a Community Radio station based in Minster-On-Sea, on the Isle of Sheppey, Kent, which provides a wide range of music, news and local information, traffic & travel. BRFM broadcasts 24 hours a day 7 days a week and is run by passionate and hard working group of volunteers.
Daniel Nash is an artist and presenter on The Daniel Monday Night Community Show that is aired on BRFM 95.6 every Monday 7-10pm. Since launching his show in November 2006 he has interviewed a wide range of guests with a focus on the arts in Swale.
FrancisKnight is an independent arts consultancy based in Maidstone, Kent. Through the arts they offer positive experiences and new ideas that inspire vibrant communities and places delivering projects in north Kent and across the southeast. For more information please visit http://www.francisknight.co.uk
Art Transmission is funded by Ideas Test, (Creative People and Places: Swale & Medway), an action research programme to find new routes into creativity and the arts, embedded with and led by local people.
Background on Jim Whelton
Art Transmission #1
Jim Whelton is an audio artist and sound designer. Over the last fifteen years he has produced experimental radio shows and written original scripts for Resonance104.4 FM, ORF Austria, CKLN, Toronto, Dutch National Radio, Radio Corax Halle, Sao Paolo Biennale and for various internet radio stations.
A number of his sound and musical pieces have formed part of interactive displays in the Tate Modern, Science Museum, National Horticultural Museum, National Trust of Scotland and most recently for the new Mary Rose Museum in Portsmouth. He can also be found performing live experimental music and making short films when time permits.
The Sittingbourne & Kemsley Light Railway operates over almost two miles of the original main line from Sittingbourne Viaduct station to Kemsley Down Station and crosses one of the first and longest reinforced concrete viaducts in the world. The line was formerly owned by Bowater papermaking and was used to carry raw materials and finished products between the company’s two mills and Ridham Dock. This steam railway is run entirely by volunteers who work together to keep the service operating and open to the public between April – December each year.
For Art Transmission #1 Jim is exploring the acoustic spaces within the yard. He has also recorded a wealth of anecdotes and technical detail from the volunteers and will use the station tannoy system to produce some surreal station announcements.
For further information contact Louise Francis at FrancisKnight on 07956 437242