Radio Garden

Well happy to have discovered Radio Garden (Radio.Garden) today, a web app that connects you to radio all over the world. An international research project from Transnational Radio Encounters, directed by Golo Föllmer at Martin-Luther University Halle in collaboration with other universities across Europe, it’s a simple concept brought together by great design and intentions.

The interface lets you scroll across the globe selecting hot spots where radio is being streamed live that you can lock in to. There’s also ‘Jingles’ mode that not only plays station idents but breaks down the sounds, ‘History’ that takes you back to now defunct stations and classic broadcasts (the earliest I’ve found is 1936 in Luxembourg) and ‘Stories’, compiling talks from figures in radio, music and beyond, all accessed from the globe interface.

It was a pleasure drowning out my colleagues by travelling around the world via radio today, with Kuala Lumpur and Bucharest being surprise highlights. The best parts were often having absolutely no idea what was playing, and as someone always on the lookout for new tunes for our own show it was nice to enjoy a disposable moment of radio, enabled by knowing full well I wouldn’t be able to identify or bite what I was listening to.

Lock in here:

By bringing distant voices close, radio connects people and places. Radio Garden allows listeners to explore processes of broadcasting and hearing identities across the entire globe. From its very beginning, radio signals have crossed borders. Radio makers and listeners have imagined both connecting with distant cultures, as well as re-connecting with people from ‘home’ from thousands of miles away – or using local community radio to make and enrich new homes.