After some deliberation, I've decided to make plans for a new season of my podcast / radio show "The Belsona Academy."
Simply subtitled and pitched as an "electronic sound digital digest," this show was a highlight of an otherwise stressful time period. It was an extremely therapeutic exercise that allowed me to keep facilitating the culture I support even with very little money or 'social energy' to draw from. To that end, it introduced audiences to exclusive debut listens of works from noted artists like EVOL, Lee Gamble, Francisco López, Human Greed and Ken Montgomery, while also showcasing high-quality entries from new artists deserving enough to be "on the same page" with more well-known creators. After a brief run as a podcast hosted on my personal site, it was later featured in the schedule of London's Resonance 104.4 FM, owing to the generous invitation from Oliver Fay and Richard Thomas.
In both incarnations, the show aimed at exhibiting a sonic counter-culture that moved beyond techno-philia and techno-phobia to show the true potential of 21st century sound design tools, and the moments when an exceptional spirit of self-inquiry makes us forget about these tools altogether.
Mounting outside commitments - "day job," book authoring etc. - kept this show from blossoming into a full-time commitment, yet I feel the time is ripe for making some more episodes. Over the past few years I've received enough requests for that to happen, that it feels counter-productive to put this off any longer. As before, the Belsona Academy will be guided by a few simple principles:
- Music / compositions used for the show will be of a primarily 'electronic' nature, with a special emphasis on works that challenge preconceptions of what 'electronic' composition must be, and which challenge preconceptions of how and why technology is used in the creative process.
- "Non-musical" entries (interviews, readings etc.) will be from artists who have, at some point, worked in an innovative or challenging way with electronic music or electronic multi-media art.
- When it comes to choosing material for each show, artists' reputation or fame will take an immediate backseat to the quality of the work submitted.
- Submissions received should, ideally, be under half an hour in length, and sent in an uncompressed audio format.
- Submissions received are being made publicly available for the first time on this show, and have not been previously released or broadcast.
However, one major change will take place in order to guarantee a higher level of quality to the show. Namely, shows will no longer be uploaded on a "regular" (i.e. weekly) basis. This will take pressure off of me to broadcast a steady stream of material - and this in turn will allow contributors to work a little more freely (though I may still suggest deadlines to individual contributors), and will keep me from releasing any "stop-gap" episodes of previously recorded material. That was the case near the end of the last Belsona Academy run, and I do regret it.
I will also encourage contributors to work with a definite "physical product" in mind, though this might not be as ambitious as the "Belsona Archive" vinyl LP series that was originally planned to appear. My goal is to eventually archive both the original B.A. run, and at least one new "season's" worth (roughly 10 episodes), onto a multi-media disc that will contain extras like related correspondence, original artworks, any schematics or scores, etc. I may reach out to receive some crowd-funding for this project while the new season of the Belsona Academy is in progress, to guarantee that we 'hit the ground running' after that season is over and can immediately make such a lavish package available.
Anyone who wishes to get in touch with me can do so via core (at) tbwb (dot) net. I look forward to hearing from new and old friends alike.