On many a Tuesday night in my room in university halls, I enjoyed being soothed into my slumbers with Colin Murray’s “Audio Bully” feature on Radio 1.
A whole hour of sounds and music seemingly random but all joined
together with an interlinking theme, and not necessarily taken all
Four years after his departure from music radio, the broadcaster is back
for a four week stint on BBC 6 Music with “Soundscape” similar in format
but transmitted in the middle of a Sunday and halved in length.
And that’s no hindrance at all, in fact the first half of the show manages
to set the scene with related tunes to the chosen theme, this week it happens
to be that of “The American Dream”, timed nicely for the anticipated
Superbowl 47 game taking place later on.
As well as music, there’s an interview with Canadian broadcaster Greg Brady,
a regular pundit on Murray’s 5 Live fixture Fighting Talk giving informed
chat in the run up to the Superbowl game itself, and after the 12:30 news
the Soundscape itself gets into action, and the boundaries of
everyday radio are broken.
There’s not many places you will hear the genius of Gil Scott Heron,
blended in with the wit of Bill Hicks, and a close harmony
rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner”.
What I love about a soundscape the most is the ability to tease
the listener with short song snippets, in this case a journey through
the imaginary radio dial of American cities, and just a few seconds
of Paul Simon’s “Graceland” were enough to have me smiling.
In an age of social media, listening online and so on, it is easy to be distracted,
so adapting an idea from broadcaster Fi Glover, I listened to the whole
soundscape itself under my duvet covers to prevent any visual distraction,
and instead opting for self made images in my mindset.
I’d recommend doing the same if listening on iPlayer, even with
a blindfold if that’s your personal preference.
Already I’m getting excited by next week’s theme “Musical Youth”.
Though it’s doubtful we’ll hear from the Birmingham five piece themselves.