London based Resonance FM, ‘the world’s first radio art station’ came to Void during the 2013 City of Culture celebrations; the station built mobile performance space, trained individuals within communities and broadcast live from Derry to Derry and from Derry to the station’s half a million listeners in London. Resonance FM and Void will collaborate with international artists and the people of Derry to deliver a programme of radio broadcasts, workshops and performances that showcase the creativity, history and concerns of the city.
“We wanted to provide an alternative to the universal formula of mainstream broadcasting”, says Ed Baxter, one of Resonance’s founders, “a laboratory for wild experimentation that’s available to the widest possible range of practitioners, no matter who they are. Our policy is hospitality, inviting differing perspectives that really reflect the complexity of Derry as the crossroads of ideology, opinion and society.” Many of the Derry shows will be ‘uncategorisable’ forays into the unknown that stretch listeners’ boundaries, summon unexpected genius and occasionally confuse the hell out of you.
“If you don’t like what you hear, send us an email and do it better,’ Baxter says. ‘Everyone should do a radio programme at least once in their life. It’s like punk rock.”
The Resonance FM @ Void project was co-curated by Ed Baxter, founder of Resonance FM, and Declan Sheehan of Void. The vehicle for this project is a mobile studio, built to specification in London by Resonance FM. Contained within the studio was everything needed to facilitate the creative aspirations of a combined Resonance and Derry production team and the people of Derry. It served as a portal between the different parts of the city of Derry, between Derry and London, between London and the rest of the world. As well as negotiating the physical space between London and Derry and within, the mobile studio will create the context in which participants can explore conceptual spaces, bridging gaps and building networks in their thinking through discussions, performances and workshops.
At various locations throughout the Derry area, Resonance FM held live performances, accounts of local histories, live scratch orchestra performances by the Resonance Radio Orchestra composed of new members from Derry, broadcasts that imagined the world without the people of Derry, broadcasts that include its workers, children, citizens, artists, musicians, thinkers, and writers. A series of commissions, all specific to Derry, of radiophonic art, oral history, experimental music, and those political and artistic voices who are under the radar of the mainstream airwaves, were premiered during Resonance FM’s residency at Void Gallery as part of Derry-Londonderry City of Culture 2013.
A blog was created specifically for the project.
The mobile studio was used for live broadcasts from Derry for four hours a day (from 10am – 1 and from 8 – 9pm, Monday – Friday).