Easy Listening, August 1997
Some people say the shortwave bands are dead during the summer months. The next few pages should belie that statement!
New on BBC World Service This Month
Listings are for the Americas/Europe stream. Days and times are in UTC. Frequencies for North America include 5965, 5975, 6175, 6195, 9515, 9590, 9895, 11750, 11865, 15220 and 17840. In a few cases, programs can be heard via the Americas/Europe stream only on frequencies intended for Europe. These are denoted with an * and these frequencies usually are listenable in parts of North America: 15485, 12095 and 9410. Times marked with an # means that the program also can be heard in western North America via the Asia stream on 9740.
50 Year Anniversary of India/Pakistan Independence
1997 has been chock full of reminders for the British of their once proud global empire. At one time it was said that, “The sun never sets on the British Empire.” Last month, the return of Hong Kong to Chinese sovereignty represented to some the devolution of the last significant territory of that Empire. Independence for India and Pakistan fifty years ago is now seen by many as the first act toward that eventual divestment. This month, BBC World Service offers a range of programs designed to mark that turning point.
Beginning August 2 and 4, The Heart of India is a series of four short stories by Mark Tully dramatised for radio. Entitled Girlfriends, The Goondas of Gopingar, Twice Born, and Beyond Purdah, the stories reflect the impact of modernisation on traditional village life. (Sat. 1901; repeated Mon. 0330)
On August 3, Anniversary Concert features musicians from India and Pakistan in a special concert of South Asian music recorded at London’s Commonwealth Institute. Introduced by former BBC Delhi correspondent Mark Tully, the concert features leading musicians Ustad Imrat Khan and the Sabri Brothers. (Sun. 3rd 1515)
Starting August 6, as a prelude to each of the Celebration Concerts outlined below, Pervaiz Alam presents The Stars of India which profiles the featured artists. (Wed. 1515)
On August 9 and 10, BBC World Service Drama presents The Little Clay Cart, a romance, thriller and morality tale all rolled into one and adapted from a classic 8th century Sanskrit play by Jatinder Verma. (Sat. 2230; repeated Sun. 0530 and 1830)
Premiering August 10 is a series of Celebration Concerts, also introduced by Mark Tully and originating in this and for three subsequent weeks in the Indian cities of Bombay, Madras, Calcutta and Delhi. Some of India’s most distinguished performers are featured. In Bombay, Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasis plays the flute combining folk and classical styles. From Madras, the second concert features India’s most ancient and celebrated instrument, the veena, played by Ms. E. Gaayathri. One of India’s new generation of singers, Ajoy Charkrabarty, performs the Calcutta concert. The series concludes in Delhi with a jugalbandi, where leading soloists perform together. Ustad Amjad Ali Khan is joined by his two sons Amaan and Ayaan Ali Bangashall playing sarods. (Sun. 1515)
Beginning August 11 and 12, Off the Shelf presents a 20 installment reading of Vikram Seth’s A Suitable Boy, an epic novel and worldwide best seller. (Mon. thru Fri. 0715; repeated Tue. thru Sat. 0345)
On August 12 and 13, the youth program Megamix originates from Bombay where British born Asian Nikita Gulhane reports from his parent’s city on the lives of young people there. (Tue. 1930*; repeated 2330, Wed. 1430)
August 14 is Independence Day in Pakistan and August 15 is Independence Day in India. Newshour (1300/2000) will run live coverage of the celebrations. Britain Today (daily 0045/2115; Mon.-Fri. 1215/1645) will talk to the Indian and Pakistani communities in Britain about their events marking the anniversaries. The World Today (Mon.-Fri. 1715, repeated 2230; Tue.-Sat. 0330, repeated 0930) will report on the anniversary from a global perspective and Outlook (14th/15th at 1405; repeated 1901*, 2305 and 15th/16th at 0430) features two BBC Urdu Service correspondents with two very different stories of independence from each side of the India-Pakistan border.
On August 15, Focus on Faith asks, fifty years later, should India and Pakistan have been divided along religious grounds? (0230; repeated 1130 and 1830*)
On August 16 and 17, the play Voices on the Wind written by Tanika Gupta, tells the story of the relationship between and Indian fighter and his Irish jailer. (Sat. 2230; repeated Sun. 0530 and 1830)
Commencing August 17 and 19, Songs of the Sufi Mystics features Jameela Siddiqi exploring, in four 30 minute programs, the unique musical experience of qawwali which takes its listeners into a deep trance to bring them closer to Allah. (Sun. 1701; repeated Tue. 0630 and 1130)
On August 18 and 21, Omnibus examines the religious legacy of Partition from the perspective of the Punjab. (18th at 0630; repeated 1030 and 21st at 0130)
On August 23 and 30 (and 24 and 31), Tughlaq is presented in two 60 minute parts. The best known play by one of India’s leading contemporary writers, Girish Karnad, the story centers around the 14th century reign of Muhammed ibn Tughlaq and paints a personal picture of the pressures of kingship, the corrupting influence of power and the addictive nature of violence and cruelty. (Sat. 2230; repeated Sun. 0530 and 1830)
On August 24, Youth Debate looks at how Hinduism, Islam and other religions have made their mark on Delhi as seen through the city’s politics, art, culture and daily life. How do the city’s youth see their future? Can the religious and cultural mix forge a path of cooperation? (Sun. 1401)
On Other Topics
Beginning August 1 and 2, replacing People and Politics for six weeks while Parliament is on summer hiatus, At the Shoulder of History features John Miller talking with interpreters who have witnessed history at the side of world leaders over the past half century. (Fri. 2130, repeated Sat. 0230, 1130)
From August 1 through 10, the biggest international sports event of the year takes place in Athens. The World Athletics Championships will feature athletes from over 200 countries and the World Service will provide in-depth coverage in all its sports programs. (Sports Roundup: Sun. 0145; daily 0315/0945*/1745; Sun.-Fri. 1245#/2245; Sun.-Thu. 1510. Sportsworld: Sat. 1405 to 1700)
Commencing August 3, Mark Lowther takes a look at The Orchestra, a new six part Learning Zone series. The program features the different families of instruments and meets the people who do the work while introducing some orchestral music. (Sun. 2310)
Beginning August 8, a new six part Learning Zone series entitled Computers at Work features Tracey Logan taking a look at some of the computer’s many uses for ordinary people. (Fri. 1230)
Starting August 11 and 15 for six weeks, poet Nigel Forde investigates life behind the scenes at York Minster, the medieval cathedral in York in the north of England, in Close Encounters. (Mon. 0130; repeated Fri. 0630)
Also beginning August 11 and 15 for six weeks, The Way We Are features broadcaster and academic Ivor Gaber taking a sideways look at life in the UK today through the eyes of social scientists and their research from the quirky to the profound. (Mon 0145; repeated Fri. 0645)
Starting August 28 and 29, author and journalist Anthony Grey begins a three part series inquiring UFO’s: Fact, Fiction or Fantasy? (Thu. 1830*; repeated Fri. 0530, 1030)
Beginning August 31, Sheena MacDonald chairs a new eight week series of International Question Time, the global phone-in which gives listeners the chance to ask a distinguished panel of experts their views on the issues of the day. To take part in the program, listeners should call the BBC beginning at 1200 on program day at 44-171-379-7444. Listeners whose questions are chosen will be called back at the BBC’s expense. (Sun. 1401)
Premiering September 1 will be a new eight program series of Pop the Question, the BBC’s weekly music program that invites listeners to “pop” queries about their favorite groups and performers. To contact the program write to: Pop the Question, BBC World Service, Bush House, Strand, London WC2B 4PH or e-mail your questions to host Mark Tonderai at <firstname.lastname@example.org>. (Mon. 1530)
Series Continuing from July
The Lab, Play of the Week: Anna Karenina, India: A People Partitioned, Code Breakers, The Story of Football, The 1997 Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, Voting for Britain, and The Jools Holland Collection continue into August from July. Consult July’s EZL for details. Brain of Britain and Encyclopaedia Historica continue from June. Consult June’s EZL for details.
Radio Netherlands Documentaries
India and Pakistan also figure prominently in Radio Netherlands Documentaries this month. India has proudly claimed that it achieved independence non-violently according to the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi. However, along with independence came Partition. And this was not achieved non-violently.
7th/8th and14th/15th – No Going Back (Two programs which follow the lives of two particular familiesone Hindu, one Muslimover the past 50 years of independence. Dheera Sujan, whose own family was divided by Partition, produced and presents this two-part series.)
21st/22nd – Legacy of the Secret Police (Eric Beauchemin finds out how the former Iron Curtain countries are coming to terms with a past that includes a legacy of secret police spying on their own citizens.)
28th/29th – The Belgians (The Dutch often treat Belgians like their poor, less intelligent country cousins and Belgians don’t appreciate being the brunt of Dutch jokes. Helen Barrington investigates.)
(Fri. 2354 on 6020/6165/9845; Thu. 0054 on 6020/6165/9845 and 0454 on 6165/9590. The complete program line-up for RN is in July’s EZL.)
Deutsche Welle Highlights
The August 11 edition of Arts on the Air visits the tenth documenta in Kassel, internationally acclaimed as THE number one exhibition of contemporary art. More than 600,000 will attend during the 100 days (June 21st to September 28th) of the documenta that will showcase over 250 artists, theatre personalities, filmmakers, authors, architects, thinkers and musicians.
On the August 14 edition of Living in Germany, find out how Schwerin, the capital city of the eastern German state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, protects its splendid array of historical buildings and magnificent churches from the effects of acid rain and exhaust fumes.
In the August 29 Made in Germany slot of What’s New?, find out about preparations for the first World Exposition to be held on German soil–Expo 2000 in Hannover.
(The programs above can be heard at just after 30 minutes into each of the following broadcasts: 0100-0150 on 6040/6085/6145/9640/11810; 0300-0350 on 6085/6185/9535/9615/9640; 0500-0550 on 5960/6045/6185/9615. The complete program line-up for DW is in July’s EZL.)
New Radio Australia Schedule
On July 1, Radio Australia radically revised its schedule. Drastic budget cuts imposed by the Australian government have forced the broadcaster to rely more heavily than ever on the ABC domestic network, Radio National, for much of its programming. In fact, in addition to a sprinkling of Radio National programs throughout the schedule, the entire block of 1200 to 1800 UTC (1900 on Fridays and Sundays) is a direct relay of Radio National with only minor exceptions.
Monitoring here on the east coast, I’ve noted a significant reduction in signal strength on the historical main morning frequency of 9580, which remains listenable between around 0930 and 1400 with a decent receiver/antenna; 5995 and 11800 are the only other audible frequencies but for shorter periods at an even lower signal quality. 17795, 15365 and 15240 are audible here evenings (2330 to 0500) as usual during Northern Hemisphere summer. Again, signal strength is audibly lower but listenable with a good receiver and antenna.
The schedule below emphasizes these time periods. If someone wants to supply me with a report from the west coast of North America about when and on what frequencies Radio Australia is listenable there, I’d be happy to expand on this schedule next month.
(All Caps=Radio Australia program; Upper and lower case=Radio National program)
- RA NEWS
- Sun. – Australia All Over – reports from the states (in progress); Mon. – Sports Factor – sports and society; Tue. – Health Report; Wed. – Law Report; Thu. – Religion Report; Fri. – Australia Today – daily life; Sat. – Media Report
- Sun. – OZ SOUNDS – Australian music/musicians; Sat. – FEEDBACK – listener contact
- Mon. – AWAYE – indigenous arts/issues; Tue. – Science Show; Wed. – National Interest– the week’s major events in Australia; Thu. – Background Briefing – award winning current events magazine; Fri. – Hindsight – today’s events in historical perspective
- Sun. – Correspondents Report – ABC foreign reporters; Sat. – Indian Pacific – Asia Pacific news magazine
- Sun. – OZ SOUNDS; Sat. – The Europeans 0110 – Mon.-Fri. – DATELINE – news reports and analysis
- Mon. – INNOVATIONS – inventions; Tue./Sat. – ARTS AUSTRALIA; Wed. – SCIENCE FILE; Thu. – Book Talk – Australian literature; Fri. – Earthbeat – ecology
- Sun*– FINE MUSIC AUSTRALIA; Mon.-Fri. – Australia Talks Back – national phone-in; Sat.* – Ockham’s Razor – science and society
- Sun. – Religion Report; Sat. – Health Report
- Sun* – FEEDBACK; Sat. – Book Reading
- Mon.-Fri. – The World Today-comprehensive newscast w/SPORT at 0330
- Sun. – Correspondents Report; Sat. – SCIENCE FILE
- Sat./Sun. – PACIFIC FOCUS – newsmagazine
- Mon-Fri. – PACIFIC BEAT– reports/music/features w/SPORT at 0430
- Sun. – Hindsight (in progress); Mon.-Fri. – SPORT; Sat. – Science Show (in progress)
- Mon.-Fri. – AUSTRALIA TODAY
- Sun. – OZ SOUNDS; Sat. – JAZZ NOTES
- Mon. – AUSTRALIAN MUSIC SHOW; Tue. – AT YOUR REQUEST; Wed. – BLACKTRACKER – aboriginal music and performances; Thu. – OZ COUNTRY STYLE; Fri. – MUSIC DELI – music from a variety of cultures
- Sun. – Correspondents Report; Mon. – INNOVATIONS; Tue. – ARTS AUSTRALIA; Wed. – SCIENCE FILE; Thu. – Book Talk; Fri. –Earthbeat; Sat. – Indian Pacific 1105 – Sun. – JAZZ NOTES; Sat. – FINE MUSIC AUSTRALIA
- Mon.-Fri. – DATELINE
- Sat./Sun. – AUSTRALIA TODAY; Mon.-Fri. – SPORT
- Mon.-Fri. – Countrywide – Australian rural issues
- Sat./Sun. – On This Day – in history
- Sun. – Country Club – country music; Mon.-Thu. – Late Night Live – discussing topical issues; Fri. – Sound Quality – innovative contemporary music; Sat. – The Music Show – diverse new music/musical events (in progress)
- Sat. – Other Worlds – late night lounge music
- Mon-Fri. – The Planet – varied music from around the world.
*At 0205 to 0700 Sat. and 0305 to 0800 Sun., 15240 and 15365 carry Grandstand (sports play-by-play and reports).
Topics this month on RCI’s Sunday Morning on Tuesday Night (0105 and 1305 Wed. UTC): 6th – Tobias Wolfe/Floods/Toboggans/Hong Kong musician/Oscar essay; 13th – Computer chicks/Brothers Simic/Roo Borson Poem/Internet essay; 20th – Louise Arbour/Cowboy Poets/Frozen dinner essay; 27th – Olympia Press/Essay.
That’s it for this month. Remember to take that portable with you wherever you go this summer. There’s plenty of good programming there for the listening!