A unique form of radio involving KVMR 89.5 FM listeners and supporters will take place at the Nevada City radio station this Saturday (Nov. 23).
It's called making Sonic IDs, a new twist on community engagement that KVMR General Manager Ali Lightfoot wants to bring to the airwaves.
Dubbed Sonic IDs, an odd name that stuck, they were first created at a pair of Cape Cod public radio stations, where over 1,000 citizens have participated in the 30-90 second features.
"These are little community vignettes," said Jay Allison, Executive Director of Atlantic Public Media. "They are portraits, oral histories, poems, anecdotes, memories, overheard conversations, jokes, a slice of life that end with our call letters."
"Their common denominator is a sense of place," he added "They're sudden narratives or images -- like postcards or photographs for radio. Some are pure sound preceded by our favorite word, 'listen.' Others are simply the unheralded voices of our neighbors telling something about life."
According to Allison, "our test of these surprising, non-standard moments, the way we know they work, is if the listener turns and looks at the radio when they come on."
And that's just what happened at KVMR when Membership Coordinator Adriana Kelly played a couple she'd made before a station committee. One member whirled himself onto the table where the Sonic ID was playing to hear it closer and stared at Kelly's cell phone.
Folks who drop by the station between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. this Saturday can record vignettes about gratitude and music that's made a difference. You can bring your own contribution or answer some questions by KVMR staff and volunteers there to produce the station's first Sonic IDs.
"It's a way to thank our listeners and get them involved and possibly on the air," explained Kelly. "It's your chance to tell your story on your station."
"We're so grateful to our listener supporters that we want you to share what you're grateful for on the air," she added.
And in some sort of "let them eat cake" ritual, there'll be free cake for all those contributing their voice cameo for the exercise. Besides, it's going to be a lot of fun.
Allison notes there are lots of variants. One is making a list of things and at the end say what they all have in common.One woman listed things she'd found in...library books, including a slice of raw bacon.
An increasing number of public and community radio stations are trying out the Sonic ID concept.
"This is a valuable way of giving our listeners a chance to be heard on radio in a distinctive manner," noted Lightfoot.
KNOW & GO
WHO: KVMR 89.5 FM
WHAT: Listeners, supporters or those who have community vignettes, oral histories, anecdotes, jokes or a slice of life memory about gratitude or music that's made a difference are invited to record them for possible Sonic IDs on KVMR.
WHEN: This Saturday, Nov. 16, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
WHERE: KVMR Studios, 120 Bridge St. at Spring St., downtown Nevada City (behind the Nevada Theatre)
INFO: kvmr.org Breaking News, 530/265-9073
3 Radio Plays To Air 7pm Sunday Night On KVMR
A trio of short plays by playwright/producer Lia Gladstone will air at 7 p.m. this Sunday (Nov. 24) on KVMR 89. 5 FM (105.1 FM Truckee, kvmr.org streaming).
The special show will be called "Cactus Woman Playhouse", featuring these productions:
--"In The Mouth Of The Wolf" is a one-woman show about the young German student Sophie Scholl (played by Shannon Harney), who with her brother created the anti-Nazi resistance group The White Rose. They were caught and executed. This short play represents the last day of her life. It premiered in 2005 in New York City.
--"My Bench" tells the story of an Iraq War vet (Danie Guerrero) and an elderly woman (Mary Baird) who fight over a park bench in New York's Central Park.
--"River Of Hell" is about two journalists (Lois Masten and Brian Arnold) who met in New Orleans covering Hurricane Katrina and returned ten years later.
Cellist Shannon Lee Hayden and musician Brandon Jonutz will contribute music to the productions. Assisting with the program are Tom Wolfe and Michelle Nesbit.
Gladstone has written a variety of other produced plays and her college teaching credits include American University in Afghanistan.