Housebound in Borderstan? DC on BBC Warms the Heart

by March 11, 2013 at 5:05 pm 0

From David McAuley. Email at david[AT]


DC’s Sounds of The City on BBC. (Photo:Luis Gomez)

Wait out winter’s last wild gyrations by listening to a great sound portrait of DC from the BBC. The BBC Radio 3 program “Twenty Minutes” first broadcast “Sounds of the City,” a moving tribute to where we live, aired on March 5. The site says that the program will be available to listen to free for “over a year”.

The program samples sound from official, political, tourist, neighborhood, religious and cultural DC. It starts with Phil Williams, a Blues Harmonica artist, playing Ledbelly’s song about DC, “Bourgeois Blues,” and features interviews with a homeless man, fishermen, journalists, park rangers, sports fans, musicians, foreign tourists and DC Delegate to Congress Eleanor Holmes Norton.

The found audio includes familiar sounds from Amtrak and Metro, an a cappella song about DC voting rights, a merry-go-round, street musicians, waiters, restaurant patrons and Georgetown shoppers.

The portrait is by Marika Partridge of the “Hear Now” Audio Collective. Partridge is also well known for her long years working at National Public Radio. Now, Partridge is with Takoma Radio, a community group who will attempt to start a low-power radio frequency station in October 2013. Takoma Radio is looking for community involvement — check their web site for details.

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