Saturday, 9 March 2013

Ö1 petition

Ö1, or Radio Österreich 1 – like BBC Radio 3 and 4 in one station – has long been live moderated 24 hours a day. As the ORF periodically likes to threaten cuts to the few things it does well, it has been announced that the moderated night service will be cancelled in May. My domestic readers will recall that the ORF RSO survived a similar threat a few years back. The ORF’s financial situation is not so precarious that these cuts are conceivably justified, and there certainly never seems to be any shortage of money to throw at Alfons Haider and other such ‘talent’. Night service broadcasters are paid a comparative pittance and freelance music professionals would be disproportionally affected as programming is mainly comprised of the ‘Ö1 Klassiknacht’.

Austria is of course a self-styled Kulturnation and with that the term ‘Einzigartigkeit’ is abused on a regular basis. What has never failed to strike me as singular however is that the nation’s flagship radio station devotes an hour’s programming every weekday night to a contemporary music journal. On Friday nights Zeit-Ton is broadcast in a two-hour extended edition and I often find myself catching it live. Tonight’s programme is marking International Women's Day with a profile of e_may, the Vienna-based platform for female composers headed by Pia Palme and Gina Mattiello (featured in the links to the right). The programme title ‘Wie wir wollen, wir Komponistinnen’ takes its name from the recent Wien Modern event which showcased e_may collaborators including Katharina Klement, Judith Unterpertinger, Eva Reiter, Elisabeth Harnik, Tamara Friebel, Joanna Wozny and Olga Neuwirth. Another composer cropping up whom I haven’t heard from in a while is Manuela Kerer. There’s no use pretending that Irene Suchy is a perfect or even decent moderator, but important issues are being raised and the discussion is on the level of a worthwhile Wien Modern fringe event.

Now Zeit-Ton is pre-recorded but the ORF likes to go down slippery slopes if it can get away with it. So if this sounds like the kind of public service broadcasting that deserves protecting, or if from abroad you’ve found yourself listening to Ö1 via the regular links on Ionarts or wherever, then please consider signing the petitions currently active via the Greens and ORF_FM.

ORF_FM also has a video appeal up on Youtube:

No comments:

Post a Comment