ICA Boston Teen Programs Visit ZUMIX Radio

Over the last couple months the ICA Boston Teen Programs have come to visit ZUMIX Radio to discuss their fall audio projects. Below you can check out the full interviews and listen to the insight they’ve gathered from creating those projects.  The first interview below features the Thursday Fast Forward Video Class and the second interview features AMP the music production class.

 

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“I really enjoyed the new experience of understanding a program which seems very appealing and being a person interviewing such interesting, kind people who understand that this program is so great and it really means something to each of them individually!” – Cella Bella, Firehouse Host 

 

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All photos courtesy of ICA Teen Programs.

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Staff Picks : December 2017 *Holiday Edition*

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Ehhh It’s the Holiday Edition of Staff Picks! Which is so nice, we have a collection of music to lift your spirits along with that eggnog! Enjoy the classic picks below along with some real funky ones!

Ain’t No Chimneys in the Projects” by Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings

OK Ok OK this song is not an oldie, yet but i love how its funky and brings up a good point.” – Corey DePinaYouth Development and Performance Manager

Last Month of the Year” by The Staple Singers

Gospel, soul and R&B coalesce in early 1960’s Chicago…a Christmas miracle!” – Scott MizrachiCommunity Engagement Coordinator

Last Christmas” by Wham!

Yes, this is actually my favorite Christmas song. I genuinely love all my 80’s music with a heaping serving of cheese – bet you didn’t know that about me.” – Sarah SaydunPathways Coordinator

This Christmas” by Boyz II Men

RnB that heats you up like a warm fire — so smooth, with handbells!” – Brittany ThomasRadio Station Manager

Christmas Time Is Here” by Vince Guaraldi

This song always makes me wanna drink some hot chocolate, snuggle on my couch and fall asleep while watching it snow 🙂 Yup.” – Rene Dongo, Radio Program Coordinator

8 Days (of Hanukkah)” by Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings

This is the funkiest song about the Celebration of Lights and Sharon Jones makes the “Dreidel” song sound badass.” – Jenny ShulmanDirector of Operations

Shark Smile” by Big Thief

Adrianne Lenker is a prolific songwriter and Big Thief tunes are the perfect addition to long drives!” – Nicole Pompei, Teaching Artist

Little Saint Nick” by The Beach Boys

I don’t know about you, but I like to have beach vibes no matter the season. Merry Christmas, Saint Nick!” – Julianna Quiroz, Administrative Assistant

 

Staff Picks : November 2017

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This November we’ve celebrated reasons why we give thanks and music is one of the biggest things we are grateful for. Below our staff has shared their picks and we’re looking forward to this holiday season!

“Unravel Me” by Sabrina Claudio

“Super smooth r&b that I really can’t get off repeat. I’m in awe of this woman!” – Sarah Saydun, Pathways Coordinator

“They Say” by Wu Tang ft Redman

“Here we go again the Wu Tang saga continues after years of nothing we got this” – Corey DePina, Youth Development and Performance Manager

“Blackstar” by David Bowie

“What a way to go! Bowie releases “Blackstar,” his 25th album on his 69th birthday and dies two days later. A spirit gift!” – Avi Salloway, Z-Tech Live Sound Coordinator

“Pearly” by Palm

“Palm writes backwards future music that will turn your brain upside down and inside out. They are an incredible must see live band!” –Nicole Pompei, Teaching Artist

“The Best of Times” by Sage Francis

“This song feels powerful to me. It makes me feel like I am part of something larger when I listen to it; truly tapped into a holistic human experience.” – Nikala Peroni, Development & Communications Associate

“Surf” by John Cushing Big Band

” ‘Surf’ is a celebration of life, as one ‘rides the wave.’ ” –Scott Mizrachi, Community Engagement Coordinator

“Sugar for the Pill” by Slowdive

“After 20+ years away from the scene, Slowdive has returned stronger than ever – Sugar for the Pill features a catchy melody and a healthy dose of reverb, satisfying all of your shoegaze needs.” – Magdalena Abrego, Teaching Artist

“Tessellate (Cover)” by Emma Louise

“I love Alt-J, but this cover by Emma Louise on Like a Version is a luxurious and languid journey that almost sounds like the ghost of the original. I love hearing it.” – Julianna Quiroz, Administrative Assistant

“Freedom Is Free” by Chicano Batman

“A gorgeous song coupled with an excruititing video that contradicts and playfully introduces themes of liberation and confinement.” – Rene Dongo, Radio Program Coordinator

“I Wanna Be Like You” by Ibeyi

“For longest time I thought this song was about missing your younger self (which I kinda liked for being nostalgic) but then I learned that its about wanting to be like your twin (which I can’t relate to). Still like it though!” – Brittany Thomas, Radio Station Manager

Staff Picks: October 2017

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ZUMIX is buzzing with music suggestions! October has been a busy month here at the firehouse and the music is flowing, from local music and new music to classic tracks. Here it is, take a listen and enjoy the vibes!

“Beggin & Pleadin” by Brandy

“It sounds like trap, country gospel” – Corey DePina, Youth Development and Performance Manager

“Noise” by Messy Hearts

“This is the newest most electronic sounding track from a friend, Dora, who I used to waitress alongside. I imagine this song would be the soundtrack of the scene where we carry heavy trays around in our coming-of-age movie.” – – Brittany Thomas, Radio Station Manager

“Show You the Way” by Thundercat

“This is modern Yacht Rock, and There some uniquely inspiring bass lines and incredible production on this track.” – Joel Edinberg, Z-Tech Mentor

“Simply Falling” by Iyeoka

“I heard Iyeoka perform a poetry set in Colorado, and then learned she was also from Boston. I bought her album expecting more poetry, and found instead this sultry, jazzy collection of songs that I haven’t been able to stop listening to!” – Anni Leff, Development & Communications Associate

“Tinariwen” by Tiwayyen

“Release yourself to the spirit and sound of the Tenere (the desert)! Tinariwen are a band of Tuareg musicians from Azawad (Mali/Algeria). They survivors of colonization, oppression, desertification, war, and famine. The music rises above adversity, transcends boundaries and carries us forward!”– Avi Salloway, Z-Tech Live Sound Coordinator

“Sleep Gets Your Ghost” by Buke and Gase

“I was obsessed with this album when it came out in 2010, and have recently rediscovered how much I love Buke and Gase. They play with modified instruments — an electric 6-string ukulele (buke), and a guitar/bass hybrid (gase). The duo also plays percussion with their feet, creating super interesting melodies and polyrhythms. And Arone Dyer’s voice is ridiculously beautiful.”  – Sarah Saydun, Pathways Coordinator

“If You Met Her” by Palehound

“Palehound are amazing musicians and people who make really raw, genuine, and honest music, and “A Place I’ll Always Go’ is a perfect soundtrack for the fall.” Nicole Pompei, Teaching Artist

“Ooh Child” by The Five Stairsteps

“It doesn’t matter how down I’m feeling, this song never fails to lift my spirits.” Scott Mizrachi, Community Engagement Coordinator

“What Are They Doing in Heaven Today?” by Washington Phillips

“So haunting. So beautiful.”  – Brian Paulding, Brass Instructor

“Hold Your Head High” by Heartless Bastards

“I love this song – Its an exercise in resiliency. There is one lyric in particular that really gets me: “You see I’ve got this fascination with the wrong ways to go… I get lost even in the places that I know” I feel like there is so much beauty in that phrase. Oftentimes thats how you find the best places but there will always be a level of anxiety and struggle that goes hand in hand with getting lost. This song reminds me that its ok to feel lost and that “this too, shall pass.” ”  -Jenny Shulman, Director of Operations

“Lovely Thing Suite: Conversations” by Watsky

“Watksy has a such an incredible grasp on storytelling, using lyricism to water the ideas he wants to grow and impart; Part 1 is a heartfelt look at our mortality, life’s big questions & the relationships we build” – Rene Dongo, Radio Program Coordinator

Staff Picks: September 2017

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September is coming to a close and we want to keep rocking those summer vibes. So this is it the last hooray before Fall makes its way in the house and hangs out on the couch. ZUMIX has been bumping music all month and we wanna share these vibes with you. So if you’re on your way to bio class or to a weekly meeting take a second & listen to this months picks, feel the good vibes and who knows you might find your favorite new artist!

“Kirby” by Aesop Rock

“Aesop got a kitten and wrote this song about it. enjoy!” – Corey DePina, Youth Development and Performance Manager

My Type” by Saint Motel

“This is just my type of song.” – Nikala Peroni, Development & Communications Associate

Runaway” by Del Shannon

“Steve showed me this song the last time we played together at 154 Maverick -it’s been stuck in my head ever since…” – Scott Mizrachi, Community Engagement Coordinator

Sticky Situation ft Syd” by Quiñ

“Cotton Candy vibes, feels airy and light but with a dark undertone perfect to vibe out to on a late night cruise through the city.” – Rene Dongo, Radio Program Coordinator

Dang Me” by Roger Miller

“This quirky tune from 1964 makes me smile every time I hear it. What a lyrical and musical sense of humor.” – Brian Paulding, Brass Instructor

giver taker” by Anjimile

“I think the best way to describe Anjimile’s music is to say it’s aggressively tender. All of their lyrics are haunting, loving, entirely relatable, and contain a certain type of honest vulnerability that totally knocks you on your butt. I had a hard time picking just one song for this months edition of staff picks, but I went with “giver taker”. It has really resonated with me after recently losing a family member — the sadness of goodbye, the pain of remembrance, the calm of accepting that all things come to an end.”  – Sarah Saydun, Pathways Coordinator

 

Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen

“In those super hectic times of life where you feel like you’re running at 60 miles an hour, blasting Queen from your crappy car speakers with the windows down is just what you need to get through the day!” – Anni Leff, Development & Communications Associate

House where nobody lives” by Tom Waits

“Tom Waits is one of my all-time favorite artists. His lyrics are always haunting and beautiful. I especially like the story this song tells and the message it conveys. It also has that type of sad Autumn rainy day feel to it where you just want to curl up in a soft blanket.” – Jenny Shulman, Director of Operations

Baybee” by Jay Som

“This song/video makes me want to do swirly dance moves in a snow suit. I got to see Jay Som live in Boston and they are the definition of fun on stage. Seeing how much they love their music makes me love it more.” – Brittany Thomas, Radio Station Manager

 

 

Tech and Space Camp: ZUMIX Summer Radio Workshop

A lot of different motivations bring people through the old firehouse at ZUMIX. Parents bring their kids for a robust after school education; young-at-heart community members drop in to broadcast from the radio station; youth go in to learn, yes, but also to be young people. And that sometimes implies that, when you are given the power to choose the theme for the summer programs, you decide it is all going to be about space camp.

What brought Mariel through those doors this summer is the long-standing question of how we can use our existing windows into youth’s lives to promote critical thinking about the technologies in their everyday lives. What brings Brittany is the feeling of exploration that happens everyday in the radio studio, which she imagines to be similar to what Armstrong felt on the moon. But the beautiful thing about youth development is that it’s not about one or two forces dictating the path.

Some think that creating educational experiences is about choosing the wackiest ice breaker and pushing people through the right number of post-it brainstorms. But really, curriculum building is closer to juggling, pulling a vast number of elements into a symphony; facilitating is about encouraging a process of group thinking and learning process that fits within a larger pathway.
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Youth media literacy curriculum work tends to juggle three main components: technical skills, conceptual and analytical skills, and collaborative skills. In terms of ZUMIX radio workshops, the technical part involves learning the ins and outs of a radio studio, the software, the ZOOM recorder, and then the radio formats; conceptually, it’s about developing a grasp of the topic of choice — in our case, inner and outer space, and the technologies connecting them — and the ability to communicate those themes to each other and an audience; collaboratively, our youth practiced ways of working together to make a unified show, exploring the space camp theme selected by the ZUMIX Teen Council.

What this meant in practice for our summer radio program with youth, ages 13 to 17:

  • In terms of radio formats, we focused on the vox pop (meaning ‘the voice of the people’ — our link to outer space) to promote understanding of others’ perspectives; radio diaries (one person’s audio documentary of their day — our link to inner space) to promote richer reflections on the topic at stake. To explore the ‘colors’ of radio, we also designed a produced show introduction and sonic IDs.
  • In terms of the topic of analysis, we promoted tech reflection through exercises like ‘A Day in our Musical Lives’, critical discussions of app features like the Snapchat map and Jukedeck, best and worst case scenario exploration, and the interpretation of youth and adult tech perspectives from our ‘Tech Spectrogram’. From these exercises, our youth chose two topics, Snapchat and music technology, as the frames for each of their two radio shows.
  • In terms of radio communications skills, youth set goals for their own learning, through critical listening of their recorded radio work. The goals they determined after the recording of their first show were: improve the natural flow between the inner space and outer space segments, minimize ‘awkward silences’ and dead air, and practice voice tones and volumes.

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The broader youth development approach of the program (and ZUMIX as an organization) had an impact on different levels of the process. Our own co-facilitation involved Ana, a 14-year-old MLK intern at ZUMIX, who mastered ice breakers and her own radio production skills to facilitate the process for the group. The improvement of radio work was all based on the group’s own assessment and their own goals. And a lot of the class time was about creating opportunities for listening and talking about the portions of our lives that otherwise would not get discussed.

And then it’s about how all of this fits into a pathway; how this workshop builds on skills that youth have already developed in school and in other ZUMIX programs, and also crafting the steps that follow. We are happy for the launch of The Firehouse — a new daily radio program at ZUMIX, with collaborative themes and music curation, that aims to bridge the gap between the introductory course and independent youth-produced shows.

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In the end, helping youth realize their potential and their actuality implies connecting their pathway to a broader community. Youth media literacy work is about learning to communicate with others, from the ability to interview Nate Matias about Snapchat and Alexander Dorsk about music technology, to creating content that addresses community needs.

Despite this juggling of infinite elements, the intro radio program at ZUMIX is about creating empathy for your co-hosts on a radio show, and gratitude for the beautiful window radio provides into our communities. And if as an educator you are wondering about radio as an outlet to see this transformation happen, give it a try — wait until you see their faces when they listen to their own recordings on air.

You can find the curriculum for this program here.

You can also listen to ZUMIX radio, and see some tweets and other photos from the process.

Take a listen to an episode of Intergalactic Intersection!

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ZUMIX Radio Interviews IBA Youth

Last week, ZUMIX Radio host Dawry opened the studio doors to a bold a bright group of young people from the sound art program at Inquilinos Boricuas en Accion (IBA). This summer was the group’s first time experimenting with audio – writing commentaries and interviewing friends to create radio pieces on topics of their chooding. The pieces aimed to show that, big or small, our passions keep us moving.

Broadcast live on 94.9FM, IBA‘s show featured eight radio stories and brief interviews about the inspiration behind them.  Check out the recording below to hear more about the young people’s thoughts on net neutrality, their dominican identity, the importance of art-making, and dreams of becoming a pilot, to name a few.  Thanks so much to Inquilinos Boricuas en Accion and their dedicated instructor, Crystal Wegner, who led these youth through their first audio projects. We hope these are the first of many stories.