On the air: It’s your chance to talk gratitude, music in ‘Sonic IDs’ on KVMR | TheUnion.com

On the air: It’s your chance to talk gratitude, music in ‘Sonic IDs’ on KVMR

Steve Baker
Special to Prospector

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: 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)

COST: Free

INFO: kvmr.org Breaking News, 530/265-9073

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.

On The Air is a weekly irreverent look at the nearly 200 volunteer broadcasters at Nevada City’s eclectic community radio station at 89.5 FM, 105. 1 FM Truckee, and streaming at kvmr.org. The Bridge 105.7 FM features NPR and Pacifica news, analysis and impreachment coverage by day, with KVMRx.org indie pop by night.


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