By the Way • January 2, 2014

Happy New Year friends!

2014 begins for us with a new radio show on WBUR. Call it a Boston conversation with global attitude. On Thursday nights (and rebroadcast on Sunday afternoons) we’ll remind you why Boston has been the ...

2014 begins for us with a new radio show on WBUR. Call it a Boston conversation with global attitude. On Thursday nights (and rebroadcast on Sunday afternoons) we’ll remind you why Boston has been the capital of ideas in America since the heyday of Emerson and Thoreau in the 1840’s. Our first show, on January 2nd at 9pm, is about music education. We’ll begin with a look at an elementary school in Brighton, Massachusetts where every child, Pre K to 8th grade – makes music for three-and-a-half hours every day. The driving idea, spreading worldwide from Venezuela, is that every child wants to play an instrument and can. With musicians, a cognitive and development theorist and Howard Gardener from the Harvard Ed School, we’ll explore new ways to teach music and maybe new ways to organize schools. You can listen live on 90.9 or stream the show at wbur.org. We’ll have a podcast up on our site after the show.

Next up, on January 9th, is a conversation about the Pope Francis phenomenon with James Carroll who writes in the New Yorker that he’s a radical, not a liberal. We’ll examine the “conversion of the papacy” and what seems like a new Catholic conversation.

We have two other shows in the works: one on health care on January 16th with Dr. Thomas Lee of Mass General Hospital who’s written a book called “The Rise of Modern Medicine,” which is a history lesson of a kind about Boston medicine, and on January 23rd we’ll take a tour of the novelist David Foster Wallace’s Boston. Did you know that “Infinite Jest” is a Boston novel the way Ulysses is a Dublin novel?

As always, we’re looking for help in the planning of these shows, and we’re looking for ways to engage in conversation with you both on the air and on our website. We’ve remodeled things a bit at radioopensource.org, and we’ve added a couple of features. On the Veranda is a porch of sorts where you can share links, angles, ideas and digressions. On the top of our site we’ll feature a photo of the day, maybe a Boston vista or just a great snapshot. Send them to us, and we will reward you immeasurably.

Our show is weekly, which leaves time for podcast conversations and experiments. We’ve been reading (and recording) Chekhov stories in Chris’ living room and trying to learn WordPress. Ryan Cataloni, one of our new Emerson College friends, has given us a new look.  Keep an eye out for the work of the young filmmakers Coop Vacheron and Loni Paone, also from Emerson, and make sure and welcome our intern, Kunal Jasty.

 

By the Way • November 18, 2013

Good news for dear friends!

We’re putting the band back together, in a new world. With the peerless producer Mary McGrath, we’re bringing Open Source back to our first radio home, WBUR in Boston. Drawing on our roots in New ...
Thanks to Barry Blitt and The Atlantic

Thanks to Barry Blitt and The Atlantic

We’re putting the band back together, in a new world. With the peerless producer Mary McGrath, we’re bringing Open Source back to our first radio home, WBUR in Boston. Drawing on our roots in New England and our interest in the wider world, we’ll be doing a weekly evening program (Thursday nights at 9, rebroadcast on the weekends), re-launching radio and online conversation as challenging, as engaging, as various, as irresistible as we can make it. 

Strange thing: all of us have changed in this mobile, digitized, smartphone and twitter world. Stranger still is what hasn’t changed:  New England as an American capital of ideas, teaching, learning and research – of thinking! – as it has been since Emerson’s heyday in the 1830’s. The Hub today is a hive of hives – in the brain sciences, health care delivery, every kind of tech and biotech, also music, poetry, security studies, economics, in all the great branches of human exploration. President Obama had it right in his speech after the Marathon: we live in an iconic American city, and our creative and intellectual diaspora excels in every field of human endeavor all over the world. Boston’s late mayor, Kevin White called it a “small town of international significance.” Our goal, drawing on the almighty human voice and the many extensions of modern media, is to make radio talk as bracing and smart as this Global City we’re living in. 

Our website, radioopensource.org, is central to our new project. We will be expanding Open Source’s online platform of podcast conversations on the widest range of solid stuff, local and global, that people talk about: books old and new, music of all kinds, culture in general, and, of course, politics. We will be sharing our podcasts with WBUR, and at the same time we’ll be counting on a growing radioopensource community, as we always have, to help shape our discussions, sharpen the questions and make connections where others haven’t even noticed the dots.

Mary, Zadie & Chris

Mary, Zadie & Chris

Will you join us in this conversation? Will you help sustain it? We’re installing our first PayPal donate button on the site. In the new media landscape it takes a community as well as a public radio station to kickstart and support a mission like this one. Please give that donate button a try! And while you’re at it, sign up for our newsletter. 
 
The sweetest discovery in the twenty years Mary and I have been working together has been that we could actually build a living chain of listeners — a pulsing coral reef of conversation on the radio and the Web. And all of us could sustain a sensibility of open-minded hunger and enthusiasm around strong call-in talk with a tuba soloist and the Tulip Lady, as well as with Eddie Palmieri and Toni Morrison. The best thing we’ve done is build that far-flung network of loyal enthusiasts. We are hugely grateful to you, and proud to have done it together. At the start of a renewed adventure, we’ll be cheered more than ever by your support and encouragement.