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radio daze :: a #tbt surprise

EDIT! apparently, this photo is not just something recovered from the vault of time [although it is that, too] it's a photo that's currently on display as part of the khyber arts centre's what's left on the dial: a ckdu retrospective, an exhibit put together to honour the thirtieth anniversary of the station going on air. [so the "glassed in" effect is due to the fact that the picture is framed.] i remember being there for the tenth anniversary, so i'm just going to go drink bleach now, but if you're in halifax, you should totally catch the show this weekend.

i don't do these often, but today someone posted a photo in a facebook group that surprised me. it surprised me because it was me and i have no memory whatsoever of this being taken. let me explain: back in olden tymes(tm), taking photos was a less casual thing. you had to have a camera. you had to have film. you had to take care of film, making sure it didn't get to hot, that it didn't ever get exposed to any kind of light. and then you had to get film developed into pictures, which could get fairly costly. and you didn't know until you paid up whether any of your photos were really good. difficult times, obviously. so having one's picture taken surreptitiously was not a common occurrence, unless you were a celebrity, which i have absolutely never been. [looking at it, i'm guessing that the picture was actually taken from an adjoining room, separated by a pane of glass, which is casting odd reflections and making it look like i might be a floating torso. based on the hair i'm sporting, i'm guessing that this was taken in 1994 or 95.]

nonetheless, someone apparently overcame the odds and snapped this picture of me with a friend in the production studio booth of ckdu-fm. i was a volunteer and an employee there for about five years, although since i was young at the time, it seems like it was much longer. ckdu was [and still is!] a campus/ community radio station in halifax, but it's also a place that had a profound and positive effect on my life. even before i joined as a member, the station had already exposed me to some of the bands who spurred my interest in off-kilter music. and since radio always seemed sort of magical to me, in a "transmissions from nowhere" sort of way, becoming a part of it was beyond exciting.

of course, i'm someone who can't be "moderately involved" in anything, which meant that, while i was doing my undergraduate degree and for a couple of years afterward, i was practically living at the station for large stretches of time. i credit my time there with a few things that have since become important to my sense of who i am: i met a variety of different people, from different backgrounds, different places and with very different tastes, none of which were particularly "mainstream" [although some were closer than others]. i always liked to think of myself as open-minded, but that was the time when i discovered what that meant: being able to learn from everyone around you, especially those who don't share your perspective.

of course, i also got exposed to a lot of different types of music, both from hearing what others at the station were playing and by exploring the extensive and thrilling record library. my current tastes, not just in music, but in art and culture in general, remain indelibly marked by my discoveries at that time. [one of those discoveries was the band seefeel, whose track "more like space" i co-opted for the name of the radio show i did there, and more things since.]

so thank you to the person who discovered this photo and posted it on facebook, for giving me a moment of happy nostalgia, looking back at the little blonde person emerging from her chrysalis who would eventually turn into me. 

Comments

Pip said…
Nice post

as long as you're here, why not read more?

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