Going on air for a reason

Updated: Apr 15, 2020, 09:18 IST | Sukanya Datta | Mumbai

An artiste from Bangalore is running a daily radio show to get you through the lockdown

Yashas Shetty
Yashas Shetty

Listeners of The Radio Quarantine can expect the mic to fall at times or the fan might be too loud. It's a raw set-up, but what you will get is some great music and wonderful insights from our guests," promises Bangalore-based artiste and teacher Yashas Shetty about the daily Internet radio show that he started from March 25. Twenty-one days in, the show has been belting out tracks cutting across genres — from Japanese new-age composers to pop songs in Kannada, Hindi and English — and opening up conversations on everything under the sun — from dreaming of another world after the lockdown to memories of the Black Plague.

The idea to go live from his "dining table" at 9 pm was something that started off as a means of sharing music, says Shetty, who admits that he's no radio host. "Music and sound can really have things to say to get us through times like these," he adds. The preview for each show is posted on the Instagram page of Indian Sonic Research Organisation, a collective of people making experimental music and building their own instruments in Bangalore. Every show has a theme; for instance, day four was about solidarity, and Shetty had political activist Kavita Krishnan talk about migrant workers having to walk back to their homes. On another day, it was isolation; so Shetty played music written by composers like Beethoven and Joy Division, along with a chat with author Arshia Sattar and musician Abhijeet Tambe.

For all those missing their Friday nights, the show doles out dance music, too. Apart from an eclectic music playlist, Shetty's guestlist has been varied as well. These included British cosmologist Martin Rees, a colleague of Stephen Hawking; an Italian living in lockdown; filmmaker Anmol Tikoo; and Dr Satyajit Mayor, director of National Centre for Biological Sciences. "The response has been overwhelming. It's made me realise how much people crave conversations. Also, I'm surprised by the power of radio, where it's just the voice that you can hear. There's a certain intimacy to it which you think would've died, but hasn't," he admits.

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