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Friday Late: Radio V&A

February’s Friday Late: Radio V&A will investigate the history and culture of radio, from a vital mode of communication to a bitesize podcast.

February’s Friday Late: Radio V&A will investigate the history and culture of radio, from a vital mode of communication to a bitesize podcast. Broadcasters, DJs, producers and radio art activists will explore the medium through oral histories, radical programming and sonic installations. Acclaimed central London radio station Resonance FM will be broadcasting live from the Museum and exclusively programmed with V&A content in conjunction with the Friday Late events.

Peckham-based online radio station Balamii have curated a set of DJs to play and broadcast live from the Grand Entrance. Alex Rita will be bringing her mix of soul, funk, disco and boogie to Friday Late, followed by DJ duo FYI Chris from Peckham’s Rye Wax record store. Finally, award winning spoken-word artist Kate Tempest will fill a two hour slot as she is joined by her drummer, record producer and sound man in a back-to-back session. Meanwhile, DJs from Reprezent FM, the UK’s only radio station presented by young people under 25, will be running the airwaves in the Fashion Gallery.

Resonance FM’s avant-garde house band, the Resonance Radio Orchestra, will be performing live in the Tapestries Gallery. They will draw on their pool of contributing actors, musicians and engineers, including one of the most recognisable voices of radio drama – Tom Graham who voices Tom Archer in BBC Radio 4’s The Archers, to present their piece Heart Like a Duck.

Record Producer and writer Joe Boyd will be sharing his A-Z podcast project, based on his huge music collection, taking a song from each letter of the alphabet and spinning stories, playing tracks and recalling great studio moments. East London Radio explore the oral history of East London through the voices of local independent artists and their own DJs and volunteers. They will have a pop up studio and listening stations presenting some of their best soundbites of the last three years. In the National Art Library, visitors can hear a site-specific radio show by audio-visual artist Vicki Bennet. Working under the name People Like Us, Vicki specialises in the manipulation and reworking of original sources and was the first artist to be given unrestricted access to the entire BBC archive. Her three-and-a-half hour show, The Sound of Silence reveals the wide spectrum of sounds picked up when using a radio receiver, even in a space which is intended to be silent.

The Radio V&A programme will feature key speakers in A History of Museum Radio in Two Episodes. The creators of the successful 2010 BBC Radio 4 series A History of the World in 100 Objects in collaboration with the British Museum will join in conversation with the V&A’s Head of Research, Bill Sherman to discuss the significance of the project which changed the history of both radio and the museum.

Visitors will be invited to take up the mic and influence the topics for conversation in a drop-in talk-show, Talkaoke, which will be hosted in the Salon of the recently opened Europe 1600-1815 Galleries. Elsewhere, visitors can learn past secrets of the V&A revealed by Open Secrets – an on-going oral history project collating an audio-archive of soundbites from the Museum’s curators. Workshops led by artists and radio experts will offer participants the opportunity to build their own mini-FM radio transmitter or learn the art of radio scriptwriting.


26 February; 18.30 – 22.00
Cromwell Rd
London SW7 2RL
Admission free; some events may be ticketed