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In late summer and earlier in the fall of 2005, as part of a contract dispute, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, our country's public radio and TV broadcaster, locked out over 5500 of its on-air personalities, producers, engineers, technicians, and others, leaving the network to run on a skeleton crew of management staff, airing mostly imported material and reruns for almost two months (which wasn't pretty).
While they were on the picket line, many of the CBC staff produced podcasts, and I was fortunate enough that the Vancouver contingent chose to use some of my free podsafe instrumental tunes as background music and a theme song for all five of their "Studio Zero" shows.
I wondered whether, since they'd liked my music well enough when they were locked out, CBC staff might consider using it for shows once they returned to work, which they've now been able to do.
Sure enough, in early October, before union members had even signed their tentative agreement, I got this in email from Lee, one of those who'd put together the "Studio Zero" shows:
I mixed and edited all the CBC Unplugged Studio Zeros over the past weeks. I wanted to write and thank you for passing your music along for use in the shows.
I'm a musician too, and I know the thrill you get from hearing your music used for shows. And I think your stuff is good - just as good as some of the stings we currently have in the CBC sting database.
So, I think you should send a CD of your music to our record library in Vancouver. You never know when someone might want to use it for something.
Very flattering—even more so since I hadn't passed my music along. Rather Pietro from CBC found it and passed it along without my knowledge. The first I'd known of its being on the CBC Unplugged podcast was when I'd been shocked awake to hear it while drifting off to sleep one night.
Here's what Lee suggested I do (and agreed to allow me to republish) to help get my music (and now maybe yours) on air on regular CBC Radio. All the tips in the next section come directly from Lee. They're very sensible, and would probably apply well for any public, college, or other radio or TV station—or indeed if you're sending your music to be played on podcasts (though in that case saving your files as to CD as MP3s might be preferable).
Burn a CD of your favorite tracks and send it. However, to make sure your CD doesn't get ignored, I've typed up a few things to keep in mind:
...and good luck!
CBC Radio has always been good at supporting home-grown Canadian musicians, but usually to get played on air you needed at least some sort of following, or a record deal, or a presence of some sort. I've really come through the back door here. But I am remastering my first 14 podsafe tracks in uncompressed audio so that they'll sound a bit better on CD, and will send in a disc to CBC following Lee's tips.
In fact, there's a good chance I may put some packaging together and try selling this music on CD to those interested in buying it too. Sure, you can get it free online and always will, but it will make an interesting experiment. If that works, I will fulfill a strange prophecy I made in 2003: that I could create an entire album by coming up with the song titles first.
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Page BBEdited on 12-Oct-05