LIVE Heartbeats Fill the Airways of SF-Based Public Radio Stations
Public Radio = Public Space
Imagine turning the dial & you hear a sound that’s instantly recognizable, but it’s so out of context that your curiosity is piqued. As you listen, you become more aware of your own heartbeat. Perhaps you start to feel it. Unexpectedly, you’re suddenly sharing a profound sense of self that was prompted by listening to a sound of our shared humanity. And it took less than a minute.
Public radio is a historically significant form of public space. The gathering together of people at regular hours united them in a commonly recognized and anticipated rhythm while sharing in civic, political, social and economic learning and discussion. Although today listening to the radio is often a solitary event, public radio remains a shared forum and in its very essence designates public space. This blending of private and public experience that public radio offers is a perfect frame for bringing something at once so personal & universal—the heartbeat—into public auditory space. Heartbeats sync when people sing, dance, and move together; listening to a heartbeat causes a parasympathetic response; bringing the heartbeat to the airwaves makes public radio an embodied public space.
The heartbeat is universal beyond nationality, gender, race; it needs—and has—no direct translation. Before assigning, adopting or perpetuating any prescribed meaning, feeling ones heartbeat is first and foremost a direct experience. In this way, the heartbeat speaks to the very essence of embodiment. Hearing music, the intonation of a human voice, the lyrics of song or the words of debate can provoke a deeply personal response, making us ‘feel’ ourselves and others more; hearing the heartbeat does the same in a profoundly tangible way. Far beyond the pumping of blood, the heart effects us on every level: physical, physiological, emotional, intellectual. Everyone can feel its beat, doing so is an embodied experience that can be used as a springboard to feeling other parts of ourselves that we haven’t yet brought our attention to.
SURPRISING CONTENT ON THE AIRWAVES
We thought it would be cool to ‘get under’ all content, even music, to bring one of the most basic living sounds to the airwaves. Not to lift or meet a mood, not to inform, not to sell, not to open debate, not to preach, but to offer something unexpected, curious-making and enchanting to the random listener.
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING
“Body literacy is to become fully versed in your body’s sentience and responsive to the sentience of others. It is to understand all the workings of one’s body as expressions of self. What more central to the expression of self than the heart’s beating?” —Mary Bond, in response to We Are Movement’s Soundscapes
Women's Magazine Interview
Our first Public Radio Soundscape!
Our first interview aired live on Women’s Magazine on Mutiny Radio (in collaboration with KPFA). We shared about past projects, what makes Embodied Public Spaces healthy spaces and debuted a Heartbeat Soundscape on the radio. Katy returned to the station every Friday in March to broadcast a live Soundscape, each with a few unique facts about the heart.