|City of license||London|
|Broadcast area||Central London|
|Slogan||The Art of Listening|
|First air date||June 1998|
|Format||Community radio, Radio Art|
|Owner||London Musicians Collective Limited|
Resonance 104.4 FM is a London based non-profit community radio station specialising in the arts run by the London Musicians' Collective (LMC). The station is staffed by four permanent staff members, including programme controller Ed Baxter and over 300 volunteer technical and production staff.
Until September 2007 its studios were located on Denmark Street before moving to its present location at 144 Borough High Street. The station broadcasts to a 3 mile (5 kilometre) radius on 104.4 MHz FM from a transmitter situated on the roof of Guy's Hospital at London Bridge. Its schedule includes nearly 100 shows catering to many sub-communities of the London area on a wide variety of subjects including a multitude of musical genres, local and foreign current affairs and subjects of local interest. Noted for its policy of giving broadcasters free rein of their creative outlet, it has been described by Time Out as "brilliantly eccentric". The station receives funding grants from Arts Council England.
The station describes itself as "the world's first radio art station" which aims to provide a radical alternative to mainstream broadcasting. Resonance 104.4 fm features programmes made by musicians, artists and critics who represent the diversity of London’s arts scenes, with regular weekly contributions from nearly two hundred musicians, artists, thinkers, critics, activists and instigators; plus numerous unique broadcasts by artists on the weekday "Clear Spot".
The station presents material ranging from a programme presented by the staff of the experimental music magazine The Wire to Calling All Pensioners, which aims to inform the elderly about local events and benefits entitlement. Live music sessions are featured on shows such as Hello Goodbye, You Are Hear, Hooting Yard on the Air, and Glass Shrimp. Other shows include foreign-language programmes aimed at communities in London who are not served by other broadcasters.
In addition to locally produced programming, Resonance is a member of Radia and a rebroadcaster of Democracy Now!. Resonance FM has received a Sony Award nomination for The Good Drugs Guide, a documentary series presented by Piers Gibbon and David McCandless. The station has been profiled in the pages of The Guardian, The Independent on Sunday, The Daily Telegraph and the Morning Star amongst others.
In 2006 the station was nominated for "The Community Award" by the Sony Radio Academy Awards, but has won the Radio Academy Nations and Regions Award for London for three consecutive years between 2009 and 2011  Station manager Ed Baxter was nominated for "Programmer of the Year" by the Sony Radio Academy Awards in 2010.
Imagine a radio station like no other. A radio station that makes public those artworks that have no place in traditional broadcasting. A radio station that is an archive of the new, the undiscovered, the forgotten, the impossible. That is an invisible gallery, a virtual arts centre whose location is at once local, global and timeless. And that is itself a work of art. Imagine a radio station that responds rapidly to new initiatives, has time to draw breath and reflect. A laboratory for experimentation, that by virtue of its uniqueness brings into being a new audience of listeners and creators. All this and more, Resonance104.4fm aims to make London’s airwaves available to the widest possible range of practitioners of contemporary art.—Resonance FM, Resonance's FAQ page
The London Musicians' Collective originally put together a four-week programme of radio art as part of 1998's Meltdown festival at the South Bank Centre, curated by John Peel. The station operated from the Royal Festival Hall on a month-long Restricted Service Licence on 107.3 FM.
Phil England, an organiser of the original broadcast, described the origins of the station in a text written to accompany the printed programme. The aim, he wrote, was "to raise the specter of radio art in a country where the notion has no common currency".
With the trial at an end, Professor Anthony Everitt, who was appointed by Ofcom to evaluate the Access Radio Pilot Scheme - said the following: "The extraordinary range of musical genres outspans the output of any other radio station in the United Kingdom - and very probably in the world. While maintaining a broad editorial reach, Resonance FM has uncovered a rich, little-known stratum of avant-garde practice and made it generally accessible, without diluting the necessary ingredients of challenge, surprise, difficulty, irritation and delight. It is a genuine discovery channel."
Resonance was awarded a five-year Community Radio licence in December 2005, enabling the station to broadcast 24/7. Ofcom extended the station's FM broadcasting licence in July 2010.
Returning to its roots
Resonance FM resumed scheduled broadcasting in September 2007 after a short hiatus whilst moving into a new studio building on Borough High Street, Southwark; a short walk from the area where they launched in 1998.
In 2011 Resonance presented a six week exhibit at the Raven Row Gallery Exhibit in East London. The exhibition theme was the relation of sound to art, and included work from Max Eastley, Takehisa Kosugi and Walter Marcetti.
The station is broadcast from a transmitter situated on the roof of Guy's Hospital at London Bridge on 104.4 MHz FM. The transmission power is low compared with London's main radio stations due to the terms of its community radio licence. It can be received throughout central London but does not cover the whole Greater London area. Interference from local pirate radio stations, particularly at weekends, has been and is a problem in some areas. It can also be streamed from the station's web site. Resonance uploads every show to its SoundCloud account throughout each day.
The radio station is home to a wide range of independent and (somewhat) avant-garde recordings, including:
- The Bike Show: a "weekly radio show […] about cycling"; broadcast in the summer and autumn months.
- I'm Ready For My Close Up "Cinema and visual media discussed and reviewed by various presenters."
- Calling All Pensioners: recorded weekly by the Deptford Action Group for the Elderly (DAGE)
- "One Life Left": a videogames FM radio show.
- Flomotion: Nick Luscombe presents a regular update on the world's best new electronic music.
- Henry Scott-Irvine presents…: an interview series broadcast on Sunday afternoons, with Scott-Irvine hosting.
- sicknotes A teenager-targeted production venturing into London's underground music scene.
- Lil Bits: Adam Smyth, lecturer in English at Birkbeck, and journalist James Kidd discuss contemporary literature from odd and creative angles.
- Hooting Yard on the air: A humorous literature program written and presented by writer/performer Frank Key.
- The News Agents : Where news meets arts. A magazine show about alternative and creative responses to news issues curated by writer/archivist Jude Cowan Montague.
- Bermuda Triangle Test Transmissions: "The soundtrack to the end of the world," Chris Maume, The Independent.
The station receives funding grants from Arts Council England as part of the National portfolio funding programme, which began in 2012. The grant for 2012-2013 was £160,000; 2013-2014 £163,680; 2014-2015 £167,936.
- Unknown author. More about Resonance. Resonance FM. Accessed 2011-01-16.
- Community radio licence: key commitments for Resonance FM at Ofcom
- Celia Topping (30 April 2013). "Resonance FM: the voice of London". Time Out London. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
- Stubbs, David (2006-07-15). "Sounds eccentric | Music". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2010-02-09.
- "The 'world's best radio station' that you've never heard - Media, News". London: The Independent. 2004-10-11. Retrieved 2010-02-09.
- Rupert Christiansen Published: 12:01AM BST 14 Jul 2004 (2004-07-14). "The arts column: riotous radio". London: Telegraph. Retrieved 2010-02-09.
- "Reason on the radio". Morning Star. Retrieved 2010-02-10.
- "Putting the broad into broadcasting". New Statesman. Retrieved 2010-02-09.
- "collective - resonance fm". BBC. 2006-09-11. Retrieved 2010-02-09.
- "Mute magazine - Culture and politics after the net". Metamute.org. 2002-05-09. Retrieved 2010-02-09.
- "Nations & Regions Awards 2011: The Winners". The Radio Academy. Retrieved 2013-06-06.
- "The IoS Happy List 2009 - the 100 - This Britain, UK". London: The Independent. 2009-04-19. Retrieved 2010-02-09.
- "Will Hodgkinson joins London's strangest radio statio, Resonance FM | Media | The Guardian". Arts.guardian.co.uk. 2003-01-15. Retrieved 2009-07-22.
- "Xebec Sound Arts 16 - Resonance 107.3". Sukothai.com. 1998-07-05. Retrieved 2009-07-22.
- Tilden, Imogen (2002-05-01). "New arts-based radio station for London". The Guardian. Retrieved 2010-02-09.
- "blog, 'Licence news'". Resonancefm.com. Retrieved 2013-06-06.
- But the bulleted list written here is by no means complete.
- "Resonance FM's bicycle radio show". The Bike Show. Retrieved 2013-06-06.
- "Resonance fm". Arts Council England. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
- The Early Days of ResonanceFM, 18 February 2013, Sourcefabric.org
- It's radio, but not as we know it, 19 September 2002, BBC Collective
- Get A Haircut And Disappear: The London Musicians’ Collective 1975-2008, 23 July 2008, The Wire
- "Gone With the Wind, Zone of High Pressure", July 2011, The Wire
- "The Voice of London" , No. 2225, 30 April - 6 May 2013 Time Out
- "Coldcut’s Matt Black reveals what attracted them to Resonance FM", March 2011 The Observer