NICKY GLUCH ASKS YOU TO KEEP THE MUSIC PLAYING
My Dad began subscribing to Fine Music for the same reason that he supports the Rural Fire Service or the Surf Life Savers: he believes in supporting volunteer organisations, especially those which provide a crucial service. To my Dad, like to so many of us, music is a crucial part of life. As a surgeon, he uses it to help him concentrate in the operating theatre. Pieces are carefully selected and balanced into special playlists; a thyroid operation, it turns out, requires different music to a breast lump. This is where Fine Music comes in. So many of the pieces Dad plays are those he heard first on the radio. Through Fine Music, he’s discovered Wagenseil, befriended Wieniawski and found a new appreciation for Mendelssohn. Dad is a devotee of the Program Guide in the magazine, knowing that it’s often a recording which ‘makes the music’. I confess that he’s quite enjoyed having someone on ‘the inside’ as now he can even get the details of the filler pieces.
To subscribe to Fine Music is to be a shareholder in all the associated memories which music gives us. The volunteers here know that so well. I remember coming in one afternoon and asking one of the presenters how he was. “Not good,” he replied. He explained to me that his sister had just died. Concerned, I asked if he would not rather go home. “No,” he told me, he needed the distraction and besides, his sister adored music. “If I’m here,” he said, “I can play the music she loved.” That is the power of the vibrations we send out into the air. Music touches people, it connects them and it’s often associated with our strongest memories.
Professor Clive Kessler captures this sentiment beautifully. A sociologist at the University of New South Wales, Kessler returned to Sydney in 1980 after 15 years abroad. He found a comfort, a solace even, in listening to 2MBS (as it was then). “It provided serenity,” he says, and an ‘uplift’ even, “as well as education and some intermittent ‘transcendence’ during some very difficult times, personally and professionally.”
For almost 40 years, Fine Music has been Kessler’s friend, consolation and inspiration. Anyone who has had a relationship with radio will know that this is no exaggeration. Indeed, Richard Glover (we’ll forgive him for being with the ABC) recently wrote how radio exceeds almost all other media forms in the way it delivers ‘pictures’. “The projector plays behind your eyes, not in front of them,” he wrote in Spectrum (17/02). “The listener provides the details ... It’s why radio moments are so memorable. We made the film.”
So why subscribe to Fine Music? Well, there are the perks, of course, the chance to win free tickets, special invitations to functions and events, but that’s not the real reason. No, the truth is that the pictures of which Glover speaks don’t paint themselves. A non-commercial radio station needs its subscribers to stay alive. To be on air 24 hours a day means 24 hours of electricity, 24 hours of water. It is easy to see how the costs add up. Yet the benefits of radio are innumerable, so we cannot afford to let financial costs overwhelm emotional gains.
In my Dad’s words, “We have a collective responsibility to ensure the viability of volunteer organisations. It’s one thing to appreciate having something good and beautiful but it requires the collective to ensure that these institutions survive. We all have to ‘chip in’ and I can therefore take comfort in knowing that I am helping to keep something important alive.”
‘Chipping-in’ is a good sentiment as the costs are not great for something which will touch you in ways you may least expect. Fine Music broadcasts 24 hours a day, 365 days a year because we never know when people might need us. Help us keep the music playing!
You’ll find details on the cost of subscribing on the donor/subscription form on page 48. Alternatively you can telephone 9439 4777 or go online at finemusicfm.com and click on ‘subscribe’.
This article will appear in the April issue of Fine Music Magazine.