The Organist: Radio Free

Audio excerpt (4:36)

First released on KCRW’s The Organist, 8 April 2016

Role: Producer, Audio editor, Sound designer, Engineer/Mixer

Free Black Press Radio, a new podcast by the avant-garde rapper Busdriver, is half-lecture on the history of black resistance and half-freewheeling, entropic swirl of cut-up Pharoah Sanders riffs. FBPR expands what’s possible in the emerging podcast form while also hearkening back to programs like Radio Free Dixie by the civil rights leader Robert F. Williams.

Toni Morrison once said that good writing shouldn’t be “harangue passing off as art,” but Free Black Press Radio (and its civil-rights-era forebears) are good models for how both impulses – the political and the artistic, the polemical and the musical — can successfully merge (and how that confluence may only be possible within this medium). On this episode of The Organist, writer Niela Orr asks: What sort of liberation does the “free” in Free Black Press Radio and Radio Free Dixie demand?

Writer: Niela Orr