Decades ago, a teenaged Raquel Bitton locked herself in her San Francisco bedroom, suffering miserably from her first broken heart. Her only comfort was an album by Edith Piaf, the diminutive French chanteuse known as “the Little Sparrow.”
“It is the love that you love,” Piaf sang in “C’est L’amour.” “It is love that makes you dream. It is love that wants love. It is love that makes us cry.”
“I listened to it all and came out of my room with a decision to get onstage and sing — and to love again,” Bitton said. “I put together a little revue singing Piaf’s songs, telling pieces of her stories.
A conference about ideas and creativity provided the latest opportunity for a group of adventurous radio producers to challenge their own inventiveness by producing as much radio as they could in a day and a half. The six producers behind Longshot Radio reconvened in New York May 3 and 4 to create crowd-sourced, socially networked audio in conjunction with the 99% Conference, where speakers discussed how to put ideas into action. Longshot covered the event in conjunction with WNYC’s Radiolab, whose host, Jad Abumrad, was one of the featured speakers. Within 30 hours, Longshot emerged with 75 pieces of raw tape gathered at the conference and contributed via Internet by people in 18 cities in the U.S. and Canada. More than 20 people beyond the core producers contributed, and Hsi-Chang Lin composed original music on the spot to score the pieces.
Partners in the project are the pubmedia minority consortia — the Center for Asian American Media, Latino Public Broadcasting, Native American Public Telecommunications, the National Black Programming Consortium and Pacific Islanders in Communication — as well as the Independent Television Service and POV. The festival will be offered for video streaming on PBS.org and the redesigned PBS YouTube channel, which will be unveiled as the festival opens. The festival includes an audience participation element. Viewers can cast online votes for their favorite films, and PBS will recognize the winner with a People’s Choice festival award. PBS will use the Twitter handle #PBSolff to build social media buzz during the five-week run.