New Sounds Radio is an online radio station based in New York and supported by New York Public Radio. It broadcasts 24/7 and, as its name suggests, it promotes new sounds in music. The repertoire is extremely wide-ranging; for example, there is a very generous helping of new orchestral and instrumental music and you can also hear modern jazz, folk, and electronic and ambient music – and not just from the West but from all over the world.
The station also includes new music from well-established names but what I find of more interest is the music of those who are lesser known – at least in the UK. Amongst the pieces that I’ve been impressed with recently are the following:
- ‘Fordlandia’ by Johann Jonhannsson, an Icelandic composer who sadly died in his forties; the music is a very effective and interesting blend of strings and electronics.
- ‘The Vanity of Trees’ by Padma Newsome, an Australian composer and musician whose music here consists of tuneful songs, sparsely but tastefully accompanied – sometimes using the voice as a separate instrument.
- ‘Teenages’ by Qasim Naqvi, a Pakistani composer based in the US – this is music for synth which shows some minimalist influence but the sounds are original and subtly textured.
The station also runs features on individual composers and musicians including live performances and interviews. There is also a gig guide which centres mainly on the New York area. The main presenter is John Schaefer who is clearly very knowledgeable about the subject.
Overall I think that New Sounds Radio is an excellent station filling a very obvious gap in the listening market.