Getting Wooly with Evan of It’s Flocking Friday
It’s Flocking Friday airs Fridays, 8-10 on WOOL FM 91.5 Bellows Falls
I grew up in Chester Vt, and as a teen I had a DJ business, playing music for weddings, parties and school dances. I got my start in radio at WVAY in West Dover Vermont where a wonderful group of industry professionals took me in while I was still in high school, showed me the ropes and introduced me to music genres that I had never had a chance to investigate before. They were patient, passionate and believed in me, which meant a lot and I remember them fondly. Unfortunately, I began to have some mental health issues in my late teens which changed my life significantly, but I never forgot how much I enjoyed radio.
Several years ago, I began to study the technical engineering aspects of radio for pleasure through the hobby of amateur or “ham” radio. A kind “Elmer” that I met at a yard sale who saw my interest took me in and taught me the technical details of the old tube radio designs and taught me how to safely repair and restore a few old tube transmitters and receivers. I eventually obtained a General class amateur radio license and a bunch of second hand gear and much fun was had.
It was about this time that I also found WOOL and became a member and thanks to Mark Piepkorn’s, Stage 33 LIve, some inspiring community radio shows on both WOOL and WVEW, exposure to new and interesting music and DJ’s my love of music was rekindled and I began to play synthesizer with my old bandmate and friend Jeff Ramen from a previous band we called Infinite Is. We experimented and lamented that it would be nearly impossible to find local gigs playing the sort of long form, improvisational synthesizer music that we enjoyed making in the area, so I thought, why don’t we play our music on the radio? That is how the first show “In Synthesis With Infinite Is” was born. We had a great deal of fun playing live sets and experimenting on the air, though we really didn’t think ahead as to how much work it would really be to create an hour and a half worth of music every week. So, some weeks we couldn’t deliver and then Covid-19 came and threatened to ruin all the fun.
The studio was closed for safety reasons, which I fully supported and in the end, this turned out to be the necessity that was the mother of invention. I had the good fortune to be in a musical duo with Jeff, who is a certified computer genius, who was able to find a way to set up our home studios in a way, using Linux and an open source computer program called Jamulus to play live music again from the safety of our homes. We made local multi-track recordings of our live performances which we would put back together in a DAW. We were able to produce again and carried on enjoying this hard work until some big, personal, life changing events changed our lives. We could no longer keep up the pace of trying to produce what was essentially an album’s worth of music almost every week and had to put the project down. Looking back on it, I am pretty surprised we got as far as we did, thanks mostly to Jeffs dedication, as he was doing most of the heavy lifting in the post production department. So after about a year and a half and about 60 shows, production stopped. We have an archive for those who are interested in listening:
During that time we produced about 160 tracks of live performances which you can now find at our Soundcloud page soundcloud.com/theinfiniteis
Then, not too long ago, missing being on the radio and hoping someday to perhaps bring back the project in that time slot, I decided that it was time to start a new show, I would play the music that I was currently enjoying in my life in hopes that I could touch someone else’s life and bring the joy, hope and introspection that has so greatly improved my own life in the last several years. As it was a Friday night, on “Black Sheep Radio”, a night when folks customarily get together after a long work week, I settled on the name “It’s Flocking Friday” and I welcome our listeners to the flock every week with music, both worldwide and local and bring them some local issues and area happenings, so they can find togetherness and a place to go get flocked up and celebrate surviving another seven rotations of our small, warm, wet, rock over the short weekend. I want to thank all the good people at WOOL.fm for being extremely generous with their time and expertise and for being so kind and welcoming. These are some of the finest people I know and I am proud to be considered part of the flock and I am so grateful to have been lucky enough to have found them and our beloved community radio station. Long live community radio!