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Spirit of the Radio

Mużika Mod Ieħor ma' Toni SantMy long-running podcast Mużika Mod Ieħor ma’ Toni Sant is about to enter a new phase. As of today, Thursday 4 July 2024, the podcast will be broadcast on the radio in Malta. To be more precise, it will be broadcast on Campus 103.7, where I have been producing radio shows regularly since October 2020.

After a hiatus of more than 20 years, I “returned” to regular radio broadcasting during the second Covid-19 pandemic lockdown and I haven’t stopped broadcasting weekly since then. The first series was called Vjaġġi Enċiklopediċi, and featured interview with Wikipedians from Malta in season 1 and other various other countries in season 2. My favourite part of that series was a weekly meditation on the state of some Wikipedia article or other.

This was followed by a very research-intensive series called Noti Memorabbli. The aim for that series was to raise awareness for the need to develop more historiographic sources for the performing arts in the Malta, if not the creative sector more broadly. Each 60-minute episode took about 20 hours of research to produce, which meant that the series was not sustainable beyond the one season during which it was broadcast. Luckily, throughout the summer of 2021, Campus FM (as the radio station was still known back then) agreed to broadcast an audio book version of the award-winning book Jien-Noti-Jien, which I co-authored with Immanuel Mifsud during the first pandemic lockdown.

Mużika 21 was born in October 2021, offering me and my listeners an hour a week to listen to the latest releases from the local music scene, explore some oddities, and focus on either a new album or one from the vaults, released in the 21st century. Truthfully, the overlap with Mużika Mod Ieħor was evident right away. Both Mużika 21 (on the radio) and Mużika Mod Ieħor ma’ Toni Sant (the podcast) featured more or less the same playlist, week in week out. The two main differences, of course, where that the podcast featured videos for each and every one of the selected tracks, while the radio show afforded more time to oddities and album tracks.

The need for M21 and MMI to become one became rather pressing as I became involved in other (writing and art curation) projects, which meant that the weekly podcast was reduced to a monthly offering for about a year or so. It was therefore a natural progression to bring Mużika Mod Ieħor ma’ Toni Sant to the radio, while retaining the podcast as an ongoing series, which has already changed format a couple of times since I first started it in November 2005.

Here’s hoping that Mużika Mod Ieħor ma’ Toni Sant continues to delight listeners around the world, offering a veritable document of the local music scene like no other, even if in recent years the local broadcasting sector has greatly improved the amount of music from Malta on the airwaves. I still dream of a time when worthwhile local musicians no longer complain that their music is not played regularly on the radio.

Available on Campus 103.7 on Thursday at 6pm and 11am, as well as Saturday at 2pm, every episode of Mużika Mod Ieħor ma’ Toni Sant is in Maltese. Some of the songs featured on it are not in Maltese.

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