Welcome to Fonotopia with Ian Nagoski – Episode I

Posted in Episodes by nissarhusseinkhan on February 3, 2010

Welcome to Fonotopia – the world on record.

Our new radio program will resurrect the most beautiful music recorded on 78 rpm discs during the first decades of the 20th century.

Nissar Hussain Khan

Nissar Hussain Khan

Middle Eastern oud masters driving dancers into a frenzy? Romanian cantors memorializing Holocaust victims? American country legends leaving aural suicide notes? Portuguese fado singers celebrating the dignity of the poor? We don’t discriminate. If it’s astounding and it was recorded, you’ll hear it and you’ll learn the story of the people and culture that made it.

Ian Nagoski loves this music to death. The vast scope of his knowledge about it is scary. He tells funny stories. He’ll be your host.

Ian was on WYPR’s Maryland Morning a couple times talking about this music, and MDM producers Lawrence Lanahan and Bruce Wallace got to thinking that people should be able to hear a whole show of this stuff.  We’re currently developing Fonotopia into a full-hour radio program, with a new theme each week. For your listening pleasure, now, please enjoy our first hour of Fonotopia: “Vocal Virtuosi.”

Since we’re still developing Fonotopia, we want—no, need—your feedback. Tell us everything: the ecstasy, the agony, how you’d change what you heard, what you’d like to hear next time. Leave a comment below.

16 Responses

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  1. Angela Sawyer said, on February 3, 2010 at 7:12 pm

    Huzzah! Just got done, and oh what a beauty.

  2. Lord Darkon said, on February 5, 2010 at 3:28 am

    Great! A very comprehensive and accessible alternative take on world music. Ian’s voice and manner are engaging. I hope that WYPR or another NPR affiliate will pick up the show. Can’t wait to hear more!

  3. Susanna Bolle said, on February 11, 2010 at 3:56 am

    Gorgeous stuff! Well done.

  4. peter said, on February 18, 2010 at 2:27 am

    very excited for this show

  5. owlqaeda said, on March 19, 2010 at 6:12 am

    i don’t know u man but i really admire yr work. u seem care about all the important shit. daps for the illuminating sounds.

  6. gakpetor said, on March 25, 2010 at 6:40 pm

    yes! at last we see the light of a worthy successor to the secret museum on the air
    excellent balance of brilliant selections and information and i am looking forward to new episodes already!
    a playlist would be highly appreciated though, particulary because of the many cryptic names that were not so easy to pronounce

  7. Ian Nagoski said, on March 25, 2010 at 10:53 pm

    Thanks, all. Good suggestion about the playlists! I’ll get on that…

  8. Kevin said, on April 15, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    Thank you for doing this! Your notes and stories are just as intriguing as the sonic time-travels themselves. I found this blog after picking up your Black Mirror compilation on a whim and couldn’t believe my luck. Keep ’em coming- can’t get enough!

  9. Brian said, on April 15, 2010 at 11:40 pm

    I really enjoyed episode 1. Really interesting. I am looking foward to listening to the other existing episodes, and can’t wait to hear what type of treasures await in the future.

  10. Cormac O'Donoghue said, on April 16, 2010 at 5:21 am

    well you know what I’d change? nothing really, except I think you shouldn’t be afraid to mention the fact that some of these mighty tunes are available on a recently released LP, “String of Pearls” I think it might be called
    I’m staying up late especially to try and catch up with the back episodes, and that must say something about the Fonotopian lure

  11. john griffith said, on August 22, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    Hello! Happy to be here, this is really excellent stuff. I was saddened to hear of the yodelers’ tragic premature death. I,m looking forward to being able to hear you on itunes.

  12. Santana said, on August 23, 2010 at 10:59 am

    Great music ,Great show.

  13. Nathan M. Godfrey said, on August 23, 2010 at 6:51 pm

    Hello Fonotopia,
    Hearing this stuff is illuminating and makes the past feel much closer and distance so much shorter.
    It would be great if short translations of some of the song thesis or key lines would be available. I find it always increases the scope of feeling and understanding. But I understand if those might be difficult to find.

  14. Ray Milefsky said, on August 27, 2010 at 8:21 am

    Thank goodness for that article about you in the Washington Post Magazine, Ian. I’ve missed seeing you at True Vine and elated you have opened Fonotopia. I would love to hear you on Public Radio. The closest one ever gets to folk music nowadays is that very constricted band of pseudo-folk BlueGrass and World Music is offered up by Putomayo as noble but limited talent from a few politically-correct Third World countries. You show that music has dimensions of breadth, depth, and time. I am always excited, like you, when I bump into a cache of old 78s in languages I don’t understand, but you take what you find and go so much beyond. I hope you can parlay your passion for true world music from the past into a satisfying career.

  15. Melissa Doty said, on September 30, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    I’ve been listening and all I can say is WOW! Fantastic job, Ian.

  16. […] Ian Nagoski […]

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