Getting to Fifth Bass

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It began as a dare…

In the Radio Spiral chat room a couple of weeks ago, a gauntlet was thrown. A certain denizen who shall remain nameless declared that “if Radio Spiral plays a track with five simultaneous bass lines, I’ll run through town naked.” Another denizen shortly thereafter suggested that any program that included such a track should be called “Getting to Fifth Bass”. And so an episode was born.

We tossed the challenge out to the interwebz, and today’s program is the result. We have tracks that vary widely in terms of approach, sound, and mood.

Today’s episode features mostly tracks written specifically for this episode. Some are being released as singles, a few are part of upcoming or previous releases, and they are as wildly varying in nature as their composers.

Be sure to turn on your subwoofers for this one, my friends — and warn your neighbors!

Into the Storm

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This edition of At Water’s Edge takes us into the eye of the storm with sounds of rain, thunder, and wind, along with tracks inspired by those sounds. Artists include Kit Watkins, Loren Nerell, Janne Hanhisuanto, James Shain, David Gerard, Paul Harriman, and so much more, including works created specifically for this episode.

NOTE: This program is long! Because there was no Edison’s Ephemera this week, and because there’s so much great Storm music, we’re going five hours! Sit back, and ride the storm with us…

Vox Ex Machina

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While rhythm is the earth’s first instrument, the human voice is ours. We wail (most of us) straight out of the womb, we use it to express ourselves in so many different ways from the very beginning and through our lives. Sorrow, joy, ecstasy, tragedy, collaboration, humor, and more.

This edition of At Water’s Edge focuses on the voice in music in obvious and non-obvious ways. The music you’ll hear on this program includes voices that are used as we are familiar with them, some include lyrics, some are spoken, others are sung, many are highly altered and heavily processed.

Music Among Friends

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One of the best parts of making music is making music together. The ambient community has a reputation for being solitary and isolated, but in fact great collaborations happen quite often. Today’s show is devoted to some of those collaborations — and this barely scratches the surface of what’s available.

At Water’s Edge at Water’s Edge at water’s edge

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The relentless motion of water against the land transforms the shoreline over and over again until, over time, a visitor may not even recognize it. It is the place where journeys begin, and where many end. It can be both beautiful and treacherous, gentle and tumultuous, calm and raging.

Water’s edge, land’s end, that convergence of land and sea and sky, is where great magic happens.

Fête (Faites) de la Musique

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In honor of the immense celebration that Fête (Faites) de la Musique has become — where the world can change — we present an entire program of tracks that were originally performed live.


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Where At Water’s Edge is now located (at Water’s Edge, at water’s edge), there is often a “marine layer” in the morning, or even throughout the day this time of year. We call it “June Gloom”.

So this edition of At Water’s Edge is about Clouds.


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Unity. Connection. Together. We. All. This edition of At Water’s Edge is about the deep connection we share amongst our fellow humans, our fellow creatures, and all of creation (however you want to name it). The world has gone insane — or maybe it was never *not* sane — and the thing we lose sight of in all the madness is that each action has consequences reaching far beyond the immediate surroundings. Pull a thread here, and the design over *there* is broken. Do good here, and the love over *there* grows exponentially.


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This edition of At Water’s Edge revolves around calm, meditation, breathing, singing, the world’s winds, and other images of serenity and peace. We need to breathe, now more than ever, and it’s getting more and more difficult to do — literally and figuratively. The climate is spiraling away from human habitability due to our protracted mismanagement; politics send us into hourly panics, no matter what side of any given issue we might be.

So this program is a reminder to breathe, which is often much easier said than done.

Christopher Alvarado

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This is the type of program we live for: interviews and live music! We feature previous tracks and live music from Christopher Alvarado on this edition of At Water’s Edge.

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