WISDOM: A PORTRAIT SERIES
T O M R A V E N S C R O F T
Radio presenter + Broadcaster + DJ
BBC Radio 6 Music
I. Over the last year I have experienced the fairly common but rather dramatic change of having a baby son. I have been trying to go about things in the same way I have done for the past three years and am slowly coming to terms with the fact that this isn’t possible. The best thing about my job is how social it is, particularly in the evenings; and the boy obviously doesn’t tie in too well with this. What a selfish baby. At first I tried strapping him onto my back, heading off into the British countryside to music festivals, thinking we could have fun together, that he would be my musical companion. We could make discoveries together; have chats from on my back about how great it is that bands are getting noisy again, or how funny it is that Grime has taken over the world. In reality he’s not quite ready yet, in fact it would appear he hates festivals. Even within the home seems to only enjoy techno and 90’s Zimbabwean music.
II. I don’t really have any dealings with the business side of the music industry, in fact I have no idea what goes on at all. I rather like it that way. In the same way that I can’t play any musical instruments and have no idea how records are put together. It leaves me to just be a fan, albeit a fairly ignorant one. An irritation that has occurred in the past couple of years is the fact that it seems every band that has ever existed has now reunited and is touring again. This has meant that there is less room for new and emerging artists to perform in the larger venues and bigger stages at festivals. I’m not a huge fan of nostalgia in music, I’d like it if fewer ‘legends’ would stop hogging all the stages and give everyone else a go. Unless you’re Neil Young, in which case stay up there as long as you like.
III. Not so much a practice but an activity. I spend a lot of time fixing things up, looking for bit of woods to sand and paint, things to screw down around the house. Partly because I enjoy fixing things and making them look nice but mainly as I can’t just sit in front of a stereo staring at the lights and just listening. Music has to always be accompanying something else I’m doing, something physical. I have to occasionally create things for it to accompany. I bought a house in disrepair a number of years ago and got into the habit of building radio shows and sifting through music whilst trying to make a home. I felt a little lost when I'd finished it, I missed the slightly odd pairing. I have since moved into another wreck to do the same thing again. Piles of CDs under piles of sawdust, I may have developed a bit of an addiction for it. I fear finishing the house I’m in, perhaps I’ll have to move again, I hate moving, especially the CDs.
IV. We need to talk more about music from other parts of the world, other than the U.K and U.S.
V. I am for scrapping radio playlists and allowing more DJ created programming on the airwaves.