Skylark FM - a new radio station for Dartmoor

by Skylark in Buckfastleigh, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 22nd May 2020 we successfully raised £5,193 with 98 supporters in 28 days

We need £5,000 to launch a unique FM radio station, to bring connection, companionship and cheer between people living on Dartmoor.

by Skylark in Buckfastleigh, England, United Kingdom

New stretch target

We can launch Skylark on a shoestring, no worries. But if we raise more we can get portable audio equipment out to those who need it most, and make sure they can record and broadcast their life stories, poetry, field recordings and more.


Skylark is a unique FM radio station for Dartmoor that gives voice to the landscape.

An ever-changing and continuous broadcast weaves together oral histories, new music, and live audio streams from people, animals, plants and weather, into an endless and evolving song.

  • We are licensed and ready to go, but we can't make this happen without your help to buy the transmitters
  • We will reach the most isolated people through good old fashioned FM throughout the Covid 19 crisis.
  • This design of the station, with no fixed studio, means those in isolation can can have a voice and share their experiences from home.
  • Unlike any other station we'll broadcast a single, continuously evolving sound piece instead of radio programmes. 
  • This completely radical approach to radio is essential right now.

 

Our unique radio station, with mobile recording units instead of a single studio, means that we are ready to produce a full schedule of local voices and sounds wherever they are to be found. We're supporting Dartmoor residents to create their own content and send it in to us, and breathing new life into locally-sourced archive material.

Community radio is urgently needed to foster a sense of connection in remote rural areas, enabling us all to reach out and listen to one another. The health crisis we are living through at present exacerbates an already worrying situation for people in isolated areas who are cut off from neighbours, shops, doctors, and public transport. Skylark will broadcast to listeners on the robust technology of good old fashioned FM radio, enabling us to reach people who have no internet access or capability. People of all ages can tune in to hear one another's voices blended with sounds of wildlife, and discover current affairs beautifully interwoven with old stories of Dartmoor. All thanks to our bespoke sound-mixing algorithm.

Ofcom have awarded us a licence to broadcast a continuous sound piece, on 105.8 and 107.6 FM, full time over Dartmoor.

All we need to get up and running is to purchase two transmitters and antennae ready to launch this Summer. These will be fitted to pre-existing infrastructure, which keeps our project costs low and won't have a visual impact on the landscape.

This map indicates the locations of the infrastructure we're using:

Create Skylark with us by recording and submitting your sounds.

What we are looking for:

Voice recordings

Dartmoor people talking about their lives. This could be conversations with neighbours, oral history material from archives, or home-recorded cassettes featuring voices from decades ago.

Found texts - things on notice boards, words sprayed onto roads, a shopping list.

Interviews with experts - farmers, conservationists, campaigners, archaeologists.

Readings of original, or out of copyright texts. These might be poems about Dartmoor or by local writers; old, non-fiction books or your original stories or poems. Or your own retelling of traditional tales. 

Here's a text to try out - you can submit your recording on the Skylark website

From Devonshire Characters and Strange Events, Sabine Baring Gould

John Fitz was riding over the moor one day with his wife, when they lost their direction, were, in fact, pixy-led, and they floundered through bogs, and could nowhere hit on the packhorse track that led across the moors from Moreton Hampstead to Tavistock. Exhausted and parched with thirst they lighted on a crystal stream, dismounted, and drank copiously of the water. Not only were they refreshed, but at once John Fitz’s eyes were opened, the spell on him was undone, and he knew where he was and which direction he should take. Thereupon he raised his hand and vowed he would honour that well, so that such travellers as were pixy-led might drink at it and dispel the power over them exercised by the pixies. The spring still flows and rises under a granite structure erected in fulfilment of his vow by John Fitz; it bears his initials and the date 1568 in raised figures and letters on the covering stone. Formerly it was on a slope in the midst of moorland away from the main track, near the Blackabrook. Now it is enclosed in the reclaimed tract made into meadows by the convicts of Princetown. Happily the structure has not been destroyed: it is surrounded by a protecting wall.

Field recordings

Sounds of nature, and of everyday life. Record yourself cooking at home, a snoring cat, your daily walk. Start a recording and then leave it running for 10 minutes, near something interesting - a bush where birds gather, some running water or crickets in long grass

Music

The continuous sound of the broadcasts will be tied together with reoccurring musical notes, chords and phrases. We invite musicians to record these on any instrument and send them in to us. Here's some for this month:

Visit skylark.fm to find out more, ask a question or take part.

We ask project owners to honour their rewards wherever possible but please note that all pledges are donations and there is no guarantee that you will receive any rewards from the project owner. Please see Crowdfunder's Terms of Use for more information regarding rewards for pledges.

Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£50 or more

10 of 50 claimed

Half-day listening walk

Pledge £50 today and we'll reward you with a place on a Dartmoor listening walk with an artist, writer or other expert once it's safe to meet up. We anticipate these will take place in Spring 2021. PLEDGE NOW> CLAIM LATER

£10 or more

£10 Donation

Give £10 to help Skylark to fly. We'll thank you on air.

£20 or more

19 of 200 claimed

Skylark Bag

Limited edition, artist designed, printed bags made of strong, sustainable, cotton canvas.

£25 or more

10 of 50 claimed

£25 Tape release

A special limited edition tape featuring sounds and stories of Dartmoor curated by Tony Whitehead.

£100 or more

2 of 50 claimed

£100 Dartmoor Experience Day

Pledge £100 today and we'll reward you with a place on a unique, full day Dartmoor experience, where you will record and create original audio for broadcast on Skylark. We'll visit a range of beautiful places, and stop for a really nice lunch. We anticipate these will take place in Spring 2021. PLEDGE NOW> CLAIM LATER

£200 or more

0 of 5 claimed

£200 Community Workshop at a future date.

Pledge £200 to Skylark, and we will bring an expert out to your school, business or community group in the Dartmoor area, to deliver a one day workshop suitable for your learners. We are experienced working with all ages and abilities. By the end of the day everyone will have made some unique content for broadcast on Skylark. We can work with a group of up to 20 people, so this is a great bargain.

£200 or more

0 of 5 claimed

£200 life story recording

One of our expert sound recordists will meet with you to record your memories, then edit the audio for you to keep on CD and as an mp3. If these include Dartmoor memories, we'll broadcast them on Skylark as well. Recordings will take place once it is safe to meet up, or at a safe distance.

£500 or more

2 of 2 claimed

Dedicate a transmitter

We will dedicate one of our transmitters in the name of an individual or community organisation, and present you with a one-off artwork of your transmission site.

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