Archives for posts with tag: First Nations

RPM PODCAST WINS UNITED NATIONS GOLD MEDAL

The audio podcast “Electric Pow Wow” from the RPM Podcast series, produced by Paolo Pietropaolo for MBM Digital, has been awarded the United Nations DPI Gold Medal at the New York Festivals Radio Program and Promotion Awards.

In addition to this special distinction, “Electric Pow Wow” was also awarded a Silver Medal in the Audio Podcast – Culture & the Arts category. As well, “Atheist Pastors”, an episode of the CBC Radio program Tapestry with mix and sound design by Pietropaolo, was awarded a Gold Medal in the Religious Programs category.

On the RPM Podcast, Indigenous music and culture meet in sound. Each episode gives voice to the music, stories, and experiences of Indigenous artists from around the world by exploring a place, idea, or tradition that inspires Indigenous songs and people. “Electric Pow Wow” explores how the pow wow is getting plugged in, mashed up and remixed by 21st century artists.

The RPM Podcast is hosted by Ron Dean Harris (aka Ostwelve), and produced by Pietropaolo, with executive producer Lynn Booth, creative producer Jarrett Martineau, and production manager Christa Couture at Make Believe Media Inc. in Vancouver.

“Atheist Pastors” is hosted by Mary Hynes and was produced for CBC Radio by Tina Pittaway and Nicola Luksic, with mix and sound design by Pietropaolo.

This marks the 7th consecutive year that Pietropaolo’s work has been recognized at the New York Festivals. In all, his productions have received seven Gold Medals, five Silver Medals and one Grand Award (for Best in Festival) during that time.

The New York Festivals have recognized the world’s best work in radio and audio broadcasting for the past 55 years, with winning programs chosen by an international group of judges. Programs from 27 countries competed in this year’s edition.

The United Nations Department of Public Information (UNDPI) Awards, juried separately from the festival by members of the United Nations, honour programming that “best exemplifies the aims and ideals of the United Nations.”

Winners were unveiled at a ceremony in New York on June 18, 2012.

RPM.fm is a fantastic new website devoted to covering indigenous music, operated out of a small office in Vancouver’s Chinatown, in the heart of Coast Salish Territories.

For the past couple of months it’s been my honour and privilege to work with the team over at RPM.fm creating and producing the RPM Podcast, Season 1. So far, there are nine episodes covering various genres and topics, like the music of the North Coast, or New Traditional music, or Native Hip-Hop. Check ‘em all out – you’ll discover fabulous new music by artists with whom you may not be familiar, and hear some pretty interesting stories as well.

Episode 10 will go live Wednesday, November 2nd.

On a personal note – ever since I heard (and fell in love with) Robbie Robertson‘s Music for the Native Americans as a teenager, I’ve listened avidly to the wide array of musics created by the indigenous peoples of North America. They straddle a unique position, culturally: they are creators of music in a variety of genres, but they also carry a common cultural background and history to the music they create that is particular to this part of the world. My friends at RPM call the whole thing Indigenous Music Culture. It defies categorization: it’s not “native music”, yet it is; it’s rock, or it’s hip hop, or country, or traditional music – yet it all belongs under the same umbrella. And yet it belongs also to the broader musical subculture of each genre as well, that may have nothing to do with being indigenous.

In this way the music of the indigenous cultures of North America, for me, offers us a useful and interesting metaphor: that non-Natives and Natives share some elements of the same music (not to mention the same land), while being simultaneously different and yet having many things in common.

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This is what the autumn cattle auction looks like in Okanagan Falls, BC.

I went there in October to speak to some of the ranchers who live in the South Okanagan-Similkameen area of southern British Columbia, near Oliver and Keremeos.

The ranchers are very concerned about a proposal for a National Park which has been underway for about 7 years. If you drive through the area, you can’t miss the NO NATIONAL PARK signs by the side of the highway.

They’re worried a park will threaten their livelihood, because it will mean they’d lose access to crown lands for grazing purposes.

On the flip side, the area is very ecologically sensitive and unique in Canada. It’s a desert-like, arid environment full of endangered species, and park proponents are also concerned – they’re worried that, without a park, development will mean big changes to this beautiful and relatively untouched area.

One of the reasons it’s untouched is because the ranchers and local First Nations have been such good stewards of the land.

But with so much development in the Okanagan Valley, it’s uncertain whether this ecologically sensitive landscape will survive in the long term, and environmentalists say a National Park is urgently needed.

It’s a very complicated situation and the people involved are all very passionate about their particular point of view, whether it’s for or against the park.  I put together this report for All Points West on CBC Radio 1 in BC, giving a general overview of this story about a very beautiful and important part of the province in which I live.


I’m thrilled to announce that my documentary The Sound and the Sea has won a Silver Medal for Best Sound at the 2010 New York Festivals Radio Program and Promotion Awards.

I produced it last year for CBC Radio’s The Current. It was based on my original audio artwork Ode to the Salish Sea. Producing it in documentary format allowed me to explore more deeply the story of the Salish Sea and its various proponents and opponents as a new name for the inland waters stretching from Olympia, WA to Campbell River, BC.

The Salish Sea became an official geographic name in July, 2010, overlaying but not replacing existing place names like the Strait of Georgia and Puget Sound, which also remain official.

The sound design of The Sound and the Sea was inspired by the diversity and beauty of the Pacific Northwest.

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