The image of amateur radio enthusiasts is indelibly linked in my mind to that of Tony Hancock. But it seems they’re a much more inspiring bunch than that, as this fascinating feature shows.
Since the beginning of the space age, “hams” have been intercepting transmissions from space and, in the case of astronaut Owen K Garriott, taking amateur radio broadcasts onto space stations.
“Found space-sound” artist Caroline Devine weaves these transmissions into her own composition, combining them with ethereal sounds of space to hypnotic effect. It’s a space oddity, but entrancing and magical.
ABOUT THIS PROGRAMME
Sound artist Caroline Devine celebrates amateur radio and space exploration with a composition featuring the ethereal sounds of the cosmos and the ham enthusiasts who recorded them. Owen K Garriott reveals why he was the first astronaut to take amateur radio into space, and there’s newly released archive of US radio operator Roy Welch, who immediately after Sputnik’s launch, rigged up a makeshift station, looking up to the night sky as the satellite’s eerie beat found voice in his ramshackle equipment.