The Sound of Silence

Music In me best Radio Times letter writing style:
Dear Radio Times,

Just before one o'clock on Monday 6th August, Radio 3 dropped from the airwaves. I was waiting for the start of Proms Chamber Music 4 and once a trailer had ended, silence. The obvious joke would be to suggest that they were playing a recording of John Cage's 4'33" but even then, you'd hear the sound of a concert hall or studio. But all I could hear was a bit of static!

When I was at school I attended a career's fair in which the BBC News's Nick Garnett (then still working for local radio) talked about this happening to him and how he'd been told off by his producer because the null space on the sound waves tends to panic the listener. He's wasn't wrong!

At first I thought I'd gone deaf because of all the music I've been listening to. I checked my headphones. Then I checked my digital radio. I tuned in my analogue radio and nothing there either. I even checked my Freeview signal. Silence. Radio 2 was still broadcasting but someone had actually broken Radio 3!

Then crowd noise faded up, presumably from Cadogan Hall and then the announcer chimed in to introduce the Henschel Quartet. At the end of the sublime concert, the Radio 3 continuity person apologised for the gap, putting it down to technical difficulties. In other words, someone had just pressed the wrong button. It's just so unusual for this kind of thing to happen at the BBC and for that length of time!

Good job I took it in my stride and didn't run around testing all the radios isn't it!

Name and address supplied.
That's a prize winning letter right there!


Anonymous said...

Did you actually send that ?

Stuart Ian Burns said...

Do you think I should?