When Radio Garden starts to load, the words “planting seeds” appears on the screen. Then a virtual globe appears around which you travel to tune into thousands of live radio stations around the world. “By bringing distant voices close, radio connects people and places” reads its mission statement that started as an art work.

The first thing I listened to was a touching conversation with an indigenous tribal elder on Nuxalk Radio of Bella Coola in far British Columbia. He spoke about how the coronavirus and sheltering in place are impacting his community. It affirmed what “we are all in this together” means.

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The experience of homing in on stations has something of the quality of a short wave radio, magically pulling in mysterious distant voices. From Radio Plato in Minsk, Belarus came quiet humming music..then a Missa Luba-like choir singing in French from Brazzaville, Republic of Congo…call-and-chant from Algiers…

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Plus and minus buttons allow you to zoom in or out to put the station in geographical context, creating a surprising intimacy. Radio Garden remembers your last station so when you visit you can resume your travels…

It is one of the incredibly beautiful gifts that have arrived the past few weeks, forging connection and a big affirmation of humanity amidst the darkness of the times.

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