In 1987, during preliminary dating in a phone conversation with my future spouse, we both had our radios on when the 11:00 pm theme music of New Sounds came on from both sides. Yes we had much more in common than we thought. Perhaps that sealed our fate.
The show was my introduction to Riley, Reich, Eno, Laraaji and Mother Mallard; the beginning of an age of aural enlightenment. I was listening one night in 1982/83 when John played David Borden's Continuing Story of Counterpoint, Part 6 from the album Music for Amplified Keyboard Instruments. I purchased the album the next day from J&R, and did the same for may other works I listened to for the first time on John's program. Thanks John.
Geez, sorry I missed this. I think I exposed John to some music he had never heard, like the four horsemen of the apocalypse album that we picked up in greewich village circa 1978?
Best to you John.
hope you guys are sill reading these.
John Schaefer changed my life. Plain and Simple. In 1983, I came home a bit after 11pm, put WNYC on. A fave station, since I loved classical, baroque and NPR news. Then..WHAT!?!?? Yes, Coming out of the speakers: pure bliss. Threw a cassette in. Had to get this (remember those days, recording radio?). A playlist unfolded of artists who are STILL some of my faves: Laurie Anderson, Philip Glass, Jan Hammer w Jack DeJohnette. I was hooked. Couldn't wait for my 2nd night of New Sounds. To this day when I hear the classic Brian Eno theme music, there's a Pavlovian "New Sounds is on!" response. Over the next few years, John turned me (and countless) onto Popol Vuh, Steve Reich, Cluster, Eskimo music, Shiv Kumar Sharma, Gamelan music, Scott Johnson, music from EVERY corner of the world and so much more. He told you about the artists & put things in context. He had themed shows so you saw the common threads between disparate musics. Thanks to this on-air classroom, I went on to study world music and electronic music with Philip Corner & Daniel Goode, both well known in the downtown NYC avant scene, and to tour with Don Preston, who I arranged with John to have on the show in 2005. The circle completed when I was touring with Adrian Belew (His guitar tech for several yrs), and we played a festival in Adelaide Australia. The MC? John Schaefer. These 30 years would NOT have been the way they are without JOHN & NEW SOUNDS. Thank you John!! 30 more yrs! (listening online right now from home in NC)
Riding in a Taxi cab, I asked the driver the music played on his radio.
He stated that every week-end he listens to J.Schwartz, and enjoys the old time and new music played and the comments, stories and the 'small talk'.
I loved it, and started to follow the radio show myself at home ea. week-end.
A new listener
It was 1983 when I was a art school freshman living in the big apple staying up all night to complete drawing assignments when I first heard John Schaefer's show! It was eye and ear opening! I looked forward to those late night sessions accompanied by his soundtrack. It was a new way to think about music and sound but also Mr. Schaefer helped me to understand what art is. I live in Seoul now and have thought a lot about that experience and his contribution have shaped my musical taste. I miss listening to the radio, but now I can download it! Thank you!
Seoul, South Korea
I was taking a taxi from Manhattan home to Sunnyside Queens in the early 80s. The driver was listening to this amazing, ethereal music, unlike anything I'd ever heard before. I asked him about it, and he told me it was a WNYC program called New Sounds. He stopped the cab so I could move to the front seat to hear better. It was the best taxi ride ever, and I gave him a very nice tip. I've been listening ever since.
David R. Yale, Author, Pun Enchanted Evenings
It was late one night in the spring of 1992, and I was up working on my college thesis, and sometimes, late at night, the faint sounds of WBUR in Boston made it all the way to Providence, RI, and that night there was an utterly captivating piece of music, unlike anything I'd ever heard, and I stopped what I was doing and listened to Kevin Volans' "White Man Sleeps" on New Sounds. From then on, I was hooked, and when I moved to NYC a few months later, I listened to New Sounds nearly every single night for the next ten years. Most of what I know about music now is from John, and from the paths the music he presented took me. When I moved to San Francisco in 2000, New Sounds was one of the things I missed most - until it became available, thankfully as a podcast. I'm so grateful for the past 20 years of discoveries and delights! Thanks John!
I worked and lived in NYC in 1989 my best memory of the city and its culture was New Sounds the program, and the remarkable Book with the same name that was my music guide many years after living NY ( its time for a new version…)
Now after moor then twenty years and changes of trends, culture and from another part of the globe, I still listen to the same great program, for me New sounds and John Schaefer is the essence of cloture, music and NY
Israel, Tel Aviv
*A* time? I learned about New Sounds in the '80s; was thrilled the show opened with an Eno piece. I would record the show on cassette, then listen to it the next day on the bus ride to work. Sometimes the whole show would be amazing. Other shows were maybe not so enjoyable (and I'd skip through pieces). But no matter; I learned what was out there, who was doing what, what I liked, and what I didn't.
I couldn't begin to list all the music I learned about. New Sounds has been a life-changer.
Of the many things I missed when I moved away out of NYC was the amazing diversity of radio, top-most New Sounds. Then I learned of the Web site and the show MP3s. I listen to New Sounds now when I go running. Good for heart, mind, and soul.
Looking forward to the next 30.
I got to know about Mr. Schaefer way back to the Summer of 1989 when I first arrived to the States as a foreign student, listening to New Sounds in the first week I arrived. I thought, wow! New York is amazing, with such an incredible radio program, playing all the cool music and stuffs! And I thought who is this guy? I bought his book, and learned a lot of new music. New Sounds radio programs and live concerts kept me alive in those a Taiwanese in New York years! I later decided to devote myself to music as a career because of this program. And in 1993 I decided to bring New Sounds program to Taiwan and got to know Mr. Schaefer in person. Mr. Schaefer was generous enough to let me produced the Mandarin version, which was aired one program per week from 3-4 AM in Taiwan for about 6 months. Though a strang time slot, the radio station got fairly good responses and asked me to continute to produce this show. Later due to my graduate study in Montreal, I stoped producing the show. In the past 20 some years, New Sounds has always been my No. 1 radio show that keeps me going, like a monk who needs his mantra. I listen to New Sounds in New York City, Montreal, Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, and everywhere I have lived since 1989. Mr. Schaefer, I cannot say enough to thank you. And I am really honor to get to know you. And you have way way impacts to many of us. And not to mention the also incredible Sound Check program. What an incredible career and achievements that you have created! You are one of my heroes.
Tang Chun Mike Li.
From Taipei, Taiwan
Tang Chun Mike Li
JUST IN GENERAL,IVE TURNED MANY A PERSON,ON TO JOHNS SHOW.I ALWAYS THOUGHT,I WAS WELL ROUNDED,BUT JOHN BLOWS ME AWAY.A BREATH,OF FRESH AIR,ON THE RADIO.I AM LOOKING FOWARD,TO MORE OF THE SAME.LOVE HIS VOICE,AN ATTITUDE.BLESS YOU JOHN.HAPPY NEW YEAR PEACE KJ [\]
KEVIN J ROTHMAN
To pick only one time that John opened my ears to worlds of music is to say pick one day in the 29+ years I've been listening to the show.
Maybe I'd choose La Mont Young, just because when I first heard his work played I didn't think musicians made those sounds or created such atmospheres.
I'm sure John has opened up many, many others to wonderful worlds of sound. I'm grateful to be able to listen to him every time I can.
My most mind-blowing Schaefer moment (and there are a few) is the episode that was just variations on "Chantorai por Mon Corage". I've always been drawn to medieval; its part of my history/fantasy obsession, but I never heard any until this episode. Keep it up, John! (no, seriously, don't leave WNYC until I'm 80)
Park Slope, Brooklyn
I have just attended YET ANOTHER marvelous evening of New Music thanks to John Schaefer. One night it's the Contact Series at the Met Museum, a few weeks ago it was Chernobyl folk songs at the Ukrainian Museum.
I have been listening to him at least since I first moved to the city in 1997. Schaefer FM is the BEST innovation of WNYC; I hope you guys are smart enough to figure out how to keep it as a PERMANENT part of your internet stream. The entire archive of New Sounds and Soundcheck should be played on its own channel, so that listeners can dip in and be surprised as I have been every night at 11 (and/or 2 in the afternoon.)
I would nominate him as the best propagator and backer of new music in New York City, USA and the world. At least my world.
John had a show about The Cult of the Black Madonna. One of the Black Madonna's looks over my family hometown in Sicily so my ears perked up at the mention of her. I then went to see the musician at St. John the Divine, and I was so inspired by the church that I went to my first New York Christmas mass there.
One day in the early 1980s I was listening to New Sounds -- I was newly married, we listened almost every night, and all I can say, in the less said the better category, is that I'm glad the show has lasted 30 years and glad the marriage didn't -- and John put on a record that haunted me immediately, has haunted me since, and introduced me to the true range of possibilities in new recorded music: Gavin Bryars' Jesus Blood Never Failed Me Yet. I'm sure many people will mention Bryar as someone we got from you, John. You amaze me, almost daily, you have amazed me for three decades, and please know that you are one of the blessings of being alive and sentient in New York since Reagan took office (oy). I also love when your brother calls in from deepest Queens (where I went to Catholic HS) to argue important theological points of classic rock. Two men on the radio have had an emormous and blessed affect on my life: you and Jean Shepherd. A thousand thank you's. -- Vince Passaro
New York City
I’m John’s youngest brother. I guess it was 2005 when I was picked up from the oral surgeon’s office by our father, woozy and delirious from anesthetics I needed someone to pick me up. So Dad takes me back to our childhood home and I promptly fall asleep on their couch listening to my ipod, I had just gotten into "Bloc Party" and was listening to their newest album. When I awoke still drowsy and confused, my ipod dead, eyes still closed, I could hear John's voice and he was interviewing lead singer from "Bloc Party", "Kele" Rowland Okereke. They were talking about soccer and food. I must be dreaming, I thought. Admittedly, I didn’t listen to "Soundcheck", it was beyond my comprehension of music, but my mother sure did. Every single day at 2pm and she had it on, and sure enough, she had it on that day while I was on their couch. It was a case of eerie coincidence, but it taught me a lesson. John has amazing guests, a world of knowledge and a wide variety of different music. Since that day, I try and catch John’s show whenever I can.
Since the late 80's, John Schaefer's show has been the most valued source of good new music for me. There have been nights alone, where I laid in bed in the dark listening to records I never knew existed, and I was calm and happy and overwhelmed. Sometimes, I was brought to tears, the stuff was so good, so interesting. Thanks so much for making this life so rich.
New York City
In John Schaefer's first decade of New Sounds, I fell asleep to his choices nearly every night. It was the first place I heard the Tuva throat singers, and Gavin Bryars ("Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet"), and a group of I think Vietnamese immigrants to South Texas who played the most amazing mix of Asian and Texian music.
I did not know those kinds of music existed, I could not have imagined them.