Brian's Blogs

Ruang Remadja

My first real job in the BBC, apart from some of the things I got up to working in the summer vacations, was as a sound engineer in the BBC's language services.

I was assigned to work with the BBC Far Eastern Services, which in the 1970s broadcast in Mandarin, Cantonese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Malay, Thai and Indonesian.

I got on well with the "Seksi Indonesia" who taught me some Bahasa and encouraged me to broadcast with them, most notably in a youth programme called Ruang Remadja.

Listening to some of those old recordings nowadays is embarrassing to say the least! I would write the script in English, a lovely lady called Sus Pudjo would translate it, and I would then read out the translated script in front of the microphone.

Here are two of those recordings....

British Commercial Radio - 12th October 1973
This was probably the first time that the BBC had played recordings of any of the pirate radio stations that broadcast to Britain from the North Sea in the 1960s. I remember having to get special permission to be allowed to broadcast such recordings over the hallowed airwaves of the BBC!

It looks back at their history, starting with the Scandinavian broadcasters Radio Nord, Syd and Mercur, the Dutch stations Veronica, CNBC, Eulenspiegel and Nordsee, moving on to Radios London, Invicta, 390, England, Britain, Scotland, City, 355, Caroline, and North Sea International. lt also looks at the start of BBC local radio in the UK as well as a pirate radio station - Capital Radio (not the Capital Radio broadcasting nowadays) which recorded much of its output in the BBC's own studios!


Indonesian influence on Western Music - 12th July 1974
Amazingly, for some Indonesian listeners, their musical tradition has influenced a number of western composers such as Benjamin Britten, Debussy, Messiaen and even pop musicians such as Mike Oldfield....


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