StationStories: Sarah, volunteer 1986

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Sarah was a host on a KALX comedy show called "Radio Trauma" in 1986.

"I started volunteering for KALX in about 1986. It had long been my main go-to station since my punk teen years in the early 80s. My interest in music branched out into an interest in experimental sound design and prank-based artwork, in acts ranging from Contra Costa County's NegativLand to Southern California's John Trubee. 

I had been playing around a little bit with sound design as well, honestly going back to being a kid with a reel-to-reel tape recorder who was fascinated with foley effects and incidental music in old cartoons. 

I don't actually remember the genesis of getting involved with the "Radio Trauma" team, but I seem to recall that I have been listening to the show and heard they were looking for volunteers. I believe this would've been early 1986 that I started going in on Friday evenings to help produce a show we'd have ready by midnight.

We did a variety of subjects - each show had a theme. One was a terrible nightclub act based on an easy listening album we probably found at a thrift store, one was taking a religious tract and turning it into a radio play, substituting "reward in heaven" with "cookies and milk". Some shows were more free form and abstract as well. We had a lot of fun. It was very ephemeral work.

My interest in sound art continued into and through grad school. The KALX experience was especially memorable for the creative freedom we had and for the richness of the collaborations." 

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