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By Sarah Lasch
Beginning this Friday at 6 p.m., CHRW 94.7 FM will be airing a weekly, four-part rock documentary aimed at creating excitement for the London music scene.
The documentary, Aural History, highlights interviews from local bands and personalities and features the past, present and future of the London music scene.
"I was curious about such a thriving music scene in a town like London, which seems to be conservative," said Zena Sharman, a fourth-year media, information and technoculture and political science student, who produced the series. "There is crazy, experimental music like the Nihilist Spasm bands that started out in 1965. They're still thriving and playing today," she said.
"I want to show people that London is not so boring. The purpose is to make local residents and students at Western realize that the music scene here is a lot more than the Richmond Row," Sharman said.
Originally from Thunder Bay, Sharman said she has been going to rock shows since she was 14. "I came to London for university and I started listening to local radio stations. I got involved with CHRW and discovered the scene here," she said.
"I hope this will help band networking and spur the creativity and talent that is so abundant here in London," she said.
Tom Everett, program director for CHRW, said he is very excited about the project. "Zena came to me in the fall and told me that she wanted to do it. I thought it was a fantastic idea," he said.
"It started out small. She was going to interview 15 or 16 people, but the list kept growing. People got really excited about it and word spread. Now it's grown to four hours," he said, adding the project is a huge undertaking for a full-time student.
Everett also said the documentary has already created a huge response, even before airing. "It's already been a unifying factor. People are talking to each other, they're talking about older bands. It has got them thinking, digging up old tapes and listening to the music again," he said.
Bryan Webb has been involved in the London punk and indie scene, since he was 14 and is a member of The Constantines, one of the bands featured in the documentary. He said he hopes it will help create enthusiasm and publicity for local music.
"During the last year, there has been a huge resurgence of the scene. There are so many amazing bands and amazing people. Hopefully [Aural History] will draw attention to people who have played a role in the music scene," he said, adding the documentary will also help up and coming bands.
"All the research has been done with a lot of care and enthusiasm, which is so good. Enthusiasm is one of the most important things to help local music," Webb said. "So far, there has been a huge response," he said. "We definitely owe Zena a lot of gratitude for what she's done."