Communicational Hegemony vs. Mozart

Bye-bye, Don Giovanni...
Bye-bye, Don Giovanni…

This piece of news made me desperately sad.

Caracas’s lone classical music radio station, the Emisora Cultural, is now off the air in Caracas after CONATEL failed to process its request for a broadcast license extension, handing its slice of the spectrum instead to the umpteen zillionth brash, crass latin pop station.

The station will remain active online, and on its 97.3 frequency out of Guatire – which you can’t really hear clearly in most of the capital.

And so it’s curtains for perhaps the last remaining haven for radio listeners not into reggaeton, rambling chavista extremism or baseball. Just like that, another little bit of what remained of our public sphere dies.

Emisora Cultural has a special place in my heart. Probably because my mom was into classical music and so we’d listen to it often when I was a kid. In those days, in the early 80s, it was the only FM station in Caracas. You wouldn’t even say “hey, let’s put on 97.7”, you’d just say “switch it to FM” when you wanted to hear classical music. For years, before moving abroad, I thought FM radio was only capable of broadcasting classical music!

For some time now I’ve been writing from the other side of the hope Event Horizon, so it’s not really often that a piece of news about Venezuela actually makes me sad. But hearing this I really felt a little part of my childhood die. My heart is broken.