Student Radio Maastricht – ideas and sounds
Are you looking for audio content by students for students, community news, music, recommendations and interviews? Then tune in to Student Radio Maastricht! Or pod-catch it, or whatever it is you young people do…
Student Radio Maastricht (SRM) is a platform that facilitates students who want to produce audio podcasts. One of those podcasts is Maastricht Cultured, where Lotte van Wageningen interviews the people behind various cultural endeavours in and around Maastricht. "Concerts in the conservatory, exhibitions in the arts academy, lectures, a thriving jazz scene, spoken word performances, open mic nights, etc. - There is so much going on in Maastricht!"
Less polished – more authentic
Lotte follows the UM master’s programme Mental Health and is also on the board of SRM. "They needed someone Dutch in the team," she laughs. Maastricht Cultured started out as a written column for FASoS student magazine Mosaïek. “I liked writing but I enjoyed the recordings of the interviews more, so podcasting was a logical move.”
The transition from writing to recording a podcast came natural for Lotte, but there were difficulties. “You have a lot less control; it’s less polished – but that’s exactly what I like about it. The more you edit, the less nice it becomes.” Balancing a natural conversational flow with the attention span of the listener is also a challenge. “You have to intervene if people ramble on too much – but you don’t want to interrupt the general flow of the conversation.”
Becoming a better listener
“I really enjoy the autonomy and spontaneity! At the same time, you have to prepare a lot and think about questions and narrative in advance.” She puts her interviewing skills down, in parts, to her training in psychology. “More than anything, you learn to become a good listener and thereby better at asking the right questions. Apart from the educational and entertainment value, she sees learning patient, mindful listening as the format’s main benefit.
Lotte is from Maastricht originally but found it very small growing up – she couldn’t wait to leave for the Randstad, “where culture happens”. “I wasn’t looking forward to coming back after five years. I only did it because Maastricht is the best place in the Netherlands to study mental health.” Most of her friends from high school had left by then. It was, in many ways, a fresh start as part of the international community.
Exploring Maastricht’s alternative, cultural scene
She rediscovered Maastricht through the eyes of an international student – and found a much more international and vibrant city than she had remembered. “I became really enthusiastic. It was so exciting to hear all those different languages in the street and find out about all the cultural and non-profit events going on everywhere.”
That’s how the idea for Maastricht Cultured was born: a desire to inspire students born and raised in Maastricht to rediscover their city. “I wanted to share all those hidden gems, to shine a light on that side of Maastricht.” From student associations to squats, there is much to discover beyond established pubs and cafes. “The theatre academy in Maastricht, for example, is really prestigious and they give free performances – but not enough people know about that.”
Student Radio Maastricht try to encourage and facilitate people with ideas trying to find a voice. “We invite them to go over their podcast idea and discuss possible approaches. Then we help them make jingles, work the recording equipment and of course the editing software.” The board members hope that the project becomes established and sustainable before they graduate and move on.
A step forward – into a traditional medium
The trajectory is very promising: they came 3rd in UM’s student idea competition and recently received funding from code 043 – which they invested in better recording equipment. The only thing missing is an actual studio, but that is also about to change. Student Radio Maastricht will collaborate with RTV , Maastricht’s local radio station, who will provide them with a few hours of studio space and one hour of airtime per week, starting 10 April 2019.
“We’re really excited about it! We were thinking of combining an overview of upcoming cultural activities with live interviews. We are still looking for DJs, storytellers, cultural entrepreneurs or event organisers!” So if you want to help Student Radio Maastricht offer an antidote to an overly visual world, contact them!