Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Dave Baxter = cauldronfm = an interview

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                What inspired you to set up the radio station?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Well that is a difficult question - many things have inspired me to do it. So to be able to answer fully I need to go back in history. I have always been involved with the entertainment industry, from the early age of 5 I was on stage, at 11 I was studying music with the London College of Music. By the age of 15 I was playing in a band, songwriting and had my first song published by a company called Belsize. I continued life as a musician through various ups and downs and eventually set up an artist management company called Westworld  My songwriting consisted of what I would call "normal work" but then I went to Glastonbury and that visit changed my songwriting style and my life forever. During this trip to Glastonbury I met a person who asked me why I had gone to Glastonbury. I could not answer him properly until several days later when I went to the top of the Tor and that revealed to me why I had gone to Glastonbury. From that visit onwards a love affair began and I could not get enough of the place and that love affair continues to this day. During one of my visits in 1989 I did a meditation on the top of the Tor at 5.30am and during that meditation my whole future spread out before me like a roadmap on the satnav. As a result of that meditation I was inspired to write my very first album of instrumental music. In its very rough state I took the basis of that album to a company that was called Pagan Media and they had a record label of the same name. The owner – Steve – really liked what he heard and on the basis of that he offered me a single album deal with an option to extend. We continued to produce the album and although I changed recording studios in mid – stream so to say Pagan Media stuck by their promise and they released the album once it was finished. The album was called Somerset Story and it was only deleted from their catalogue in the USA 3 years ago. During the time we were recording the album I was also working with Halton Borough Council as a freelance consultant to develop a community music project. One part of this project was to set up a community radio station and I was invited to go into the broadcast studio and be interviewed about the album Somerset Story. (The DJ who interviewed me went on to become a senior lecturer at the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts) As a result of that interview I was offered a presenting post on the next round of broadcasts which were to take place some 6 months later. I was unsure about accepting the offer but I did and thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. So I suppose you could say the die was cast and the seed was sown. Lots of things happened with the band and the work I was doing we were scouted by London Records, I became the Musical Director for the Spotlight Theatre Company, worked with a duo, recorded with OMD and much much more. But now the story has to move forwards to my move to Devon and here as part of my work with Westworld I met someone who was to become a long-standing friend of mine. Between us, this person, Tom Armstrong (who wass also a broadcaster) and I worked on books, CDs, advertising, show production and lots more. We had several projects running one of which was a recording studio based in Georgeham and then Braunton.  As part of the studio we set up a video/audio link between control room and recording area. We were also involved with our own theatre and performance training school which was the All-Stars Academy and we put together several productions and as part of that work we recorded the artists in our studio. One of our conversations during these recordings sessions went along the lines of wouldn't it be great if we could broadcast these sessions either on radio or TV? However at that particular time this sort of idea fell at the first hurdle because of the cost and so we continued to work this way until Tom migrated to Lanzarote and I stayed behind with my family. Cutting a long piece of the story out the next major thing that happened with regards to my work in radio was that I was working in a show at the Queens Theatre in Barnstaple when I was interviewed by Lantern Radio as it was then. This interview was with TV presenter, broadcaster and former Bond Girl Jenny Hanley.   From this interview I got a telephone call asking me to attend a meeting I did and the upshot of that meeting was that I had my own radio programme on another radio network. The terms of my engagement with the station were that I was allowed to feature music that I wanted not necessarily what was on the playlist. I negotiated hard for this and told the manager that if he wanted me on his team then he would agree to my terms.  I stayed with that station for two years and during that time I witnessed and was enthralled by the growth of podcasting. I saw podcasting as being "the future" and decided that getting into this method of broadcasting would give me an opportunity to reach a global audience for very little money and also give me total control over what I broadcast. Now that sounds like I'm a control freak but I'm not! It also sounds like I operate from a place of ego and to a certain extent at that point in my life yes I was!  Now however I take on the philosophy of a very highly respected gentlemen Dr Wayne Dyer and his philosophy was and I quote "I like approval I enjoy approval but I don't need approval" So to pick up the story again - from getting the equipment and starting my podcasting I found other people who shared the desire to broadcast their own programs. And so I offered them space on my podcast channel. This podcast and several others that I was doing started to grow in popularity and I then began to look at ways of being able to broadcast a streaming service online rather than having people needing to click to play So I spoke to various people one of whom said I can make that happen for you - and he did! And hence CauldronFM was born alongside Coaching Radio and more lately Capstone Radio However of the three radio channels that I operate only CauldronFM broadcasts 24/7 at the moment What are your aims? Wow another great question.  I suppose that the main aim for the radio side of me is to go onto mainstream broadcasting such as an independent radio station the ethos of that being of course that the programming will still be the same. However mainstream "proper" broadcasting comes with constraints on content so maybe that is simply a flight of fancy.                                                                                                                                                 What plans do you have for the future?                                                                                                 The immediate plan is to obtain a new computer and to link that into my broadcast accounts which will enable me to broadcast Capstone Radio and Coaching Radio on a split daily basis i.e. eight hours devoted to Capstone Radio and four hours to Coaching Radio then 12 hours off air I also want to get back into live broadcasting rather than pre- recorded programmes. There is something very special about doing a live show - you have to think on your feet and I like the buzz that doing that gives me Another thing that I want for CauldronFM and Capstone Radio is to bring more presenters on board so if anyone reading this or listening to it feels that they can become a part of the Moonshadow Media family please get in touch with me What music do you play and do you interview the artists? Ok let's look first at CauldronFM - since this is a pagan orientated service we mostly feature pagan artists or world artists. We are currently play listing are Appalachian prog rock outfit Tuatha Dea; Danish pagan rock band Omnia; American singer songwriter and personal friend Celia Farran and local to N Devon reggae band Malachite Moving over to Capstone Radio the music on there has a more local feel and is currently playing Jess Richards (Bideford); Maggie Davies (Ilfracombe) Dumbos Feather (Exmouth) and Ange Hardy (Williton, Somerset) among others. I often interview the artists about their work and try to get a feel for who they are away from being a performer and touch into their likes and dislikes etc. Probably the three most famous people I have interviewed in the last 12 months are Paul Brett (guitarist with The Strawbs, The Crazy World of Arthur Brown to name but 2) Paul also has a range of signature guitars on sale internationally), The Strawbs were a chart topping band of the 70s with Union Man reaching #2; Tom Newman who produced Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells - the groundbreaking Virgin album of the early 70s. Tom is a multi – platinum producer; and finally actress and TV presenter Jenny Hanley Bond Girl, radio presenter and presenter of the children'

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