Why We Listen

This summer, our Freeform Portland DJs took time to reflect on what the radio station has meant to them. Here’s what they said (and drew)…

Sweet Jane
Every day we find ourselves just inundated with noise, and FreeForm Portland has become my haven from the static. The DJs here put so much time and thought into the music they bring to our community, and their love for the station can be felt on every show. We are so lucky to have this station to tune into rather than yet another thing to tune out.

Random Citizen (she/her)
This image was created not long after putting together songs I wanted to play on a future show. It also shows the accessibility of hearing Freeform Portland from your laptop. While technology changes, there’s still something awesome about coming across a song you didn’t know you needed to hear. It’s one of the reasons I love being part of the Freeform Portland fam. There’s no must-play list from a corporate headquarters — the songs you hear on different shows are selected by that DJ. Every time you tune in to Freeform Portland, you increase the chance of hearing your new favorite song.

Dj Aquatina  
I love listening to Freeform because there is always something on that’s new and funky! Discovering new music and not the same old 50 songs from 2007. Thanks for helping me discover and grow my love of music! Keep bringing the jams!

Some music inspires active listening. It may make you want to burst grin giggle bliss skip jump and sing and shout. It could be provocative, unsettling, unnerving, or challenging. It might make you think and feel. It isn’t always easy. Other music is more passive. You’ll put it on in the background as a pleasant hum during your busy day. It doesn’t distract. It lets you focus. Comforting. Present. Some music is immersive. You want to sink into it like a warm bath, a cozy bed, a luxurious rug. Freeform surprises with the unexpected. You’ll hear things you didn’t know you wanted to hear, that you didn’t know existed. You’ll discover new songs, new artists, new genres. You’ll hear strange and familiar voices, like your own, a new friend, or a long-lost love. Freeform isn’t formulaic. We’re for you. We’re here for your many moods, interests, passions, and curiosities. Kick off your shoes. Stretch out on the rug. Put on those headphones and tune in. We got you.

Dr. Axolotl
Freeform is a warm, welcoming brain-bath I always turn to when I want to swim in ideas. In my car or the hammock, when the mix gets especially good, the air thickens, the light turns to wine, and my secret gills unfurl to breathe in the weird, wondrous sounds. Since I found Freeform Portland, I can’t imagine going back to water… 

Noah Fence
When I was very young, Radio was music. Completely. All music came from the radio. To my post-infant brain, the radio was magic. All the sounds and the noises and the voices combined to create this incredible feeling of joy and happiness. Without knowing why I would crack a smile and involuntarily tap my foot. I made no distinctions between what I heard, all the songs just came from the radio and I absorbed them all. But growing older, we develop opinions, likes and dislikes, we learn to separate one thing from other things, we put things into genres, types, label things as “happy”, “sad”, “good’’, “Bad”, etc onto a near-endless number of possible of categories and boxes into which we can organize our overtaxed little brains. We lose some of our best infantile qualities, and we lie to ourselves calling it “growing up”, pretending it is okay. I listen to Freeform Portland because it has returned to me the magic of radio. Switching it on at any time of day or night, you can never know exactly what sort of music you are going to hear, and what exactly the DJ might play next. But it seems to always be good, well-selected and driven by a human element, the DJ. Even though there are a limited number of notes and chords, music seems to offer up an infinite number of possible combinations of sounds, and Freeform Portland seems to make a concerted effort to play as many of them as possible. When I listen to Freeform Portland I can let my guard down, and listen with a child’s mind frame. I can envelop myself in the security blanket of sound that is the magic of radio.

Odd Monster
Music is an escape for when we are trapped in our houses, our cars, our jobs, our bodies.  Music is an energy, passed between us in song and dance, and fuels our lives. Music was one of the earliest things invented by humans, and it is the most fluid form of communication there is.  When music is shared with honesty it can change and save lives.  Help support the love of music by supporting Freeform Portland.  We have no advertisements, no talk radio, just blissful music, 24/7/365. Enrich your life and maybe help share the love with others.

dj lonelygirl15
for me, listening to music is a combination of escaping reality and a re-imagining of my lived experience. freeform is a place where i can sonically express all of the things i’ve always wanted to be without fear. this little ipod is a remembered past – the things that i loved to blast into my ears, the intimacy between my heart and a bumping track, and the beginning of a freeform dj’s story.

Matt Mount 
Each and every show on Freeform Portland has at least one new discovery. There are mysterious seashells to find in the endless span of sand, there are new birds that no ornithologist has ever seen, there are moments and memories that come rushing back like a brand new past. The sounds seem familiar, but what is happening is that we’re discovering it together for the 1st time. Freeform Portland invites vulnerable egoless ears to really listen, to be curious, to fall in love, and to be heartbroken in the healthiest way.

DJ Alice Wonder 
Music can come into your life from unlikely places. I’ve found my favorite bands from my older sister, best friends, total enemies, math teachers, convenience store cashiers and of course community radio! Freeform has great tracks day and night, things I’ve never heard anywhere else, even after my many years of obsessively searching out the most obscure music. You never know where you’re going to find the next song you’ll fall in love with- sometimes squirrels have the best tunes!!