If All Music Is Sound, Is All Sound Music?

 

Community Post: Interview with Tom Wilkins

Tom Wilkins has been a WDCV DJ for the past 5 years. He moved to Carlisle when he married his wife, about 28 years now. He has spent the past 15 years teaching high school with a focus on special needs education, though Tom seems adamant about retiring soon. Tom sought interest in WDCV when his daughter went off to college and joined her college’s radio station, which inspired him to follow in her footsteps. He reached out to WDCV and has been spinning albums ever since.

Initially, he chose a specific theme for each week, picking from all different styles of music. After a couple years, Tom found this extremely restrictive and felt the limits of his weekly themes when, one day, a listener called him during his radio show. The caller asked why he chose to play such mainstream music when WDCV’s mission is to play underrepresented artists. Although this caller possessed a rude attitude, his question shook Tom in multiple ways. Why did he feel the need to play music he knew people could easily listen to, when what he really wanted to play was music that intrigued and challenged him?

From that moment on, Tom began playing untraditional music. “Experimental, weird music,” as Tom put it. Some names are more recognizable, like Brian Eno, one of Tom’s favorite artists, but others are more strange to the common listener. The songs and artists he plays are typically more recent, though this genre of music has been around for a very long time. Tom describes his taste in music as “familiar enough to engage you, but unfamiliar enough to challenge you.” He wants to share the music that makes him think, the music that requires active focus rather than passive listening. He questions, “if all music is sound, is all sound music?” To Tom, all sound can be music if you open your mind to it. He spends a lot of time searching for more music to share with his listeners each week, either by reading magazines or listening to shows similar to his own, which allows him to connect with others who share his taste in music. This show is important to Tom musically, and he hopes that through listening in on his radio show, others too can learn to appreciate music that is abnormal and untraditional, yet challenging and intriguing.

                  

Listen in on Tom’s show, String Theory, on Tuesdays from 8pm to 10pm to hear Tom’s favorites! 

 

If you have any questions, email Julia Ormond at ormondj@dickinson.edu. Thanks for reading!

One comment

  • Toni Barber

    Hey Tom~ will be listening again ttonight….off and on. Have a great evening! Love you! Toni.