Myke Dodge Weiskopf lives the kind of life that makes me mad jealous. Traveling the world recording shortwave broadcasts and indigenous musicians, sharing the bounty on his website - www.myke.me. His next adventure, planned for March 2013, will take him to the archipelago of Socotra in the Gulf of Aden between Somalia and Yemen.
"Socotra is virtually untouched by tourism or mainland culture, a unique mixture of East African and Middle Eastern influences. I'll be traveling with photographer Kelly Davidson and a Socotri guide around the main island for two weeks in March of 2013. We'll travel through mountain villages, caves, and seaside towns to meet the people of Socotra and preserve their songs, stories, and folk traditions. Along the way, I'll tune in for the next season of ShortWaveMusic, recording regional radio stations from Somalia, Eritrea, Yemen, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Oman, and beyond -- adding to the more than 24 hours' worth of recordings from over 60 countries now available at www.myke.me."
To fund his latest enterprise Myke has set up a Kickstarter.com page with some cool perks for backers including a commemorative QSL card, CDs, framed prints from the trip and even handmade gifts from Socotri artists! He's trying to raise at least $3500 USD, which pays for plane fare, a translator/guide, payment for the Socotri musicians and singers he records, on-line hosting for the project and equipment repair. Talk about a shoe-string budget!
"With a little MORE money, I could pay extra to the musicians, or donate play and sporting goods to Socotri children, or upgrade my equipment to bring back better recordings. But I can't do it all alone. Please consider donating some of your hard-earned holiday money to ShortWaveMusic … for yourself or on behalf of another adventurous and open-minded friend or loved one."
Being the recording and tech geek that I am, I had to ask Myke about his gear set-up:
"My radio set-up is an Eton E1XM and a Sony PCM D-50 recorder.
My field recording setup includes a pair of head worn Church Audio CA-2 stereo omni capsule mics, an Audio Technica AT-8035 shotgun, and an Audio Technica BP4025 stereo field mic.
Until recently I was using an Edirol R-09 recorder, but I donated it to an NGO in Mali while I was there, so I am back to using the D-50 for both purposes.
I have to be quite aware of safety in the places I travel, so I need to keep a low profile in terms of the amount of equipment I carry and also the quickness with which I can set it up and break it down. With my current set up, I can be "on the air" in under a minute, and (in case of danger) packed up and on my way in the same amount of time. One of the principal tenets of traveling in Africa and the Middle East is that you don't want to make yourself a target, and I'd rather not be the foreigner with all the expensive gear out in the open."
Myke Dodge Weiskopf's Kickstarter Project funding period runs until Christmas Day - donate today!