Radio Oltre:
Cavazza's Web Station

by Alberto Borghi

Flowing information, pleasure of the senses.


In our collective imagination, when we speak of a radio, we have images of a fireplace with logs burning and a listening apparatus with tubes lit on one side with a yellow light that brightens the room and the faces of the listeners. How not to think about the legendary Radio London, vehicle of a message of hope even in the darkest times, impossible to intercept by the Nazis?

Foto - Affascinante radio d'epoca

Such an idea of the radio is certainly more romantic than it is up to date, probably the result of influences suggested by an age that does not always seem to support technological innovations. However, if you bring up the matter of radio at the IstitutoCavazza, it will no doubt be conjugated with the verb “to innovate”.
So, turn off the tubes and turn on the computer if you want to listen to the Institute's most recent innovation: RadioOltre.
It is a Web radio station ( which, for the record, lives on the frequency (figuratively so) of the broadband that brings together (or should bring together) our homes with a Web spreading out underground. It is not a question of elitism, for only those who have a computer.
On the contrary, the choice made by the Institute's top management is introduced in a context that cannot leave out of consideration the use of up-to-date technology; it is also a matter of reaching a younger and dynamic public, therefore investing into the future. Not only that! Coherently with the direction the Institute has always had,

Foto - Primo piano pulsante di FM e AM su una radio

it is important to use the technology to provide people living with vision loss an efficient instrument to overcome the limits that inevitably are imposed on persons with disabilities. Radio Oltre, consequently, is not meant to be the umpteenth variation on the subject of radio stations which from the 70s were the rage in Italy, as it is in no way able to pretend to comparable means (familiar concept to Director Mario Barbuto). The medium rather provides the opportunity to enjoy the senses (not only the hearing) through non commercial, but not elitist, contents; and is as well an aid to disabled people, a sort of “service” radio which deals with subjects that matter to them. However, by only reading the Web pages concerning the programming, one can realize that it is not about the “same old” radio and not a radio exclusively for blind people either.

Foto - Antichità elettroniche

For example, the undersigned at this time is enjoying a great song by Stevie Wonder from the Best Of offered by Max Tagliata Trio on the occasion of the live concert which took place in the hall of the IstitutoCavazza in Bologna. Shortly, it will be possible to listen to the news, thanks to the collaboration that Radio Oltre has established with Radio Popolare in Milan. It is also nice to do some easy listening of the broadcasting by Stefania De Salvador who discusses “books and everything about them”. A couple steps were possible too this morning, thanks to the “Anima Latina”, a program of course dedicated to Latin-American music.
And even if the suffused radio lights are replaced by the monitor's more direct light, it is great to enjoy the programming on demand, which can be clicked at any time, without physical links, from archives that keep expanding as months go by.

 Because Radio Oltre is young. In fact, we can say it was born yesterday, without denigration of any sort. Experimental broadcasting began back in September 2007.
It can be said that the experiement was quite a success. Like any respected radio transmission, there are also contests. But, most of all, there is a place reserved for the emerging musicians. In fact, it is possible to send a (digital) recording by email ( to the staff who will decide to air the piece or not. As well, Radio Oltre works with many partners from the art and technical fields such as the AssocizioneCulturaleOndaAnomala (a lot of the radio programming is reserved to theatre and literary production), Pulsante Radio Web and Giancarlo De Vincentis.

Foto - Affascinante radio antica

Finally, the IstitutoCavazza's Web station presents an ulterior practical implication: in fact, it wants to use the broadcasting technology in place to professionally train persons living with vision loss who would then be able to work in a specialized market. Whether it would be radio director using special software for blind and visually impaired people. But also writers and, of course, radio hosts. In the meantime, the Max Tagliata Trio concert has ended, leaving listeners with the desire to experience again the musical emotions. So... where is the problem?
Click and here comes the magic!