Chandra Mundra, known simply as Chandra to her audience, is one of LA's over 12,000 Indian residents. Her program on KCSN, Saaz Aur Awaaz — heard Wednesdays at 8 p.m. — presents music from films made in India and Pakistan.
Explains Chandra, "Almost all music in India is from the movies … Ninety percent of the movies have songs and dances. It's always a love story or adventure, three hours long — an escapist form for the masses. In India, movies are the cheapest form of entertainment." India has surpassed Japan as the country producing the greatest number of movies, with admission prices averaging less than ten rupees (fifty cents).
Chandra arrived in America in June of 1973, taking radio and television courses at Michigan State University. She came to CSUN in the fall of 1974 to finish her education, and by the following summer, Saaz Aur Awaaz — the Hindi for "voice and instrument" — was on the air.
After earning her master's degree in Radio-TV Broadcasting, Chandra hopes to return to her native Bombay to work in media management. Her husband is a theater exhibitor here, showing Indian fims daily at the Meralta Theater in Culver City.
Saaz Aur Awaaz's phone-in request format duplicates that of most native Indian music programs (requests are heard the following week). Radio in India has much the same stronghold as television in the United States, says Chandra. Music, news, commentary, quiz shows, entertainment — all the television programming over here is put on radio over there.
Jazz, popular and classical music from Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Iceland can be heard on KCSN Tuesdays at 8 p.m., on Echoes of Scandinavia.
Producer-host Winstrup Olesen intends for the program, which is presented in English, to reach those Americans unfamiliar with the music of northern Europe. It is "Danish music for Americans, not Danes," he says.
Echoes also features Swedish and Finnish news tapes received by KCSN, as well as news from the Danish and Norwegian vice-consulates. Prime ministers, an occasional queen and other influentials of the modern world are heard in recorded interviews and speeches. Winstrup also allows international students in Scandinavia and America to exchange ideas and impressions.
Winstrup studied political science at the University of Copenhagen, and later became a professor of music at the Royal Danish Conservatory. As a performer on saxophone (under Coleman Hawkins) and violin, he played with jazz bands and symphonies on radio and at concerts throughout Europe. He is the composer of scores for commercial films shown in European movie houses. (Television in Europe is commercial-free and the theaters adopt the role of the commercial medium.) Other compositions, for which he still receives royalties, are today performed in Paris.
Winstrup first brought the music of his land to southern California in 1967 with a foreign-language broadcast on radio stations KIEV and KPPC. After the establishment of the common market in the '70s, Winstrup came to KCSN with a new English-language format, by request of the Danish vice consul and KCSN general manager Bob Bishop.
Winstrup hopes, through Echoes of Scandinavia, to make Americans "interested in what is going on in Scandinavia's modern society," one that is, among other things, producing and recording some of today's finest musicians.
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