A long-form documentary radio project celebrating the unique diversity and biodiversity found around Lake Merritt in Oakland, California. HWWM is a sonic celebration that weaves together field recordings and interviews conducted in and around the lake.
HWWM 10 / An experiment in keeping Oakland Oakland
Our final episode of 2019 is filled with quiet spaces as activity around the Lake drops along with the Fall temperatures. We speak with Oakland resident and affordable housing advocate Rafael Yaquian who was volunteering to clear debris from the Lake. We also chat with members of The Others Bike Club from San Jose who were riding around the Lake on their custom made stretch cruisers as they collected canned food for charity.
HWWM 09 / How can we see each other at the Lake?
We wander through the big crowds at the annual Dragon Boat races held annually at the Lake, musician and recent Bay Area transplant from Sweden Johan Ericson who was singing and strumming his guitar lakeside one afternoon, and Oaklander and East Bay bicycle advocate Ginger Jui who was sketching a Black-crowned Night Heron one evening.
HWWM 08 / Tranquality: A Piece of Peace
Episode eight brings us the thoughts and ideas from musician and life philosopoher Roy Meegan who was playing his unique dub stylings around Lake Merritt one sunny afternoon, Oakland residents Desire J. Forte and Calvin Joseph Forte who were celebrating their second anniversary with a photo session at the Lake, and local composer and educator James Mahone who regular practices his saxophone near the Oakland Lawn Bowling fields. We are ushered out by the symphonic vibrations of some crickets at dusk which were recorded along the estuary that connects Lake Merritt to the Bay.
HWWM 07 / Pelicans, Lake Merritt in the 80s, and Dahlias
In this Episode 7 we hear from Katie Noonan with the Friends of the Rotary Nature Center who works amongst much of the avian life around the Lake. We also stumble upon a group of Naval veterans who were stationed in Alameda on the USS Carl Vinson in the 1980s. They were at the Lake celebrating their 30th reunion. Finally we speak with Kristi Whitfield of the San Leandro Dahlia Society who manages a group of colorful dahlia flowers in the Lake Merritt Gardens.
HWWM 06 / Respecting the space
Wildlife photographer Rick Lewis talk to us about coming to Lake Merritt a few times a year to look for hard-to-find birds that stop in Oakland while on their migratory paths. We also hear form longtime Oakland resident Wayne Sherwin who volunteers with the Lake Merritt Institute to regularly clear plastic and other debris from the lake. And, we stumble upon two groups of dancers at the bandstand behind Fairyland: local artist Amanda Bean and musician Astu who are practicing their hustle dance moves; and tango master Jean-Pierre Sighe working together with his dance partner Oshalla Diana Marcus.
HWWM 05 / The Lake is how people come to know each other in Oakland
Educator and musician Guy DeChalus gives us the title of this episode. We interrupt his marimba practice for a robust conversation about music, Oakland, and lessons the Lake provides. We also talk with juggler Charles Blue, and animator and artist JP Lee. We also give an intimate listen to the bells from Our Lady of Lourdes church which is adjacent to the Pergola at Lake Merritt. If you've spent any time at the Lake, you've undoubtedly heard the hourly chimes. Finally, we take a kayak ride out onto the Lake which gives a very different sonic perspective to things.