Growing up in St. Stephen, photographer and filmmaker Michael Mohan spent late nights fiddling around with the radio, picking up disjointed programming from across the Eastern seaboard.
"These late-night, after-hours shows with these strange people calling in, really interesting callers," he says. "It would always be cutting out, and we'd pick up stuff from everywhere."
Now, he's created an art piece inspired by those early, formative radio experiences.
As artist in-residence at UNBSJ campus and community radio station Local 107.3 FM, Mohan created a fictional call-in show titled Loveline.
The project is "memory-based around audio," says Mohan.
"It's set around the year 2000, [using] stuff I would have heard on the radio when I was around 10 years old."
"It's a love story," he says. "A boy meets girl thing. But it's a little sad, and it's got a nice sweetness to it.
Since he typically tells visual stories using photos and video, Mohan says, the transition to audio storytelling has been "a challenge."
"It's been fun," says Mohan.
Film, radio components
Voice acting was provided by sultry-voiced musician Sadie Donahue, and Saint Johners Angel Bustard, Ryan O'Toole star in the visual accompaniment to the project.
Mohan says he tried to capture the communal nature of radio's Golden Age, when listeners "got exposed to all kinds of stuff," says Mohan.
"You'd stumble across all kinds of stuff, and sometimes, you were pleasantly surprised."
Loveline will be aired in three one-hour sections on Local 107.3 in early September. A film consisting of images played over a call-in show, cut with sounds of summer will debut at an as-yet-to-be-announced mystery location in uptown Saint John.