Compiled from 1949 to 1995, this collection of primarily analog reel-to-reel audiotapes embodies decades of innovative new
music radio programming, specialized in 20th Century new music, but whose content also reflects a variety of musical forms
rarely represented by commercial media. The collection features live concert recordings, other musical recordings, interviews,
performance art and symposia, covering artists whose backgrounds range from the classical conservatories to the counter-cultural
underground movement of the 1960s.
KPFA-FM in Berkeley was an influential participant in the development of the Bay Area as a national center for new music.
It gained an international reputation for its music programming early on, after being founded in 1949. Up until 1992, its
Music Directors were always composers or critics in the classical music field. From 1969-1992, composer Charles Amirkhanian
(Executive & Artistic Director of Other Minds) served as Music Director for KPFA. During his tenure the station initiated
a number of unusual series, one of which was then the longest-running continuous program on avant-garde music in American
radio history (Ode to Gravity, 1970-1995). Aside from the contemporary music programming the station was known for, it also
broadcast a variety of programs focusing on bluegrass, opera, world music, jazz, folk, pop, and gospel; many recordings of
which are also contained within the collection.Other Minds (OM) is a non-profit organization in San Francisco dedicated to the encouragement and propagation of contemporary
music in all its forms through multiple outlets including a yearly festival, an artist residency program, a record label,
preservation project, and a radio program on KALW, San Francisco.