Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Letter: Shocked at radio host’s ban from WMUA

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Matthew Harrison/Daily Collegian

To the editor,

I am writing on the subject of the recent shockingly unexpected shutting down of Max Shea’s new music radio  program “Martian Gardens” on the WMUA.

As an American composer of contemporary music who has been living in France for some years, I am shocked and dismayed that Mr. Shea’s new music program has been driven off the air for reasons that seem to have nothing to do with the musical interest of this program or with the quality of Shea’s work.

In effect, Mr. Shea is one of the few persons in the U.S. who follows closely such important new music labels as Mode Records and New World Records and who presents their composers regularly.

I, myself, have several monographic CDs published on Mode Records since 1992 and Mr Shea’s program has been a crucial source of diffusion for my music in the U.S.

I think that, in general, the educational aspect of Mr. Shea’s program is almost unique and that the WMUA is lucky to have such a program as “Martian Gardens”. Max Shea is a very culturally well informed individual contributing to the cultural life of the University and its students as well as the city of Amherst more generally.

It would seem that Mr. Shea has had little or no chance to defend himself before he was dismissed from his position, and, worst of all, he has been forbidden to have access to his own personal musical library which is to be found at the WMUA station. This makes it impossible for him to continue his work as a musical producer elsewhere.

I find this whole situation rather unjust and the decision made to dismiss him rather precipitous. Given Max Shea’s long years of service to New Music, it seems to me that he deserves much better treatment than he has received.
Gerard Pape

4 Responses to “Letter: Shocked at radio host’s ban from WMUA”

  1. Biff Pocoroba on May 11th, 2015 3:09 pm

    Dear Gerard Pape,

    Martian Gardens is a show for terrible music. If I want that for three hours, I will lock myself into a Tutor Time location and contribute by banging my head against the wall. And he’s a 40-year-old who works at a college radio station. And before you get started with the advisory nonsense, he did that only to advise students to STFU and listen to his nonsense in station meetings.


  2. Sam on May 11th, 2015 10:37 pm

    Actually, avant-garde/experimental music is not terrible at all, Biff.

  3. Max Shea on August 5th, 2015 4:52 am

    Thank you, Biff. It’s nice for Dr. Pape of Paris to understand what kind of snarky millennial jive passes for cerebral discourse at American universities. Besides, I’m not 40. I’m 46.

  4. Glen Douglas on September 25th, 2015 6:19 pm

    I’m sorry but isn’t WMUA a “student” radio station. Why can’t Max Shea and the rest of his old friends find something to do in “Public Radio”. I mean really get a life and leave the kids alone.

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