Music is a powerful force for change. It reflects and amplifies social movements, builds bridges between cultures and gives identity to entire cityscapes. Memphis is synonymous with blues and soul; New Orleans conjures up streets filled with the wail of a jiving brass band.
Brien Sorne, radio host and founder of Moose Magnificat, wonders what Tallahassee’s distinctive sound might end up becoming. He’s noticed major shifts recently in the city’s musical growth as his station broadcasts an eclectic collection of artists and songs.
“If this community of ours has an identity, and I think it does, I want the community to know itself better and I want the rest of the world to know who we really are,” says Sorne.
Sorne has joined forced with Scott Bell, president and co-founder of Cat Family Records and the Council on Culture & Arts to create “Sounds of Tallahassee.” The initiative gives a platform to local musicians who can access Cat Family Records resources and have their original music played on Moose Magnificat’s streaming station, as well as be promoted on COCA’s Artist Directory.
“I really want to see this city come up which is why we got involved in this initiative,” says Bell. “We want to bring the community together. I think there’s a lot of talent in this city and we want to empower and offer help to artists in town.”
“When you start empowering people you begin to solve broader, deeper problems,” adds Sorne, whose degree in sociology and background in radio gives him a unique lens through which to view the initiative’s reach. “I care about people and I care about our community, and I believe this music platform and radio station is a great meeting place for change.”
Sorne has observed the Tallahassee music scene for more than 40 years. For a long time, he noted a clear disconnect between local musician’s ability to build a network and reach local listeners, as well as the lack of radio stations that would play more than a single genre.
Thus, Moose Magnificat was born. A nickname given to him by his Swedish father, Sorne says the online streaming station provides artists of any genre with airplay free of licensing costs. They regularly reach an audience of more than 400,000 people throughout North Florida, the U.S., and around the world, including listeners from Australia, Ukraine, Ireland and Japan.
As Moose enters its fourth year on the digital airwaves, Sorne is excited to see the new growth the initiative will provide and how it might unite Tallahassee.
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