The Night Air was ABC Radio National’s go-to for abstraction, collage and radio bricolage. Ostensibly a space for themed remixing and collaging – primarily of Radio National’s vast archives of features, music and field recordings, as well as basically anything audible – the experimental show was produced from 2002–2013.
During that time, it established a reputation as a rare and weird listening experience guided by chance, juxtaposition and metaphor. At the time a kindred spirit of (and collaborator with) other freeform radio, including early iterations of Radiolab, the Night Air was co-created by legendary ABC producers John Jacobs, Brent Clough, Diane Dean and Tony Barrell.
Jacobs and Dean continue to produce for the ABC; Clough left soon after the show ended (it was cancelled in late 2012 and aired through January 2013). Tony Barrell retired from the show in 2008, and died in 2011. Archived episodes of the show remain available through its podcast and on the ABC’s website.
It’s also one of the few audio arts shows in Australia that’s warranted its own Wikipedia entry. Go figure!