We can only hear it, not see it And the images it vividly brings to mind exist only in our heads.
That is possibly why radio is the most intimate of mediums - as airwaves carry the unifying force of music across the globe with the wildly differing spoken word style of the men and women who present the shows involved.
Here in Cumbernauld we have not one but two radio stations who reach out to audiences on our doorstep and span continents beyond it.
First on the cue is 12-year-old Revival FM which has listeners in Brazil, Pakistan, South Africa as well as all over Europe
Speaking from his office across from Cumbernauld Airport station manager Dave Mitchell said: “Revival FM has come a long way and it is a credit to the board for their commitment and to the volunteers who give their time and energy. In the beginning, the technology of digital music was very much in its infancy and everything was far less accessible to people.
“ We have a way of working now that wouldn’t have been possible then, for example, we can add music to our system so much more quickly.
“I believe we have also developed in other ways, many of our presenters and volunteers have worked with us for the whole time we have been on air
“Those who have stayed have been open to learning how to develop themselves and improve their performance in broadcasting. “
The quality of our programming is what I am most proud of . Our daytime schedule has a good balance of music and chat and our ‘specialist’ programmes each evening from 8pm are superb.”
How would he sum up the process that brings this to light?
He said: “There is a good light hearted atmosphere in the studio most days and this is important in a creative environment. Problems can crop up from time to time but our ability to share openly and respect each other’s views along with our Christian ethos of forgiveness helps us maintain the relationships here.
And it’s here that he lists the station’s unique selling point as its playlist .
“We do play some mainstream music, but the music we as a station play- music that is not played on other radio stations, is music that inspires. One of our tag lines is ‘where music is an inspiration’. That is the main reason for our being. We play music to inspire. To give hope in a challenging world. We want our listeners to feel valued and loved.”
A more recent addition to the town’s airwaves is Cumbernauld Community Radio and it is fast proving to be a magnet for audiences all across town and far beyond from its power base opposite Cumbernauld’s former post office in Clyde Walk. Plus it is thinking big in the process.
Co-director George Stirling explained: “Right now we are building from very humble beginnings and we are seeing huge results.
“Local and national charities and people from many areas of show business are already pledging their support. Our aim is quite simply to grow and encourage our listeners, potential sponsors and advertisers to value our ethos of fun and hard work being highly effective when done through friendship, equality and humour.
“We would obviously like to be the best community radio station in the UK and we believe we are heading in the right direction to achieve this.
“Our uniqueness comes from our team being very loyal, close friends who value deeply what we have achieved in a short space of time. We share a single goal which is our station motto ‘bringing all communities together’.
“Our audience is our family. We have an eclectic mix from all over the world - Holland, America, Germany and of course the UK. The feedback we receive is instant as we communicate live, via social media during our shows with the listeners. Our listeners know we will engage with them. There’s a unique closeness which has helped us to develop friendships rather than just maintaining numbers.
“We strive to maintain individuality so our listeners feel part of the show - which they are! The buzz in our studio is phenomenal. Every hour is an absolute joy. We strive to find local interests, groups and events and we discuss local issues.
“It is hard work - we are dedicated to bringing the best mixtures of features and information but it never feels like work.
“Radio has such an intimate reach as you say.
“People who are housebound listen to hear a mention of their name, a message from their long distance family and that can be a profound link. It’s a way to bridge the gap and bring all communities together.”