It’s rare to see something end well on the internet. Most ongoing projects—whether blogs, podcasts, or novelty Tumblrs—don’t really ever formally end; instead, their creator loses interest in them over time, and then they have a busy couple months at work, and then maybe they have a new kid on the way, and obligations stack up until eventually an unpaid server bill takes the long-fallow page out of its misery.
So I want to congratulate and also thank Hoverbird (also known as Patrick Ewing) for formally and lovingly ending his tremendous online radio show, Warm Focus, this Wednesday. You can listen to the final episode on BFF.fm’s website.
For the past 18 months or so, Warm Focus has run early on Wednesday afternoons on BFF.fm, capturing a nameless but very weekday-in-autumn vibe: the popping-synapses, bright-but-background, happy-and-humming, in-the-flow feeling that characterizes music for good work getting done well. Hoverbird himself says the genre walks the line “between mellow & energetic, digital & analog, high & low BPM.”
I’d known about Warm Focus (the concept) from a series of playlists that Ewing made a few years ago, on the late and beloved streaming service Rdio. But Warm Focus (the radio show) was even better than those, because every so often Ewing would turn the music down, ask how the work was going, and remind you it was okay to take a walk. Not even Siri does that.
I found this upbeat, elated song—which aurally falls somewhere between Steve Reich and I Am Robot and Proud—through Ewing’s show, and he played it on his last episode. I think it’s a good way to end the week or start the next one.
And if you’re looking for a way into more perfect-for-working music, I’d encourage you to check out:
- The full “Warm Focus” radio back catalog, on either BFF’s site or iTunes, where you can get it as a podcast.
- Hoverbird’s Soundcloud, where there are a lot of other warm-and-humming mixes.
- Warm Focus, the 12-hour Spotify playlist, that collects all the songs Ewing ever played on BFF.fm (and then some, maybe?).
- Or one of my favorites episodes: the all-acoustic episode from around Thanksgiving last year.
The premise of a midday working-music show is an exceptional one, I think. After all, millions and millions of people are at their desk on weekdays around 3 p.m. We might as well have a communal moment to hang out together.
Ewing plans to keep making mixes and live sets. I can’t wait to see them. But on Wednesday, I found myself appreciating what he had done over the past year—assembled a lot of music I wouldn’t have known about otherwise, presented it in a chill and earnest way, and leave at the peak of his game. It’s nice that I’ll always be able to remember (and return to Warm Focus) as a thing that was done well—and that is also done.