Folk and Roots
Aly Prince plays you a selection of music filled with life and history, created by storytellers from across the world.
Aly has lived in London all of his life. He was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa when he was student. At first his main problem was very poor light adaptation, but over the years he has also developed chronic tunnel vision. 'My world is like looking through two drinking straws', he explains. He was registered blind in 2002 having been registered as partially sighted seven years earlier. 'I've got used to it and get by OK. The fact my sight loss is gradual has made it easier for me to manage. Also, I get lots of support from my wife and son, which is invaluable.'
He's a registered social worker, and has been freelance for many years. He specialises in child care, social work law and safeguarding children and vulnerable adults. He says that music is a great way of relaxing from work. Music has been a big part of my life since my very early teens. First, I got interested in the Blues, Rhythm and Blues, Gospel and Soul. Over the years it's developed more and more widely, Country, Folk, Roots music from all over the world. A lot of what I listen to isn't in English, but I believe music is an international language. I like the fact folk is performed by people in the community for the community. It's about work, love, rivalry, travel, life and death. Roots music progresses it on from there. I also like the fact it's timeless. I'm as happy listening to a recording made eighty years ago as one made yesterday. I love going to gigs and hearing live music; I've been going since my early teens (a wonderfully misspent youth!) For me music is an adventure and I always want to explore and hear new things. It's an ever expanding world. I really enjoy radio and listening to my collection as well. I just keep adding to it!
In the past years I've become more and more involved in DJing, both solo and with a small group of friends. We've been doing an annual trip to Italy for quite a few years, which is great. I can work the decks with sufficient localised light, but the venues are so low lit I can't see the crowd. I guess you just develop a sixth sense that they're up and dancing!'
I'm really pleased to be doing a show on RNIB Connect Radio. It gives me the chance to play things to listeners that they may never have heard before. It also shows how danceable a lot of the music is, and that it can be real fun, even when it's not always in English! In the shows I always try to include some music by visually impaired performers; or to reference visual disability through the theme of the show.
Working with the producers here in London has been great. They've encouraged me to develop my own style and their patience is a real asset. Managing a strange technology in a new environment isn't easy and they've really helped.