12.17.15: PLAN, Enya-Nomics, & the History of Sleep Music

Dec 17, 2015

Today's college students are reliable consumers, with annual budgets for furniture, clothes and gadgets. Much of which ends up in a dumpster. On today’s show, how a group of UNH students kept mounds of trash out of the landfill and turned it into cash...a model now being copied on campuses across the US. Then, business schools call it Enya-Nomics – after the new-age icon who's defied every record industry trend – selling more records than Beyoncé without touring, tweeting, talking to the press, or even leaving her Irish refuge.

Listen to the full show. 

PLAN Reins in Waste at UNH

Americans throw away more than 250 million tons of waste each year...a number that makes any individual attempt to rein in waste feel miniscule. But now, the Post-Landfill Action Network or PLAN is rallying college students to make a dent. In 2010 PLAN started collecting the discarded books & furniture & electronics heaped into dumpsters when UNH students moved out of their dorms. They found a place for storage over the summer and then re-sold the goods at a discount to new students on move-in day.

The PLAN methodology is now operating on 48 campuses across the country, and its innovative strategies for growth and funding has earned start-up money, awards, and recognition from business and environmental organizations all over the country. We spoke to the founder of PLAN, Alex Freid.

The Slopes are Alive With the Sound of Opera

Vladimir Popov is known around Waterville Valley as the opera singing chairlift operator.  Although Popov sings strictly in the mountains now, as he told NHPR's Sean Hurley, he once sang in the world's great opera houses.

You can listen to this story again and read more here.

Enya-Nomics

The musician known as Enya has sold 80 million albums – five times the number of Beyoncé’s US sales – without ever touring, courting the press, or sending a single Tweet.

The reclusive Irish star so thoroughly contradicts everything we’re told about the music industry that there is a specific world for her phenomenon – “Enya-Nomics.” Anne Helen Petersen profiled Enya just as her first album in seven years was about to drop.   

The History of Sleep Music

If you're a fan of HBO programming, you've probably heard the work of composer Max Richter - he's responsible for scoring one of its dark dramas, The Leftovers. But recently, Richter released something a little more subdued: an eight-hour album called Sleep, which he calls a “lullaby for a frenetic world”.

Ambitious as an eight-hour album may be, Max Richter is hardly the first composer to send people nodding off, or to try and score a dreamscape. Philip Sherburne is a contributing editor at Pitchfork magazine, where you'll find his article "Songs in the Key of Zzz: the History of Sleep Music".

You can read more about the history of sleep music here.