Radio Rivendell of course because it declares that it's "the one and only fantasy radio station in the world playing fantasy music 24/7." Created primarily by Lord Elrond, who is known among the humans as Anders Dahlgren, he explained his concept of fantasy music like this:
"When I think of "fantasy" I think of Tolkien and other works categorized as "high fantasy", i.e dragons, swords, elves, dwarves, magic and other stuff. The music we play doesn't necessarily have to come from movies and games in this genre. The main idea is that the music should be able to fit and support such a world in a soundtrack manner. Our listeners use our radio when playing WoW and other online role-playing games, writing books or poetry, roleplaying etc."
Way back in 2001, Anders began burning fantasy tunes to CDs to enjoy during role playing games with his friends. As an experiment, he added his playlists to a free internet radio service called Shoutcast and named his channel Radio Rivendell. Gradually his channel became popular with enough fantasy listeners for him to set up a domain name and website for Radio Rivendell.
His love of selecting music for fantasy fans has not waned, and Radio Rivendell has grown into a big website with extensive archives of music and interviews. Fantasy enthusiasts will find a big list of artists to explore along with many free music downloads. At Radio Rivendell the emphasis is on promoting young and unknown musical artists who compose and perform fantasy inspired music. Of course Anders likes to land the occasional interview with someone famous like Howard Shore, who composed the music for the Lord of the Rings films.
Radio Rivendell operates as a nonprofit entity in Europe. Donations and advertising revenues support the site that also serves as a forum for a dedicated community of listeners.
Anders appreciates the community that has gathered around his internet radio station and had this to say:
"I just love the community that has grown around Radio Rivendell. It's not a very big crowd, but it's slowly growing every day. We're not the biggest fantasy community out there but our returning visitors likes it since we try to keep a very warm, open and friendly atmosphere. Just think of Lord Elrond's place in Rivendell, that's something I strive to create here as well. And as long as we're growing I'm encouraged to develop the site and the functionality further. I try to keep the members close and involve them as much as possible in all aspects. It makes it both easier for me and more fun for them. Being in a community is all about helping each other out in ways we can, not by displaying power and hiding all decisions from the people in the community. I also want to encourage creativity so we have sections in our forum for our community members to display their artwork, poems and other writing, music etc. So participation is what I enjoy the most!"
Still enthusiastic about his role at Radio Rivendell, Anders is looking forward to its tenth anniversary. With his listener community in mind, he is planning for the future. "It's fun to see what the community wants and try to make that available to them. For next year I also plan to upgrade the software the design of the site, I too will have to give something back to our loyal members. I want to create more things to make it more interesting to come back and participate even more," Anders said.
I've bookmarked Radio Rivendell for my own use. It's a nearly effortless way for me to get some suitable ambient music when I'm editing my fiction on my computer.