Saturday, February 9, 2013

Audio Week

Summary of week 4

This was the fourth week with ds106 and all about audio. I think the hardest part was to listen to so many radio broadcasts. I am not a native speaker in English and when there is no visual information it becomes more difficult to follow a plot. Further more all listening activities did turn out as exploring American culture. What is natural to an American was so far away to me. The audio stories often include political issues like election or gun-control laws which are popular topics in the USA right now. Actually I am not very interested in German politics, either.
I listened to the following stories:

The Truth “Movies for your ears"
This stories are created mostly by good voice acting with some music in the background to support the atmosphere. In The Modern Prometheus for example I realised clearly that with voice and music the end was created to be a relaxed atmosphere. Naturally there have been in all three stories sound to support the action of the story, which were for example steps, opening doors,  shots.

I also listened to so called detective stories.
I was impressed by the making of these stories. The audio was throughout dense and interesting. Sometimes two people told the same story. The reporter, who is reporting about the story and the person who was interviewed were given in turns and into one another.

I presume for Americans names like  Ira Glass and Jad Abumrad are popular, too, but not for me. Although this doesn't matter when trying to understand what they have to say.

The Ira Glass videos taught me that a radio story is a sequence of smaller events and that it is important to keep the attention of the listener step by step. He also recommends to clean up what you have collected for a story, so that only the most important material is used. He becomes radical when he calls this process killing of some of the resources. I actually got a bit of a fright here.

Jad Abumrad beautifully explains that there is a connection between broadcaster and listener and that a radio story is all about this connection, which evokes pictures in the mind of the listener. I know this collective experience from childhood memories, when someone told a story or I told one. Concerning movies the visual part is set, but if there is just audio people have to make their own images together. I like this idea.

Unfortunately I was not able to follow any live broadcast of ds106 radio. I would have liked to know in advance when there will be a live broadcast, which maybe is complicated to achieve. Yet, I listened to some music on ds106 radio and I also listened to the recording of the ds106 show, which happened via ds106 radio this time and learned more about Amber and Nancy the most magnificent students of Alan Levine. There was also some talk about ds106 radio, which was very technical and difficult to follow.

Which was really fun was doing the two weekly audio assignments. First I created the bumper, which is intended to be a piece played when there is a change in the broadcast. I recorded my voice and found a nice piece of music and in audacity laid it on top of each other. I also applied some of the effects to the voice, which was experimental so that I can not remember details.
It was a striking experience to work with my own voice and listen to it carefully. (The same with a video I made for a daily create, I will talk later about this.) I felt as if I had a closer look to myself the first time in my life and I liked what I realised about me, although it was not perfect at all.

The second weekly audio assignment was to create an audio piece made only from sound effects. It felt good to composite and to listen carefully to the sounds as I did in the past when I played instruments like the flute and the piano. I suddenly knew how much I miss these activities around music, yet, my new place does not allow any playing of musical instruments.

One of my daily creates has been a video where I re-enact one of my favourite movie scenes. This is a part in Inkheart, where Meggy meets Dustfinger first in the movie. I already mentioned that I had to have a close look on myself during this assignment which was interesting and rewarding. In addition it was difficult to reduce the original scene to my possibilities  without making the scene a joke.

I also hummed my first audio memory, although I do not really know if this is my very first memory and I did not hum it, for my microphone was not able to record any humming, so I sang lalala.

Just today I completed another dailycreate and took a beautiful photograph of a pattern I have arranged on my desk.

All in all this week started out difficult but interesting and became a week with a happy end. I like being challenged by the ds106 assignments which I am not so much in my occupation as a media assistant.

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