I ordered some Audio and instead got a Salad Bar

“It is a testament to its durability that radio should become such an individual and personal experience” (Lax, 2009)

As I had never used Audacity before, my first challenge was to master the workings of the program. Initially, it was difficult to read sound in waves and I struggled to use tools such as the envelope. However, after watching YouTube tutorials, I became accustomed to sound editing.

According to Kindem (2005) “Modernist audio develops sound independently of accompanying visual images, stimulating more abstract impressions and visceral feelings.” Consequently, through the use of ambient sound, such as an ambulance siren and a family eating dinner, I aimed to evoke an emotional response in my listener. I wanted the listener to realise that illness can fall upon anyone at any given time. Thus, the transition from the family eating to a siren wailing demonstrated the rapid fear that my candidate felt. Through this editing process, it was essential that I was mindful of Lax’s statement (2009) “Radio directly addressed its audience, not as a mass but as a collection of individuals. It is regularly observed that we listen as though we are being personally addressed, and the radio form intimacy with the listener” Thus, I aimed to create one-on-one connection with the listener by employing actuality that created a sense of reality.  Lax’s observation (2009) “The absence of visual presence allows, or rather, forces the listener to create his own images…we have to work at some level to create the images that the words evoke” enforces that in order for audio to captivate its audience, it must evoke authenticity and actuality.

The decision as to whether to add music to ‘Miracle’ was surprisingly difficult. I did not want to flood the piece by making it too convoluted. However, I wanted the audio to transport my listener to another time and place. After reading the experiment discussed in The Six Emotion-Face Clock as a Tool for Continuously Rating Discrete Emotional Responses to Music (2013) I realised the “physiological effects on the induction of emotions by combining audio and physiological features for music,” hence, in order to evoke an emotional response from the listener, I had to incorporate a musical element into my audio piece. The choice to incorporate an acoustic tune at the end of the audio was strategic, as I wanted a musical piece that had rhythm but was not overpowering.

Ethically, I struggled to produce this emotional history. Due to the sensitivity of the topic, I found myself questioning whether I was experienced enough to interview someone on such an emotional topic. Although this was an initial challenge, my candidate was immensely satisfied with the end result. My interviewee was delighted with the audio’s accuracy and realism, which allowed me to have confidence when publishing the finished project.

Overall, I feel that this Emotional History has taught me to not only pay attention to, but also think critically about what I hear. Before starting the assessment, I did not consider ambient sound, or the power that music had to build an emotion. Finally, the assessment made me more aware of who I was interviewing and the impact that perspective can have on the delivery of a story.

LINK TO SOUNDCLOUD: https://soundcloud.com/user-371196939/miracle-final-edited-version

References:

  1. Lax, S 2009 Media and Communications Technology – A Critical Introduction, Palagrave Macmillan, China.
  2. Kindem, G & Musburger, R 2005, Introduction to Media Production, Elsevier, United Kingdom.
  3. Shubert, E Ferguson, M Farrar, N Taylor, D & McPherson G 2013 The Six Emotion-Face Clock as a Tool for Continuously Rating Discrete Emotional Responses to Music, Springer-Verlag, Berlin Heidelberg.

 

Audio Log:

TIME CONTENT EVALUATION
0.00 – 0.47 Silence/irrelevant chatter Editing room

*

 0.51 q.      How many brothers and sisters do you have?

a.       “I’ve got 5 brothers and 4 sisters”

Voice is dodgy. Sounds fake? Perhaps nervous.

*

0.56 q.      How old were you when the incident happened?

a.       “um, I was 10”

Clear, delete “um” and question.

**

0.59 q.      How old was your brother

a.       12

Clear.

**

1.01 – 1.23 Joes personality Good except for my laugh at the end.

Clear, can hear the happiness at the end.

Accumulation of good qualities.

Good end “that’s my brother Joe.”

***

 1.30 q.      Explain to me what happened before your parents took Joe to the hospital. Delete out.
1.36 We were sitting at the dining room table having dinner. # Concise and clear.

***

1.44 And I remember, um, Joe looked tired and he put his arms down in front of him and then he put his head into his arms. # There is a lot of space between each word. Need to shorten.

***

 1.49 Then I thought to myself, “oh you poor thing, you look tired.” # Genuine, a little rushed.

**

 1.53 Then I said “Joe. Go to bed” and there was no response. And I’m going “Joe, Joe, wake up, go to bed” # Really good speech.

Sounds real and in the moment. Sounds like she is talking to you.

As if you are joe.

***

 2.07 Anyway, Joe wasn’t waking up and I sort of nudged him a bit and I thought “why isn’t he waking up?”# Slight stutter on “Sort” and too many words. Keep spaces as it sounds realistic.

**

 2.14 I’ve screamed out to mum. I said “Mum, Joe wont wake up” # Can hear the urgency in the voice. Really good for EH.

***

 2.20 And then she’s gone, “what?”# Repeated as above. *
 2.26 Anyway, so mum came over and she looked at him and said “joe”. She gave him a bit of a nudge and said “go to bed joe”# Delete ‘anyway’ and ‘so’. Getting very repetitive. Summarise and downsize this content.

**

 2.36 Anyway, she nudged him again because she got no response .#  Not needed.

*

 2.40 Well, then she nudged him a bit harder, well he had fallen breath in on the ground and um dad came along and he’s like trying to wake joe up and he couldn’t wake joe up and he’s just got joe, swooped him up in his arms and he just said, he didn’t, he just ran out and he said “we’re going to the hospital.” # You only need to say nudged once. Got the picture already. Not necessary.

**

 3.00 So he got joe, and mum and dad went to run out the door and mum screamed back to my older sister carmen “look after the kids we’re going to the hospital.  #  Realistic.

***

 3.19 So they did, they just ran and all us kids were so silent, we didn’t know what to do, what to say and we thought, oh my god, there is something wrong. # *

Convoluted.

 3.29 I don’t think all of us kids had been so quiet in our life. #  Clear and concise. ***
 3.35 And then we were waiting and waiting SILNCE for mum and dad to come home.   Can hear the exhaustion. Delete silence. Merge this box and the next box **
 4.12 It was really late. I think it was like, it felt like 11 o’clock, midnight. Finally they got home and we said, well where’s Joe?  Can hear the sadness.

**

 4.26 And they didn’t have joe with them, and mum just said, “oh, he’s staying in hospital, they’re doing tests and all that sort of thing.”  Fill in. *
 4.36 So that was fine, we basically had to accept that and then um the next day they had gone up to the hospital, they were still running tests, so I don’t know how long they were running tests for.  Tendency to say “that’s fine” annoying. *
 4.53 So anyway there was one time where mum and dad had come back from the hospital, and mum was so upset and crying and hysterical basically. And she turned around and said, and we said, where’s joe? Desperation in voice. Good quality.  ***
 5.11 And she just blurted out sniffle she says “um, joes going to die.” and we thought, what do you mean joes going to die? And then she says “you brothers going to die” Bit of a stutter at the beginning. Blunt. Stutter on 2nd joes going to die. Only need one. **
 5.29 Well we just started screaming hysterically, I don’t know why, but we just did. Sniffle like we knew it wasn’t good, so we obviously knew that he was going to die.  Beginning really well spoken. Can picture in mind. Only say die once. ***
 5.40 Anyway, then dad looked at mum and said, “why did you tell the kids like that? You didn’t have to say that” and mum said we that’s the truth and that’s what I wanted them to know. Urgency. But unnecessary. ***
 5.51 So um anyway, mum had turned around, and this was later on when we had all calmed down and apparently, joe has um meningitis, um basically it has affected his brain and she said the priest was giving him his last rights. Can hear wiping nose on word brain, and then a sniffle. Can hear the sad undertone. ***
 6.18

 

6.30

And we thought, well what does that mean? And it was, the last rights is when you are going to die. Mum said that joe was lying in the hospital bed naked, basically his arms and his legs, were you know, spread out. Graphic. Not appropriate? Do the audience really need to know? How much is too much information and is leaving this out adjusting the truth to some extent? **

 

Edit out “you know” because we don’t know.

 6.35 And then mum was holding joes hand and she said all of a sudden his eyes were flickering and she thought, am I imagining this or what. Anyway, she said his eyes had suddenly opened and she just sort of freaked out and like the priest had stopped reading the rights and mums going what’s happening? Can hear where I’ve accidently hit the mic.
 7.08 Long story short, joe came out of it and he was in a coma for quite a while and he came out of his coma, and basically mum classed it as a miracle. Change of tone. From sad to triumphant. ***
 7.21 One of the doctors had said to mum, if she hadn’t of fed joe the good food that she had fed him and if he wasn’t so fit he wouldn’t have made it.  Not necessary. ***
7.37 – 7.44 I’ve never believed in miracles. I definitely believe in miracles now.” I thought what else would you class it. # Good! Nice and clear. Put this first as the introduction. ***
 7.48 Um, I’ve definitely changed my mind about pulling the plug on somebody if, you know, they’re about to pass, I wouldn’t do it myself.  **colloquial.
 7.55 Only because of that experience, I’ve just thought, you’re not dead until you’re dead.  *** clear and to the point.
 8.00

 

 

 

 

8.13

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8.39

That is my motto, never do anything, there’s always something like if you’re going to die, you’re going to die, let it take its natural course.

 

That’s the way I see it. So he is a healthy, fit, bloke now. I think with the meningitis he was sick as a kid, he suffered badly with asthma, he was always trying to, you know take air, you know he was always suffering, like breathing heavily trying to get air, into his lungs and I used to think then, you know thank god I haven’t got that.

 

I sort of think, he was always sucking on the puffer so hard just to get that breath of air. But thank god today he is a happy person again playing his tricks and everything else like he used to do, so yeah I wouldn’t wish that upon anybody, so thank god I’ve still got my brother today.

 “If you’re going to die, you’re going to die, let it take its natural course” *** really clear and expresses emotion well.

 

 

** Not needed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

** Nice ending. Story is cyclic. Begin and end with happiness. Express this in final audio.

 8.58  End  End
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