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DS 106: Weekly Summary 4

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So week 4 is complete. And this week we started our audio theme off with two very interesting clips from both Ira Glass and Jad Abumrad. The first clip was a four series video from Ira Glass, of which I watched the first two.

I found that Glass’s video was a very new perspective on storytelling in that he speaks to both the ways in which we need to re-realize that our stories are not simply the sterile process of Thesis/Body Paragraph/Conclusion, but rather a more human way of telling stories in which we tell the step by step process and the thoughts behind each action. I go deeper into this in my Thoughts and Idea’s section of my blog.

The second clip was from Jad Abumrad speaking to how radio’s continuous life has steamed from “empathy” again I feel that the word empathy is a poor choice but this is beside the point. Abumrad speaks about how through oral storytelling we are able to create the most beautiful sometimes inexplicable illustrations in our own minds eye. I felt this idea was a truly beautiful one, in that I have always been fascinated by how we can co-author stories with our audience through choice words, pauses, and verbal drama. Again I speak more to this nugget in my “Thoughts and Ideas” subcategory.

The second part of our weekly checklist was to choose a radio show and make note of special techniques used. I chose show The American Life, Episode 477: Getting Away With It.

I must first say, WOW. I laughed my ass off this whole show. And I certainly took comfort knowing the fact that I am not the only terrible person out there. The show is hosted by Ira Glass (maybe 50% of the reason I chose this one) and begins by first speaking about one particular story of a man and his family’s attempt to smuggle drugs across the US/Mexican border. Now please let me say this is not the part I was laughing about. This story was one of the most interesting in not only does it tell an amazing story but it also kept me on the edge of my seat through the audio techniques applied. I felt that the layering of sound affects and the use of silence really kept me enthralled with the story. The second half of this episode was dedicated to the most ridiculous and sometimes awful things that other listeners had got away with. Everything from starting a fire that burned down a building to Molly Shannon’s story of hoping a plane and dinning and dashing in New York when she was 12. In this part I felt that the use of layering music in the background of the short stories of what people had got away with was very graceful. I also admired Glass’s bumpers in between the first and second segments (very proud of myself that I now can use this term properly!). Now the rest of the broadcast goes on to speak to other politically motivated topics and as a very unpolitical person I chose to not touch upon the last 15 minutes of the broadcast. I must admit that they do slightly relate to the topic of storytelling but in a light that is rather uninteresting to me.

DAILY CREATES!

1. We were asked to make an acrostic poem involving what we were wearing, mine was titled “Black

2. The other DC I chose was to make some sort of pattern of things on my desk. This was a bit of strech but I didn’t have much things on my desk!! photo

3. The last daily create I chose to do was an audio clip of my first musical memory. Mine like many others was the ABC’s!

Next in Week 4′s assignments was our introduction to audio assignments. We were first asked to make a “Bumper“, not for all of us new to this whole blogging thing, this is the 20-30 second clip in between songs/broadcasts on radio/internet radio shows! So for this assignment I pretended I was hosting a show, did my 30 second intro to the DS106 show and layered my favorite song in the background!

This assignment is under my Assignments category under “Audio”. I found the assignment to be a little challenging at first but as I delve into in my assignment page I was quickly able to figure it out once I took a look at the tutorial: “Layering Sounds in Audacity“. Audacity being the free program which allowed me to upload and edit my bumper.
The second part of this aspect of our assignment was making a five sound story. This was a little more tricky for me in that I did this before I did the bumper, so this was the learning curve. I found that trying to figure this out on my own was not a wise decision but again once I watched the tutorial above I was able to finish this up very quickly. I tried to pick a simple scenario that we all go through everyday so that when placed together the sounds would start to paint pictures in all of our heads. It was very much inspired by Jah Abumrad’s video in which he speaks to the co-authorship behind radio and oral storytelling. I can sit here and spin words or sounds from the most average situations but it is through the human medium that these stories actually take form.

For comments on my blog I feel that these are a great way to keep in contact with everyone in my group. I didn’t receive much criticism, and this is probably my own fault in that I was late getting my weekly summary up! This will of course not be the case next week! But for now the positive re-enforcement is always encouraging. I really feel that it is helpful looking at Leahand Kaitlyn’s blog whenever I get stuck on a particular aspect of the weekly assignments in that they are typically two steps ahead and have figured out how to do the assignment already! Its nice to know that I have the ability to contact them when I have questions or look to their blog when I need direction.

I would be lying if I said this week was not a challenge for me. As is true of every week I learned a lot of new building blocks that I’m sure I will use to create something great by the end of the semester. I feel that I really need to play around more with audio storytelling because I had a lot of fun with this weeks assignments and I feel that it something that really came easily to me once I understood how Audacity and Lame Library worked!

Until next time,

Chelsea

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