Feb Lounge and January Highlights
Tuesday Feb 13th (Save the Date)
where: ?? TBD Would you like to host?
Interested in hosting a DC Listening "Lounge" but unsure what it takes?
We are looking for a living room that can accommodate 10-20 (ish) people. Useful if you have speakers (that can accommodate streaming audio from phones, computers and/or other devices- but we can loan you some for the night if that is a hurdle). Especially interested in places that are metro accessible.
FEB. AUDIO CHALLENGE:
By the next listening lounge: Record something to do with scale. Brandon said during the lounge that, “audio is vast, yet it’s intimate.” Shoot for around 3 minutes. Create a recording that contains something tiny and/or intimate something large or expansive.
We're hunting for an INTERN for DCLL and Sound Scene 2018.
Know someone who you think would do a great job?
We are especially excited for DC/MD/VA people (of any age) who are very organized audio lovers, interested in learning more about curating and non-profit management (estimated 2-4 hours a week). Un-paid (but a small stipend may become available depending on grants in the 2018 year). Interested folks please send a resume/cover letter (1 page MAX) to email@example.com
Applications due Feb 15
January Lounge highlights (courtesy of George. Thank you George!!)
JANUARY 16th, 2018
Thanks to Rene and Kate for hosting.
The evening started with a prompt to introduce oneself, then discuss a line of an awkward story you heard over the holiday break, a sound that reminded you of the holidays, or alternatively, an audio gift you received (or wished you received). “Mutiny, family or gift.”
Attendees: Rene, Lynn, Stella, Teague, Bond, Brandon, Tony, Ben, Amy, Adam (AI Righteous), George, Liz, Kate, Clyde (the dog).
Rene: A gadget (i-XLR?) that allows you to plug an external XLR microphone into an iPhone (he uses an iPhone SE). Uses a quarter-inch input that plugs into the headphone jack, which he tried used with a Røde NTG. Allows you to monitor with the setup but unsure of the quality, and the gain levels. Also, he mentioned the SurePlus MOTIVE app.
Ben: Binaural microphones that look like earbuds. They give you a very spatial quality in stereo recordings. Best to listen to them using earphones. Suggestion: to put on a hat dummy. Still won’t be as vivid if replicating the folds of the ears. There are professional grade products that replicate this.
Teague: Made DIY binaurals using a lavalier mic that has two channels. He split the wire and ran over tops of his ears to record. He also found a 1968 vintage reel-to-reel recorder from his father with tapes of things, like music, he and his friends recorded. He’s hoping to get it working again.
Tony: Found a track he recorded when he was doing biology fieldwork where he recorded audio with his friend eating apples in the back of a truck. He put the mic next to them, it sounded like pigs eating. He demoed the audio to his friends and they didn’t recognize the sounds. He recently came back to the area but went to Listening Lounge meetings in 2006 in Mount Pleasant.
Bond: He received an Amazon Alexa. He tried listening to SirusXM channels on the Alexa.
Brandon: Spoke about doing an alternative music internet radio show. >From Pittsburgh, PA area.
Adam: A producer sent him a beat, and he wrote a verse to it. He’s looking to record at the studio. Twitter link: AI Righteous
Amy: Her brother sent her a link to two YouTube videos where someone is demoing binaural beats. She hasn’t listened to it yet.
Lynn: Recorded her mother-in-law telling the story about finding recordings of her father from 75 years, including recordings from a Voice-O-Graph done in Daytona Beach in 1953. It’s like a photo booth for sound. Her family also gave money to Arlington Independent Media for station WERA LP FM 96.7.
Stella: opened a box and found bells. There are sheet bells that her parents would ring during Christmas evening and rediscovered this technology.
Kate: She got an external monitor that you can plug in with an HDMI cable so you can have two screens if you’re on travel.
George: He got a vinyl copy of The Golden Record, the recording sent into space during the Voyager missions into space. The records have various sounds and music from the planet and are the farthest man-made objects from the Earth known (riding along the Voyager 1 & 2 probes launched in the 1970s).
Clyde: Woof, woof.
Liz: Used to have a Bose record player from the 1980s in brushed aluminum and smoked plexiglass, which she thought of as a family heirloom. It was one of the only things she wanted to keep after a move to Buffalo, NY, yet it was one of the few things she acquired from her family that was destroyed in a fire. She’s looking for suggestions on a new record player.
The prompt from the previous lounge was to collect /record one interview over the holiday season. Ask a question about the person's past and use the prompt: “Tell me about your first best friend...” Extra credit: If you've never used one before, try out an audio editing program on your computer.
The listening began with:
Rene: Sat down with his mom to record when he was visiting family in California. They talked for about 40 minutes. He had someone listen to this edit once and got some notes on it but he hasn’t changed it since then. Her mom spoke about a girl named Roxanne. A car hit her when she was two years old, and then hit Roxanne’s house. Her friend later moved away. The accident happened in May 1966. She was playing on a rocking horse and a car rolled down the hill and hit her.
Lynn: Her mother-in-law Sandra was visiting. She got her into the studio to tell the story of the last year of learning about her father. Her parents were divorced when she was seven and the last time she saw her father was around 75 years ago, and doesn’t know what became of him. She only captured only about 10 minutes of actual conversation out of an hour. Lynn later recorded more audio with her husband and a sister-in-law. No one was allowed to know her mother had been divorced. “I lived a lie but was taught to never tell anything but the truth,” said her. A family friend, Jennifer, has genealogy experience and likes “solving the puzzles of the past” from clues and research. She left us with this quote about curiosity: S. Leonard Rubinstein: “Curiosity is a willing, a proud, an eager confession of ignorance.”
Stella: Winter solstice in the High Line in NYC. For five years now they’ve had an event that is a soundscape event, with a collective of artists creating a sound experience. You walk the highline and have an experience. The High Line is a public park and green space built on a historic freight rail line elevated above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side. It runs from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District to West 34th Street, between 10th and 12th Avenues. You were given an app. The movement of your body would change the soundscape from what’s on your phone.
Amy: Played a podcast episode that she listened to recently. She listened to it at work. Then listened to it again outside of work. She shared a few segments from The Organist, by Clive Desmond who tells a personal history of advertising in radio. It was rebroadcast on 99% Invisible. Desmond, a voice over artist, talks about an ad that had impact on him as a child that seemed to have an authenticity that most radio did not, even though the little girl on the radio clip was an actor. There was also a radio jingle from Grace Slick from Jefferson Airplane singing an ad for white Levis and an ad Frank Zappa created for a Remington Electric Razor.
Teague: Recorded his dad via videotape on Skype asking about when his father got drafted in 1970. His father talks about how the recruiters were selling him on signing up for Airborne. They started with an officer asking if he wanted to be in Artillery. Teague’s dad said “no thanks.” Then after that there was someone from a different office and more. He wondered “When are they going to ask about my background?” He went to a room with two low-ranking enlisted guys who had typewriters. He gave them two years of his life to do a good job and mentioned his background was as a mechanical engineer. One of the enlisted men asked “Isn’t there a form for people with science backgrounds?” and instead of going to Vietnam, Teague’s dad went to Alabama instead for two years.
Ben: Had an interview with his mother about her first best friend, where she is playing piano in the background. Ben asked: “What do you think about when you play?” “Nothing. I do it with feeling.” His mother’s neighbors had an orphan child named Olga living with a nanny with whom she is friend. She learned a lot from the nanny in the house because they had a different life. There was a garden with a weeping willow. The nanny would put the girls in nightgowns and they would play as actresses or Opera singers, not with dolls. The girl’s mother died during birth. The father never remarried; he would always travel. The father had killed himself because of a rumor of him squandering everything away, like a gambler. Her friend was taken in a truck off to Poland. None of these people she knew during the time came back from a concentration camp. Side note: Ben didn’t know anything about audio recording at the time he recorded. It was his first attempt at producing something. This was recorded awhile ago. His mom is 92 now.
Brandon: Lynn spoke about how being around people with disabilities makes one gain empathy and curious about how you can see the lack of accessibility for people to get around. A guest, Charlotte talks about the challenge of being a disabilities teacher. “In school, you don’t get to do the fun stuff. Because you are doing extra homework, or doing it slowly.” She thought a lot of kids would take-off if they found something they love or are excited about something.
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Some other audio resources and items of note from George (who produced the summary above):
• “The New Analog, Listening and Reconnect in an Digital World,” book
& Ways of Hearing, podcast.
If you're out west soon check out: The Audium: A Sound-Sculptured Space in San Francisco that’s been running performances since the 1960s.