AUdio Portfolio

 

Working Class History: 

GI Resistance to Vietnam War, Part 1

Recovering stories of resistance to Vietnam from within the ranks. 

SOS From Louisiana:

A Blueprint for Inclusive Grassroots Emergency Responses

In the rising waters of a flood, two mothers mobilize to fill the gaps in emergency services for people with disabilities.

And the pain? We'll Deal with it tomorrow:

How does a Luchador describe the art of pain?

The Superbowl for Old Time Music: 

Wander to the heart of an Appalachian fiddle festival!

ISTANBUL SOUNDSCAPE, 3-13-15 :

A surprising soundscape from Istanbul's Spice market. 

Evil Lung Death  : 

My debut audio piece!  It's an interview on coughing, breathing and disability.

 

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MUSIC NOTE: 

Whenever possible, I support creative commons and enjoy promoting artists who value creative commons and forgotten images and sounds.  Therefore, all sound artists and images are credited and individuals who choose to release work for Creative Commons or are public domain.

 

 

 

 

 

Image: Side shot of a  woman in New York, Rosalind Kendall, playing chess with a friend in Chicago using a two way radio link provided by a Jersey City radio station, published in a 1922 radio magazine.  She has black hair in fingerwaves, and uses a vacuum oscillator radio transmitter by speaking   into the cone-shaped horn attached to the transmitter's carbon microphone, and listens to her friend's reply in the earphones.   Caption: " Beth Weber, Chicago, discovered a radio way to play chess with her chum, Miss Rosalind Kendall (above) of New York. Rosalind uses a Jersy City transmitting station to talk back to her friend "   Retrieved January 19, 2014 from    The Wireless Age , Wireless Press Inc., New York, Vol. 10, No. 1, October 1922, p. 23  Shared on Wikicommons.    

Image: Side shot of a woman in New York, Rosalind Kendall, playing chess with a friend in Chicago using a two way radio link provided by a Jersey City radio station, published in a 1922 radio magazine.  She has black hair in fingerwaves, and uses a vacuum oscillator radio transmitter by speaking into the cone-shaped horn attached to the transmitter's carbon microphone, and listens to her friend's reply in the earphones.

Caption: "Beth Weber, Chicago, discovered a radio way to play chess with her chum, Miss Rosalind Kendall (above) of New York. Rosalind uses a Jersy City transmitting station to talk back to her friend"  Retrieved January 19, 2014 from The Wireless Age, Wireless Press Inc., New York, Vol. 10, No. 1, October 1922, p. 23 Shared on Wikicommons. 

 

 

Working Class History

THe GI Resistance In Vietnam

 Part 1

With John from Working Class History, I had the opportunity to reconnect with- and interview- my favorite professor from undergrad, Jerry Lembcke. Jerry was a Vietnam Veteran who became a sociologist, and back in the day, I took his seminar on how our understandings of Vietnam are re-shaped. Despite all those amazing sessions, I never really heard Jerry's story in full.  At my college, Jerry was the "radical" professor, it's difficult to imagine Jerry as apolitical- especially since he influenced my own political engagement!

 

 

 

EVIL LUNG DEATH

It was 2:00 am, and as my Partner in Crime brushed his teeth and maneuvered around the bathroom changing into his pajamas. I could hear a lot of awkward sounds: sighs, thumps, "oooplas" and laboured breathing. (1) 

He has cerebral palsy and it takes more energy and strength to move, not to mention a fabulously wobbly sense of balance, and legs that he needs to physically adjust with his hands. However, I had never noticed how strained his breathing becomes carrying out routine tasks, such as getting dressed, until my recent decision to do an audio piece on breathing. I heard his shallow strained breathing in a new way, even as I lay there on the bed with my interview kit and a grin.


He emerged.

"You sound winded from getting dressed."

He responded, "All that bumping and grinding really takes a lot out of a man."  He struggled to understand why I'd want to record his cough, and all the while obliging with coughs, splutters, dissolving and choking on our laughter. 

As many individuals with cerebral palsy, he was born pre-term and lung issues are common for early births, however, breathing issues emerged only in his 30's, after he moved from Albuquerque, NM to the Northeast. Since then, he has reoccurring bouts of "Evil Lung Death,": debilitating bronchitis in the winter, triggered by inhaling cold air.  

Coughing arrives without warning and it feels as if someone is sitting on his sternum. He splutters and chokes a little during the day.  It is problematic, particularly because he is a media figure and will sometimes feel it interferes with on-camera or radio interviews. At nighttime, as he lays down, his cough develops into heaving, chest-shaking events. The coughing becomes intolerable in winter, as a blast of cold air can irritate his lungs. During the winter of 2014, fearing pneumonia, he went to the Emergency Room three times. Doctors gave him every test, but couldn't pin-point a cause, and sent him away with medicine, lung exercises, and inhalers- none of which were effective.  

In light of the recent metro crash at Washington DC's busy L'Enfant Plaza station, in which a woman with asthma died in a smoke-filled metro car, I asked for his thoughts on breathing issues as a disability. Unlike his ability to find mechanisms and strategies to assist moving around the world with Cerebral Palsy, "not being able to breathe stops you cold; there's no adjusting to that." Nonetheless, it never stops him from physical activity- hikes and constant adventures with me and strolling around the city- nor his prior career as a modern dancer- it's always present and requires a little accommodation, and most never notice.

(1) "One Leg at a Time" by Natlie E. Illum:  This powerful piece tuned my ear to the soundscape of my Partner in Crime's rituals to dressing with a disability.   

Scott Buckley's  "Prelude to Chemistry" provided the heartbeat to the piece as the Intro/Outro music.  You can find him at http://www.scottbuckley.com.au/  Sharing is fun: Thank you & support Creative Commons! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FULL TRANSCRIPT

Production Notes:

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Istanbul Soundscape,

3-13-2015

I explored the margins of the Spice Market in Istanbul, Turkey. I tunneled through the trinket shops and tourist fray and emerged on the far side, where I found another scene: vendors selling garden and pet supplies with bins of dried dog and cat food, leashes, potted palms, rose bushes, bags of fertilizer and three large glass jars of leeches, swimming. The New Mosque, with its two  minarets and cascading domes built in 1660's, looms over this tented section. Turning the corner, a tented store-front lined with bird cages, barrels of cuttle fish and birdseed housed shrieking tropical birds: At that very moment, the adhan- Islamic call to prayer- sang out.

I first heard adhan in 2006, during a stint in Bangladesh, and it captivated me. Upon my return to the U.S., I earnestly tried to convey its power and beauty, yet, I have found that words flail. Only by listening can you feel the emotional surge, be transported and transformed.    

Production note:  Upon recording this, I was thrilled and the internal debate began about how to "use" it. After a month of stewing, I finally listened to it and realized that I didn't want to alter it. Some sounds are already full; they tell poignant stories and do not need enhancement. Thus, this is a raw recording (from my iphone) and provides another turning point in my self-education into sound art: the world is filled with compelling sounds, layers of tracks, and  rhythm. Put your ear up to the world, listen to it, and use what is already available. Even so, we can still be agents mixing tracks by moving around,leaning our microphone closer to different sound sources.

Image: A silhouette of a canary in a cage. This darling bird, like the call to prayer, greeted me every morning and evening. She looks out the window to views of the Blue Mosque. 

Access note:  As this is a soundscape, a transcript is not available. However, here is a description of the layers of sound:  Begins with the call to prayer warbling, background noise: birds squeaking, some men speaking Turkish.  The adhan slips into silence.  Men talking.  Starts again with the adhan and a close-up of man talking. The third round of prayers; the birds dominate the microphone and the call to prayer fades into the background as frenzied bird noises dominate until the call to prayer returns to the foreground and the birds recede and disappear. Another call begins uninterrupted, then a metal hammering, and water flowing in background increases in volume. The adhan is finished, and the water is the only sound and fades to the end of the recording. 

 

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Las viñetaS Del luchadors

 

And the pain? We'll Deal with it Tomorrow

Cinco de Mayo, 2015, otherwise known as May 5th, I attended my first Luchador event.  I was nervous, especially since it was my first time using my Zoom H-5 and really being set loose in the wild world to find stories. Typically, I'd be too shy to talk with the wrestlers, but with mic in hand, I was insatiable.  How welcoming they were to my curiosity! So, a long delayed but always big and hearty thank you to King Jeter, El Padrino and Jabali Jr. I am always heart-warmed remembering their openness and friendship.  

We'll Deal with the Pain Tomorrow features the talented El Padrino.  Stay tuned for more Luchador vignettes. 
Transcript for We'll Deal with the Pain Tomorrow

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The Superbowl for Old Time Bands

Produced in collaboration with Lawrence Carter-Long as team Frieda y Diego for KCRW's 3rd annual Radio Race. 

 

 

 

Transcript

Production NOtes

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last Saturday, August 8th, with a tofu scramble on the hob, my partner-in-crime and I counted the minutes to the email from KCRW, the radio station behind Radio Race. Radio Race is the ironman of the radio/audio production world and challenges teams (or individuals) to produce a 4 minute audio piece within 24 hours. So, at about 12:45pm- 15 minutes before the 1:00pm email announcing the theme and kick-off- we started (frantically) looking for interesting events happening in the DC metro area.  Our hearts soared when we fond the world's largest fiddler convention, but sank when we realized it was in Galax, VA- a 5 hour drive away. We restated our mantra, "we don't have to go far to find a good story."  

At 1:00pm-on-the-dot, we read the theme, "time change" and we fumbled for a few minutes.  Nothing seemed to make our hearts beat faster- my only indicator that a story should be told. So, despite knowing that I was committing to a 10 hour drive that would fall squarely on my shoulders, I made the snap decision to suggest the fiddle festival. Lawrence and I discussed it for about two minutes before we threw caution to the wind, leapt to our feet, and went to rent a car I fondly named "Murder Trap."  

We hit the road- and lord, I wish that Lawrence had recorded my grumbles, growls, and panicked snippiness as we raced against time to get to the festival. I was freaking out- and it would have made great tape. Would Murder Trap fulfill it's name?  Would I have driven 5 hours only to arrive at a closed festival? Would we even have tape? Would I be too tired to drive back safely? And, would Lawrence be too tired to whip up some editing magic? Would we have anything decent to submit?

After 5+ hours demanding that Lawrence cheer me on as we passed big hauls, we rolled into Galax, Virginia- the "capital of old time music."  We passed by the five and dime, an elk's lodge wishing all the fiddlers good luck, and a farm supply store with a line of wooden rocking chairs.  We parked under an old-time theatre advertising a fiddle event and still couldn't find our way to the festival, so I began asking every person we met. We followed friendly directions and footprints painted on the sidewalk and soon found our way to the ticket gate of the fiddle festival.  

I'll let our tape take it from there, but I hope it conveys the enchanting night filled with spirited music and the warm community that continue the musical traditions.

Of course, the 12 hour drive and sheer exhaustion of the race were worth it and I can't wait to attend the full weekend next year! 


 

SOS from Louisiana: 

A Blueprint for Inclusive Grassroots Disaster REsponses

Audio:                     Transcript

 

Two Louisiana moms with young sons with tracheostomy tubes (AKA Trachs), which allow them to breathe, formed an organization to provide support to other parents with children with Trachs.

They couldn't foresee that they would soon spear-head efforts to bring life-saving medicine and medical equipment to other local residents with disabilities in the rising waters.       

To find out more or support them, visit www.trachmommas.org/.

This piece is produced by Stephanie Hydal and copilot Darren Moyle for Portlight Inclusive Disaster Strategies. 

 
 
 
 

You just buy a new pair of slippers every week -

KCRW Radio RAce 2017

 
 

Produced in Collaboration with Darren Moyle for the 2017 KCRW Radio Race

Every year, I look forward to the KCRW Annual radio race- where folks from all walks of life manically run around with mics (or their mobile phones)  and fret over editing till the deadline- 24 hours later. In 2017, the Race coincided with my trip to Western Australia.  I gotta admit, it was kind of a rough start due to a 15-hour time difference: when the race began at 10am L.A. time-  we were just going to sleep at 1am Perth-time.  And of course who could sleep well when both flummoxed by the prompt and excited?

If i recall right, we slept until about 8am and, so we lost 7 hours in a 24 hour race.  However, when everyone else would be sleep-deprived and editing- we'd be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, right?  Wrong.  We both woke up with the sniffles and no clear direction on where to take the topic "Down for anything."  We wrangled over a few ideas, went to a farmer's market and almost threw in the towel, but i held a hard line and had my way (as usual): we were off to a Western Australian ferret meet-up at a local park. 

To be honest, whether we came out with a good audio story, I just wanted to attend a ferret convention because I've never heard anything so ridiculously charming in all my life. I was especially curious about the kind of people who own ferrets: who owns these little weirdos?

We were particularly charmed by one owner because she was thoroughly wrapped around the fingers of her ferrets.  

Listen up and enjoy meeting her and her darlings.

It's been a good 6 months since we produced this piece; we didn't win, but i still smile every time i press play.  We think you will too. 

 

Transcript forthcoming.