Sunday, August 2, 2009

Two audio pieces for your listening pleasure!!

I just returned from the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke in Durham, NC. We were part of a project documenting oral histories of The Watts Hospital-Hillandale neighborhood there. The principals and their neighbors were invited to a presentation with a pot luck afterwards. We worked in Pro Tools and the whole thing was a fabulous experience. I hope to continue what I learned with all of you at ASU this summer and include audio work .

The piece is three minutes.

Man, it is hard to kill your darlings, people. The audio that got cut was hard to leave on the floor. The secret seems to be that if the story moves along without the part you need to cut, then cut, cut, cut. Ouch. The other thing that helped was honest feedback that told us when the listeners were losing interest. One really does get too close to the subject/project.

We could have cut five different pieces on Mr. Kerr. He is a practiced storyteller, 86 years old, and you can hear the accent.

By the way, if you ever go to Durham, be sure to check out the Loco-pops store. Awesome popsicles with unusual flavors, really, really unusual. Here is a story for NPR from Shea Shackleford, one of our teachers at the Center.

Miss all of you!!

Joanna Greer
John F. Kennedy High School
Silver Spring, Md



  1. Sounds like it was a great opportunity to participate in this program. What all did you have to do to produce this story?

    Mark Webber
    Laredo, Texas

  2. I can't say enough good about this program. I was soooo lucky to have two wonderfully productive seminars this summer.

    As for the work at Duke, it was about four hours of interviewing (Marantz PMD 660) and zillions more navigating Pro Tools, cutting away excess tape, shaping the narratives (we got at least five from our subject, Mr. Kerr), negotiating with the partner you were paired up with and the people you dragged over to the computer to hear your piece again and again, etc. When it worked, you high-fived and whooped it up. It was a great reminder that that is what you want your students to be doing this year, too. It is absolutely addictive to work so hard and have so much fun.

    I feel so fortunate to have met all of you this past summer. Jeff's amazingly timely response to me about the cameras is like money in the bank. I really feel like I have people in my corner who can help me figure out things and man, that is invaluable.
    Yeah all you!!!!!

  3. Same for me, Joanna. I had my first newpaper job in 1978 and am starting my 17th year teaching high school journalism. Converging media makes it a new ball game. I am starting over again by adding audio and video components to the program! Yea for techonlogy!

    Mark Webber
    Laredo, Texas

  4. Joanna! I listened and it was awesome! I understand how much work you must have gone through. You are so lucky, and I am so lucky to have such a great association with all of you. I start school tomorrow, and am really kind of nervous to get this started. This will be my second year doing online newpaper. (Really, first! The first one doesn't count! Wish me luck!

    Denice Westover
    Snowflake, AZ