For the last week at least I’ve been working on my journalism subject. We had to record an interview that conveyed any of the six primary emotions (Anger, Disgust, Fear, Happiness,
Sadness and Surprise). My first thought was immediately why are there only 6, but the easiest for me to understand were probably happiness and sadness. It’s been a while since I consciously noted I felt any of the others. My first thought for a subject as well was my girlfriends dog. The poor thing died a couple of years ago but she would still wake up in tears sometimes after dreams about fluffy little Al. That’s a good place to start if I’m meant to be focusing on sadness.
I wrote up a rough guide of where to start the interview. Who was he? How old were you when he came into your life? What did you like most about him? Any favourite memories? How long did he live for? …and then it started to go downhill, the sad parts. What did he die of? Was it quick? How old were you when he died? Do you still miss him?
The recording session ended with many hugs and apologies for the sadness I induced. In future, I’d like to not have to deal with sad stories, with making people who walked in calm and collected fall apart and try to piece themselves back together. Don’t get me wrong, that was totally the point of the interview but it was much more draining on me than I expected. The recording equipment was just one of the devices I rented from university and it seems to have done the job well.
So after all the recording equipment was packed up and I transferred over all the audio I’d managed to record I had close to 4 minutes of stories, giggles and tears to work with. There was a lot of shuffling tracks around, trying to see which sections would blend nicely with others without sounding forced, trying to remove my own (frequently called monotonous voice) and finally deciding which direction I wanted this piece to go. There were plenty of happy sections recorded as well as sad ones. I decided that in the end, the sadness only makes sense because of losing something precious, so taking the audience on the same journey would be necessary to give context to the despair at the end.
You can listen to it here.
I think that it’s an OK piece, has a nice story to it, it’s not boring. My biggest gripe (with my own work, I know) is that I seem to have screwed up the recording. I think the microphone sensitivity was too high and as a result you can hear my computer in the background for some of the snippets. That’s something to consider for my next little undertaking.