January 11, 2012

The sound & the fury (plus questions)

The sound: It was late afternoon.  I was in the middle of conducting an interview, recording the conversation with a small digital voice recorder.  Rain falling outside, in droves.  I could hear water rushing down the street.  The sound of water pouring from the roof.  Water dripping from here and there.  Clinking and clattering on the tin roof above.  Inside, one light in the corner of the room fought back the cold of the rain outside.  I was talking with a mother and her son amidst the incessant rain.  The sound of the rainfall wasn’t exactly overwhelming, just constant.  In the moment, it all sounded pretty nice.

The fury: When I finally checked the recording later that night, the rain made it almost impossible to hear the conversation.  The voices of mother and son were swept up in an auditory wrecking ball that sounded more like a tornado than raindrops.  The interview was still salvageable, but it was hardly a masterpiece of ethnographic audio.  Frustrating.

Read the rest on Savage Minds, here.

No comments: