Sorry for the delay, back agin! What have I been up to? Oh reading, reading, reading and more… ideas. Oh god.

So, last blog I talked about gaps in knowledge and my frustrations in trying to pin down an idea that lines up with my interests and skills. Well, I did some mountainside soul searching, well maybe not that profound but I certainly thought about what I wanted to do the most and narrow things down slightly. First things first- Radio Stations are Out, Room Tones are out. They were barely hanging on anyway, but I just don’t think I can find a good project in either, but for different reasons.

Radio Stations (which we discussed in Ideas, Ideas, Ideas!) was original, but way, way too narrow. It was proposing the study of something that I don’t think I could really measure or come to any conclusions about. “What makes an effective radio station”, “what balances of talk and music create the most immersive experience for gamers”, these were really nebulous questions that relied so much on context and the game. Certainly I never liked the idea of making my own radio station, and in all honesty, video games don’t interests me as much as they once did. History, Broadcasting, writing, film are my more main interests now. What I miss from radio stations compared to all my other ideas though was the idea of study- I still want to create and measure the effects of something, be it different structures in radio stations music or vocal content etc and see how it effects players. I want to try and adapt this into my new ideas (see blow)

Room Tones was always more of a concept than anything else. I had ideas of recording, editing and scoring my own film clips, but it never got off the ground. It felt so vague an idea, and there was to be honest, so much better studies by more knowledgeable people about the use of room tones in film, and their effects. however, room tones led me onto the idea of soundscapes, so I don’t think it’s in any way a dead end. I just need to forget about it and not dwell on coming back to it.

I’ve made progress with my newest ideas that have been streamlined slightly, they now fall into two camps:

Historical Soundscapes

In the coming days, I’ll be doing posts on each of these in more depth- but Historical Soundscapes covers a few ideas I was playing around with. After we talked about Shakespeares plays, I did some studying and found that without a real expert in linguistics, and actors who are well known and learned in the field, replicating speeches is very difficult. Instead, I moved toward battlefields and ships. The two current ideas are:

  • Ships Sound- The sound of Ships at sea, during battle and life on board in the 17th/18 century. Can we recreate these sounds accurately?
  • WW1- the same question. The Battle of the Somme, The Gallipoli Campaign- what would this horrible, disastrously loud battle sound like? what would be the effects of listening to these extensively?

The current problems with these are still knowledge gaps- in terms of editing sounds etc but I’m confident that I can learn these. The bigger problem, and it’s something that is true with my next idea is: how are these measurable? What are the results? What data can I draw from them? I can’t compare these to actual recording, no sound recording of the Battle of the Somme exist, certainly not off ships 300 years ago. There’s no veterans to help us, we can’t play them to people and measure is they get PTSD, there’s no quantifiable results from this and from what I can see, this is a problem when it comes to my “outcomes”

Interview Series

This idea is some I have been toying with since college, and I’ll post my proposal that I worked on ages ago later this week for more context. Basically, it would involve me making a multipart series of interviews of people in different places in Scotland, collecting stories and making a library of short stories people could listen to. My plan would be an interactive map that lays out the locations of the interviews, and people can the explore the maps and see the local history and stories from that place. The same problem follows it though: what is my ideas results? What am I trying that’s new? The interview techniques? The editing? What am I measuring it against. My ideas seem to be more fitting as an art project that a real academic study or project, which is frustrating.

Anyway, I have more reading- Rise and Fall of the Royal Navy, The Battle of Camperdown, Scots at Sea. Trying to build a better picture of life at sea.  



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