Audio “Narratives” and Moving Forward

Sometimes your family doesn’t listen to everything you say on the phone…

For the sound assignment a few weeks back I wanted to play with a recording I made last year for readymades – my aunt talking about tea over the phone. I originally had the sound of her voice pouring out of a teapot any time you tipped it but because I planned to continue recording people for thesis, figured it could be a beneficial learning exercise with some relevant content I already had. I combined her track with times making tea in different places – my own home and the ITP kitchen.

I’m not actually sure if it’s successful. I enjoyed using matching from from one audio sample to another, placing everything against tone from a desperate time, but I think I also figured out that I struggled without visual component. And it could very well be solely a personal struggle but I also think food related activities are visceral in a way that really wants to engage the senses and that’s not quite happening yet. I also think that may help listeners actually connect with a person they may not know. They don’t care who my aunt is, but maybe they beyond really like jasmine tea and bein able to smell that as she’s talking about it is intrigueing.

What does this have to do with the final proposed project for this class or my thesis? Well I recorded more people! I want their food narratives and I want to be able to share them in a way that resonates. In groups and alone I’m getting people to talk to me about food. But they’re also talking to me about themselves. I have questions that I ask (what’s the first thing you learned to cook, what do you miss from home, how do you like your eggs, etc) and they may take some tweaking, but most people only take a little bit of prompting to get going. And looking back on this exercise with my aunt and forward towards how my developing- I’m wondering what’s the best way for all of his to live? Also how do I make separate lives and stories relate not only to each other but also my audience? While I think I can do the latter by playing at common threads (moms come up a lot…) and the framing of that, I need to push some other things as well. I wanted only audio initially because I wanted to drive getting to know someone only through their food stories. Now I need to augment those stories for consumption.