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ft a 1984 pun

the point of this assignment is to explain an important event or memory you have, and then describe how it changed you. I decided to take just the tiniest bit of creative license, and explain a memory of the principal character in George Orwell’s 1984, Winston.

This was my favorite assignment of the week, i had so much fun completing it and then reading it with my Serious Important Things Voice- which i don’t get to use NEARLY as often as i would like to. To start off, i had to decide what memory of Winston’s to choose; and whether i wanted to speak as Winston the free-minded or Winston the Brainwashed. Even though I think Winston the brainwashed would certainly be a really interesting and fun perspective to take, the amount of thinking and reflecting that would take just was Not It this week. I chose to speak on the newspaper incident because it’s something Winston carries with him throughout the book, something he uses to remind himself of his sanity, and something he uses in his fight against big brother. My biggest challenge with this assignment was getting all of the information i wanted included to fit into 2 minutes, but i made it! Overall a really cool assignment and i just really like 1984 by George Orwell.

hope youre doing Or-WELL! -liz

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under the chestnut tree

this assignment said to do a dramatic reading of a poem, and then turn that poem into a story. I decided to take a little bit of creative license with it in order to better serve my purposes for the upcoming radio show, but the essence of what i did remains the same. I took a bit of a song from the novel 1984, a song that appears twice in the novel, read it out loud, then analyzed it and its importance.

I’m really happy with how this turned out, partially because i love me some poetry, and partially because i love me some 1984 by George Orwell. As far as technical skill required, this assignment did not require much, but i did record & edit this in audacity. Most of the time for this assignment was spent thinking about the poem and its implications and symbolism within 1984. I am a little bit unhappy with a bit at the very end of the recording, where i say “it juxtaposes quite nicely with…” this was a dive into analysis, and i usually love the word juxtaposition & its offshoots (hence why I used it), but i don’t think it fits quite right with the rest of the recording. Overall, however, i think it went very well.

don’t be shady, -liz

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dear diary

so the goal of this assignment was to be Super Open about your past & share a diary entry from when you were an angsty teen. However! in light of our current radio show project! i decided to dramatically read snippets of Winston (from 1984)’s diary! And honestly? the end result is really really good, if i do say so myself!

So what i did was open up a free online pdf of the book (interested?) & use the “find” feature on google to look for whenever the word “wrote” appears. This led me to all of the times in which Winston wrote in his diary. I copied them all into a word document with the intention of reading all of them for the upload. However, upon attempting a dramatic reading of some of the longer entries, I realized that it was a little bit boring and irrelevant. Thus, I decided to pick and choose the entries that i thought showed Winston’s progression through the novel, from a man full of rage with nowhere to put it, to a critically reflecting outcast, then to an ideal member of the party machine. Once I decided on the diary bits i wanted included, I took a couple takes in the vocal recording booth & spliced and edited into a final product that i’m happy with.

Overall I think this turned out really well, and I liked trying to show Winston character development through just tone of voice and words. I did struggle with figuring out what to cut, however. For example, the very first entry in Winston’s diary is a monologue of a war movie he saw, and I think it encapsulates how, at the beginning of the novel, he was A Little Different from everybody else, but still pretty heavily conditioned/under Big Brother’s thumb. I realized I had to cut it, however, because it was a very lengthy entry that just didn’t contribute enough to the progression to be worth keeping.

reflect critically on authority, -liz

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talkin to myself

this was delightful! I had a lot of fun with this assignment, of which the goal was to record a phone conversation with myself, but to try and make it seem like its two completely different people! Here’s the final product!

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, but also in the spirit of you don’t need a significant other to be valuable and important, I decided to focus my conversation on plans between friends for a Valentines lady hangout sesh! I start it off with a little bit of a monologue from the more valley girl type character, and then it devolves into planning and goodbyes.

Although I might be taking the listener out of the setting with my use of the word galentines, I tied this assignment to the pop culture theme by looking up the most popular slang of the 80s and absolutely INFILTRATING my dialogue with it. Additionally, the bagel bites and crystal light bit at the end is based in research on popular 80s snack foods! lots of cereal on the list, which seems Kind Of Odd. Nevertheless! The next step in my process was the purloin the vocal booth to record everything. Regarding the order of recording, I decided to record each gal seperately so that they would be on two different tracks, thus making it easier (I think) to maneuver their parts around and make it seem more conversational. Once everything was recorded, I went into audacity and first changed the pitch of each part so that it sounded more like two different people. Then I moved everything around, added and removed silences to make it sound more natural and gave it another listen through. I decided after that, that the valley girl voice (the second one to speak) would be better suited to a faster speaking voice. So I sped up her voice by like 10% and then had to readjust everything to fit again :(. It was worth it tho! The final step was to add 20 seconds of telephone ringing to the beginning in order to establish that its a phone call, which I got from- you guessed it- freesound.org. I am really happy with how this worked out and I think its Hilarious, especially with the Very Stereotyped 80s and valley girl slang.

This was just such a cool assignment; I’m quite happy with the final product. I really enjoyed just playing around with audio and sounds. Also slang has always been something I’m super interested in, especially and specifically current slang, but seeing the history and old slang terms was super cool too! I think I certainly went a little bit heavy on the slang, but honestly that amount kinda tracks with how much current slang I feel like I use in (non-professional & non-academic) speech, so mayhaps not!

gotta motor! -liz

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marius pick up your phone

This assignment had me leaving a voicemail for a character from some sort of media. I decided, in keeping both with the 80s theme and with my personal interests, to leave a voicemail for Marius Pontmercy regarding his shirking of his revolutionary duties. Give it a listen!

This was really, really fun to make, I really enjoyed pretending to chastise Marius because he just Always Does This when he’s “in love” and this time it just can’t fly because the Revolution is Starting!

To create this, I started by recording myself a few times in the vocal booth, in different pitches and with different emphases. I ended up settling on the last take I took, in which I used my normal speaking voice, rather than a deepened, surfer-dude type vibe I had used with the others. I chose this because it was the best take regarding how and what I got out, but also because then I gave myself the opportunity to play around with audacity and the effects! So I did thus! I copied all my audio into audacity and then deepened my pitch so that I sounded less like a lady. I then started messing around with the bass levels, but I don’t think that had any real effect. It might have made me sound less like a bad cartoon villain with a voice modifier, but not that much because I still sound like a cartoon villain with a bad voice modifier. After I was happy with how my words and voice sounded, I inserted a phone ringing and answering machine sound from this website! and then, a few minor cuts later, my masterpiece!

This was just so much fun because I love Les Miserables and even though theres negative chances of Marius having and answering machine and of his buddies having phones, playing like they did was a fun modernization. I also had a lot of fun with the references to the musical, like calling Cosette “closet” and quoting “Red and Black”. I really wise I had figured out how to make my voice sound more realistic and not Obviously edited, but there’s only so much one can do I suppose.

do you hear the people sing? -liz

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a face made for radio

thats a really mean thing to say and i don’t mean it in regards to anyone including myself its just the most clever title i can currently think of for my ds106 RADIO BUMPER!

This was really cute! a nice one take shot to get me into the groove of using audacity. Also helps that I proceeded to listen to the ds106 radio show that night, so I heard a couple of them in action; which was super funky fun! I had a really good time using my voice to its fullest extent with this assignment; because the lack of visual stimuli means I need and want to compensate with Super Interesting Voice Tricks!

rest easy -liz

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scooby do vibes

so my original plan for the short story with only sound bytes was a titanic-esque drowning story, then i realized that was a little bit dark, and changed pace to a more lighthearted ooky spooky vibe, much like the popular cartoon scooby do!

scooby doo toothpaste GIF

and here she is, in all her glory, fresh from my soundcloud page!

The starting point for this story was the background spooky music, it was my inspiration for the rest of it! I started with the spooky background, and then spent time on this website searching for footsteps and roars and all of the other necessary sounds for a mini horror story! I then copied them all onto a single audacity file and moved them to fit and flow nicely and naturally together. I made a few minor edits to the volume of each clip, just to make it feel more real, but other than that its mostly the original sounds!

scooby doo party hard GIF

As for thoughts behind the work, I was really honing in on the Scooby Do “scary but you know nothing Really Bad is going to happen” vibe. In my minds eye, the storyline is that someone wanted to go exploring, so they did. They walk up to an old abandoned church building, open the door, see a scary monster which roars at them, they scream, freeze for a minute, then slam the door and run away to their car (but like specifically the mystery machine). The use of the Wilhelm Scream may have been a little bit in poor taste, given its known-ness and how easily recognizable it is, but I couldn’t help myself and I do not regret it!

scooby doo halloween GIF

I really enjoyed scanning through the different sounds and searching for exactly the right one for my purposes and then cutting and editing it to work within the story. Also I really do forget how fun and important audio is to a story, and stripping everything else away made that abundantly clear in the best way possible. Overall a really fun assignment and a concept that I sort of want to pursue further. It reminds me of those “x song” but its played in a Very Specific set of circumstances that just really strike my fancy. (theres an assignment to make one of those but for copywright reasons I decided not to do it).

stay safe -liz