Category: HV/Archives

Hearing Voices- Audio, Web, Video, News

HV090- On Horseback

Jazil, the 2006 Belmont Stakes winnerHearing Voices from NPR®
090 On Horseback: Equine Athletes
Host: Barrett Golding of Hearing Voices
Airs week of: 2010-05-12

“On Horseback” (52:00 mp3):

A couple equestrian classics from the NPR archives, along with some equine music and found-sound:

“Stampede” (2:13) Chantal Dumas & Christian Calon

The collaged sounds of a Carriage Race at the annual Stampede in Austin, Manitoba. Excerpted from The little man in the ear, off the CD Radio Roadmovies; and on the Deep Wireless 2004 by Toronto’s New Adventures in Sound Art.

“Equestrian Training” (12:24) David Molpus & Carolyn Jensen Chadwick

Bruce Davidson has been a member of the U.S. Equestrian Team since 1971. He’s a world class rider, trainer and breeder. NPR visited Chesterlands Farm, in Unionville, Pennsylvania, when Bruce Davidson and his horse JJ Babu were training for the 1984 L.A. Olympics (they won a Team Gold). David Molpus is now with Ideastream in Cleveland. The producer Carolyn Chadwick’s latest project is Conservation Sound.

“Anvil Stamping Station” (2:17 excerpt) Hassle Hound

From the band’s 2006 album Limelight Cordial.

“Thicker Than Water” (4:11) Annie Gallup

A poem about a poem about a horse, from the singer’s 2005 album Pearl Street (lyrics).

“All the Tired Horses” (2:14 excerpt) Bob Dylan

From Dylan’s 1970 Self Portrait (musicians).

“Dual with a Legend” (28:20) Josh Darsa

Summer Bird, Rags to Riches, Empire Maker, Lemon Drop Kid, Colonial Affair, Thunder Gulch, those are some of the winners at the Belmont Stakes, the last leg of the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing. In 1979, an army of NPR sound-recordists showed up trackside at Belmont Park, Long Island to document Spectacular Bid’s attempt to match Secretariat’s legend. Writer/Produced: Josh Darsa. Technical Director: Skip Pizzi, with Field Engineers: Paul Blackmore and Ceil Muller. Technical Assistance: John Widoff and Dave Glasser. Editorial Assistance: Neal Conan.

Top: Jazil, 2006 Belmont Stakes winner, photo by Adam Coglianese/NYRA Photo.

DC Streets: ATC Day1

Reprinted by permission from the (private) AIRdaily:

Today is the 39th Anniversary of the first All Things Considered. The first program included a documentary of the largest anti-war demonstration in history (wikipedia). The demonstrators filled the roads, blocked the bridges and stalled the morning commuter traffic, all in an effort to shut down the government. The demonstrators were met with 10,000 federal troops, 5,000 D.C. police and 2,000 National Guard. By the end of the day, over 6,000 had been arrested, the largest mass arrest in U.S. history.

Reporters fanned out, from the Pentagon to the Mall, recording multiple perspectives of the events as they happened. I directed the program that first day, and we hustled to edit the multitude of voices into a cohesive documentary for the 5:00 ET start time.

What followed was an extraordinary 24-minute, sound portrait of the events as they happened, with the voices of protesters, police and office workers above the sirens and chopping of helicopters. Yes, there were flaws, and yet it stands as probably the best sound record of that historic day.

It also was a strong statement of the intention of NPR to get out of the studio, to use sound to effectively tell stories.
—Bill Siemering

Bill Siemering is Prez of Developing Radio Partners, NPR’s first Program Director, and author of their original 1971 mission statement National Public Radio: Purposes. You can hear that seminal DC Demonstrations report at NPR and in our HV hour of Protest. The piece still stands as both a valuable historical document and an example of what radio news can be.

“Today in the nation’s capital, it is a crime to be young and have long hair…”
—Jeff Kamen, NPR Reporter

HV089- Musicians’ Minds

Talking Heads on stageHearing Voices from NPR®
089 Musicians’ Minds: Interviewing Music Makers
Host: Lynn Neary of NPR
Airs week of: 2011-04-27 (Originally: 2010-04-21)

“Musicians’ Minds” (52:00 mp3):

Interviews with musicians that took unexpected turns:

“David Byrne: Interview” (12:36) Lynne Neary

Host Lynne Neary’s talk with the head Talking Heads, ends up with her answering his questions. From 1984, the “Stop Making Sense” movie and Speaking in Tongues album had just been released.

“A musicians’ guide to warming up” (3:40) Musicians In Their Own Words

Surveying the sonic spectrum of musicians warming up for a performance. We hear old-time singer Abigail Washburn, concert pianist Lang Lang, Brazilian singer Flora Purim, mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli, Tuvan rocker Albert Kuvezin, singer songwriters Gillian Welch and Dar Williams, bel canto tenor Lawrence Brownlee, and cellist Yo-Yo Ma. Montage by David Schulman

“Cecilia Bartoli: Interview” (4:05) Musicians In Their Own Words

One of the world’s great operatic singers explores what it means to approach the human voice as an instrument — like a trumpet or violin, produced by David Schulman.

“Negativland: Interview” (14:35) John Rieger

The cutup artists, Negativland, chew up and spit out the media, turning their NPR interview into audio art; accompanied with excerpts from their 1987 Escape from Noise.

“Mickey Hart: Interview” (10:16) Barrett Golding

The former Grateful Dead drummer and respected ethnomusicologist takes us on an audio tour of his extensive worldwide percussion collection. He talks about the rhythm “timeline” from his 1987 book and CD Planet Drum: A Celebration of Percussion and Rhythm.

Iraq: Mahmoon Palace

Soldiers pose in front of Mahmoon Palace, Tikrit, IraqRecently, as part of the US draw-down in Iraq, the US base in Tikrit, “JCC” or Joint Coordination Center, was handed back to the Iraqis. Sergeant First Class George Havel, a soldier with 232 Regiment spent four months in Tikrit, helping to coordinate emergency services. Sargeant Havel gave journalist Jake Warga a tour of Mahmoon Palace, originally built to celebrate Saddam Hussein’s birthdays. US forces had been occupying the palace up until the recent hand-over, living in its marbled halls under golden chandeliers.

Aired on PRI The World; by producer Jake Warga, “Mahmoon Palace” (3:24 mp3):


© Jake Warga

HV088- Scene of the Crime

Dragnet's Jack Webb with LA Police badgeHearing Voices from NPR®
088 Scene of the Crime: Victims, Cops, and Criminals
Host: Jake Warga of Hearing Voices
Airs week of: 2011-04-13 (Originally: 2010-03-31)

“Scene of the Crime” (52:00 mp3):

There will be blood:

“Weegee interview” (3:04 excerpt) Mary Margaret McBride

An archival interview with 1950s NYC crime scene photographer, Arthur Fellig (1899-1968), aka, Weegee. SoundPortraits has more of this July 1945 interview by nationally-syndicated talk show host Mary Margaret McBride (WEAF-New York City). (Music: “Angel of Solitude” by Alias.)

“The Bad Little Babe” (3:34 excerpt) Casey, Crime Photographer

Casey (no first name ever revealed) was crime photographer for the fictional Morning Express newspaper. He and reporter Ann Williams snapped shots, tracked criminals, and solved crimes. This excerpt from episode 330 (of a total 431) of the popular half-hour mystery-adventure series aired 1950-03-02.

“The Panama Hat” (2:17 excerpt) The Adventures of Philip Marlowe

A short clip from the third episode (1948-10-10) of this NBC show, starring Van Heflin with a script by Milton Geiger based on the stories of Raymond Chandler.

“Grime Scene” (11:43) Nancy Updike

The This American Life producer spends a couple days riding around L.A. with the professional “Crime Scene Cleaners, specializing in homocides, suicides, and accidental deaths.”

More…

Iraq: Mjr Lockridge- Bohemian

The first of our Soldier’s Soundtrack series: Embedded with the 3rd Infantry Division, US Army, Baghdad, the producer plugged into the soldier’s iPods, asking them what they were listening to, why they liked the song, and what their lives were like. To Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Major James Lockridge tells us, “The United States Army can go anywhere at anytime or anyplace. I learned that during the first war. I wouldn’t want to be anybody that had to face the United States.”

Aired on PRI The World; by producer Jake Warga, “Iraq: Major Lockridge- Bohemian Rhapsody” (2:47 mp3):

Major James Lockridge after learning of an IED explosion that killed 5
Photo © Jake Warga: “Major James Lockridge, after learning of an IED explosion that killed 5, wounded 17, in Tuz, Iraq. We had been up all night looking for bombs. We missed it. I felt it.”

HV087- Thumb and Thumber

Woman's hand, thumbs up, hitching a rideHearing Voices from NPR®
087 Thumb and Thumber: The Joy of Hitchhiking
Host: Larry Massett of Hearing Voices
Airs week of: 2011-04-06 (Originally: 2010-03-24)

“Thumb and Thumber” (52:00 mp3):

Is hitchhiking the great American adventure sport or just a risky last resort for folks who can’t come up with bus fare?:

“A Beginner’s Guide to Hitchhiking” (2003 7:12) Jonathan Mitchell

Hitchhiking was once common, These days it’s aquired an aura of danger and desperation. Who wants to take the risk — especially after all those gruesome stories about rapists and serial killers? But occasionally you can still spot some guy stranded on the side of a road, sign out, thumb up, hoping that your car will be his salvation. Is he dangerous? Insane? Or just plain dirty? Maybe we should stop and find out. (PRX)

“’64 aka Go” (2005 3:45 excerpt) Lemon Jelly

The Brit duo (Nick Franglen and Fred Deakin) from their album ’64-’95, with the voice of William Shatner.

“New Shoes” (2002 10:18) Scott Carrier

Hitchhiking cross-country with a telegram for the Dalai Llama, a prayer for compassion from the cops, and half your net worth invested in a pair of high-top sneakers.

More…

Reality Radio- Coming Home

The publshers of Reality Radio have allowed to post a bit of their book. From John Biewen’s Introduction:

The goal is to bring together producers with distinctive, powerful, and richly varied approaches to their craft. Some of our essayists call themselves audio artists. They push the boundaries of journalism to the breaking point—okay, beyond the breaking point—in the service of an aesthetic vision but also in pursuit of a different (higher?) sort of truth. Others describe themselves primarily as storytellers, drawing mainly on the narrative power of the spoken word. Still others see themselves as journalists; on the surface, at least, they emphasize information over formal innovation. But the journalistic documentarians, too, give careful attention to form and, in fact, employ plenty of (conventionally sanctioned) artifice along the way.

Here’s an excerpt of the essay “Coming Home,” by Katie Davis:

A boy rumbles by on his skateboard, says his name is Julio and asks to pet the dogs. Sure. Another twelve-year-old bellows like a carnival hawker, “Hey lady, you got a tire patch?” Sure. And I give Joaquin ten dollars to run to the bike store to buy three patch kits, one for him, and the rest I’ll keep for other kids. The super from the building down the street notices the cluster of kids and lugs up two old bikes he found in the alley. And this is how, without planning, I start a recycle-a-bicycle program on my front porch. Everything takes place on my front porch for a long while.

I become known as the “bike lady,” the lady who always has granola bars and time to sit and listen. After a year, I form a youth group called the Urban Rangers and begin raising money to pay for bike parts and snacks. Two teenagers ask me start a basketball team. Sure why not? And then as I explain my philosophy to the guys, that winning is not important on this team, and everybody will get to play in every game. “No, no,” the boys interrupt and begin coaching me on how to be a coach. The dialogue is funny and that night the rusty part of my radio brain begins chanting, Good tape. Good tape.

So, I call an old friend at NPR and float the idea of writing an “essay with tape” about my team. I warn the show producer that the story will be personal, like a diary, that I break the rules of journalism in every paragraph. I write in the first person and I have not kept any objective distance from these boys. I give money to two brothers because I know they are hungry. I hire another kid’s father because they are struggling on $12,000 a year. The boys hang out at my house, they come to tell me about problems. I no longer wanted any distance between me and these neighborhood kids. NPR solves the issue of my status by calling me a commentator. My transition from reporter to commentator took four years of neighborhood porch sitting and trouble shooting and is distilled into this one word.

From Reality Radio: Telling True Stories in Sound, edited by John Biewen.
© 2010 by the Center for Documentary Studies.
Used by permission of the University of North Carolina Press.

Ka

HV086- WHER-Memphis

WHER all-women staffHearing Voices from NPR®
086 WHER-Memphis: All Girl Radio
Host: Susan Stamberg of NPR
Airs week of: 2011-03-09 (Originally: 2010-03-10)

“WHER-Memphis” (52:00 mp3):

“WHER: 1000 Beautiful Watts” (52:00) Kitchen Sisters

The first all-girl radio station in the nation, WHER-Memphis, went on-air in 1955. It was the brainchild of sound legend Sam Phillips, who created the groundbreaking format with money he raised from selling Elvis Presley’s Sun Studios contract. Women almost exclusively ran the station. They read the news, interviewed local celebrities, and spun popular records. They sold and produced commercials, directed and engineered programming, and sat at the station’s control boards.

NPR’s Susan Stamberg hosts this one hour special on WHER, produced for the Kitchen Sisters’ series Lost and Found Sound. Mixed by Jim McKee of Earwax.

NPR links for WHER: music | part 1 & 2 | press | transcript | WHER reunion.

More info: PRX | Country Music Showcase.

Iraq: Leaving

Something beautiful, haunting and appropriate about Jack Warga’s photo exhibit “Leaving Iraq:”

Jake was embedded with the 3rd Infantry Division, US Army. He snapped several dozen back-of-head portraits before he left. More Iraq images and audio in Jake’s Iraq Xmas 2009 HV posts.

HV085- Protest

Health care signs at a Tea Party protestHearing Voices from NPR®
085 Protest: At the National Mall & Town Halls
Host: Barrett Golding of Hearing Voices
Airs week of: 2011-03-23 (Originally: 2010-02-24)

“Protest” (52:00 mp3):

Protest may be new to some parts of the world, but in America, complaining about the government is a national pastime. We hear protest music and mashups; we go to protest marches, from Vietnam War era actions on the National Mall, to modern-day Tea Parties and Town Halls:

“Town Halls 2009” (2:05) Barrett Golding

Protest used to be mainly for the young and left-leaning, but recently older right-wingers have joined the party — the Tea Party. When Congressmen went home in 2009, this is what they heard from constituents. Music: Jeff Arntsen, mix: Robin Wise, audio: excerpted from YouTube videos.

“Protest Mashup 1968-2008” (2:59) Ann Heppermann & Kara Oehler

A sound collage of protests and protest music over the past 40 years

“Iron Cross” (7:40 /2006) Scott Carrier

The popular Burmese rock band Iron Cross is using music to challenge the nation’s infamously repressive regime. In the great tradition of rock and roll, Iron Cross is taking on Burma’s military government with song.

More…

HV084- Place Your Bets

Welcome to Las Vegas signHearing Voices from NPR®
084 Place Your Bets: What Happens in Vegas
Host: Alex Chadwick of Conservation Sound
Airs week of: 2011-01-26 (Originally: 2010-02-17)

“Place Your Bets” (52:00 mp3):

We play keno, cards and craps in Sin City:

“Lost Wages” (6:53) Scott Carrier

Up all night in America’s gambling Mecca: Vegas, baby.

“Casino Suite (3:08 / 4:14 excerpt / 2:47 excerpt) Phillip Kent Bimstein

A classical composition, in three parts, for strings, winds, and an interview with Tom Martinet, who trained to be a priest, but, instead, started working Nevada dice tables. Premiered 1997 in Vegas, performed by Sierra Wind Quintet. Re-released on PKB’s 2006 Larkin Gifford’s Harmonica.

“Poker at the Ox” (9:54) Alex Chadwick

An NPR hosts pits his wits against the regulars at a downtown small-town casino. Guess who wins. Produced by Carolyn Jensen; sound engineer by Michael Schweppe.

“Old Gambler” (7:07) Joe Frank

An excerpt from Joe’s hour “Zen” in his series The Other Side. What happened in Vegas… definitely didn’t stay in Vegas. Getting on the wrong side of Sin City’s collection crew.

“Bass Keno” (8:18)

Jazz bassist Kelly Roberti (David Murray Quintet) lost his bass to the keno machines. He kicked the habit; the scars remain, but the bass is back. Kelly was a 2010 Governor’s Arts Awards winner.

“Lock It Up” (5:56) John Ridley

A radio drama written for Ridley’s 2001 LA Series on NPR Morning Edition. Performers are Bob Wisdom, Yang Chee, and Jim Wallace (script).

Above photo of the Las Vegas sign by Kcferret, June 2005.

Pubcasting Act

President Johnson signs the Public Broadcasting Act, November 7, 1967
President Johnson signs the Public Broadcasting Act, November 7, 1967

The Public Broadcasting Act of 1967 established the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. “Independent producers” and “independent production” are mentioned sixteen times, including, “a substantial amount shall be distributed to independent producers and production entities…”

Some of my other favorite phrases:

The Congress hereby finds and declares that —

It is in the public interest to encourage the growth and development of public radio and television broadcasting, including the use of such media for instructional, educational, and cultural purposes;

Expansion and development of public telecommunications and of diversity of its programming depend on freedom, imagination, and initiative on both local and national levels;

It is in the public interest to encourage the development of programming that involves creative risks and that addresses the needs of unserved and underserved audiences, particularly children and minorities;

The Corporation is authorized to —

Facilitate the full development of public telecommunications in which programs of high quality, diversity, creativity, excellence, and innovation.
Public Broadcasting Act of 1967, as amended

More…

Radio in Net Age

Radio Electronics magazine coverI read these things so you don’t have to: a 30-page essay, “IP Radio – A vision of radio in the Internet age” (Jan09 pdf), by Pierre Bellanger, CEO of Skyrock, the French radio & popular social net. Within are history and prognostications on all things digi-radio-future, but few new perspectives (“Radio, like the written press, the music industry and television, is changing”, etc.).

Did find a few entertaining morsels, like this (pg11) on the singularity and un-CG-ability of the human voice:

Just as a penguin can recognise another among thousands, since time immemorial we have been able to discern a wealth of incredible nuances and emotions in the human voice. We owe our survival to our brain’s ability to decipher the details of the voice, further heightening the effect of visual absence.

Pixar’s digital masterpieces such as Toy Story or Ratatouille reproduce the most complex visual experiences like wet fur or the shine of bodywork with a computer, while the characters express their emotions as well as human actors. Despite these wonders, for the voices the studio uses actors, such as Tom Hanks or Paul Newman. A voice is more complex than an image.

And this historical radio data (pg19) — unsourced, so can’t vouch for validity:

Radio experienced an auspicious period in the United States between 1980 and 2000. In 1995 radio represented a little over 10% of media advertising investments, or $12 billion. Prosperous radio stations generated results equivalent to 30% of their turnover. In 1995 regulations on ownership of several radio stations in the same market were relaxed. This 20 allowed the Clear Channel group to carry out a number of acquisitions; today, it owns about 900 stations with combined revenue of $3.5 billion in 2005.

The Clear Channel policy targeted profitability by standardising and homogenising programmes. Audiences considered risky and insolvent, such as adolescents, were abandoned. Further, morning shows, already attacked by influential puritanical groups and repeated fines from the authorities, were sanitised.

As a result, radio stations were reduced to simply playing lists of tried and tested hits aimed at an audience aged from 25 to 49 and hosted by DJ-robots. These flows were burdened with a maximum of advertising slots. Like a plane whose engine is shut off to save fuel and keeps flying for a few moments, the system seemed to work.

Then it began to show the first signs of weakness at the very moment when the younger generation was seizing the musical offer exploding on the Internet: the number of 18 to 24 year olds listening to the radio has dropped by 20% over the last ten years and 85% of adolescents now find their new music on the Internet.

In 2007 radio’s turnover was $20 billion and still represented about 10% of the media advertising market but it is a decreasing trend. For now, the years of generous cash flow are over.

However, despite everything, according to the Institut Arbitron radio audiences continue to grow (93% of the population listens to 18.5 hours a week on average!) but the length of listening time is dropping.

Finally, this possibility for targeted per-user radio ads based on IP address and other online info (pg24):

The half a million listeners who listen instantly to Difool’s morning show on Skyrock correspond to various characteristics. The same station can attract very different people which is how a large station becomes successful. The addressing process of IP radio means that people listening to the same programme can hear different adverts which correspond to their needs. Such multiple, simultaneous targeting is good news for advertisers which can concentrate their investments on suitable targets, for radio stations which can better serve their clients and are therefore more attractive, and for listeners who will hear adverts which are more relevant to what they are interested in.

IP radio combines radio’s power as a mass media with the advertising precision of the Internet.

How can an IP address be qualified, as it is occasionally random on some machines? Identification of the machine can be reinforced via a small file left on the hard disk (cookies) or through a code entered by the user at the start of the session (login) which identifies the individual. Moreover, the generalised spread of mobile terminals and their use for telecommunications will increase relevance between user and machine. This is currently the case with mobile telephones which are even more individual than PCs.

Even creepier targeted-ads could combine radio w/ the user’s web access data (pg26): “Someone listening to the radio just after looking at an automobile website could hear an ad
hoc advert via the radio.”

Don’t think it’s possible? Think again: “Even without cookies, a browser leaves a trail of crumbsArs Techica | Panopticlick EFF research project.

via Technology360.

HV083- Shortcuts- 21st Century III

Foreclosure sign on houseHearing Voices from NPR®
083 Shortcuts- 21st Century III: Decade One
Host: Peter Bochan of WPKN-Bridgeport CT
Airs week of: 2010-01-27

“Shortcuts- 21st Century III” (52:00 mp3):

The final hour in our three hour-long retrospective of this first decade of the century, and the millennium:

Shortcut Thru the 21st Century, Part Three (52:00) Peter Bochan

We survey selected speech, song, and soundbites of the stories and celebs from 2006 thru 2009: Christ’s passion, planetary climate change, presidential contenders, Ponzi schemes, collapsing economies, Tiger, Michael, Sully, Britney, Bush, Obama, foreclosure, bailout, Bradgelina, Miss USA, You Tube, and the continuing decline of western civilization.

Shortcuts are assembled, mixed and mashed by audio wizard Peter Bochan, of All Mixed Up, WBAI-NYC and WPKN-Bridgeport CT. (All three 21C Shortcuts hours are at PRX.)

HV082- Shortcuts- 21st Century II

New Orleans roads bridges, and buildings floodedHearing Voices from NPR®
082 Shortcuts- 21st Century II: Decade One
Host: Peter Bochan of WPKN-Bridgeport CT
Airs week of: 2010-01-20

“Shortcuts- 21st Century II” (52:00 mp3):

Part two in this three hour-long retrospective of the first decade, of the century, of the millennium:

Shortcut Thru the 21st Century, Part Two (52:00) Peter Bochan

We survey selected speech, song, and soundbites from 2003 thru 2005; from the invasion of Iraq, to electing a U.S. President, to the flooding of New Orleans.

Shortcuts are assembled, mixed and mashed by audio wizard Peter Bochan, of All Mixed Up, WBAI-NYC and WPKN-Bridgeport CT. Next week, the final part: 2006-2009 (all three at PRX).

HV081- Shortcuts- 21st Century I

World Trade Center towers, NYCHearing Voices from NPR®
081 Shortcuts- 21st Century I: The First Decade
Host: Peter Bochan of WPKN-Bridgeport CN
Airs week of: 2010-01-13

“Shortcuts- 21st Century I” (52:00 mp3):

The first of a three hour-long retrospective of the first decade, of the century, of the millennium:

Shortcut Thru the 21st Century, Part One (52:00) Peter Bochan

After a quick 2009 intro, we survey selected speech, song, and soundbites from 2000 thru 2002; from the 2000 election and recounts, with Bush, Gore, Bill and Hill, thru 911, Homeland Security, and Afghanistan.

Shortcuts are assembled, mixed and mashed by audio wizard Peter Bochan, of All Mixed Up, WBAI-NYC and WPDK-Bridgeport CT. Next week, part two: 2003-2005 (all three at PRX).

Dubai: Reach for the Sky

Dubai- tallest building[Jake’s out of Iraq, and back in Dubai…]

I visited the world’s newest tallest building today — Humanity’s latest height.

The whole experience smelled of new paint.

From the 124th observation floor I could still see starving people all over the world.

I could almost see Mesopotamia where I had been in Iraq, where the tower of Babel once stood and where people still fight.

Many tourists, many languages, we all took photos, that’s what we do.

I could not see the desert though we stand on it and are surrounded by it.

There’s no where to sit, to contemplate. The gift kiosk sold stylish tissue box covers, there was only one urinal in the men’s room and it didn’t have auto-flush.

I could see the past but the building promoted only the future.

Dubai- tallest building, top floor