IN-Well I’d been to work…
OUT- …while I was pregnant with you.
INTRO- Kelly relives her utmost surprise upon realising she was pregnant with her first child whilst playing, not her best, game of netball.
MUSIC- https://www.bensound.com – Memories
For my Emotional History assignment, I chose to interview my mum, Kelly, and convey the emotion of surprise, through her utmost surprise of finding out she was pregnant with her first child whilst playing her weekly netball game. This story evoked quite a feeling of humorous surprise to me and Ira Glass explains, you as the interviewer are ‘constantly looking to amuse yourself through stories’ (Glass,2016), and that is what I aimed to do in this assignment. My interviewee has always been a passionate storyteller, which is why I believed her to be ‘good talent’ (McHugh, 2017). Her personality and emotions are evident throughout the piece and her storytelling demeanour can also be highlighted.
To capture this interview, along with the ambient sounds that accompanies it, a H2 Zoom Recorder was used, to ensure the highest quality. It was then edited and mixed using the Hindenburg software, which crafted it quite well, and I didn’t experience any difficulties whilst using it.
Through the interview process, I as the interviewer didn’t ask many questions, but instead allowed the interviewee to tell her story just as she felt, and go in any direction, as I knew storytelling was a great skill Kelly acquired. This then allowed me to have many audio points of entry for my story, and many moments to include or disregard depending on how I edited. However, an issue I faced whilst editing this dialogue was the storytelling could sometimes be too fast, which was quite difficult to overcome. The use of splitting and fading and inserting breaths and pauses from other parts of dialogue were then of great use to me. I found my audio log helped me greatly in this process.
To highlight the emotional history, ambient sound was used as a way to further engage listeners and add more dimension to the overall listening experience. The story begins at netball, therefore, netball playing sounds were recorded and played in the beginning, and then softened during the opening part of speech. These ambient noises add a feeling of almost urgency, as it makes potent just what the environment would have been like, while in contrast, Kelly was discovering something quite surreal. The idea “We often use the same piece of music at the open and close of a piece, as a sort of bookend, or frame, a repeating theme” (The Kitchen Sisters 2010 in McHugh 2017) from The Kitchen Sisters as seen in the week 5 lecture, gave me inspiration. As I used this idea however not with music but with sound. The netball sounds are used right at the beginning and end as netball is mentioned, and also to elicit a repeating theme. The Baby crying was another ambient sound added, to create an even bigger contrast. I kept this noise quite short and diluted, as I didn’t want it to overtake the emotions that were later being expelled in the speech. Alan Hall states ‘No sound is innocent’ (Hall 2010, p.98 in McHugh 2017) as quoted in the week 4 lecture slides, and this noise was no exception to that. This explains the subjectivity of sound, and how the same sounds can elicit different emotions, such as a baby crying. Therefore, I used this noise in a happy context, as it can be used in a multitude of ways.
I also chose to add music, this wasn’t a requirement, however I chose to include this element as I believed it would create a greater feeling of resonance with the audience. As well as enhancing the happy and surprising mood that segment of the piece alludes to.
All these elements have been incorporated in creating a cohesive emotional history story, which I hope resonates and entertains audiences.
Hall, A, cited in McHugh S (2017), Lecture Week Four, “Actuality and Voice”, 15 August 2017.
Hall, A (2010). “Cigarettes and Dance Steps” in Reality Radio: Telling True Stories in Sound, ed. J. Biewen and A. Dilworth, Chapel Hill, UNC Press.
Glass, I, 2016, Ideas at the house, podcast, viewed 28 August 2017, <https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/sydney-opera-house-talks-ideas/id640445035?mt=2>.
McHugh, S (2017). Lecture, Week four, “Using actuality in audio production”, 14 August 2017.
McHugh, S (2017). Lecture, Week five, “Music and Mixing Audio Stories” 21 August 2017.
The Kitchen Sister Tips, cited in McHugh S (2017), Lecture Week Five, “Mixing and Music”, 22 August 2017.
||CONTENT – summary
||F-“Well I’d been to work and I was playing indoor netball that evening…
||** good start, not quite as impactful as could be
||F-“..I’d had a bit of a suspicion I might be pregnant…next five years”
||*** good segment of speech, spoken well, articulates feelings
||F-“ So that night at netball where I usually am queen of the court.…because I was worried”
||***added humor and emotion of surprise
||F-“ I was worried about this possible unborn child that I might damage….. played the worst game of my life”
||** clear feelings and emotion of worry and what surprise brings
||F-“I..stopped at a chemist on the way home bought a pregnancy test…… could not play another game of netball that badly”
||** storytelling component, more good humor added
||F-“ So I did the pregnancy test, it was positive…”
||*more storytelling, not as much impact
||F-“ Instant emotions…of course were huge surprise, huge shock…instant love…instant connection…instant mother bear…it was an instant connection”
||**real openness of feelings and surprise, sounds good and unscripted
||F-“I had to sit and wait for your dad to come home….
||F-“ As soon as he walked through the door I couldn’t help myself…blurted it out as soon as he walked in the door”
||***pure excitement and surprise feelings, clearly spoke, laugh is good
||F-“To say he wasn’t quite where I was.. was an understatement… He was shocked in a different way to me..”
|| **good example of other surprise
||F-“He went quiet, got contemplative…while I was then jumping around the house like a bit of a lunatic”
||*good example and spoken but not relevant to narrative
||F-“And that’s when we found out that you were about to enter the world… our lives would change for the absolute better”
||*** good ending/ encapsulates feelings and happiness/surprise
||F-“At the time we thought 30 was a good age…now being 45 and having a 19 year old I’m so happy that I don’t have a 5 or 10 year old…”
||** good storytelling, possibly not relevant
||F-“I think things are meant to be, I really do believe that…. This child was really meant to be here in the world.. and you are”
||***another meaningful surprise option/ ending/ emotion
||F-“I connected instantly, did take him (your dad) a little while…took him a little while longer to really connect to the baby”
||*well-spoken/ not relevant
||F-“realized that’s very common….males it can take a little bit longer..”
||*not relevant, slight background noise
||F-“But we had a little scare and we had to have an ultrasound…
||*good storytelling, not impact of the story
||F-“as soon as he saw the little bean…I watched his face change to complete…adoration…he was a dad from that moment on”
||**good example of emotion and surprise
||F-“Oh gosh I was dreadful, I had a shocker…because I thought I could possibly be (pregnant) I was in protective mode, I didn’t want anything to happen to you”
||***really good quote and spoken example of netball game and emotion felt
||F-“Normally I throw myself around the court like a bit of a lunatic, I’m a little bit rough…I took it easy”
||***again good examples of impacting feelings and emotions of game
|| F-“I didn’t want to potentially injure you…felt like I let myself down.. that’s why I had to do the pregnancy test straight away, I couldn’t do another week of that..I had to know
||**more storytelling, less impactful, still portrays emotions
||F-“as it turned out I never played a game of netball again while pregnant with you..”
||**impactful ending, will tie together netball, some background noise, not as well spoken