One of the cool things about working in a university is you can use your classroom as an excuse to learn new things (who would have thought?). I was able to bring in Andrew Burkum, a member of the Phoenix Creative Collective and producer of The Two-Minute Beer Review and Phoenix Talk Radio. He offered us a crash course in how to write, record, and edit sound projects using Audacity, a free, open-source, audio recording tool available to all. By the end, as he promised, I knew how to record in any location, how to filter out ambient noises, and make the quality of the recording sound, well, podcast worthy.
Yet, by the end of it all, as I was kicking around ideas for podcasting and playing with microphones, I started to wonder: would podcasting really be worth my while? Don't get me wrong - it looks like a lot of fun, and I enjoy the production process, from the recording to the editing to the layering of sound and sound effects. Plus, the potential to turn something like a podcast into a project that might some day generate money (even if a far-fetched possibility) added an additional bonus. But I keep thinking about a speech Neil Gaiman gave to the University of the Arts in 2012. It's become one of my founding tools of assessing whether or not the act of taking something on is a worthwhile endeavor. Gaiman's advice: to consider what's at the top of your artistic mountain, and when opportunities arrive, to ask yourself whether these opportunities takes you closer to the peak or downwards, in the wrong direction. And so podcasting, enticing as it is, felt like another obstacle I could place in the way of my creative work.
(here's the Gaiman speech for those who haven't seen it!)
Here's the links to the Tri-Quarterly site:
Maybe you, too, are playing with sound? If so, would love to hear what you've come up with - and who knows, maybe some day, we can turn these audio forms into .... a podcast. ;)