It’s Alright, It’s Alright

Theme Verse-combine verses of songs to create a new verse.

The Story Behind the Story

I rarely hear song lyrics. I am fully consumed by how fluid the melody is, the way the notes float seamlessly together. Words flit in and out of my perception, usually I’ll only catch a few here or there. I can’t really sing along, but I always try. The words are somewhat of an interruption to what is already there. The music can captivate me with or without language. And yet, a song without lyrics seems strikingly incomplete. So when I break up that fluidity I have always adored, I become painfully aware of the lyrics.
Each word falls like a hammer, nailing down notes and pinning up harmonies. They are blunt interruptions, wreaking havoc on delicately intertwined threads of music. But I hear them, I can hear each word clearly. And each word was chosen as carefully as each note, joining this perfectly coordinate symphony to create something beautiful. The words come together like a poem, a broken ballad with imperfectly cut edges that sit unevenly on top of each other. Their textured fringes cling to one another, mending themselves into a cry for healing.

The poem reads as follows:

Listen to your body you can never see it, you know how I’m feeling, you can never fake it, listen to your heart break

I don’t wanna see you waste another day, your heart break, your heart break

Get up get down, get up get down feel the general attention and stop

You should get a ride cause you cant control the heart that beats under the bone come on my comeback chameleon

You keep on askin for help but nobody knows how

Its alright, its alright, you see the fault lines, started panicking you confide in the low light, you’re so kind you’re caught up in the crossfire its alright its alright.

I was inspired to create a poem through lyrics by black out poetry. In this method, you take a book and black out certain portions of the text, leaving only a few words legible. Those words are then stitched together to create a poem. Not only do these often result in beautiful language, but the broken text is beautiful in itself. I’m particularly fond of Austin Kleon’s Poetry.

The Tutorial

To create this new verse, I first selected the songs that I wanted to use and then located them on YouTube. I then used a website called Convert2mp3 to convert the videos into downloadable audio files.

Once these songs were converted, I imported them to audacity where I selected the portions of the song that I wanted to be in the final clip. I then aligned the clips into one fluid sound bit.

Outside

Emotions Through Sound-Tryto convey a certain emotion by combining sound effects

Maybe it’s cliché that I chose to replicate happiness through the sounds of nature. But I thought for a very long time about what sounds make me happy, and they are the sounds of being outdoors. The sounds that bring me closer to the world I’ve always wished was a bigger part of me. The sounds of gentle breezes and rushing water and buzzing insects will always comfort me. When I hear the sound of a dove cooing, I am instantly transported to childhood summers where I laid my back against sun-warmed pavement and let soft breezes glance just slightly off of the surface of my skin.
And the sound of soft breezes as they swirl through leaves, causing them to rattle and shiver, will always be far more impressive than a strong gust of wind. These sounds make me feel warm as if sunlight is kissing my skin, even as I type away at this in a dark room. These are sounds of freedom from obligation and the gift of simplicity. And I do think everyday would be better if it ended with a thunderstorm.
I chose this assignment because it was truly a challenge, no sense alone is truly sufficient to convey emotion. Through sound, emotion would best be recreated using dialogue or at least human sounds. But I wanted to try and do this in a slightly abstract way. Because human emotion is an abstraction in itself. Once again the power of sound has impressed me. When I close my eyes and listen to this track I am instantly relieved, I am transported. These sound effects, low in quality and inexpertly mixed are enough to move me.

I took inspiration from this video which is centered heavily around the sounds of the woods of Georgia. Even though it is a video, I would argue that the sense that is most targeted by this content is hearing.


The Tutorial-

To create this sound clip, I first downloaded sounds from Free Sound.

 

Once the clips were downloaded, I opened a list of them in a separate clipboard to keep track of each one that I used in order to properly acknowledge credit.

The sound clips used in this project include:

Bansemer: birds morning dove song birds st Augustine april
Lebcraftlp: heavy rain
Soundkrampf: creek
Duck duck pony: foliage rustling
Le-abbaye-noirlac: tree rustling

I then opened the sound clips using audacity and merged them, overlapping some of them to generate a new combination of sounds. I used the fade in and fade out effects in several positions along the sound bits. When the project was finished, I exported it and uploaded it to my SoundCloud account to be published and then embedded in this post.

Move

Sound Effects Story: Tell a story using nothing but sound effects.

The Story Behind the Story

These days were Adam’s favorite. The rain fell gently, and the air was crisp with chilled humidity making the pavement of the carport feel damp. He sat with his legs splayed out in a V formation before him, toe to toe with his brother Andrew. They were gingerly rolling a foam ball back and forth between. Each time the ball came to Andrew, he left deep depressions in the shape of his small hand and watched the ball grow slowly back into its original form. Adam barely let the pads of his finger tips make any impression on the ball, rather allowing the smooth outer covering to slide under his fingers. He always wanted to feel as much as he could, with every moment. Right now he could feel the thick air resting on his skin more than anything, but he also felt the dull sensation of small pebbles slowly indenting themselves into the back of his calves as they rested on the pavement. He felt a subtle ache in his lower back, he had been sitting stiffly for what felt like hours. Andrew had begged him to help him reach the arts and craft bin from the upper shelf in the carport, but Adam wanted to sit with his brother and watch the storm brew, he promised to pull the bin down later.
There hadn’t been any lightning but soft rolling thunder undulated in the distance, like a soft warning that something bigger was on its way. As Adam slid his fingers off the smooth surface of the ball, again sending it spinning slowly towards Andrew, a bright light began to claim the horizon. It happened slowly at first, and then all at once, a consuming and powerful rush struck his face slapping him with invisible heat making his skin warm to the touch. Overhead, something large and foreign soared fiercely towards the two boys, and suddenly their world was in motion. There was no flame, no bomb was dropped.
An invisible force struck them, and around their feet the carport crumbled, in the distance were screams. Sound continued to pummel what was once a proud town. Disaster had gripped every living soul, had wrapped itself around everything that could have once been cherished and crushed it. Adam lay beneath the rubble of the carport, toys were scattered like casualties among fallen shelves and torn drywall. Andrew stood mostly unscathed, the arts and crafts bin had tumbled right to his feet, spilling only a few of its contents. His eyes darted around the ruins, looking for his brother. The sounds in the distance started to grow louder, he thought of his most recent science class. They had talked about the Doppler effect. He shouted to his brother to move, he shouted to himself to move. He didn’t move.

The Doppler Effect, an extremely recognizable and well-known phenomenon reminds me that the physics of sound are powerful.

The Tutorial

To complete this assignment, I downloaded sound effects from a sound effect website called Free Sound. I simply searched for the sounds that I wanted to use to generate my story and then downloaded them, and imported them into audacity.

Once in audacity, I was able to organize the sound bits in the order that would generate the story I wanted to portray. I edited the sound bites by cutting a few sections out in a few effects and using the “fade in” and “fade out” effects. Once completed I exported the clip and uploaded it to my SoundCloud account. The effects that I used include:

Timbre: loud jet-ish fly by
Design dean: Kids “WOAH”
Scream Studio: Scary Horn
Wjoojooo: Stan Throwing a Fit
Jgrzinich: Rain Storm
Scream Studio: Ambient one shot
Klankbeeld: Horror Insects
Starscade: distant fireworks
Klankbeeld: thunder suburb
Tommccan: explosion
Allanz10d: explosion simulation
Rhonturn: people on carnival rides

Putting the Day-to-Day on Shuffle

What’s The Story Morning Glory: Limit the dialogue, walk us through your daily morning routine using sound alone.

The Story Behind the Story

Routine is something we desire, it is an evolutionarily-sculpted advantage. We can organize our daily lives into sequence and let the hands on the clock take hold of our own and guide us. Usually I dread but accept these routines, as they are pervasive. I see no reason to attempt to avoid them, and I wonder if maybe the way that I quickly take a liking to routine is simply another evolutionary mechanism. Perhaps I only feel so comfortable in routine because if I were left in discomfort, the routine would be abandoned before any benefit were seen.

However, routines can be broken in completely non-chronological manners. To see your day-to-day in a different light, a change of perspective is the only essential. This alteration could be visual, as is often the dominant sense for most people. Changes in taste and touch are often imperceptible or insignificant. But a alteration in audio could be quite compelling. The sound need not be changed, but isolated, as I did in this assignment. Here, my morning routine is reduced to the simplicity of the sounds that greet me on a daily basis. These are not the sounds I hear, rather the wavelengths produced by the actions I both feel and carry out. It is not coffee brewing, or the sound of campers searching for me in a game of “Hide the Counselor.” These are the sounds of each moment of a life unfolding, unaltered and authentic.
I chose this project because I have always deeply valued my mornings, but usually for its sights, smells and tastes. The bitter-sweet tinge that rolls off my tongue with each sip of coffee and the dim, purple-tinted light of each sunrise are sufficient to capture my attention. What might be heard in my mornings is often reduced to my Spotify Discover Weekly playlist. This assignment allows me to focus on the organic sound effects that make up my life. This audio clip is representative of a typical day for me: I wake up, drink my coffee and eat my breakfast, brush my teeth and get dressed to go to camp where we play games and shout with total abandoned. My days sound so sweet when I just listen.

The Tutorial-

I recorded all the audio material for this assignment using the Voice Memos app on my iphone and uploaded it to my PC. Once on my computer, I opened the audio files using iTunes, and converted them to MP3 files by selecting the song, clicking File<Convert<Convert to Mp3

Once converted to the proper format, I opened the audio file in Audacity, a program for audio editing. I followed this procedure to cut out background noise and come up with clear, focused audio content.