For our first assignment we had to do a portrait on the person we chose to sit next to on the first day, which was very interesting and proved to be quite a fun challenge. My subject was Aisha Stevens, who I got along with immediately and turns out, like most people, is a very interesting person with a story to tell; you just have to find the story. Here is my reflection and my final piece:
Sense of Place can truly define a person and to Aisha, her place in the world is traversing it in the footsteps of her parents, especially her father and grandfather, all journalists before her.
Whilst interviewing Aisha I quickly discovered that she had a very passionate love for journalism and a very strange sense of place, due to the fact that she had been uprooted so many times. But because of this strange sense of place she almost enjoyed travel and the enticing nature of the foreign as opposed to what she’s already accustomed to. Couple this with the fact that both her parents are journalists and her own vendetta to become one herself, and you’ve got an individual with a world at her feet.
I really decided to focus in on Aisha’s parents and the fact that through their careers as journalists Aisha had been moved around a lot and really developed a very unique and worldly sense of place. Sense of place is a very significant part of identity and through asking Aisha about her favourite places I discovered the type of person she was and the overall tone of my piece. I used atmospheric sounds to create and add textures to certain phrases, combining and then suddenly dropping the layers at different points to allow for greater meaning to be created through subtext. While the sounds used were at times obvious, they did take on a more emotional and subtextual quality as the piece progressed, and the sounds were used instead for their emotive quality rather than physical/location-based quality.
While this was not my first attempt at using audio editing software, it was my first time creating a layered audio portrait and I feel that it was successful for a first attempt. However, I do acknowledge that the recording could have been done in a cleaner room to achieve a clean sound with no white noise pollution, and that my cutting could have been more lenient as in some areas the ends of words were cut off unintentionally. However, I do not feel that this takes away from the overall piece, it is just not good practice unless it is being used for a desired effect.