the death of a ghost – studio reflection

This is the end of a life. Dramatic, yes, but our whole theme is of ghosts so it’s just. I’ve come to the final halfway point in my university career and feel as though the closer to the edge I swim, the deeper the water gets. Can I get onto dry land before my feet stop touching the bottom? I need water wings or something.

Ghosts and Space has definitely been adding to the water. If I continue with my swimming analogies, then my work during the classes are the egg-beater kicks. I’m surviving, floating, not going very far. In my soundscapes, I’m half doggy-paddling, half breaststroke. I’ve gotten further in bits and bobs using my knowledge but it hasn’t been a smooth freestyle or backstroke.

The sound piece I’ve created was finished when upon first presentation, and only required a little cleaning and touch-up, such as the voice-acting and period relevant soundtracks. Even so, I do wish I’d spent the extra time I’d had on creating a side project that could have possibly overtaken this one. I could’ve gone in a different direction, swam a little harder. My biggest regret is not branching out into something I haven’t done before. I toyed with the idea of an interactive photo with sound hotspots, but the feedback Courtroom Colours received at the pitch let me feel safe in creating a soundscape. It is what I do best creatively, yet to let me down – my career aspirations involve sound, music, and radio. However, this studio has somewhat brutally let me know that if I don’t entirely work towards what I want, making soundscapes is something that’ll only get me through university and stay as a hobby whilst I lead teams of burger-flippers. A bright future. Smart and successful Imogen.

You can listen to my newly named piece ‘Dead Air’ here.

The piece still leads its listener through the fuzzy history of the Magistrates’ Court of Melbourne. As I said in an earlier post, the aim here is to let listeners create their conclusions of court trials whilst having relevant memories and experiences evoked by the ambient sound effects. It is pure as a sound piece, and one I believe is unique of my peers. Whether the effectiveness of sound comes across in the virtual tour, or if the listeners do not engage because the sudden lack of images is disconcerting (or boring), I am unsure. All that I can hope for this project is that my love of story within sound comes through, and that at least one person makes the complete journey through it.

At least all my peers will be forced to a short snippet of it. I’m still toying with which “highlight” of the sound narrative is best at representing both the Magistrates’ Court and my own interpretation. As it is a teaser for the real deal, my best bet would be the Ned Kelly trial but it could also be revealing the peak of the piece, leading to disappointment on listening. This idea will float for a while longer.

As for my work with the classmates, I’d say it all came together in the end. From generally sitting alone in the room on the days I did manage to show up, to finally learning everyone’s names, to the point where I have now volunteered to present next week’s exhibition with Ellen; we have cohesively moved from students to colleagues with a common goal. The website created sort of lumped itself together but actually looks less student-ish than I think we all expected. The layout was something I helped work on, choosing how our content would appear on each page. After dealing with Adrian Miles’ reluctance to give us the layout we wanted originally, I fumbled around until the current site resembled something close to the desired. My final piece in the model will be placed next week at the exhibition, where everything will finally be shown. I don’t even know what half of our work looks like. I believe it’s just something that can’t be visualised until we actually all come together and present. That’s exciting.

All in all, I think we’ve all made it to the point where our work has begun to depart from its humble student roots and instead represent our potential as media makers in a (hopefully) paid world. We have this studio to thank, I think, and the degree itself. The final semester’s studios claim that they’ll prepare us for our exit from schooling – if it’s anything along the lines of Ghosts and Space, then we are swimming with goggles, wetsuits and flippers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *