Analysis/Reflection #1, Q4

Listen to the first 10 minutes of Glenn Gould’s radio documentary, “The Idea of North”.

The idea of North 10min.wav or Files are here (experimenting with different sizes and file types) If possible, use headphones. Record your impressions in a paragraph or two.

The soundscape in general is confusing. The initial overlaying interviews were chaotic and unpleasant. They were difficult to comprehend, but less so the second time I listened to it. I suppose they were meant as an “introduction”, to display the varying opinions and perspectives of the North. Even as the interviews fade into the background, they remain somewhat annoying. The second half is much easier on the ears, even though some sound effects, such as a train going through a tunnel, don’t seem that relevant.

However, the premise of the documentary is fascinating. Paul said we could also explore an idea/concept in our documentary, so I think The Idea of North is a good example of that. It is also informative; it provides various first hand accounts and sheds some of the mysticism that surrounds the North. Some other things I drew from the doco was the usage of various interviewees to ensure a variety of opinions and insights – it helps keep the doco interesting. Verbal descriptions of the topic are also very helpful (e.g. in the very first interview with the woman where she described the North in vivid detail).

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