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Intro to Audio Storytelling: Interviewing & Recording (Brattleboro)

  • 118 Elliot 118 Elliot Street Brattleboro, VT USA (map)

Whether you want to learn how to conduct oral history interviews to share with your family or build a interview-based podcast to share with the world, Introduction to Audio Storytelling: Interviewing & Recording provides hands-on training in interviewing techniques and the use of digital audio recording tools to get you started with your projects. 

The workshop opens with an overview of the Vermont Folklife Center’s ethnographic approach to interviewing and a discussion of the methods and ethics of recording other people’s stories. To demonstrate our approaches in practice, we conduct a model interview with a guest and then open a group discussion of the interview process. 

Hands on activity is central to the workshop. Using audio recording gear provided by VT Folklife, attendees will work in teams to conduct practice interviews—gaining first hand experience with the process, and familiarizing themselves with the complex challenges of balancing interpersonal engagement with interviewees while simultaneously using audio recording technology to document the interaction.

Although all digital audio recorders have their quirks and distinctions, the fundamental skills demonstrated by the equipment provided will be applicable to most currently available portable digital recording equipment. In addition, we discuss the broad field of audio recording options including stand alone audio recorders, USB computer interfaces, and Android and iOS recording apps. The day concludes with reflection on the whole process and a discussion of project ideas.

The Vermont Folklife Center’s approach to interviewing is based on the theories and methods of ethnographic research. From this perspective, an interview offers the opportunity to see the world through the eyes of another person. The premise of our interview methodology is that everyone is the foremost authority on their own life, and an interview offers the opportunity to record a person’s experience in their own words and on their own terms. 

Led by VT Folklife Associate Director and Archivist, Andy Kolovos and VT Untapped (TM) Podcast Producer Mary Wesley, this workshop will provide attendees with guidance and resources to move forward with their own interview and audio projects. Workshop attendees will also have ongoing access to Folklife Center staff for consultation as their projects progress.

Introduction to Audio Storytelling: Interviewing and Recording is offered in partnership with The Brattleboro Words Project. Tuition is $95 ($55/students). You may also register by calling the Vermont Folklife Center at (802) 388-4964. 

The Brattleboro Words Project will underwrite the participation of some teachers and research leaders. Write to BrattleboroWords@gmail.com to apply.

This workshop is a part of the Vermont Folklife Center’s Cultural Sustainability Institute series.  Cultural Sustainability provides a framework for examining human experience in the present with an awareness of the past and a view toward the future.