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Recording our Place: Telling Stories with Sound

  • Generator Makerspace 40 Sears Lane Burlington, VT, 05401 United States (map)

What does “place” sound like? In this hands-on workshop you’ll learn basic audio recording skills and head out into the field to collect interviews. We’ll also record ambient and natural noises and think about how how we experience place through sound. Then we’ll look at the editing process to explore how we can use audio to tell a story and deepen our understanding of place. This workshop is presented in partnership with the Generator Makerspace. Burlington’s South End will be our sonic laboratory but the skills you’ll learn can apply to whatever project you might be working on.

This workshop is for anyone wanting to learn the ins-and-outs of audio production and storytelling with a focus on documenting culture, community and place. It will be accessible for people at all levels of technical knowledge from the complete beginner to the professional. A collaborative learning atmosphere will be encouraged. The VFC will provide audio equipment for those who need it; if you have your own gear you are encouraged to bring it. We will explore a full range of recording options including low-resource audio production tools such as cell phones or borrowed equipment from community media outlets. Anyone can produce audio! Feel free to come with a project in mind or simply attend with an exploratory spirit.

The day will begin with a brief introduction to the Vermont Folklife Center’s work and our approach to cultural research and media production. Then we’ll explore the tools, technologies, and methods involved in collecting audio field recordings and interviews, taking a real “field trip” into the South End neighborhood to gather sound. By the end of the day you will have learned the basics of interviewing, audio recording and editing as well as ideas for how to share and distribute your audio. You will have a new set of skills and connections to bring to your personal or community projects. There will be space in the day to discuss your own projects (prospective or in progress) and the ways VFC staff and resources might offer support or guidance.

Instructor: Mary Wesley, audio producer and host of the VFC's podcast - "VT Untapped"

Recording Our Place: Telling Stories with Sound will be held at the Generator Makerspace in Burlington. Tuition is $95 ($55/students). You may also register by calling the Vermont Folklife Center at (802) 388-4964.

If you cancel up to seven days before the event, we will issue a refund minus a $10 fee.

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.