I’m sitting editing our first hour long feature about the volunteer activism of storyteller John Lawson who over 10 years has dedicated well over 10,000 hours making the forgotton history of his community heard through stories, film, and now radio. We’ve done the programme like this: John made 5 podcasts about his work and practice, then we recorded responses and chat around each piece with Mark Gibson, a local artist and volunteer at Bede’s World, and James Zancudi, a young man on placement who happens to come from Loftus. Both Mark and James have spent time learning from John, and also acting as critical friends whilst he’s learned to make the podcasts (JLawson on learning radio storytelling), and they make a great audience. I;m finding it unusually hard to edit down!
I’m enraptured by the conversation that unfolds between these three, and finding it frustrating because in truth the quality of the sound we’ve recorded just isn’t good enough to do justice to the voices of people taking time for this conversation. We’re getting new software and technical editing training next week, but today it’s driving me crazy that I’m not better at this . . . somedays I can get a crystal clear CD quality recording using my phone, other days I use my best digital recorder . . . and get fuzz. I tried to find a particular funny story from one of my radio heros Nate DiMeo (The Memory Palace) where he talks about climbing into his wardrobe to get a good quality recording at home, and instead I came acoss this perfect thought:
“BUDDING RADIOTEURS. HEAR ME NOW: Just make your show. It’s not hard. Just make your show. It’s not expensive. Just make your show. I feel like I spent much of my life not understanding that the people I admired who were writing novels or making movies or writing in magazines or making music or whatever were, on a fundamental level, real people. Then I did. So, make your show. A ________ is a person who sat down and _______. That’s it (insert ‘Novelist’ and ‘Wrote a novel’ or ‘Podcaster’ and ‘Made a podcast’ or whatever you want). That’s all there is to it.” http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/11iqth/im_nate_dimeo_creator_of_the_memory_palace/
So, yes the sometimes the sound is fuzzy, yes sometimes one of us goes frantically blank when outroing a song, or we leave the wrong fader up, listeners these glitches make us laugh and are as frustrating for us as for you – maybe more – we love this radio, we sit together and talk about what great radio feels like when it hooks us, and we’re riddled with plans and hopes that we’ll get there. Sometimes we do! We’ve had some gorgeous radio moments inside our little office where we record (and catch every slamming door in Jarrow Hall), so if you’re out there, and you’re listening, and you’ve ever wanted to make radio, come and join us!