ASSESSMENT TASK 1: AUDIO STORY – ‘EMOTIONAL HISTORY’
STUDENT NAME: Louise Osborne
STUDENT NUMBER: 5438354
EMOTION: SADNESS (With some hope at in the conclusion to end the narrative)
The nation-wide debate on Marriage equality in Australia has created a seemingly irreparable division within the country. The interviewee shares a brief but insightful part of her story and experiences as a member of the LGBT community. Amongst the heated political climate and social divide, she hopes that for herself and those in similar situations, that one day all love might be seen as equal.
IN: “I had my first relationship…”
OUT: “all love is seen as equal”
As Australia is in the midst of one of the most controversial socio-political debates within our contemporary context, I decided to Interview a friend of mine who has struggled to find acceptance within her social surroundings since her early teens. The interviewee shares her experience as a young member of the LGBT community and addresses the impact of ‘marriage equality’ on herself and those experiencing similar situations. I chose to do this as my ‘emotional history’ piece as I think she acts as a face for the ‘LGBT’ community and represents the reality of isolation, marginalisation and fear of rejection from her family and society as a whole. I am quite close to the interviewee and I have witnessed the hardships she has endured, particularly in terms of her family’s traditional values that completely oppose the concept of ‘same-sex marriage’.
As this is a truly emotional piece, I attempted to include her small moments of silent reflection and when she had to pause to compose herself within the interview. I purposefully left some of her sighs and breaths as they created an emotional and intimate quality that I wanted the audience to experience. I decided to do this as Alan Hall expressed that “No sound is innocent” (Hall 2010, p.98 in McHugh 2014) and I wanted her pauses to express how difficult this topic is for her to talk about. From a technical perspective, despite having a completely silent room, there was some distortion within the recordings as she varied in loudness and softness when she spoke which was somewhat difficult to control and moderate manually. I decided the best way to counteract some of the recording errors and also further the reflective/emotional tone of the piece was to add music. Furthermore, to set the tone and add context, I began the piece with a clip from a Melbourne protest for marriage equality, I used a “staged event” for actuality as I think it most accurately represented the political adversity surrounding the topic. (Week 5 lecture)
I elected to use an instrumental piano piece for two reasons, the first being that the original version (‘I found’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yj6V_a1-EUA), is a particularly special piece that the interviewee found most reflective of her experience in finding love ‘where it wasn’t supposed to be’. I used this to further reinforce the internalised emotions of the interviewee to further allow the audience to empathise with her experiences. The second reason was to allow for moments to ‘breathe’ and fill the silence so the narrative flowed smoothly. I elected a piano cover over the original version with lyrics as it was ‘easier to manipulate’ and didn’t compete with the voice, a point that was addressed in the week 5 topic ‘Music and Mixing’. To ensure that the music maintained its impact throughout the piece, I adopted an approach outlined by the ‘Kitchen Sisters’ to “add a little pause, or take a bit away to have the voice nestle onto an instrument or a beat”. To create flow and emphasis within my piece, I cut and added different parts of the song in varying places, as well as adjust the volume in different sections that required more emotional emphasis or to ‘create more drama’. 
I intended for this piece to reveal some of the sadness of those within the LGBT community and I think that through experiencing a small part of my interviewees story, hopefully, a wider audience is able to empathise and experience what it’s like to be living as a minority in such a heated and somewhat hateful political context.
EMOTIONAL HISTORY AUDIO: https://soundcloud.com/mim-mcdonnell/emotional-history –> EH
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PyXnU-EBmAM – Protest in Melbourne
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLwCnZzRLYA – ‘I found’- Instrumental/pianol version
Hall, A (2010). “Cigarettes and Dance Steps” in Reality Radio: Telling True Stories in Sound, ed. J. Biewen and A. Dilworth, Chapel Hill, UNC Press 2017.
Nelson, D. and Silva, N, “Talking to Strangers,” in Reality Radio: Telling True Stories in Sound, ed. J. Biewen and A. Dilworth, Chapel Hill, UNC Press.
McHugh, S (2014). Lecture, Week 4, “Using Actuality to enhance story impact”, August 2017.
Lecture, week 5, “Adding music to your mix”, August 2017.