All the original TV shows were just radio shows done in front of a camera, the words out in front of the image. Movies went the other way--Chaplin, Keaton, Dietrich and Pickford were in a beautiful silent groove before the "talkies" arrived and changed the game. The web, too, had a tough time with the combination at first--images overwhelmed tenuous Internet connections and text dominated the early years. Now it's a video bizarre online. But not every voice wants a picture--radio still thrives around the world and the sound of a disembodied voice can still stir us in profound ways. Listen to Dylan Thomas read a poem or Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech--it's audio that can' t be improved with images. Still, you want something to catch the eye--even if you're just after sound. That's why The Sound and Story Project is touring with The Cube. “Picture a ten-foot stainless steel cube, balancing on its edge. The sky and surrounding area are mirrored in the metallic sides of this beautiful piece of modern sculpture. Suddenly the door opens to reveal a comfortable, soundproof recording booth. Welcome to The Cube.” That's the introduction to this shiny sculpture of a recording booth that's visiting libraries throughout the Hudson Valley in New York, where locals are invited to record their stories. (To be archived as part of a preservation project by the Hudson River Valley Heritage.)
And in what may be a harbinger of a new sort of economic currency, you actually get something for your story--knowledge. Folks from The Sound and Story Project will also be on hand to train people how to use recording equipment, how to conduct interviews, how to use audio editing software, how to create and share podcasts via social media, audio tours and radio programs. You can hire it out, too, for your own programs. Or if you have some good money and an idea for a really claustrophobic autobiography...
The Cube's Fall Tour: Hudson River Maritime Museum (Sept 22-26); Tarrytown (Sept 26); Ellenville (Oct 5); Nyack (Oct 14-22).
[Check out the "Most Interesting Finds" on Amazon ]