Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Sound Recording

I have used a digital recorder to assist me when I interviewed folk - I use it to check my notes mostly, but I am about to trial a new idea for me - with a structured interview.
When I drove around Australia I spent a lot of time on my own in my car - I drove some 30,000 kms so I had plenty of time to listen to my favourite music and  radio programs, and one of my special pleasures was to download to by memory stick, the various recordings by Margaret Throsby on the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Commission) Classic Radio- a radio station that is devoid f advertising. 

Each weekday after the midday news, is a special interview with an interesting person - musicians, writers,  medical people, and other interesting people.  It is a structure interview, with each interviewee providing 5 pieces of their favourite music, which is interspersed with the voice interview.

I have missed it over the holiday period and pleased to know that Margaret's program will return on January 27th, 2014.  Her holiday is over!

Margaret says "Each weekday at midday I'll bring you an interview with a guest who shares their life stories and a selection of music that means the most to them."

What is special for me is that, I rarely hear it on the radio - and prefer to download the podcast to my memory stick, and listen to it as I drive.  Each program lasts about 55 minutes - the drive from the home to the city is around 50 minutes so I can enjoy listening without interruption, or if I need to interrupt I can catch up easily.  It has been my habit to go to the website, check on the past interviews, download the ones I want, and away I go.

So why not "copy" this format with those people I meet.  I have the ability to edit the recording - and I can give a copy to the person I have interviewed.

I have done "practice" recordings with family members - and I have a set of questions that I would ask.  It would be a good idea to discuss the story with the person first - and I find that if I sit at a table, with my notes, and the recorder on, we can chat comfortably.

I have also done video recording - interviewing my mother.  I find using a camera somewhat "intrusive" and found with my mother that using a "tablet" it was a lot easier to ask questions and she answered them without being intimidated by the "camera". 

Perhaps if I set up a video camera on a tripod - or ideally have someone with photography skills to manage the camera it would be good.  I am still thinking about how I would manage that.

The main issue is that I have an interesting story recorded - easy to listen to and for a family they can at any time "revisit" the family member.  (I tend to interview senior members of the community!)

I know that "oral historians" record their interview with the subject and then type it out.  My father was interviewed for his local historical society.

I actually like to watch the video of my mother talking about her childhood.  She has dementia, and sometimes does not make sense, but it is nice to hear and see her talk the way I like to remember her.


Nicole Bandes said...

Lovely idea! I hope it works well for you.

Candess M. Campbell PhD said...

That is a great idea. Another way to do a podcast that is really easy is to get a free account with You can have one or many people call and you can record from the phone and download the recording. You can also record yourself if you want to teach something and share it on your website! Have fun!

Di Hill said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Di Hill said...

Thanks for visiting Nicole.

Di Hill said...

Thank you for the information Candess. I will look at it for sure.