janet rogers - broken english

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Broken English was produced by Janet Rogers.

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Janet says:

I created this piece at sound art residency in Palomino, Colombia as part of a cultural exchange initiated by the Imaginative Film and Media Festival. Broken English, which should really be called "Broken Spanish", features the voice of a student who was maybe 13, 14 years old and was reading a graphic novel. I asked him if he wouldn't mind reading it out loud.

I took that recording of his reading and split every word in half. That's what you hear in this piece. I wanted to express how difficult language can be; difficult to convey real and authentic meaning, and difficult when you are in a different territory and you don't speak the language of that territory. It all becomes very 'uh...uh...'. There's no flow to it, it's all kind of broken up. 

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Constellations says:

Janet's documentaries are a fusion of poetry, archival sound, and experimental premises. In her whole body of work, we're inspired by Janet's bold mix of story and sound art structure.

This piece distorts language in a way that feels simultaneously playful in its musicality, while also awkward and violent. It's so true to the way language and language barriers fail and frustrate us. We loved listening a couple times in a row, sinking into the jarring cadence of the reader's cropped syllables. 

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Janet Rogers is a Mohawk/Tuscarora writer from Six Nations. She was born in Vancouver British Columbia, lived in Stoney Creek, Hamilton and Toronto Ontario and is living as guest on the traditional lands of the Coast Salish people (Victoria, British Columbia) since 1994. Janet works in the genres of poetry, spoken word performance poetry, video poetry and recorded poetry with music. Janet is also a radio broadcaster, documentary producer, media and sound artist.

You can hear Janet on the radio hosting Native Waves Radio on CFUV 101.9 fm. 2Ro Media Inc is the production company she and Mohawk media artist Jackson Twobears own and operate. Janet produced and launched a 6-part radio documentary series titled NDNs on the Airwaves focused on the current history of native radio in Canada, in February 2016. Check out NDNs on the Airwaves on Facebook and more of Janet's work on her Soundcloud.

 

ellie gordon-moershel - anatomy of the Road

Ellie

Anatomy of the Road was written and produced by Ellie Gordon-Moershel, and stars Allison Hogg, Tricia Black, and features Claire Whitehead.  It's a fictional story about a woman getting an unusual opportunity to re-experience a nostalgic family road trip.

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Ellie says: 

I was driving down the 401 which I normally find to be very uninspiring, but then I was thinking about all the breakthrough moments I've had in cars, whether its been me alone thinking of something and coming to a conclusion, or being on a road trip with someone else and us having our first real bonding moment or big fight. And I was thinking about how that's kind of like therapy.

So I was wondering if there was a way to spatially re-create the sounds of being in a car using binaural microphones and whether I could capture that mood and weirdness and giddiness and intensity that comes from being in such a small space with another person.

What's inspiring her in the world of radio:

The Strange Case of Starship Iris by Jessica Best. Audio fiction can be very hard to do without having a lot of cringey expositional dialogue. In Starship Iris the plot moves along beautifully by leaning on carefully constructed (and charming!) character dynamics as well as clever scene reveals. I'm also a big fan of Alice Isn't Dead by Joseph Fink. I love the writing, of course, but also the smooth delivery by Jasika Nicole.  

Inspiration outside of audio: 

Kids animation. It's a bleak time and I take refuge in the heartfelt, subversive, complex and queer storytelling coming out of shows like Steven Universe, OK K.O!, and Legend of Korra. That, and the Reductress essay, "I Didn't Come to this Corn Maze to Make Friends." Gotta have balance. 

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Constellations says:

We're thrilled to feature Anatomy of the Road as Constellations' first foray into the realm of radio drama. We're inspired by Ellie's play with space throughout this piece, both conceptually and technically - using binaural microphones and recording through her car speakers (!!). This piece is funny and weird and taps into the all too real potential for VR as a tool for therapy / empathy. 

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Ellie Gordon-Moershel is an independent audio producer, writer, and instructor based in Toronto. To keep informed of her upcoming pieces/projects subscribe to her newsletter.

julie shapiro - is this an exercise?

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Is this an Exercise is a portrait of the first detailed visual representation of how nuclear war might devastate America. "The Day After" was shown on national TV 25 years ago, in 1983. Five adults recall powerful childhood memories of watching it, and discuss how the movie has lived on in their minds - in surprisingly vivid and strange ways.

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Julie writes: 

Back in the 80's I sneak-watched a TV movie with highly disturbing content (about nuclear war) and it's been passively haunting me ever since. I discovered a lot of my friends had the same experience with this movie, and are also still lightly traumatized, so asked them all about it.

What's inspiring her in the world of radio:

I'm inspired by: the Ear Hustle team I'm so lucky to work with, the Night Vale folks/shows, Brooke Gladstone (always), still and always the Soundproof and the Third Coast team. Also! Reply All, Heavyweight, Another Round, How to Be a Girl, S-Town, Imaginary Advice, and all the Radiotopians, of course. 

Inspiration outside of audio: 

Biking to work every day, relishing OUTSIDE, books (Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders most recently blew my mind), my amazing family, the therapeutic horseback riding program I recently started volunteering at, Conversations with People Who Hate Me, the smaller moments, day to day, off-screen. 

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Constellations says:

We love this casual, conversational approach to documenting memory. As listeners, we feel similar to how Julie describes herself; peeking out between our fingers to see what's at the root of our own memories, hidden in between unusual childhood associations. It's playful and jarring all at once. 

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Julie Shapiro is the executive producer of Radiotopia from PRX, a curated network of extraordinary, cutting-edge podcasts. From 2014-15, Julie was the executive producer of the ABC / Radio National's (RN) Creative Audio Unit. In 2000 she co-founded the Third Coast International Audio Festival, where as artistic director she shaped the Festival's creative trajectory and prioritized innovative audio and a cross-pollinating international listening culture. Julie has taught radio to university students, presented at conferences all over the globe, and produced stories for the airwaves and podcasts in the US and beyond. She has recently dropped anchor with her son and husband in Arlington, MA. Follow her on Twitter @jatomic.