I know that not being a sighted person, the following observation isn’t worth much, but I really hate it when you’re in a group of people who are all having a good time, and the camera addict makes everyone freeze while they play with their device for 5 minutes to get the perfect photo. The magic is completely gone by the time they’re done, as is the fun of the moment. Lately however I confess to some hypocritical obsessiveness in a similar vain. I’ve taken on a month long project called the AudioMo challenge. It’s a self-governing challenge to post a clip of audio every day for the month of June. I’ve been walking around carrying a portable recording device, and gaging every experience based on whether or not I could generate fun or provocative audio out of it.
I have a liking for challenges that make me exercise my creative muscles and produce something entertaining or stimulating. Like Twitter or Facebook, it’s possible to use this venue to talk about breakfast or your pet peeves, but I feel creatively obligated to raise the bar a bit for myself.
It’s made me think more critically about my auditory landscape. Of course as a blind person, hearing is huge. In thinking about this, I generated a fun post offering an audio tour of the sound effects I’ve trained my computer to use in order to give me information about what it’s doing. This made me think about how I manipulate the sounds in my environment in a similar way to how sighted people decorate their space with visual art or colour.
I created a few posts from audio recorded during fun stuff like dragon boating and nature walks. Here’s a 10k walk on the Leslie Street Spit in 10 minutes or less.
I did a few innovative posts combining some of my musical instruments with effects generated by audio editing software. My favourite of these is here, and my second favourite, a triumph of audio manipulation of wind chime recordings, is here.
So far, producing a post a day hasn’t been an undue stretch, but I’m closing in on day 18, and I’m actually scrambling a bit for tomorrow’s post. I have an ace up my sleeve though: we’ve ordered a binaural microphone which should arrive any day, then I’m set for the rest of the month! I admit it, I’m starting to get a hint of empathy for people who see the world through the lens of a camera. At times I’ve deliberately stopped myself from fussing over my audio recorder. I’m passionate about living in the moment; and determined never to let the urge to document overpower that passion. I’m dedicated to seeing out the month of posts in style, but it will be a relief when it’s done.