Pleasant Surprise

I’m not going to lie; when I opened the very first email Professor Campbell sent before class started, I was a little apprehensive about this class.  I took this class because I was tired of the normal writing/English classes and this seemed to be like a different approach.  I could never have imagined how much I would learn in such a short time.  Although it seemed very fast paced, it forced us to accomplish things most of us never thought we could.  My favorite project was the sound project.  I was able to take small sounds and clips and make something amazing.  It is a great feeling to have to know I was able to accomplish these projects without any prior knowledge of Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Premier Pro, or Audacity.

A few things I want to remember later on:

  1. Although DJ Spooky seems like an unorganized crazy person, his thoughts are actually pretty amazing.
  2. Basically everything in this world is a remix of something else.
  3. Google is my best friend especially when trying to figure out how to do something in Adobe.
  4. Copyrights can hurt more than help the future.
  5. Don’t just do funny. This generation is all about making something funny or cool.
  6. What is the so what? Of life? Of every project?
  7. Clichés are overrated

These along with a hundred of other things I learned in class will help me in life.  It has definitely been an interesting journey, but I’m glad I got to do it.

Gray Provokes Emotion

After listening to the Lament for Joe Hall, I was interested enough that I researched the story behind it.  The fact that I wanted to look into the story more says a lot about the piece.  It was not just an ordinary podcast or news report.  Matt Gray used a variety of sounds, sound clips, music, and a “narrative” to illustrate Joe Hall’s story.  It starts with a noise getting louder and louder. Then, the voice of Joe Hall comes in explaining how he was doomed from the beginning.  Then came the sound of people fighting like what happens at a domestic incident.  Matt Gray used these to open because they helped to set the mood for the rest of the project.  He wanted to give the listener an inside look into the mind of a troubled child.  Gray deliberately chose to have a child speak the words.  He could have used another adult to tell Joe Hall’s story, but he did not.  A child is naturally innocent and, because of that, the viewer empathizes with the story being told.  Gray also portrays Hall as a child who did what he had to do to overcome his horrible father.  For me personally, it evoked feelings of sadness and sympathy for the child although he committed murder.  Gray uses explicit emotional contagion through the child speaking.  Gray also used sounds interjected into the story of Joe.  He used the sound of fire when Joe was describing his father threatening to put his house on fire.  This also helped the listener really immerse him/herself in the story.  The use of sounds can really contribute to the story if positioned correctly.  Gray did not have a real script that he had Vijay Perry read. He filled in some of the details of Joe Hall’s life and made the script himself.  This is very interesting and is very similar to what we have to do for the audio project. At the end of the piece, Matt Gray summarizes what he was doing during it and why he did this project.  It helps the listener further understand it.

What else do you think Gray could use in his project to help the listener visualize and sympathize with Joe Hall?