Okay, so maybe I’m just looking for excuses to explain my week-long lapse in posting, but here’s the thing. I really wanted to write something about this powerful montage my Youth Radio colleague Brandon McFarland cut together using excerpts from a series of stories we produced featuring the voices of young troops returning from Iraq, under which Brandon laid a track of his stirring original beats. It’s good stuff, and it raised some provocative editorial and creative questions for us, and highlighted how much has changed in both youth media and U.S. political culture since the “shock and awe” phase of the Iraq war. But I can’t for the life of me figure out how to upload audio onto this blog.
When I try to upload a file here using WordPress–one of the leading blog platforms–the only options I see are jpg, jpeg, png, gif, pdf, doc, and ppt. Now I am for sure not the most tech savvy individual, and there may be a very simple way to create an audio link (please let me know if I’m just being an idiot!). But still… it got me thinking… what is the value of sound-only storytelling in a video-crazed era, in an image-saturated culture, in a digital world where audio is, as I’ve been told more than once by my digerati friends, so yesterday?
I don’t want to get all ahistorical here, or to start invoking Walter Benjamin–although I am kinda tempted. But I do really want to figure out what it means that more and more audio producers are now experimenting with adding video to sound stories after the fact, so we can play the converged media game. I wonder what might get lost if the seduction, ease and power of capturing and distributing video makes audio seem tired, when sound is so often what makes me feel, for a few fleeting moments at least, wide awake with my eyes closed.