We were set the task of listening to Adrian Howells’ podcast, created for The Guardian (2011). ‘Everyday Moments’ is a podcast series by theatre producers, Fuel and Roundhouse Radio. The nine minute audio track featured an assortment of noise and musical interludes which included rain, slurping, gasping, shipping forecast, static and classical music. The instructions for this piece were to listen to it in bed, in the early morning with a hot drink. I did not follow these instructions and this may be why I achieved different results to the podcast than other people did. I listened to the podcast in the library whilst completing some work, listening to other music (but putting it on pause to complete the podcast). My experience of the podcast became varied.
I found the slurping and gasping during and after Howells has a sip of his drink very annoying and infuriating, the chink of china was distracting and the static noise from tuning the radio, taxing. On the other hand, the rain and classical music was very soothing and I was enjoying listening to it but as soon as I was relaxed, Howells’ additions made me frustrated. Saying that, I did notice that my breathing and heart rate fell into time with the music and his breathing and I found that comforting. Due to the repetitive nature of the podcast, the nine minutes went by very quickly and I was shocked to hear the voice telling me it was over.I think I do enjoy these types of performance pieces, as they focus the mind and allow for concentration or they get you on your feet dancing in the privacy of your room like Hofesh Shechter’s podcast did. The ‘Everyday Moment’ series allows for expression through various ways and different people would enjoy some more than others.
The Guardian (2011) Everyday Moments Adrian Howells. [podcast] 21 November. Available from http://www.theguardian.com/culture/audio/2011/nov/21/everyday-moments-podcast-adrian-howells [Accessed 17 February 2015].
I found it very hard to put how I felt when listening to these podcasts into words. Therefore I am going to simply list what I scribbled down on my notepad whist listening to them.
Adrian Howells’ podcast: http://www.theguardian.com/culture/audio/2011/nov/21/everyday-moments-podcast-adrian-howells
- My breathing ending up following his, therefore it slowed it down and made me quite tired and chilled out.
- When the classical music started playing, it made me fell as if I was in an old fashion black and white movie. Sitting in my small one bed apartment in New York drinking a cup of tea whilst watching the world go by from my window.
- The constant running water (which I presumed was a shower at the time) grounded the piece a little. It was the one constant sound that played all the way through. It because so constant that I forgot it was happening towards the end.
- The chime at the end felt a little odd and out of place. For me it broke the relaxation of the piece, and as I was in bed with a cup of tea I could have easily fallen asleep after the podcast if it wasn’t for the chime. Despite it being a soft and none obtrusive noise, it brought me back to reality a little. Perhaps this was his intention?
Hofesh Shechter’s podcast: http://www.theguardian.com/culture/audio/2011/may/20/everyday-moments-podcast-audio-drama
- This was my personal favorite.
- At first I felt slightly uneasy, his voice sounded so close it felt as if he was standing right behind me.
- The build in music really enhanced the overall experience of the podcast. It followed the emotions you were supposed to feel.
- As the podcast went on his voice became calming, almost reassuring. Therefore when he asked me to feel and imagine these feelings, I did. I ended up trusting his voice.
- Possibly the accent helped.
- The music became very hypnotic, helping me get into that trance-like state. Personally it made me feel like I was in some sort of Si-Fi film.
- The way he phrased what he was saying was incredibly clever. At the beginning it was very general, not personal at all. However when you start to fully immerse yourself into it, he begins to use phrases like ‘no one can see us‘ and ‘we did well’. By the time you reach the end, I honestly felt as if I knew him. Very very clever.
I really enjoyed these site-generic podcasts, especially Hofesh Shechter’s! It has made me really think about what a performance is, and how an audience doesn’t have to be present to make an impact. I was completely taken in by the atmosphere the podcasts created. As an audience member I felt similar emotions to those I would feel if I had visually watched a performance.
Howells, A. (2011) Everyday Moments 11: Audio drama for private performance. [podcast] 21 November. Available from http://www.theguardian.com/culture/audio/2011/nov/21/everyday-moments-podcast-adrian-howells [Accessed 17 February 2015].
Shechter, H. (2011) Everyday Moments 5: Audio drama for private performance. [podcast] 20 May. Available from http://www.theguardian.com/culture/audio/2011/may/20/everyday-moments-podcast-audio-drama [Accessed 17 February 2015].