Leaving home at 16 years old is a big deal, especially if you’re travelling halfway around the world with a group of people you’ve only just met. Graeme Vibert left Jersey with his best friend in 1960 and embarked on the journey that would shape the rest of their lives.
EMOTIONAL HISTORY – Brittany Flageul
EMOTION: Happiness (and excitement)
IN: “Me and my mate…”
OUT: “…We like to stay.”
Music: Kevin MacLeod – ‘Light Thought var 1’
My first thought after reading the assessment was of my great-uncle Graeme and his story about leaving home as I thought that it would be interesting to listen to. Initially I thought that the main emotion would be sadness, but as he told the story of how he’s been here for 50 years I realised that it was actually more about excitement and happiness than sadness. This was due to the fact that he believed he would be going home in a year or two and not staying in Australia for the rest of his life.
The story itself was fairly simple and Graeme was not overly emotional when relaying the story, so I tried to use the ambient sounds and music to give the interview more depth and evoke emotion. At first I thought that two minutes would not be enough to cover the whole story and capture the emotion. However, there was much of the original interview that didn’t need to be in the final audio piece, and I managed to cut it down to two minutes. After a few iterations, I managed to remove any parts that I felt were repeated or didn’t seem in place. Hall is quoted as saying that “no sound is innocent” (Hall, 2010 in McHugh, 2011) which I believe is true to my work as the ambient sounds I chose to place were done so with the intention of bringing the imagery of the scene to mind. For example, the “g’day mate” at the beginning shows that they’ve fully embraced the Australian lifestyle and the sound of the waves, crowd chatting and the seagulls give the feel of being on the boat with him. This is backed up by the Week 4 lecture, where McHugh states that ambient sounds “evoke atmosphere” (McHugh, 2016), which is what the sounds I used helped to achieve. The music that I chose to use also added to the atmosphere as it is a fairly tranquil piece that gives the idea of reflection on the past and the hope that he had when arriving in Sydney. The fade out just before the end of the interview added emphasis to the last few words. This idea is noted by Glass when he said “if at any point the music fades away, what you say next sounds really important” (Ira Glass on Journalism, 2016). As the point of the story is that he left all those years ago only to still be here today, this fade helped to accentuate this.
Going through the audio I recorded after the interview, I noticed that Graeme would repeat himself quite a lot. I think this repetition was partly due to the fact that he was trying to recall a specific day from nearly 60 years ago. After listening to and editing the audio, in order to have got a clearer story I realised that I would have needed to do a second interview where I could have tried to get more information from him. However, he doesn’t live locally so I wasn’t able to arrange a second interview. Despite this, I was able to work with the audio that I did have and was still able to produce a good interview. This was due to the clear audio that I had managed to get, along with the ambient sounds and the music that I had used in editing and I think that overall it was successful in portraying the emotion of the story.
McHugh, S 2011. Radio Narrative: Considerations on Form and Aesthetic, University of Wollongong, viewed 1 September 2016, <http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1282&context=creartspapers>>
McHugh, S 2016. Lecture, JRNL102, Week Four, “Actuality and Voice”, 15 August 2016
Glass, I 2016. Ira Glass on Journalism, podcast, 11 August, Sydney Opera House, viewed 1 September 2016, <https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/sydney-opera-house-talks-ideas/id640445035?mt=2>
|0:18||Q: What was it like leaving Jersey?|
|0:22||G: Well we thought about Jersey, me and, me and my mate Graeme thought about leaving Jersey because, uh, Australia seemed a nice place to go to and it would’ve been an adventure.||Clear voice, slight stumble in words|
|0:35||We thought that we’d go away for a couple of years and then come back later.||Slight pause before later|
|0:42||Um, that was over 50 years ago.||Clear voice|
|0:46||We’ve been back a couple of times but um, Australia’s the place that we like to stay.||Good indication of story|
|0:51||We came on the Big Brother movement, it was a movement that uh, helps young, young fellas come to Australia and then find work.||Slight stumble at beginning, good indication of story|
|1:05||So we left Jersey by plane and flew to Southampton, then met up with another 30 odd young fellas and we came by boat.||Excellent ambient sound opportunity|
|1:19||It was the Orian, I think it was the last trip that the boat made.||Slightly sped up|
|1:23||And we were about a month on the boat and we landed in Sydney.||Good place for ambient sounds|
|[1:31-2:44 irrelevant]||Talking about work once over here|
|2:45||Q: What did it feel like on the day that you left?|
|2:49||G: I think, even though it’s a long time ago, it was just excitement. Excitement of going on a big adventure.||Clear voice, slightly sped up, repetition of adventure|
|2:58||And we thought at that stage that we’d come back, so it wasn’t sort of sad that we were leaving forever. We thought we’d go away on this adventure for a couple of years and then come back.||Good part of story to use, repetition of adventure|
|3:11||So it was pretty exciting.||Clear voice|
|[3:14 – 3:48 blank]|
|3:49||Yeah I think leaving Jersey was like a big adventure and we were excited for going.||Quieter voice, mostly just going over what he had said|
|3:55||And luckily I suppose because we came, I came with a mate so we weren’t going on our own we had each other.||Good opportunity for ambient sounds – friends, hanging out etc|
|4:06||And uh, we left in, it was 1960 we left and we still see each other today which is 2016 so we’ve been friends for a long time.||Clear voice, adds time into story|