It’s astounding that we live in a world where someone like me, with no experience or credentials, with no budget, can produce and publish audio content just because he wants to. Our best recording device so far has been an iPhone, though my next interview will be recorded on a USB microphone from Amazon, plugged into a laptop that was new in 2011. The software is free and open source. The publishing platform is free both to the producer and the consumer of audio content, and it’s accessible to millions, though millions have certainly not discovered our little product. The investment so far has mostly been in this website, and that was relatively cheap, considering.
What I love most about this project is learning by doing. Interviewing has been fun, both as the subject of an interview and the one conducting interviews of others. But the part that keeps me up at night because I’d rather work on it than sleep is the production, editing, cutting, mixing. I’m under no delusions that what I’ve done is art, or even shows any level of skill. But I’m progressing. I’m learning. By listening to what professionals produce, listening to what we’ve produced, letting my mind wander over and over again over the differences, then experimenting with ways to actually apply those lessons, I’m living in joy and discovery and slowly getting better at making something.
In 1999, one of my bosses said, “We have this thing called FileMaker. Can you take a look at it and see what it can do?” I did, and over the next 2 years really poured myself into it. Every free moment at work and many free moments at home I spent learning the power of calculations and scripts. I created solutions that replaced paper systems based in typewriters, three-part forms, and 3X5 index cards. My solutions spread throughout my organization, and most of them are still in daily use 15 and 16 years later. At the peak of my powers, I could make FileMaker get up and dance.
This feels kind of like that. I think about it when I’m not doing it. I lose track of time when I am doing it. I can’t wait to get my hands on more raw materials on which to practice and work out solutions to problems. I’m living in joy.
What I’m thinking about now is the power of the pause. I’ve been cutting out as much silence as I could, because I thought pauses would kill emotional intensity and increase boredom. Now I think I should learn to trust the pause. That and my music levels are too high. And I need to let the musical lead ins play longer, and fade the volume out less abruptly. Recording with a mic should help with some quality issues. Maybe 2 mics, so the questions aren’t quieter than the answers. There’s a lot to be said for making the interviewee comfortable, though. And the music... I wonder if any of my musician friends would license some music for me, in exchange for nothing more than credit and gratitude? And who am I going to interview next?
In conclusion: hobbies are fun. The end.