After we were paired up, Michael and I spent some time getting to know each other’s backgrounds and brainstorming ideas for our piece. Michael already had a rough concept and title in mind—A Day in the Life of a Plate. We began writing down a list of potential sounds we could collect: ambient noise from the ITP kitchen and lounge, students talking/eating, plates, cups, utensils clanking, kitchen sink running, dishwashing, etc. I suggested we throw in George muttering in contempt just for kicks.
I noticed one morning that George has this wonderfully wholesome and futuristic interaction with Alexa. Before beginning his morning ritual of unloading the dishwasher, he says to her, “Alexa, play Charlie Parker.” What follows is a duet of smooth, whimsical jazz and the sound of clean plates making their way back on the shelves. I relayed this to Michael after we regrouped and decided we had to put George front and center in our piece. We set up an interview with George and our project began taking shape:
I drafted a script and Michael and Ahmad inserted great feedback and ideas. The three of us collaborated well together, each contributing our strengths in concept, storyboarding, and execution. Our goal for this piece is to remind our ITP community to be clean and considerate of communal spaces. It is not the responsibility of others—most certainly not George’s—to clean up after you.
I have to admit, this project tested my patience multiple times. At times it felt like we weren’t getting anywhere because we kept elaborating the “concept” without a precise map/order of the edits we wanted to make to George’s interview to convey our message. I think it would have served us better if we transcribed the entire interview. The feedback we received in class was great. I agree that we should have adjusted George’s interview to stereo as opposed to mono. I definitely want to tweak the volumes during the climax so the dish clanking/running water doesn’t overpower his voice.
++Thank you to Tiri Kananuruk for letting us sample sounds from her project, “Everyday Performance” in our piece.