Friday, February 15, 2013

RadioLab's Musical Language

1)  Musical Language-RadioLab 
      Sonorah Vinyard 

2) Identify the podcast topic and theme in your own words.  What does the podcast
have to tell us that is new, focused and exciting about the topic?

            The topic and theme of this podcast is how the use of tones and variations of tones create a listening experience and can change the perception of the word just by changing the pitch or tone.  By analyzing different backgrounds of children with perfect tone ability and conducting experiments of saying the same words over two different days allowed the podcast to created what would appear to be a loop, even though the words were spoken over two different days.  Also to listen to music like Rite of Spring which challenges the idea of previous perception of music.  One of these questions becomes what is music and how language can easily become music with a shift in tones.  Exposer at a critical period could be the difference of these abilities of human potential explains Diana Deutsch.

3) How does the podcast address issues of “listening” or “hearing”?  According to
the podcast, what role does technology play in listening or hearing?

            This podcast brings attention to how tones and pitches neurologically change how a human hears a particular sound.  How the air and forces are pushed into your ear creating vibrations and voice travels through space and time.  The podcast uses visual sounds to create an effect for each explanation they are trying to capture of how the ear hears sound.  Using bones, vibrations and electricity.  In Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, begins to create a different between “hearing” and “listening” to music.  The differences between someone sitting and listening to the sounds can be a lot more effective and productive as they are analyzing each tone and pitch.  When someone is simply “hearing” music, there is no analytical productivity.  There is also a memory aspect to music.  When the mind hears a sound or a particular word memories that might have happened before are brought up.  After listening to this podcast for the second time the phrase "they somehow behave so strangely" automatically sounds like a melody even when said normally in the podcast. 

4) What theoretical and cultural contexts are being used to present and discuss the
theme?  Do these contexts go beyond historical and biographical documentary?
            During the podcast the tones tend to change with the topic they are discussing, using the elements of “feeling” and creating emotion and relay the message.   Anne Fernald brings up the fact that “sound is touch at a distance.”  As babies develop they are taught to ear an emphasis on particular tones and pitches to relate how they feel.   The example of the different ways of saying mama could change and with different words they meaning can change throughout different languages.  I also think this tone and pitch is somewhat of a cultural thing.  We were taught to hear those tones and then translate that into how the speaker wants the listener to react.  The reaction of babies’ changes as they hear higher pitched noises.   This idea also coexists with the point I mentioned above about how memory and previous feelings towards a particular song effects how one "listens" or "hears" the music. Why does music make us feel so strongly and how does this electricity from the ear becomes feelings?  This one one of the questions the podcast addresses. 

5) What specific forms of audio production or phenomenon, specific techniques or
styles of production, are demonstrated by the podcast?  How does the podcast
encourage and support us to listen to, compare and/or contrast specific “sonorous
            The production of this podcast again reiterates how tones are used to create emotion and by creating a loop with the words they use and creating a musical pitch to sayings, it changes our perception of that section.  The language of the people does affect how tones and music could be perceived.  It is argued through out the podcast, which one was first music or language?  By repeating the section where Diana says, “they somehow behave so strangely” it turned language into a music piece just by changing the production of that piece.  Patterns also become a relative term within this podcast through speaking of the rioting, which happened at the Rite of Springs
Brain wants to put previous experiences into the now experiences.  This last music is putting the listener in a position to not put those previous experiences in it.  Continents and dissentients ears in an internal struggle.  Jonah Lehar 

6) If this were your podcast, what is one production technique you would want to
use in order to more creatively engage the thematic focus?
            The theme in this podcast is fairly precise and manages to stay focused on the theme, which is using tones and pitches to relay a listening and hearing environment.  It could be productive to create a more concise way to hear more examples by altering their speech as Diana does in the first section of the podcast.  Through out the interviews, I do think it makes it a related experience with the listener.  By having a conversation feeling to the podcast allows the listener to stay more engaged instead of someone reading their answers off. 

1 comment:

Trace said...

You definitely get right to the thematic focus of the podcast and its most significant contexts. I am fascinated by the possibility that some of the questions you ask and the conclusions that you are starting to make in section 4 could very well relate to your treatment of techno in your own podcast.