Activity 1 | Word Search
Words and sounds are funny things. It’s not easy to talk about sound. We can describe a sound for its own sake, we could say it’s “sharp”, or “crunchy”, or “thick”. Or we can say a sound is like another thing, for example – “that sounds like the wind in the trees”. Words are made of sounds too, they don’t just live on a page but dance around on our tongues as we speak them out loud. And when we read, not out loud but in our minds, we kind of hear a voice in our heads – we hear some sounds in our brains and not through our ears.
Like I say, words and sounds are funny things. But words are a useful way to get us to think about sounds.
- 1 x 30 minutes for Step 1. and Step 2. (planning stage)
- 4 x 30-45 minutes for Step 3. and Step 4. (field recording)
For this activity, you’re going to need …
- Your notebook + a pencil.
- Your field recording kit.
I want you to think about the world your character is from, Sokai or Under Okta. Try and think of 10 sounds that might be from that world which are important for you. Some could be really obvious sounds, like the “crescendo” sound from Under Okta, or the “whirlpool” sound from Sokai, but I also want you to also think about the small sounds, the everyday sounds from your planets. This could maybe be something like the sound of the grappling hook on Katra’s adventuring belt, or the sound of Ultra-* when she’s thinking really hard. It’s totally up to you, anything goes – as long as it’s a sound you think is important.
Begin by writing out 10 sounds you think of when you think of your home planet. Write them out like this (some can be whole ideas, some can just be sounds or textures) …
Then draw some lines between what you’ve written, to make it look like a web, or a map. I like to think of this as a sound map. This will be your map to follow to find some sounds you’ll go out and record which we’ll use in our radio play.
Once you’ve got your map – send a picture of it to Richy and start to have a think about what sounds you might want to find that could be the things you’ve written down. Once you’ve sent a picture of your sound map to Richy, he’ll reply with some ideas of things you could record that you can add to your list.
Open a new page on your notebook and at the top, write down one of your words, like “surfing”. Underneath the word, plan what kinds of sounds you could record that might be like the word at the top. So, if it was “surfing”, maybe it could be water rushing out of a tap, or paddling sounds in the bath, or seagulls or better yet – ALL OF THOSE SOUNDS!
Now that you know the sounds you want to record, you can make a plan of where you’d go to record them. Maybe they’re in your house, maybe they’re somewhere outside.
Try and record the sounds you’ve got on your list first, but if you hear things through your field recorders you think are cool – definitely record them too!
Remember Richy’s top tips!
1. Say what you’re recording into your field recorder at the start. i.e. “water from tap – take 2”.
2. Try to avoid clipping – make sure your recording level isn’t too sensitive, or too soft.
3. Leave some space at the start and end of the recording.
When you get back from your field recording sessions, make sure and transfer your files on to your computer. Then drag those into your padlet by going to www.wildtracks.studio > Episode 1 > Files.
This activity is one that will take a few days, and one that you can do over and over again over the next few weeks. If you can’t think of 10 words, that’s OK, but make sure and try and get at least 5.
Also – your notebooks are a place for you to write down any ideas about your stories and characters. You can draw in them, doodle in them, stick things in them – anything you like. Try and keep your notebook near your recording kits so that you can use them any time you want to play with them.
If you’ve any questions about your field recorders, or the task, just send Richy a message any time!
Good luck with it!