Am I recording? Am I recording?
I was sitting thinking about things I haven’t done yet, working with sound and one of the things is recording my own voice.
This is an age old ‘thing’ with me and has a long history. I am originally from Wales and buried deep underneath is a Cardiff accent. Now, I love the welsh accent and am very proud of my heritage, but my mother didn’t like my accent and corrected me often and with time I also discovered that parts of the rest of the country didn’t like my accent. Assumptions were made about me as a person and instead of standing up and saying this is me, I buried the sound of the thing I thought people disliked about me.
So, when I went on the radio it was quite an experience to hear my own voice as others might hear it and being a very self critical person, I cringed, but I also noticed some inflections and sound anomalies that actually were quite nice from a sound point of view.
One morning I sat down and thought I would do some experimenting with recording my own voice, as I had a microphone lurking in the cupboard that I’d had for several years and had never used. Now was the time.
I’m not going to bore you with all the technical aspects as there are better places to find all that out…as I did : D but it was a surprisingly liberating way to get some thoughts down and in the end I had about 15 minutes of recordings that got better, technically, at the end, so I learned a lot from the experience too.
What to do with these recordings?
Well a lot of people would hit the delete button but as an audio artist all sound files are the beginnings of a piece.
I decided to create something that tries to relate some of my thought processes to a listener when I create my tracks. There are conversations in my head about technical things, but also meanderings about what I am doing and also the distractions, that occur frequently. What I also found is that my voice is me, it’s like a fingerprint. I noticed that I talk at a low level. That’s why bus drivers tell me to speak up and people tell me that I shout quietly. I often talk to myself to clarify or order in my mind what I’m doing. I speak conversationally as if expecting a reply from an invisible other. I talk proper. I sigh a lot. I click my teeth. I make all sorts of noises with my mouth and all of these things I have left in the piece. I didn’t want to correct myself, I didn’t want to eradicate the mistakes because that would make for a more technically correct piece but it wouldn’t be a truthful piece. It’s me trying to learn how to record my voice but it’s also me trying to come to terms with the sound of my voice…to come to terms with…this is me…