The Sounds We Hear

27 Mar 2019 The Sounds We Hear

By Meriah Gannon, Mission 2022

When I first signed up for the class Terrascope Radio, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect; I’ve never been one to listen to the radio very much. However, when I was given a blindfold on the first day of class and led around MIT’s campus, I knew I was in the right class. From the day we walked around MIT blindfolded, we learned how to listen to the world around us without the help of our eyes. We learned how to pay attention to the small complexities in sound.

Meriah records Emma Robbins, Navajo Water Project Director at DigDeep.

By now, about halfway through the semester, we have listened to hours upon hours of radio broadcast, all to prepare us for our final project. Our final project is to produce a radio piece centered on our Mission, coming up with a plan to improve access to clean water in the Navajo Nation, and our experiences this week in the Navajo Nation. From the depths of Canyon De Chelly to the office of Miss Navajo Nation, we carry our kits with us to capture interviews and the sounds of our surroundings.

During our Spring Break trip, after each long day of collecting sound, our heads swimming with the things we learned and the stories shared with us, we come back to the hotel and cram all ten radio students, our instructor, and any other Terrascoper who wants to join into a hotel room for the highlight of the evening, a “logging party.” We listen to all of the sound we recorded that day and type out a rough transcript, a log, of the sound. This can be somewhat tedious, but what makes a logging party a party is when we take turns playing any sound we find especially interesting, funny, or rich.

Hearing some of the sound we collected, I’ve realized how lucky we are. The people we have met have shared with us tiny pieces of their stories. Even these tiny pieces have made us realize that even though we came for sound about water, we have found so much more. I can’t wait to get back to MIT so we can begin our final piece.