An Analysis of Sound and Music in Invisibilia, True to You

In the first portion of the episode, sound and music interacts with the podcast to instill very strong emotions, feelings, and for lack of a better word; vibes. They begin with very eerie music when they read a bible verse about the locusts, and then again they use a soundbite of bussing locusts while people are testifying about the awful plagues of locusts. The mood then switches very quickly when they transition to the grasshopper scientist, playing a very upbeat tune, much like those found on cooking and food videos from Tasty. When they begin to wonder about the grasshoppers they play very quizzical music, like something found in Planet Earth, both removed but inquiring.

For the second portion of the episode, they play more whimsical music when they introduce the idea of having a range of people to become, and encountering new concepts about ones’ self. It also serves as a nice background music for the narrator when she is explaining the story that is ahead, it gives the episode sort of theme music, which also serves to make the advertisements much more bearable. When the narrator or someone else is speaking about the story and setting up the background and action, the music fades away, allowing listeners to focus much more. It is very intentional how they pick the music they wish to play, and when it should play, it adds a complexity and depth to the story and the mood. I personally think that the music helped to lighten up the sleep talking played in the episode. The oboe is a perfect inquiry music, I must say, another great moment was when they dropped the X Files sound bite. The harp and chimes are wonderful for dreamy and sleepy music, and then the solo piano for sort of sad moments.

The third portion of the show utilizes music and sound in the same facets as the first and second portions, but actually doesn’t require as much play with sound. The character is very interesting and good at filling the air, very short sound clips play but they do not distract from the story. When the story transitions to him realizing his second personality, the cartoon cat and his other character ideas, they begin to play light background music. Once he begins to publish the Lord Birthday comics, they play upbeat French café guitar music, a classic pic for when a story begins to pick up, I also feel like it is related to illustration for some reason. The music played throughout this story is vastly different from the music and sounds in the prior stories. The solo piano was a very good choice to wrap up the episode with, and then their choice for sound and music for their next episode was even more different, giving it a wild, young, living vibe.

 

Keeping America Sacred

Subject: Keeping America Sacred

This short political remix states a clear argument, and follows through by advancing their argument by using adequate evidence in the form of politicians, from both sides of the aisle, repeatedly hitting buzzwords during the primaries for each of their respective parties during 2004.

The clear argument is found as text in the beginning; “How do you run a convention on a record of failure? Invoke 9/11” The video then shows all of the politicians repeatedly saying September eleventh in different iterations. The creator of the remix advances their argument with different points, of which the same evidence is used. The arguments continue; “Know your enemy”followed by the politicians saying Saddam Hussein. “Handle the Bin Laden situation appropriately” ironically followed by crickets and images of people sleeping and dozing. Their second to last point had enough evidence to last over a minute, truly driving the point home, this point was “And above all, spread fear” which was followed by the politicians talking of all sorts of awful things and speaking about nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction. The creator’s last point was made at the very end of the remix and concluded the remix, it simply read; “George W. Bush Keeping America Sacred.”

The argument the creator is making is that the politicians in the United States used fear-mongering in an attempt to secure a party nomination in the 2004 presidential election. The constraints that the creator operated within were essentially the simple text that was displayed to state arguments, and the compilation of several notable politicians using the same terms dozens of times in speaking engagements. The strategies the creator employed were hard cuts from text to footage, a strong utilization of repetition. It employed irony at two points; in the middle when mentioning Bin Laden, and then again at the end by stating that George W. Bush was keeping America sacred. The most insightful strategy utilized was the repetition of ideology and the the idea of fear-mongering when the argument was made that they spread fear, this really hit home because there was over one minute of evidence and it hit upon all of the points that were set up from the beginning of the video.

Digestible (Palatable) Research

Here I give you two examples of online magazine features that incorporate copious amounts of research, yet still keep the reader engaged and interested:

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/foodfeatures/meat/

https://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/02/magazine/the-astonishing-weaponry-of-dung-beetles.html

Strategies at use:

  • Short, digestible paragraphs, including information that moves narrative forward in interesting and engaging manner
  • Use of infographics to easily break down data visually
  • Integration of photographs relevant to the subject
  • Use of bold typeface to separate sections of article
  • Raising questions related to the subject, rhetorical and genuine
  • Wrapping up data along with narrative(s) in meaningful way, emphasis on allowing the reader to understand the data present

Truth and Complexity; How?

After recently reading two online magazine features, I thought I would dive into the complex question of how to convey both truth and complexity embedded within a narrative that captures and holds the readers attention for an online magazine feature.

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2017/08/science-good-evil-charlottesville/

https://psmag.com/magazine/the-touch-of-madness-mental-health-schizophrenia

Each of these writer’s suggest a truth in madness and schizophrenia, but more importantly, they suggest a truth in how society views and reacts to these conditions. They grab the reader’s attention by framing their features as stories, small and easy to digest, they also deliver some big twists and prepare the reader’s for a complex story. Each of the articles unfold in the same fashion, following the narrative they had set up, and continuing to ask meaningful questions. The most important aspect of these features is the key characteristic that they make the information meaningful to readers, without meaning behind the information, they would have lost the reader after the first paragraph. The narrative format gives online authors the perfect roadmap to creating a complex, engaging, and meaningful online magazine feature, all simply by making information meaningful and asking questions.