Technology (ie- what’s between the ears)

In meeting with Michelle last Sunday night, we reached clarity about a decision I’ve been leaning towards this whole time.

No audio recording devices for this project.

The only recording/editing technology we’ll  employ is the one between our ears.

from from

from from

This is different than saying, well, let’s just see how much of a conversation we can remember.

No! It’s our editing process. What stays in our memory made an impression for a reason.  It’s also truer to the nature of sharing stories in a neighborhood. It’s in line with our values of person to person connection.

Now, I’ll still be scrawling some notes in my little notebook, definitely post-conversation and even as I talk with folks, but it doesn’t feel like that’s getting in the way as much between us. I’ve even found that one person seemed honored/surprised that we were valuing their words enough to write them down.

More about the editing: it is more efficient this way too. What rises to the top, well, it rises to the top, the same way it always has when people tell people stuff. Imagine recording a ten minute conversation, then listening to that recording multiple times,stopping/re-listening, etc. How much time would be spent in that process?  Might I end up focusing on something (rhythm of speech, mannerism, one set of words)  that just would not have had as much import/attention in the normal give-and-take of immediate human interaction?  I’m not looking to inhabit/impersonate/take on the character of people we speak with. We’re looking to hear stories, and later share them “as we heard them”. So, while recording s a valuable process that I’ve used for past projects, it’s just not right for this one.

from The Art of Tea

from The Art of Tea

It’s how we’ve been doing it thus far, and how it went today when I stopped over at Atlantic Press and spoke with one of the owners there. .  I’m glad I didn’t even have the option of whipping out a microphone, because then I would have had to consider it, and, well, that might well have just gotten in the way of the flow of this wonderful and human and ORDINARY neighbor-to-neighbor, customer-to-shopkeeper conversation we were having.   I might have worried, “oh gosh, I didn’t capture every word”, and not relied on trusting that what I received was what I received. Why do that?  No need.

So, we’re using the recording device and editing equipment that lies between my ears.


from The Art of Tea

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