papermacwriter / Mark Bramhill

There are no people in papermacwriter’s collective.

Huffduffed (62)

  1. Writing The City: Birth Of The Cool – The Story Of Brazos Bookstore – Houston Public Media

    A guy named Karl started a store, and it essentially gave rise to Houston’s literary community as we know it today.

    —Huffduffed by papermacwriter

  2. Episode 1: Dan’s Grey Shirt and other works for solo saxophone

    For Musiqa’s inaugural episode of our podcast, Inner Chamber, Artistic Administrator Emma Wine sits down with saxophonist Dan Gelok and composer Joel Love to chat about their most inspired and embarrassing musical moments, what it’s like for a composer to write for saxophone, and even what Netflix shows are on their watch lists. The discussion is followed by a performance of solo saxophone music, and a world premiere of a piece that Joel wrote for Dan in just fifteen minutes! Listen in to Inner Chamber to hear the world premiere recording of Joel Love’s Dan’s Grey Shirt performed by Dan Gelok… and more!

    Including: - Cadence Factory by Gu Wei - Gillyweed Etude by Dan Gelok - Mai by Ryo Noda - Dan’s Grey Shirt by Joel Love

    Original video:
    Downloaded by on Wed, 31 Oct 2018 18:04:27 GMT Available for 30 days after download

    —Huffduffed by papermacwriter

  3. From Fear To Fascination

    Forty years ago, few people wanted to own snakes or lizards as pets. But since then, the market for geckos, chameleons and bearded dragons has boomed, fueling the success of Twin Cities Reptiles, the largest reptile-themed pet store in Minnesota, which just celebrated its 40th birthday. KFAI’s Rob McGinley Myers reports. (Photo by Todd Melby.)

    Original video:
    Downloaded by on Tue, 04 Sep 2018 03:34:56 GMT Available for 30 days after download

    —Huffduffed by papermacwriter

  4. To Open Or To Close? With Eclipse Tourists On The Way, Grant County Businesses Have To Decide . News | OPB

    More News

    Trump Says US Will Meet North Korean Threats With ‘Fire And Fury’

    Portland Parks And Rec Plans More East Multnomah Parks

    Fiber Line Would Triple Average Internet Speed In Grant County

    Extreme Heat Reverses Benefits Of Oregon’s Above-Average Snowpack

    More OPB

    Cataldo’s New Record Is A Keeper

    New Portland Police Chief | Rape Threats On Twitter | Rebroadcast: Tides

    opbmusic’s Monday Mix: Ben Gibbard, Great Grandpa, Dan Croll

    —Huffduffed by papermacwriter

  5. Love, anger, redemption: Steve Jobs opera takes the CEO’s story to new emotional heights - Home | Day 6 | CBC Radio

    Saturday marks the world premiere of "The (R)Evolution of Steve Jobs," an opera that captures nearly five decades of the tech leader’s life. Composer Mason Bates tells us why Jobs’ life is perfect opera material.

    —Huffduffed by papermacwriter

  6. Frannie & Steve - Transom to “Frannie & Steve”I met Steve during my lunch break at the Woods Hole Market. It was raining, and we were sitting in the back of the store, having our respective bowls of hot soup. He shared his crackers with me, and we started talking.

    This was during the second week when my classmates and I had just begun our Creative Life stories and my second radio piece seemed like a distant reality. I hadn’t started searching in earnest for a good story, but as Steve talked about his job, I listened. Back in class, I filled a whole page with notes on what he had said. It was like taking notes for a future poem.

    Weeks later, I had gathered a number of story ideas for consideration, but Steve’s words stuck with me. It wasn’t really an idea, more a vague sense of possibility. I didn’t know his last name, so I went to the librarians (a council of wise women in Woods Hole, for sure). They said they’d let him know and before long, I had a story. Or rather, I had a character.

    I knew that Steve sang. I knew that he took care of a 96-year-old lady who had deep roots in Woods Hole. I knew that he used to be a gas station attendant. I had a few points to connect. But I didn’t think I needed a traditional story arc with a beginning, middle, and end. So, for a couple of weeks, through pitch meetings and editorial discussions, I insisted that this piece wasn’t going to be a conventional story. It would be “slow radio.”

    Still, the question remained: How was I going to give this piece shape? Make it compelling? Ira, Rob, and Leila asked questions that I didn’t have answers for: What are the stakes? What is the tension? When and where is the moment of transformation? And I stood firm. I posed an alternative question: What is a “story,” really, after all?

    In this same mindset, I somehow became devoted to the idea of a non-narrated piece. It’s astounding how you can become so attached to the notion of removing yourself from a thing you’re working on.

    I struggled but ultimately decided to narrate the piece. I realized: Narration doesn’t have to be heavy-handed or sterile or awkward. There is such a thing as good narration. During this time, I listened to a few of Scott Carrier’s fully-narrated pieces. I started to believe that my voice could do more than just explain and interrupt the moment. It could have a balancing effect. It could be woven into the scene itself.

    All this to build up tension for a resolution: I changed my mind, I learned. Editing really does make the piece better. Sounds obvious, but it can be so difficult to truly consider and accept criticism when you’re working on something that somehow feels unconventional. A classmate joked that I went through the “Five Stages of Grief”: Denial (“I don’t need narrative tension”), anger (“They just don’t understand what I’m trying to do”), bargaining (“Well maybe I’ll get it down to nine minutes but definitely not seven and a half”), depression (“This is terribly hard”), and finally acceptance. Not exactly, but almost.

    So. Here’s a little reminder, for radio or for anything: When you find yourself digging your heels in, try to unclench your fists. Read, listen, go for a walk. Remember what it is you want to achieve. It’s easy to get overly fixated on what you do NOT want to do and forget what you set out to do. But then others are there to remind you. Read your pitch again, look at your first ecstatic page of notes. Un-trap yourself.

    When I started accepting cuts and composing light narration, the story started to appear. Rob kept encouraging me to work as if I were writing a poem, and it’s all kind of like sculpting too. So much of creating has to do with deciding what to leave out, what to carve away.

    By the end of this process, the story had taken shape. There was tension — not a lot, but it was there — and even a hint of transformation.

    Justine’s Sonic ID to “Justine’s Sonic ID”Near the end of the workshop, I visited the Mashpee Wampanoag Indian Museum, a small colonial-era building on the side of the road. Carol Wynne told me right away that she didn’t want to talk politics, but she opened up when I started asking about her home and heritage. Then we looked up at the photographs on the wall, and she grew reflective.

    Listen to more pieces from this Story Workshop class here.

    —Huffduffed by papermacwriter

  7. A Liveaboard Moves To Land - Transom to “A Liveaboard Moves To Land”Before this piece, I hadn’t carefully considered when to gather more tape.

    In class we talked about the risks: You don’t want to have too much material because that can be overwhelming. And certainly, if you can get what you need in the first interview then kudos.

    But what if after the first interview there’s more you want to know, or a focus that you want to further develop? In those instances, there seemed to be some consensus that it’s okay to set up another time to meet.

    After the first interview with Rusty I had enough material (okay, probably too much tape) to produce the story. I had asked him about his connection to the boat, and I included his response in the first draft script. But, my classmates wanted to hear more about his relationship with the boat. And I agreed. There was more there to explore.

    And so, I prepared more questions and made plans to physically visit the boat with Rusty. Rowing to the boat prompted some emotional responses from him, but he was still mulling things over. His transition was still taking place, and I wanted to convey that in the piece. A few days later, I asked him to meet up again.

    The third interview was short, but it provided perspective on yet another layer of his transition. Rusty was on his front porch, sorting through things he’d kept from the boat, and in this interview he spoke about the boat in a deeper way than I felt would have been possible in the first interview.

    I’m grateful that Rusty had the time and patience to meet with me more than once. It made multiple scenes in the story possible, and it allowed me to further develop his connection to the boat.

    Besides that, knowing that I didn’t have to have all of the material I needed right off the bat gave me the confidence to proceed with the best interview possible, each time I met with Rusty.

    Olivia’s Sonic ID to “Olivia’s Sonic ID”I interviewed Sandwich historian, Carolyn Crowell, in her family’s farmhouse. I was there to interview her about coastal erosion at the town’s beach. She shared detailed maps of the erosion and historical records; but when I asked her about visiting the beach when she was younger, that’s when she really started talking. Ask historians and city officials personal questions. This can add flair and personality to science-y stories.

    —Huffduffed by papermacwriter

  8. Found At Sea - Transom to “Found At Sea”

    Lessons! Reporting this piece was a real jaunt. And there was a lot that didn’t make it into that final lil mp3. My four main take aways:

    1. The topic is the opening of the rabbit hole, but the story is in the tunnels.

    This was a weird and windy story. It started with me googling burials at sea. I actually found Brad White (operator of New England Burials at Sea) and the specific incident of the “recovery” separately. When I pre-interviewed Brad I asked him if he had heard of this incident where a body was recovered by a boat and he told me it was his company that did the original burial. Bingo. I had a character and a way into the story.

    I knew I wanted to focus on the incident because it’s a narrative. A thing happened then another thing happened. But I pulled at other threads just in case they connected to something bigger. I called the Coast Guard, the EPA, the State Police, the DA, the medical examiner, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration — the list goes on. I submitted FOIA’s for the number of bodies found at sea, I called a forensic entomologist to talk through the gritty details of underwater decomposition.

    None of that work made it into the final piece, but:

    a) I could turn in the story knowing I had done my best to exhaust any avenues of reporting.

    b) I had leftover material for future pitches. MIT’s Undark podcast will be picking up a version of the story in June.

    1. TRUST NO ONE/know your stuff.

    Well, maybe your family. And your VERY close friends. Otherwise beware. I went into my initial conversation with Brad White without a lot of information on burials at sea or the recovered body. I had to take his word for a lot and after some fact checking found I had to re-interview him so he could respond to what I’d learned. This was pretty uncomfortable, but I guess it’s part of this whole journalism thing… So:

    a) Try to have as much info as you can before you interview someone.

    b) That said, if you find disparities in what someone says, you gotta go back a second time — even if that interview doesn’t make it into your piece.

    1. Ask “What do I have that’s interesting?”

    After all that work, I had a lot of material. Initially I thought it might be about the science of sea burial, but when the narrative appeared I scrapped that. I thought I might focus on answering the question:

    WHERE WAS THE BOAT?! A whodunit if you would. A nautical Serial. I was OBSESSED with finding out the answer. But guess what? The exact latitude and longitude of the vessel didn’t exactly fire up anyone I talked to. No one cared. The interesting part was that a burial was done where the body didn’t stay buried. Listen to your people. They will tell you what is interesting.

    1. Dear god, get clean tape.

    The biggest recording mistake I made was agreeing to interview the fisherman on their boat and not mic-ing them closely. Tape lousy with engine noise and one fisherman’s thick Portuguese accent made some of the tape unusable. But I was shy. I didn’t want to inconvenience them. I didn’t want to tell Aires to stop waving his hands around so I could get my mic closer. This was dumb. Don’t be bashful. I will never be bashful again.

    Mistakes were made friends. But I had to make the thing to learn from the mistakes made while making the thing. So, hit the phones, mic close, and listen to your editors.

    Andy’s Sonic ID to “Andy’s Sonic ID”I pulled up to Carol Shrand’s garden unannounced. I knew her from my work with Drug Story Theater. I was in town for another story and I thought she might have some wisdom for me. So, I interrupted her gardening and she gave me this gem.

    Listen to more pieces from this Story Workshop class here.

    —Huffduffed by papermacwriter

  9. Life After Trauma - Transom to “Life After Trauma”I knew when I came to Transom that I wanted to find a story that was emotionally honest. I also wanted it to resonate with me so I could bring the full force of my own passion to it. As a middle-aged person with some trauma in my own past who is working to become whole and integrated and fully alive, I was drawn to Jennie Wiley.

    After a few dead ends in my story research I started looking up anxiety groups on the Cape, just on a whim. I was feeling anxious and thought, hey, report what you know! After perusing a MeetUp group for people with extreme social anxiety (which I am fortunate not to suffer from) I became intrigued with the idea of finding someone who was emerging from trauma into a space of healing. I went back to the Cape Cod Times website and searched for PTSD and trauma and recovery — and Jennie popped up. She had recently resigned her job to focus on getting well and had gone public with her diagnosis to help others overcome stigma. So I wrote to her.

    The story was extremely sensitive and deeply personal for her, so I was fortunate that we developed a really good rapport. What saved the piece, however, were the voice memos. Like anyone, Jennie does not expose herself completely while being interviewed by a stranger. She has some distance from her PTSD symptoms while discussing them. But she agreed to do voice memos and those helped put the listener in the heat of the experience with her. Jennie also invited me to come along to her therapy session, which was courageous and amazing. Without those two components, I would not have had a piece. It would have been all tell and no show/hear.

    Lee’s Sonic ID to “Lee’s Sonic ID”I was driving around near Brewster when I saw a guy at his burn pit. I interviewed him and it turned out his recently deceased sister had always done the burn pit so he was doing it this time in her honor. I thought I had a great sonic. But I forgot to record the crackle of the fire. So I went searching for another burn pit when I got to East Falmouth. Leonard Marks was standing in his driveway. Initially I thought he was just rambling and that it wasn’t anywhere as good as the first sonic. But the reverse was true. I captured the voice and character of a man who listeners would never have otherwise heard from. And I love the way he says fiyah.

    Listen to more pieces from this Story Workshop class here.

    —Huffduffed by papermacwriter

  10. A Walking Tour Of Oak Bluffs - Transom to “A Walking Tour of Oak Bluffs”I’ll admit it, I was struggling to find a second story that would “light the Jojo fire” — especially after THE Ira Glass expressed his dislike for one of my pitches. Once the mortification wore off, I went online to look for other ideas. Turns out the Martha’s Vineyard Museum had a “Lost and Found” exhibition, and a walking tour, to showcase iconic island structures on the island. I was completely sold on the Oak Bluffs walking tour because of all the towns featured, it was the flashiest one. I only had a few days before the event took place, so I immediately went to see the exhibition, asked the museum for permission to record the two-hour walk, and set-up an appointment to interview the establishment’s librarian, Bow Van Riper.

    There was a little bit of background noise in the place where Bow and I had the interview, including a clock that was ticking loudly in the background, but I still managed to get decent tape after moving the clock away. I was really impressed by how much Bow knew about the Vineyard, and how much he enjoyed the island and its history.

    Prior to the Oak Bluffs walking tour, I had never used a dead cat mic. I was testing it out the night before the big day, and broke a small but important piece of the mic. I was so stressed and conflicted about ringing Rob at night to break the news. In the end, I opted to send him pictures via email and figured out how to use the mic with the help of Mitch (one of the stars of the class). Early the next morning, Rob and I spoke on the phone, I took a deep breath and waited for the walking tour to start. I regret not asking Bow to speak more about how the iconic buildings there directly related to African Americans living in Oak Bluffs. I was too busy trying to monitor the equipment — especially because it was a windy day — to engage on tape as much as I could have.

    I’m glad I did this story because I had the opportunity to use equipment I’d never handled before, visit a part of Martha’s Vineyard I hadn’t experienced, and actually learn something new about the area. I’m very grateful to Rob, Leila and my lovely friends at Transom who gave me feedback and encouraged me in between bites of Lays chips.

    Josephine’s Sonic ID to “Jo’s Sonic ID”I found Ashley at a cookie store in Hyannis. I was not planning to interview anyone at the establishment — I just wanted a snack and a time-out. After speaking to Ashley for a while, I realized she would be a good person to engage with about Hyannis on tape. She did not disappoint!

    Listen to more pieces from this Story Workshop class here.

    —Huffduffed by papermacwriter

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