Mount Anville Primary – Session 11 – Artist: Michelle Read

Session 11 – Wednesday 7th May 2014

This week we reconvened after the Easter holidays and got back into the swing of the project by making some ambient soundtracks for the rest of the scenes in the story of Ruth and Yvette’s epic flight to Alaska!

The children learned from the first two scenes they made and recorded that the sense of place can be lost if there are gaps in the sound. Having constant low-level, background sound (the ambient track) will hopefully keep the listener tuned into the location of each scene. Specific sound effects such as footsteps, knocking on a door or diving into the sea, which are all linked to character actions, can be added at the next stage with the dialogue. This also means, when making a scene, each group can focus on one thing at a time and  won’t be overwhelmed by reading lines, making foley effects and creating background sound all at the same time.

Each group was given a separate location for their next scene including ‘Up In The Plane’, ‘Alaska’ (Ruth and Yvette’s final destination), plus other places the characters will stop off en route including a beach, a jungle, a cave and a volcanic island. Their task during this session was to list all the sounds they thought they might hear in the location and to use  the sound-making equipment to try and recreate some of those sounds.

Over the past few weeks we have collected a box of everyday things to can use as sound-making equipment. We have some large cardboard tubes (from inside rolls of paper), in which we’ve put lentils, and in another pasta, to make the sound of sea or rain. We’ve been experimenting with different amounts of water in wine glasses and running a wet finger around the rim to make the glasses “sing”. This was very effective for the Alaska soundtrack adding an eerie, other-worldly feel to the location. For the volcanic island the girls filled the classroom’s plastic bin with water and used some plastic tubing to blow into the water and make the sound of lava. The same plastic tubing is also great for spinning overhead to make a strange, high pitched whirring noise (we had to be careful to have lots of space around us for this one though, as we’ve already had a minor but luckily hilarious incident where someone’s head got in the way!)

Each group’s sound-scape from this session really caught something of their location and will give great background sound for the dialogue and specific sound effects to be written and created in the coming weeks.

Here are two of the ambient soundtracks recorded in the session via Soundcloud –

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