Salt Institute for Documentary Studies

Located in Portland, Maine, the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies offers a 15-week immersion program for advanced undergraduate and graduate students in documentary writing, photography, or radio.
This blog is an update of current Salt students insights and musings.



Today I spent an hour transcribing six minutes of an interview with my subject T during which we had traipsed through the woods skirting his home. While in the field, we stopped intermittently for T to point out a landmark here and there, but we were on the move most of the time, his three year old son either running downhill ahead of us or tugging at his father's arm to go someplace new.

Due to all the walking, there are times on the tape when T steps away from me, and--in the middle of a conversation about felted props in the shapes of giant mushrooms--his voice becomes gravelly, distant, and completely incomprehensible. At these moments in the tape, despite multiple rewind and close-listening attempts on my part, I am left to transcribe our conversation as follows: "[unintelligible]." There are a lot more "[unintelligibles]" in this transcription than I would like (a reminder that I have to get closer to the speaker while interviewing).

Because he is not the primary subject of the interview (what with being three years old and all), T's son (C) is generally noted as speaking in the background. I have noted most of C's comments, when not directly a part of the conversation at hand, as follows: (C talks in background), (C yells), (C talking), (C yells again), (C repeats a phrase over and over again), (C unintelligible), (C mumbles and laughs). I did however include a specific discussion he and I had about big and little Leggos, as well as multiple instances of him instructing T that it is time to leave.

At one point, while his father is explaining to me the properties of a piece of foam sprayed in gray and flouresent paint, C insists on telling me that "it got crashed!!!" C tells me this in a high pitched squeal four times while I hold the microphone a useless five feet away from his dad, who is waxing on "unintelligibly" in the background. Finally, I look at C and respond to his repeated phrase: "what happened?" I ask, pointing at the broken piece of foam. T interjects, "can you say 'an ogre at it'?" C says, "o-er aoow in CRASH!" C shines his flashlight on the piece of foam and explains to me that it resembles a big Leggo.

Even though his voice registers ten thousand decibels higher than everyone else's on my tape and nearly blows my eardrums each time he screams out that it's time to leave, I really like having C on the tape and in the record. There's something about his incessant badgering that has begun to strike me as downright funny. At least, it seems that way when I'm typing it up.

1 comment:

New York Escorts said...

I got many things from this blog because everything is very well in this blog. you should continue do this type of blog