“Here’s the bottom line: Start playing with sound. Think of a story you’d like to tell, about your friends, your neighborhood, even just yourself, and try to imagine how you could make it come alive in sound. What would surprise the world about these people and places that are so familiar to you? Go around your neighborhood with your recorder and mic and just listen to what’s around you. Try to think of what the sonic imprint of the place you live is — what sounds are unique to it? What sounds say “home” to you? Get in the habit of thinking sonically. Once you start doing it, it’ll be hard to stop. It’s as if you discover a whole parallel world that you’d only been half noticing before.
Start editing the sounds you record — even if you don’t know what you’re doing. You can find some helpful technical guides on Transom, workshops to listen to from the Third Coast International Audio Festival, and storytelling guides from Ira and Duke’s John Biewen. Put a story with some of those sounds up on Cowbird. Send it to me: I’ll listen. So will others.
And, speaking of listening, do a lot of it. The best way to learn how to construct a story is to pay attention to how the pros do it. Next time you hear a story on This American Life that you adore, listen to how they decided to build the narrative. What questions did Ira ask? What was funny or interesting about it? What details did they include that made the story come to life, which painted a vivid image of the characters or the scene in your mind?
Next time you go to a new place, bring your recorder with you. Use it as a tool for discovery, an excuse to talk to strangers, a way into this new, unfamiliar place. You’ll be an audio storyteller in no time.”
Read the full piece here and check out Tina’s beautiful tumblr here: http://tinaantolini.tumblr.com/