Podcast Assignment

This assignment will link the context of a podcast that I will choose, with Heidi Mckee’s article Sound Matters. Before we start this assignment it is important to note what a podcast really is. A podcast, essentially is a way of communicating through the Internet- typically through digital audio and sometimes available as a series. Podcasts can be listened to through websites specific to the podcast, through media websites, or through downloaded files

The podcast I have chosen to do for this assignment is NPR TED radio hour because I believe that the podcast is an excellent way to communicate feelings and different forms of expression. Within the podcast I listened to a radio show called ‘failure is an option’ and ‘why we lie’ .When I was doing this assignment, I wanted to know if a speaker could inspire me through just audio, as I have seen several talks with video which really gets to me. Essentially what Heidi Mckee states is that ‘Rhetoric and composition scholars have discussed the visual a great deal, but we haven’t as of yet turned our attention to sound’.

Heidi Mckee, really emphasizes on different sound aspects (Vocal delivery) such as tension, roughness, breathiness, loudness pitch and vibrato, how trembling it sounds. Essentially this type of sound aspects communicates the sensuous plane, which is where we understand the quality, medium and dynamics of the sound, an expressive plane where we understand that sound evokes feelings and the sheerly musical plane which is just the movement of the piece.

These aspects are essentially crucial through digital audio and I feel that this assignment is too short to focus on something else. Both these audio tracks, have speakers from all over the world talking and I genuinely feel that the change in accents, which essentially means a change in all of the factors above, keeps the audience in place to listen to the talks. The use of different accents means that the pace of the sound changes, and we intend more closely to what the speaker is saying.

Occasionally, to create excitement NPR Ted, puts music in the background of the podcasts which causes a feeling, which is more of an expressive plane, and the sheerly musical plane. For example, when music is played during the speeches my heart felt like it was following the pace of the background, and the trembling sound of the speaker at the end of what he is saying. I also noticed that music was played when the speakers were speaking faster, or saying examples so that the rhythm was felt by me which in a sense goes with the sheerly musical plane where you could feel the movement of the piece.

During the ‘why do we lie podcast’ I thought how NPR uses different people talking about their different experiences, was an excellent use of the expressive plane as I could relate and understand my own experiences with some of the experiences that ‘why do we lie’ talks about. Similarly, with is failure an option, I thought how the podcast was setup of putting together various speakers, was an excellent use of the sensuous plane where the dynamics was effective.

The links will be stated below:


Aug 19 and July 29

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