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Audio Essay

Topic: 2.12 | Draft: 2.24-26 | Final: 3.3

Description: In this assignment you will create an exactly 5-minute audio essay discussing some kind
of technological trend, change, cultural narrative in the style of NPRs Radiolab. You must combine 1minute of your own talking with clips from ~3 other sources online (think about stripping sound from
TedTalks, RadioLab episodes, interviews, etc.). If you so choose, you can also interview people and
count those interviews as some of your 3 other sources. Your narrative must also include the Radiolab
introduction and at least 2 music tracks (we are not worrying about copyright for this assignment).

Style: While producing this piece you should think carefully about its auditory style: Are you creating
a smooth interview? A fragmented collage art piece? What auditory techniques are you using to your
advantage? Overlapping sounds? Juxtaposition? Music? Loudness? Texture? Suspense? White space?


Exactly 5 minutes
1-minute of your own talking
Clips from at least 3 other audio sources
Some kind of coherent story arc, argument, or topic
At least 2 music tracks
Radiolab introduction
Music must create a soundscape, mimicking the mood of the topic being discussed and marking
changes in topic.

Possible Layouts
The Essay Proper
Starts with a description of what youre talking about, possibly a quote from some technology theorist.
Muses briefly on the topic. Then introduces the first speaker. After first clip, analyzes the quote briefly
then introduces the second clip and so on. Concludes with a synthesis of each clip and a final thought
on the topic.
The Personal Narrative
Works as a personal story about an experience youve had with technology. Uses clips from
technology experts or people in the story as a way to analyze the technological theory behind the story.
The Bricolage
Rather than directly analyzing clips for an extended period, the goal of bricolage is to juxtapose
interesting clips with each other in the hopes the listener will make their own comparisons. Your
required 1-minute might be one of these clips or a longer conclusion clip that brings things together.
Other possible layouts: A news story including interviews on a topic. A technological literacy
narrative of yourself or someone else. Something else you come up with on your own.