I am temporarily emerging from the warm embrace of Christmas Present to write this last monthly Sound Edit of 2014, and to say I hope everyone is having a wonderful break and is looking forward to the start of 2014. I will keep this one short and sweet, as I expect we are all just too busy beatifically doing nothing at the moment…why spoil the mood?
))) The TV Programme: I doubt you’ll find one of these in my favourites again soon, but it is Christmas after all, that of couch potatoeing and vegetating while it’s baltic out, so why not. Black Mirror White Christmas was the 2014 special of the eponymous series written by TV critic and satirist Charlie Brooker: those familiar with him and his writing will recognize his trademark pessimism and acerbic touch as the undertone of this programme. The two leads are played by
Don Draper Jon Hamm and by an excellent Rafe Spall.
The basic setup couldn’t be more traditional: two characters find themselves in a confined space, and are telling each other stories that hold cues for the viewer to understand how they got there. The three mini-stories are a contemporary update on the Twilight Zone, featuring transplants of brain ‘cookies’, internet voyeurism, real life ‘blocking’ and more. It was a gripping watch from the start and all the way through a couple of fun twists. Sound plays an important part in the climactic final scene, as the famous Christmas song ‘I wish it could be Christmas every day’ by Wizzard takes on particularly terrifying connotations…Definitely worth a catch up on the player if you can.
))) The Sound File: if you haven’t yet checked The Fieldcasts by UK-based field recordist Gregory Ovenden, I can’t think of a better time than Christmas.
These are conversational-style podcasts with each episode focusing on a specific recording, and how it was obtained. The recordings themselves so far are two, and feature swallows and wasps. In addition to the recordings these also provide some basic information on the subjects’ natural habits which, coupled with a handy duration of just around 8 minutes, make these tasty audio bites for recordists and nature enthusiasts alike. I hope Gregory will keep these up and give us many more in 2014.
))) The Seasonal Audio: strictly speaking this should fall into the January Sound Edit of 2015, but it is a festive one so I had to make an exception. My most vivid memories of New Year’s Day growing up are regularly waking up late from the previous night, the smell of mum’s lasagna wafting from the kitchen, and dad blasting the New Year’s Day concert from the sitting room (perhaps trying to wake me up?). New Year’s Day would be nothing without The Blue Danube dance bit in some ridiculous costumes, the TV presenter getting confused between Strauss father and Strauss son, and our obligatory famiy singalong to the Radetzky March (don’t ask). This year my family is here in Dublin and as a gift to honor this tradition I got us tickets for the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra’s New Year’s Day concert at the National Concert Hall. We have never been to the real thing in Vienna, but just being at this together will make it just as special, if not more so.
))) The New Year: the last paragraph of the last post of 2014 is dedicated to you, to thank you for following this blog and Tweets. It’s been a fun year full of exciting audio events, and I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of you friends and colleagues in sound a very happy 2015, full of all the beauty and wonder that only microphones can capture! I look forward to sharing more sounds with you in the months to come, and to listen to and journey with yours. Stay tuned and Buon Anno!