Listen: Short Audio Docs from the 2015 Hearing Is Believing Audio Institute

2015 Hearing Is Believing

Students and faculty from the summer 2015 CDS introductory audio institute, Hearing Is Believing.

In July 2015, the Hearing Is Believing audio institute brought 25 students from around the country for a weeklong immersion in the art of audio documentary. The institute was led by CDS audio program director John Biewen and visiting instructor Shea Shackelford, and featured presentations by guest speaker Glynn Washington, host of NPR’s Snap Judgment, and John Barth of PRX. Students chose from a slate of pre-arranged subjects centered around the topic of music, then recorded interviews, gathered other sounds, and used audio editing software to create short narratives. Their final projects are below.

An Amateur Production | Michele Peterson and Hannah Seda
Playing in an orchestra is serious business, demanding virtuosity and precision—perhaps less so, however, for the members of RTOOT, the Really Terribly Orchestra of the Triangle.

The Anti-Chapel Hill | Alicia Towler and Olivia Wilkes
Eight years ago, when musician Mark O’Connor first played at The Cave, a sweaty dive that’s Chapel Hill’s oldest bar, he couldn’t have imagined that five years later he’d own it.

Bluegrass Jam | Tiffany Jackson and Beth Shewell
A small rooftop cafe in Raleigh, the Busy Bee, hosts a bi-monthly bluegrass jam that’s a knee-slapping, foot-stomping good time for lovers of traditional music.

Canciones del Campo | Jenna Horgan
Student Action with Farmworkers intern Jenna Horgan describes her experiences leading a music program for hardworking, homesick immigrant farmworkers from Mexico and Central America.

Order, Balance, and Light: A Portrait of Matt Sampson | Shloka Ettna and Francesca Stark
25-year-old Matt Sampson is a pianist and composer whose musical idols include Bach, Beethoven, and Stephen Sondheim.

Ordinary Magic | Stuart Reit and Paige Ruane
Recording engineer John Plymale operates a studio in a strip mall. As a young musician his father had advised him to have a fall-back plan, but he decided that without such a plan he’d make sure not to fail.

PhDJ | Chris Biddle and Emily Shaw
Alex Kotch has a Ph.D. in music composition, but he just wants to make tracks that get people moving.

The Quest | Martin Kang and Patricia Tolbert
Marc Maximov, a sound designer at Deep Dish Theater in Chapel Hill, talks about his quest for perfect sound effects and interstitial music.

Soundtrack for a Movement | Karen Kemp and Gina Temple-Rhodes
Musician and fabric artist Caitlin Cary, founder of the North Carolina Music Love Army, uses music as a tool to agitate for political change.

Talk to Me | Martha LeFebvre and Angie Vorhies
Detroit native Richie Reno’s smooth baritone voice punctuates his weekly Motown radio show, High and Tight.

Time of the Preacher | Ashley Brown
Schoolkids Records owner Stephen Judge finds a Willie Nelson record that helps the family of an ailing man give his spirit one final spin.

The Tuba Hunter | Shoshana Goldberg and Caperton Morton
Some people collect stamps. Others are into shot glasses or baseball cards. Vincent Simonetti, former owner of the Tuba Exchange in Durham, collects tubas.

Tuning In | Erin Birney and Joanna Broder
Twentysomething singer-songwriter Sarah Ward pours out her heart in personal, imagistic poetry and music.

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