The Oyster’s Mighty Comeback

I enjoyed this piece a lot for a variety of reasons. Right off the bat, the narrator does a great job of bringing you right into the scene by describing someone ‘shucking the meat out a cell-phone sized oyster.’ As the narrator is providing us with an illustrative description, the natural audio is that of hacking and smashing, giving the listener another clue with which to picture the scene. I thought the placement Jimmy Parks’ quote (the chef) immediately after was also good for establishing a scene. Right after he discusses his technique for making fries, the sound of something sizzling as it hits the grill is heard. Overall I thought this whole opening segment did a good job of scene setting by matching the sounds to whatever the narrator/source was saying: A little bit of information at the start to prime the listener, corresponding natural sound (shucking noise) then a quote from the source and some more audio matching (grill noise) to tie up the scene.

In my opinion, the voicing does a good job of providing pacing for the piece. Between quotes from the sources like Jimmy Parks, Tim Devine and Gulnihal Ozbay the narrator’s voice does a good job of maintaining the story’s relatively quick tempo. I think this serves to keep the listener engaged with the story. Another important function I think the voicing provides is important context between all of the interviews. Rather than just jumping around from source to source with some natural sound, the narration strings together the different interviews and testimonies into a cohesive story.

Interviews within the piece were powerful because they often touched upon subjects that had tangible noise components. For example, throughout the piece subjects interviewed mentioned things like shucking meat, oyster cages coming up out of the water, a giant oyster tumbler, and an oyster blender. For each one of these things being discussed, matching noise was used to accentuate the idea for the listener. I also thought the interviews within the piece were varied and provided a range of perspectives on the oyster industry, from cooks, researchers and farmers.

A couple of lessons I will take from this for my project is the importance of natural sound matching, making sure to have a varied group of sources, and providing cohesive narration to bring a story together.

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