Using what I learned from my sound/narrative proto-project, I attempted to recreate the messages within the first few lines of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s inaugural address, “So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is…fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.” I used sounds associated with fear and gave my piece a modern context through the use of sound bites from major events since the turn of the century. I originally intended to use Trevor Wishart’s exploration of sonic metaphor and create FDR’s message in that style, but I learned that sonic metaphor is too abstract and difficult for me at this point. Instead of using sonic metaphor, I was inspired to weave together sound bites and reorganize a clip from FDR’s speech. I hope I have created a powerful yet saddening sonic portrayal of the strife our country has recently faced.
I used reaper (and spear sometimes) to combine my tracks. The tracks I chose to include are FDR’s speech, a 9-1-1 call, screams, Ferguson-based riot, people chattering, sirens, tornado warnings, a Sandy Hook broadcast, someone’s recording from 9/11, an ambulance’s siren, Eric Garner saying “I can’t breathe,” and the song “Clouds” by Zach Sobiech. I thought all of these were examples of instances that incited fear within people. “Clouds” has a happier sound to it but, although it is a beautiful song, Zach wrote it for his girlfriend as he was dying of cancer. Zach was able to put hope in a sad situation and I hope my inclusion of his song serves to add a layer of hope to the rest of my track.