As much as I love the written word and the power of photography and video, I have a special love of audio-only storytelling. Perhaps because we humans are such visual creatures, we often under-appreciate the importance of sound. I much prefer good radio news to TV, and I often prefer to listen to TV rather than watching it. I find I’m more attentive to the details of the story and less caught up in the power of the image.

I have focused most of my audio recording on capturing conversations, whether it be an interview I am conducting or an interview someone else is doing. I love good interviews. I love the way voices express emotion.

You can hear examples of some audio interviews on The Mamalode Podcast, which I produced. These started as a project with an intern from the University of Montana School of Journalism, which I continued after our intern graduated. They are reasonable audio quality (most were recorded from Skype which has many limitations), but I value them for their simplicity and the quality of the conversations I had. My favorite is an interview with filmmaker Aslaug Holm about her film Brothers. I recorded my part in Montana, and Aslaug was in Oslo, Norway. I still find it incredible how easy it is to create interesting content despite limitations of technology and distance. I’ve also produced audio interviews for The Montana Repertory Theatre, for their production of Neil Simon’s Barefoot in the Park, including an interview Artistic Director Greg Johnson did with designer Joey Sarno  and Mason Wagner’s conversation with actor Mark Kuntz. I have done some recording of non-spoken sound, including some recording of choral music. An example of that type, below is a recording I did of a Hellgate High School Chamber Choir rehearsal in October 2016. NOTE: This is a recording of a rehearsal, so there is lots of activity, movement, chairs, and of course the director (Ms. Ellen McKenzie) giving direction. I have recorded a few full concerts for these choirs, and I have to say, I much prefer the recordings of the rehearsal. There’s less audience noise, and all the layers of activity tell a better story. Listen, and keep in mind that these are teenagers who several minutes before were engaged in the normal cacophony of high school. This was recorded in the period just before lunch, and until the song started, I was very much in doubt that I’d get anything worth listening to.

A Winter scene in Western Montana

Interview with Writer Gary Ferguson

Gary Ferguson is a prolific Montana writer who has a new book titled Land on Fire: The New Reality of Wildfire in the West. I recently reviewed the book and interviewed Gary for

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