21 March 2011

Chemical Change - Airs March 23rd

Out of Chaos by Shannon Heffernan
Shannon has had trouble staying focused her whole life because she has Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder. A few months ago, she finally decided to try to do something about it. She kept an audio diary of her fears of how the medicine might change her and lets us listen in on the process.

Reinventing Fun by Hillary Frank
Sam chose Augsburg College because it was near his cocaine dealer. But Augsburg is also home to one of the few on-campus recovery programs in the country, StepUP. Eventually, (rock bottom came first of course) Sam decided to get himself clean and join. But then came the hard part: sobering up while still living with his party-animal roommates. He had to find something to replace all the drugs, pills, and booze -- fun.

Cancer Anxiety Study by Ben Adair
Pamela was anxious and depressed. After years of intensive chemotherapy, Pamela was told her Stage 4 cancer was terminal, and her death would likely be painful. After losing hope she was living out her remaining days in fear. Her doctors prescribed antidepressants, but they didn’t do any good. So, Pamela volunteered for an experimental depression treatment hoping to ease the pain and trauma of a terminal illness. She took psilocybin -- a hallucinogen better known as "magic mushrooms."

16 March 2011

When Silence Sings - Airs March 16th

When Silence Sings by Joanne Coombs

Tonie Flaathen has been profoundly deaf from birth. This does not stop her from absorbing and relishing the reverberations that 'sound' through her. She contemplates what it means to hear as she takes us on an aural tour of her adoptive city - Venice.

Venice is the most acoustically transparent city in the World. It exists without the sounds of automobiles. You would think this aspect of the city's charm would be lost on Tonie. But Tonie understands audio; as a small child Tonie's father would create complex acoustic set-ups in the garden, amplifying the vibrations in nature in order to help her understand the concept of sound. And being free from the common mire of motor traffic makes it possible for the sonic details of urban life to have a surprising delicacy. Everyday sounds such as footsteps and the coos of pigeons have remarkable clarity as they penetrate and mix within the public acoustic space. Monumental sounds such as bells, ship horns, or thunder claps can travel great distances.


The Italian word 'to hear' is 'sentire'. The same word in reflexive form 'sentirsi' means 'to feel'. Different sorts of microphones were used by Joanne to reflect the way the world feels to Tonie. She captures the vibrations to create a sonic landscape of Venice - for us.

07 March 2011

Women of Troy - Airs March 9

Troy, New York was once one of the richest cities in America (thanks to its role in the industrial revolution). Now, roughly one-fifth of the population lives under the U.S. poverty line. Listening Lounge will air three audio stories documenting the lives of the women living in Troy today: “In the Office of Temporary Assistance,” “Just a Girl” and “The Cutting Place."

The series "Women of Troy" is part of “In Verse” is a multimedia reporting project combining poetry, photography and sound. This installment features poet Susan B.A. Somers-Willett, photographer Brenda Ann Kenneally and producer Lu Olkowski as they document the lives of working mothers in Troy, New York. A slideshow of photos connected with the project is here.

Also on the show: "The Christopher I Knew" and "Pink" from the Salt Institute of Documentary Studies. A slideshow associated with "The Christopher I Knew" is here.

02 March 2011

Cigar Stories - Airs March 2

Hand rolling cigars can be boring. So in the old days, factory owners hired readers to break up the monotony. In this episode of the Listening Lounge, we learn about "El Lector - He Who Reads," a documentary produced by the Kitchen Sisters. From about 1900 to the 1930s, men in panama hats who spoke in loud, beautiful voices read to the workers as they rolled cigars in factories in Tampa and Ybor City. We'll also listen to a poem titled "Box of Cigars" by Gerald Sterns.