Brainstorming

Helloo, helloooo!! How is everyone? I’ve missed you all and missed my blog. I have been here these past few days, logging in always. I just haven’t contributed any Museworthy activity which is only due to lots of steady work. Whew, I’m a little tired!

I’d like to give everyone an update on Museworthy and alert you to some changes here and there, and throw out some ideas for which I welcome feedback. First, you may have noticed that I created a second Image Gallery page. The original one got pretty full! So all new images will go into the second gallery from now on. The first one remains, of course, for browsing and inspiration.

Next, I made some additions to my blogroll. For a few weeks I’ve been visiting and enjoying the thoughtful, intelligent blog written by Alex in Quebec, Canada. It’s called Healing Philosophy, and it’s a great place for a little Zen, a little Taoism, a little Buddhism, and overall spiritual enlightenment. All presented with sensitivity and humanity rather than sanctimony. Also, I’ve added (finally) the blog of my cousin Armen Kassabian, who is in his senior year at Clark University and handling a heavy academic work load. He blogs and ruminates about mindfulness, meditation, reiki, his travel experiences to Vietnam, Thailand, and Armenia, and publishes much of his poetry, which is one of his great passions. At the young age of 21, Armen has already seen more of the world than his 40 year-old cousin!

Stephen Quirke has moved his lovely watercolors to a new location, so I had to make that link adjustment. I’ve got you covered, Steve! Also check out Kitty’s terrific snapshots of our big city on New York Portraits, and a long overdue welcome to my friends over at Fluffytek Lastly, I’ve added one of my favorite blogs, Safari Notes. A powerful, eloquent voice from Africa, speaking about environmentalism, animals, and social unrest on the troubled continent.

Next, I’ve added the cutest little “real time” stat/traffic widget for Museworthy, another one of those things I’ve been meaning to do and have never gotten around to doing. It’s particularly embarassing since it requires all of ten seconds to complete. Anyway, it’s at the very bottom of my sidebar. The number displays the visitors currently hanging out on Museworthy, and you can click on it for more specific traffic info if you’re interested in that sort of thing.

Ok, now for the big idea. I mean BIG IDEA. Yes, so big it requires caps. And for this one I really need reader input and feedback. Are you ready?? How does a podcast sound? A Museworthy podcast?! A companion to the blog?! Good? Bad? Indifferent? This idea has been bouncing around my head for weeks now, and I think it has the potential to be something special and unique, assuming I can do it well and do it right. Trust me, readers, I would never inflict some silly, stuttering, ill-conceived, poorly planned, self-indulgent, amateurish, giggly, vocal mess upon you. If it’s not articulate, entertaining, witty, and creative, then it won’t happen.

However, I must be honest from the start. I made a test podcast in Mac’s Garage Band application, and when I played it back, my voice . . . oh god! I sounded so freaking stupid! I don’t understand. Don’t you hate hearing your voice recorded? You think, “Ugh, do I really sound like that?”. The problem is not that I have one of those shrieky, strident, irritating, nails on a chalkboard voices. You know, like Rachael Ray or Elizabeth Hasslebeck or any of those “chipmunk” TV people. No, shrieky is not my problem thank god. Rather, my voice sounded so, ugh, I don’t even know how to describe it. A little . . . stoned (I wasn’t). Or drunk (I wasn’t). Good grief! Well, now I know why no one has ever suggested I go into radio πŸ˜† I’m going back to Garage Band and tinker around. Hopefully I can get the hang of it.

In the meantime, does anyone think a Museworthy podcast sounds somewhat engaging or appealing? Think music, art modeling stories, readings, anecdotes, and hopefully interviews with some of my friends in the art community. And best of all, if I decide to go ahead with it, a podcast will bring me closer to all of you. We can feel even more intimate with each other, and I can speak directly to everyone, my cherished friends in the blogosphere. Comments are open, guys! Yes or no on podcasting?

Claudia
xoxo

17 thoughts on “Brainstorming

  1. Ron says:

    I vote Yes (You Can). Now that’s a change we can all believe in. Don’t worry about your voice. It always sound funny to everyone the first time they hear it. I’m sure it will sound terrific to eveyone else. Go for it!

  2. Brian says:

    Hi Claudia,

    I think a podcast has a lot of interesting possibilities…it sounds like you’re thinking it would be realtime and interactive – let alone stored for access for those unable to be online in realtime…I say try it – if it works, cool (it will)…if not, at least you’ll know!

    Brian

  3. dougfromcanada says:

    The idea sounds great to me and I’m sure your voice will sound just as equally great – how could it not!!! Looking forward to hearing from you πŸ™‚

  4. Ron says:

    I just reread my post. To clarify what I said, I meant that everyone’s voice sounds funny to themselves the first time they hear it.

  5. artmodel says:

    Thanks for your support guys!! I’m encouraged πŸ™‚ I really think a Museworthy podcast has great potential. I’m conceptualizing the whole thing and trying to plan the content, the style, etc. We’ll see.

    Oh, and Ron, I know what you meant. Thanks!

    Claudia

  6. Fred says:

    Well, I kind of prefer reading because I can do it at my own pace, but I’m sure you’d do a super podcast.

    Back in the mid-80’s I worked as a radio announcer. Just keep recording and playing back your voice and it will stop sounding funny after a while. First because you’ll get used to how it sounds coming through the air instead of coming through your own skull bones, and second because you’ll get better with practice. I can give you more DJ tips, but the main thing is just record and listen, and do it again and again. It’s like learning to play an instrument but easier since you already sort of know how to play it but just never tried practicing to get really good at it before.

  7. Lin says:

    Thanks for the link, Claudia.
    BTW, the podcast sounds a wonderful idea !

  8. swatch says:

    Dear Claudia
    What an honour to find mention on your page!

    Your postings are researched and caring and you tell stories with immediacy and vim. I think a good posting stirs the readers emotions. And you do this in a open, real yet subtle (OK sometimes not so subtle) way in almost every post of yours that I read (I have enjoyed reading some of the history). I am sorry to gush like this. But there is a lot of mediocre stuff out there and you set a good high bar. A healthy challenge for my own postings.

    Thanks for moving the link to my new site – It took me a while to settle down – but I think this is it now.

    I think a podcast is a great idea.

    Cheers hey

    Stephen

  9. artmodel says:

    Fred,

    Great advice, thanks! I think if I do it repeatedly and practice like you said, it will start to come easier. Hopefully, I will overcome the initial horror of the sound of my own voice! You don’t think my speaking voice is so bad, do you? Remember, we’re friends, so be nice! πŸ˜‰

    Claudia

  10. artmodel says:

    Swatch,

    Gush away darling! πŸ™‚ You are so generous with your compliments, thank you. I just hope I deserve them. I can assure you that I take nothing for granted – not the blog and especially not my readers. “Stirring emotions” is great, wow.

    As for your mention, you belong here friend. It’s my pleasure to link to you. And thanks for you encouragement regarding the podcast. I’m getting excited!

    Claudia

  11. artmodel says:

    Lin, you are most welcome! I love you guys πŸ™‚

    And thanks for the podcast “thumbs-up”.

    Claudia

  12. lkwinter says:

    Podcast on!

    The need for vocal training is a startling revelation indeed, just like getting ready for the beach in Spring after taking a glance in the mirror. This integration of personalization with the professionalism of podcasting is ingenious, and with such news I can only label your zeal for integrity as derived from a limitless void of positive energy, how do you do it?

    lv scott
    (and if I were ever podcasting, I’d probably be one of those goofballs you mentioned, dancing to songs in my shorts)

    : )

  13. Fred says:

    Your voice sounds fine, Claudia. Here are some tips from an ex-DJ (me):

    A cheapo microphone may miss all the pleasing lower tones. For about $100 you can get the Shure SM58, considered the standard professional basic vocal mic for as long as I can remember. You might find a bargain on a used one on Craigslist or somewhere. You’ll need adaptors to plug it into a computer. You can probably get a fairly decent sounding more cheaply paid substitute for about $50 or so. Sony makes pretty decent inexpensive microphones. Good headphones will help it sound better when you listen back to it too, but many of your listeners will be hearing it through crappy earbuds.

    The closer the microphone is to your mouth, the more it will emphasize the lower tones, and the more soft and intimate it will sound. The ideal position is one to three inches away in front of your chin. It should not be in front of your mouth where it will get pops from breath on plosive consonants, or nose sounds.

    For practice, watch a level meter while recording your voice, and try to make all the peaks hit about the same level. Learn to use pitch and pace for emphasis, rather than loudness variations.

    Practice reading various texts, then listen back to them, paying close attention to how phrasing, including pauses and changes in tempo, can make your meaning clearer and your speech easier to listen to. Also practice enunciation, using tongue twisters and difficult words.

    Try to feel your voice resonating more in your chest and less in your head. Changing where it resonates is not all that difficult, but it takes practice to make it happen naturally. When you start to get it you will find your voice still sounds like you, but a lot warmer and more grounded. If you get a cold that’s an especially good time to practice this shift.

    Finally, include interviews in your podcasts, and choose interview subjects who have terrible speech impediments or annoying vocal tics. By contrast, you’ll sound wonderful!

    Good luck with it!

  14. artmodel says:

    lkwinter,

    Wow, wow, wow. “Zeal for integrity”! Can I keep that? πŸ™‚ Your enthusiasm is priceless. Thank you, sweetie.

    If I podcast, I really, really want it to be good. Quality. Entertaining. In other words, worth listening to! Not a self-indulgent exercise on my part. That would nauseate me.

    Nice to know you’re so supportive. I’ll keep you and everyone posted.

    Claudia

  15. artmodel says:

    Fred,

    More great advice, thanks! Yes, I’ve already begun researching mics. The mic is key! And I will make many sample recordings for sure.

    I’ve had a touch of experience, believe it or not, when I did an interview through StoryCorps. Surprisingly, I spoke pretty well into the mic and don’t mind the sound of my voice on that recording at all. They give you a disc to take home. I enjoyed that experience very much.

    The wheels are in motion. Interviews are definitely on the agenda. How about you? πŸ™‚ NOT for the speech impediment reason of course!

    Claudia

  16. Fred says:

    I love Story Corps. I’ll bet they use good quality microphones!

    If you interview me, I promise to do do the whole thing with a clothespin on my nose and a rubber band tight around my tongue.

    Fred

  17. artmodel says:

    Fred,

    Yes, the Story Corps recording booth equipment was excellent, microphones and all. Great people too.

    For our interview, the rubber band isn’t necessary. Clothespin is OK, though πŸ˜†

    Claudia

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s