Step back in time

My latest audio story started from an invitation to try out the new recording space at Aitkenvale library. It is part of Tech Savvy City, an ambitious prototype designed by residents from Townsville to host projects that can help make our city a better place to live, work, and play. 

Being able to use good quality equipment that is already setup and ready to use is a great resource. Quite a few of my past projects have been compromised by noisy audio that has come from having to improvise recording spaces. It’s amazing how much time getting a good clean recording can save you in the production process.

For the first visit I wanted to record some narration as way of checking out the space. I like to work on projects that can make our connections to local history and community life richer. I spent an hour searching TROVE and decided to do a short audio piece based on Trove articles about the sinking of the Yongala in 1911. Normally my research for a story would be very extensive but I took this on as a challenge to create a story from a single source and a quick look.

The headline that caught my eye was “8 days overdue”.  The Yongala was regarded as one of the best ships to travel the coastal trading route on Australia’s east coast. On her final voyage she was carrying passengers and cargo from Brisbane to Cairns with stops at Mackay and Townsville. In modern times we can hear about everything that happens almost in real time. In 1911 there were no ships radios, no emergency beacons and no warning systems for cyclones. When the ship did not arrive on schedule the families of the passengers and crew had no way of knowing if they were safe. The intention of the audio story was to capture that feeling.

In the studio Michael and I recorded some snippets from the newspapers in Trove to recreate those 8 days that passed while the families were waiting. The final story also contains sound FX and a vocal composition sung by Miella Sartori and Ella Craperi. This piece was a collaboration that was produced as part of my final project while studying Music Production at Townsville Creative Technology Center.

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