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Old 02-23-2010, 01:01 AM
Tim Murphy Tim Murphy is offline
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Default Pilot Podcast

Pilot Podcast, the Eratosphere

I have recently done recordings for Poetry Magazine’s Podcast and for Minnesota Public Radio’s Soundzine; and my long-time MPR producer, Dan Gunderson, Station Chief for KCCM in Moorhead Minnesota, told me I should be producing a podcast, though I didn’t even know what that was. Well, I do now, and the more I looked into it and thought about it, the more excited I became. Rather than start from scratch with no audience, I sought out Alex Pepple, impressario of the Eratosphere. I’m pleased to say Alex was as enthusiastic as am I.

In his seminal 1991 essay “Can Poetry Matter?” Dana Gioia’s sixth, final, cardinal point in his program for poets to reclaim audience is for us to exploit radio, which he characterizes as the ideal medium for our art. When Dana wrote the essay, radio hadn’t yet made it to the internet, and its arrival in digital form there vastly increases our opportunities. The verses workshopped here tell me that most of us write for the ear, not for the page. Increasingly, the zines are giving us the opportunity to record voice to accompany individual submissions. This will be a further step in that direction. Alex and I will be seeking programs of roughly half an hour in length. Alex is creating a new forum, The Distinguished Performance Board, and we hope to rival the very high standards set at Distinguished Guest over the past eight years. A new hurdle to be overcome is that we expect recordings to be professionally done. A cell phone call to Alex’ answering machine is not going to suffice. I have acquired a Pro Tools Vocal Studio, an M Audio Mic, and enlisted the aid of a young friend, Jack Stenerson, who is an undergraduate audio engineer at Dave Mason’s former college, Minnesota State University at Moorhead, just across the river. Sphereans, meet Jack, who will be the engineer for our series.

Alex and I shall jointly share editorial responsibility for the series, which is a forum open to everyone who can offer really worthy material. We will have the technical ability to combine readings and interviews, to splice your answers from your recordings to questions from me or another interviewer. I have many projects in mind already, some based on previous Distinguished Guest events, such as our Younger Poets Forum, our Women Poets Forum. I would like to produce a couple of shows showcasing that remarkable band of poets in Massachusetts, the Powows. I am learning this game by submitting to a very long distance reading/interview with Rob Godfrey’s Local Radio France. It is a reading of my poems on alcoholism and a frank and painful interview on my struggles with my disease. I shall have Rob post his reflections on the production and a link to it when we’re done. And Jack is splicing an interview KCCM’s Dan Gunderson did on Beowulf with Alan and me to twenty minutes of excerpts from the studio recording Longman commissioned me to do when the college text was launched. How about a program consisting of twelve sonnets and the comments of our Bake-off judge? I think we can have a lot of fun with this, get to know one another better, and leave an archive worthy of the Sphere.

Alex and I shall be charting our course here with your feedback in mind. We are keenly interested not just in your reaction to this first experiment but to the whole concept of an Eratosphere Podcast.

Jack is coming over to convert his wav file to mp3, which all of you can read, and I'll edit in the link to the performance later today. yr Lariat.

Last edited by Alex Pepple; 02-25-2010 at 12:40 AM. Reason: Added the podcast
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Old 02-23-2010, 07:06 AM
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Catherine Chandler Catherine Chandler is offline
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Tim,

This really is exciting news!

It is so much more interesting to me to be able to hear, as well as read, a poem published on a zine. I remember how thrilled I was at first hearing recordings of Frost and Millay long ago, on those old long-play records that just about nobody else wanted to check out from the library. Thanks to my day-trips to Newburyport in 2006 and 2007 I was able not only to hear, but to meet, Rhina Espaillat and Richard Wilbur, as well as many other Spherians, including Terese and Michael. More recently, it was such a pleasure to see and hear Jennifer Reeser reading her poems on Able Muse.

This sounds like an amazing project and I wish you, Alex and the rest of the production team all the best, and I look forward to your first podcast.

Cathy
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Old 02-23-2010, 11:34 PM
Tim Murphy Tim Murphy is offline
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Patience, patience, old dogs like Tim and Alex don't learn DVR (digital voice recording) overnight. Growl, growl.
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Old 02-25-2010, 02:12 AM
Alex Pepple Alex Pepple is offline
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Thanks everyone for your patience. I've edited in the podcast link to Tim's post. And the delay on my side wasn't because I don't know about DVR recording (as can be seen by the current and past issues of Able Muse, but because the file was too big to add to be accepted by the forum software without time-consuming workaround, and because, I had to also implement a media player interface to the forum software -- which was not available otherwise.

First I had to massage the data to bring it down in size from over 36 MB to just under 8 MB with no audible loss in quality -- though 8MB is still too large for the forum software to handle without the workarounds. However with the new 'smaller' size, even dial-up users should be able to play it with little low bandwidth frustration. The next thing was to manually improvise a podcast player interface on top of the forum software which too a while to figure out. But, it's done!

So, enjoy! and we welcome your feedbacks.

Cheers,
...Alex
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Old 02-25-2010, 02:45 AM
Alex Pepple Alex Pepple is offline
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I've just received the feedback of a blank window from Tim. So, it's likely others will experience it also. If you do, it's because your popup blocker is preventing the player from loading (it opens in a new window -- part of the workaround I mentioned in the previous post). The solution is to make sure that you configure your browser to allow popups on www.ablemuse.com .

If you don't know how to do this on your browser, see
http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/1903641, and/or
http://wiki.phoenixlabs.org/wiki/All...Popup_Blockers


Cheers,
...Alex
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Old 02-25-2010, 09:49 AM
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Catherine Chandler Catherine Chandler is offline
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Tim,

Though we've spoken on the phone, it was wonderful to hear the hunting poems in your own voice, but also to hear your comments and introductions. I think every online journal should try to include as many audio recordings as possible to accompany the poems published in the issue. It takes poetry to a higher level of beauty and helps the listener appreciate the sonics.

Kudos, Alex & Tim!
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Old 02-25-2010, 10:21 AM
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Nicholas Friedman Nicholas Friedman is offline
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I'm fully behind your efforts, Tim and Alex, and this is great pilot. You might throw a link up at your Facebook page, Tim. It's great to hear these poems read, having read them many times over the past few months.

Nick
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Old 02-25-2010, 11:06 AM
Tim Murphy Tim Murphy is offline
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Thanks Cathy and Nick. I was listening to Stephen Edgar's excellent readings at the Able Muse Tribute Issue yesterday. I found it very helpful to have the text in front of me, particularly in the poems where the stanzas are long, nonce, and heterometrical. That can't be done with this reading (it's not as necessary in my case), because all this stuff is forthcoming and the editors require first publication. Performance doesn't count. However the final big poem, The Chase was in the fall Hudson Review, so I shall paste that in here so that people can follow the reading in text.


The Chase

Now then, Glaucon, we must post ourselves (we philosophers)
like a ring of huntsmen around the thicket, with very alert minds,
so that justice does not escape us by evaporating before us.
The Republic (432b)

I. November 24

I whirl at the faint thunder of the flush,
snap off the safety, plant my backfoot boot,
shoulder the gun but do not shoot.
One wing flails feebly in the falling hush

as the bird swerves across the frozen bog.
It flaps about five rods, glides to the ground,
leaps skyward with a second bound
foiled by the canines of an airborne dog.

Here is the cock I winged two weeks before,
its crop crammed full of leavings from the corn,
its loss a disappointment borne,
but bird in mouth, the settling of a score.

The neck snapped is a mercy long deferred.
When our Alberta clippers start to blow
no slow starvation in the snow,
no fox or coyote will consume this bird.

I bear our trophy to the truck in bliss,
the proud retriever frisking at my knees.
Glaucon hunting with Socrates
could hardly have been happier than this.


II. December 8

Cascading from the cropland’s terraced shelf,
the sidehill western wheatgrass rolls away
and the seedheads of sideoats grama sway,
descending to the deadend basin’s shore.
The closest roadhead is a mile or more.
“Think like a rooster, Tim,” I tell myself.

Black-eyed susans have colonized the slopes,
feral reminders of the sunflower fields
abandoned when the weevils halved our yields.
in the foodplots whose flanking grasses drain
clumps of cattail topped by feathery cane
two practiced predators repose their hopes.

Windward we work to maximize surprise.
Four miles into this prairie white with hoar
Feeney pounces. Two lurking roosters soar
and fall victim to stamina and stealth,
weighting my vest with other-worldly wealth,
a pair of cocks purloined in paradise.

Contemplating the eldest of our arts,
I gut the birds and feed my friend their hearts.


III. December 15

I pick my slow way past the pockmarked sedge
where calves have kicked their divots,
then climb to hunt the upland’s grassy edge
rounding the center pivots
whose verdant verge I choose to stalk.
There breakfast lies within a rooster’s walk.

The prairie is a poem rarely read.
Its looseleaf pages blow.
Too many students of this landscape fled
its poverty and snow.
Today I limp on stiffening knees,
hoping that heedless pheasants take their ease

in pigeon grasses sprung from durum stubble,
in fragrant cedar shadow
where a boy watched his father down a double.
Maker of marsh and meadow,
grant me more time to understand,
more years to walk and memorize this land.
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Old 02-26-2010, 12:03 AM
Alex Pepple Alex Pepple is offline
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For those of you who wish to download this podcast to your MP3 player, the direct URL for the MP3 file is: http://www.ablemuse.com/erato/podcas...g%20Season.mp3

When I can make time for it, I'll be implementing an RSS feed for these podcasts that can be subscribed to (likely tied to a corresponding blog). That will need more workarounds and add-ons since that capability is not included in the forum software. I'll announce it when the RSS subscription option becomes available.

Cheers,
...Alex
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Old 02-26-2010, 06:18 AM
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Maryann Corbett Maryann Corbett is offline
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Thanks for the link, Alex! It was great to listen while making and eating breakfast.
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