Chorus of Refuge

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Listen to “Chorus of Refuge”

Once you’ve finished producing a story, what are you supposed to do with all the tape? Just let it sit on a shelf?

Some producers will re-purpose their interviews — turn them into a print piece or maybe fashion a new radio story. Producers Kara Oehler and Ann Heppermann, along with Jason Cady, a composer, created something very different. They re-purposed tape and made sound art. I’m sure someone’s done that before, but, frankly, I can’t think of it.

The piece they produced is “Chorus of Refuge” and it’s a song comprised of interviews collected for Ann and Kara’s series on Weekend America called “One Thing.” Originally, “Chorus of Refuge” was intended for museum installations where six radios played six interviews broadcast from six transmitters all at once. HowSound doesn’t have six-channel surround sound so we’re featuring the stereo mix — just two channels, left and right.

During a recent interview, Ann and Jason cited a handful of creative influences that inspired “Chorus of Refuge” most notably the groundbreaking radio documentary from Glenn Gould, “The Idea of North.” Ann also named sound artist Janet Cardiff while Jason says he had Renaissance music like Palestrina: Missa Papae Marcelli, Gloria in mind as well as the poetry of Jackson Mac Low and Emmett Williams, both of whom wrote poems to be read by two or more people simultaneously.

So, be prepared. This HowSound will stretch your ears. That’s a good thing!

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