Intro from Jay Allison: For seven weeks, students from all over the US (plus Canada and Australia) came to Woods Hole to immerse themselves in radio in the first ever Transom Story Workshop. They were led by Rob Rosenthal, with help from all of us at Transom, WCAI, and visiting friends—Ira Glass, John Barth, Kelly McEvers, and many others. They were beginners when they arrived, some with no experience at all, but they all left with completed radio pieces good enough for broadcast on our station and nationally. They lived and ate together. They worked on their stories until dawn. They actually looked different when they left, filled with new energy. They were a wonderful, coherent, lively group of people and we loved having them here on Cape Cod. Audiences are already benefitting from the stories they told. Take a look and listen.
About “Veronica’s Backyard”
I was chasing a different story that wasn’t coming to fruition when in a fluster of panic I found Veronica. I went to interview her about chickens. When I got to the house I found all sorts of animals residing in Veronica’s backyard. From the outset I wasn’t really sure what the story was going to be about, but Veronica was all personality, and a great character. Although she had lots to say, initially I struggled to find a way to place the things she was telling me into a cohesive narrative. And it was difficult to contain her to a quiet space.
Veronica has an abundance of energy and I found myself chasing her round the yard, and down the street in my socks (my shoes were too noisy!). This presented all kinds of difficulties in the editing process as I had a lot of ambient noises that didn’t necessarily sit together very well. These sounds were very much a part of Veronica’s daily life though, so I tried to create something that would incorporate all the different audio and have the listener sit in on her world for a moment. By having some activity in the middle of the piece the different sounds could be accommodated, and it could move forward as a story, even if it wasn’t a true narrative.
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