"Not eating chard. That's what all those weirdos eat at their stupid picnics on the Hungry Ghost lawn." -Nina

February 11, 2008

Community Audio Recording Project; Bringing Northampton To Life Online

413.320.4141. (click the map to see and hear)

Calling that number and you are met with the following message,

You have reached the Community Audio Recording Project, creating an audio snapshot of the Community of Northampton, in two minute recordings. Tell a secret, make a request, describe your surroundings, state your opinion, represent yourself, sing a song, tell us what you are you doing, or about your day. Recording time is two minutes, and identifying yourself is optional. Audio files will be added to an online map of Northampton accessible by anybody, creating an audio snapshot of our community. If you think that the location of your call will add context to your story, please do so, and your audio file will be geo-tagged. At a later date this number will have information on where you can find this project. Start your recording now.
A Street Art meets Community History Mash-up. There are now four recordings uploaded and geo-tagged to the map. This project was created by myself utilizing Grand Central for the phone number and voice mail, Fileden to host the files, and Google Maps to create the interactive map. The number was disseminated using email, paper, and stickers left around town. Please feel free to call the number yourself, 413.320.4141, and tell your friends about it, and leave your own message for the Community Audio Recording Project.

Without knowing exactly how the project will look as it grows, it is hoped that as more people call and leave messages, the audio files will begin to offer a snapshot of life in Northampton. Particularly giving voice and record to a story that might otherwise get lost. For instance,

"My name is John Smith, I am in my apartment, I have lived here at 13 ABC st. for 12 years, and the building is now being sold and converted to high end condos. I am looking for a new place to live..."

"Standing outside my house on Prospect St. the DPW is cutting down a diseased and dying tree. It was an Elm that has stood here continuously for 123 years..."

"I am eating the last sandwich that ABC Restaurant will ever serve. It is June. 25th 2pm, 2008, and this is the last day ABC Restaurant will be in business. They were in operation for 13 years on 126 Main St. I have heard that a new retail store will take their place..."

Or whatever you want to say, whatever is important for you to immortalize at that moment. The messages, as noted, could really be about anything, even a song sung. The map is live now, in beta form, and is a work in project. It is hoped that a better utility for the map and audio will be utilized, so that you do not have to leave the map to listen to the audio. Ideally, you would click on a geo-tagged location, and be able to listen to the audio right there. Pictures, video, and text might be incorporated as well as a later date.

LABELS: community building, northampton history, street art, community audio recording project