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This American Life, Notes on Camp

What I find enticing about Notes on Camp is the use of a variety of different overlapping sounds and sonic textures to create a unified whole.  The artist uses narration, ambient noise, quotations from the campers, songs, announcements over the loudspeaker, and other such “camp sounds” to weave a tapestry of the entire experience.  This technique makes the documentation more interesting to listen to, and helps place us in the physical and social context of the scene, producing vivid images in the listener’s mind.  The various episodes are connected with instrumental harmonica tunes, providing a unity throughout the segments.  The narrator’s voice is soothing, articulate, and unobtrusive.  He only adds to the story when necessary, letting the “primary source” audio do most of the storytelling.

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