Author Archives: Evan

Evan Voices: Covering the Elections by Leaving the U.S.

SoundCloud Voices is a weekly Community feature focusing on new spoken word creators found on SoundCloud. It might be a podcast, radio show, audio book, interview, audio messages, a poem, anything! Keep an eye out every Thursday for a new post.

This week we’ve invited the award-winning team from PRI’s The World to share their take on covering the U.S. Presidential elections, and how they hope to engage an international audience around a seemingly national issue. If you live outside the U.S., they want to hear your voice! Read on to find out more…

 

Does the American President Have a Responsibility for Your Future?

by Marco Werman, Host, PRI’s The World 

We’re a radio show. But these days we live online and on your mobile device just as much as we do on-air. At heart, just like the rest of the SoundCloud community, we’re obsessed with the sound of things: people and places, arguments and dreams. And we need your help. But I’ll get to that in a moment.

First, some scene-setting: As you know, Election Day in the United States is just around the corner. So, in the days surrounding the election, we’re taking PRI’s The World on the road to examine how American presidential influence is felt, understood, and imagined by people beyond U.S. borders. While most of the world’s media will be headed stateside, we’re going in the opposite direction.

Now, maybe you’re in the United States. But maybe you’re a SoundCloud community member in Caracas or Mumbai or somewhere else. And maybe you see your own fortunes in the choice of leadership Americans are about to make. Even if you don’t have a vote, my hunch is that you’re watching the US elections very closely.

So I’m headed to London to talk to as many people as I can. Why London? Well, it’s a gateway city for perspectives from across the planet. I’ll be talking to people about a wide range of concerns: the health of the global economy; terrorism and security; the Arab Spring; and the changing role of the United States in global affairs. And I’ll be asking the people I meet to think about what an American president can or should do in today’s world. Do they see the job of a US president (and not only the current president) as a protector or as a policeman? Or do some people have little faith in the ability of American presidents to lead the world on the really big stuff, such as climate change?

I’ll meet up with London-based authors and musicians, scholars and scientists, activists and professionals, many of them immigrants, each deeply interested in the U.S. election and its outcome. And I’m going to capture the city in sound too, in all its messy glory, posting the sounds to The World’s stream here on SoundCloud.

I’ll chat with European commuters as they step off the train from France; take the pulse of London’s much-maligned banking centers; and visit Speakers’ Corner, the historic epicenter of free speech in Britain. I’ll also spend time at New Broadcasting House in central London, talking with journalists from the BBC’s dozens of language services.

But I want to hear from you, too. I want to know how you see the US presidency–the whole institution of the American presidency as it relates to the world. I want you to think more deeply than just telling me who you’d prefer as the next president, Barack Obama or Mitt Romney. Instead, tell me what you think about the American presidency. How would you sum it up? How much is an American president responsible for things that go on in the world outside the United States of America?

To the point: why does the American president have a responsibility for your future, wherever you’re from? You might not have a vote, but I bet you wish you had a say.

Check out the big orange SoundCloud record button at http://theworld.org/elections and share your thoughts with us. Please keep it short, clean, and respectful. And, while you’re at it, follow The World on SoundCloud.

The world is watching this election. We’re listening to the world. And that includes you.

PRI’s The World is a daily one-hour radio program focused on international news and culture. Produced in Boston, it is a co-production of the BBC World Service, Public Radio International and WGBH, Boston. Follow The World on SoundCloud and at TheWorld.org.

 

 

Evan Voices

SoundCloud Voices is a weekly Community feature focusing on new spoken word creators found on SoundCloud. It might be a podcast, radio show, audio book, interview, audio messages, a poem, anything! Keep an eye out every Thursday for a new post.

This week we’re handing over the blogging keys to our friend John Moe, the host and head writer of American Public Media’s new radio show: Wits.

The show, as described by its creators, is “a live public radio show that brings world-class comedians, actors and musicians to the stage”. It’s funny, entertaining, and somehow mixes old school radio-show sensibilities into a thoroughly fresh sounding show. They just released their third podcast which you can listen to here. We asked John to give us some insight into the show’s recipe for success.

 

A NOTE ABOUT HOW WE BOOK GUESTS FOR WITS

So we do this show called Wits at the Fitzgerald Theater in St Paul, Minnesota. It’s a variety show, pretty much. I grew up watching stuff like Sonny & Cher and Donny & Marie. I always wanted to host a show like that. Since those shows are rarely given to young children, I had to wait until well into adulthood. And now hooray! I’m old enough. Wits takes that idea of a comedy and music program, the idea I never let go of, and infuses it with a contemporary sensibility and some of the most interesting guests around.

A whole lot of work goes into it, lots of people are involved, but at the heart of it is a pretty simple notion: let’s get some really funny, smart, pleasant people together and we’ll hang out with them, tell jokes, have chats, and sing songs. Because that sounds like a really enjoyable way to spend one’s time.

Now, the whole idea of only booking people who are funny AND smart AND pleasant does make for some extra work for us. To be sure, there are plenty of talented people out there who are smart but not funny, or they’re funny and smart but are difficult to be around. Hitting the trifecta for every single show narrows the field considerably.

But beyond making the production of the show a smoother operation and giving us a chance to make friends (and we love making friends), those three qualities are crucial given what we make our guests do. Our comedy guests get drafted into doing the occasional musical bits and our musical guests find themselves acting in comedy sketches.

 And both guests participate in our Wits Game Show segment where musical and comedic improv skills are summoned to make theme songs for made-up movies or commercial pitches for non-existent products like Diet Socks.

Some highlights from past shows:

Over on the studio version of Wits, presented in some of our Wits podcasts, the guests aren’t required to perform quite the same degree of high wire act although we hold fast to our standard of guests who are funny, smart, and pleasant. Dull dummy jerks need not apply. With all due respect to the contemporary media landscape, dull dummy jerks get plenty of opportunities to display themselves on any number of other outlets. Maybe we’re kind of a refuge from that.

John Moe, the host of Wits, has a long and varied career in public radio as well as comedy. Moe served as host of Marketplace Tech Report and Weekend America, both national programs heard on public radio stations. John has been a lead singer in rock bands, a writer of video games, an editor at Amazon.com, and he once got fired for washing dishes the wrong way. You can follow John on twitter @JohnMoe, and Wits as well @wits.

 

Evan Selection Panel announced for SoundCloud Fellowship

One of our favorite things here at SoundCloud is working with folks who are experienced, knowledgeable and passionate about the world of sound. Through our Fellowship program, we’re hoping to support some truly mind-blowing audio projects, so it seems only right that we ask true experts in the community to help us choose this year’s Fellows.

Today, we’re thrilled to announce the panel of judges who will help choose our 2012 Fellowships!

Soraya Darabi is a New York City based entrepreneur, working on a new initiative.  She is a co-founder of Foodspotting and sits on the Notables Board of Carnegie Hall.

Julie Shapiro, artistic director of the Third Coast Audio Festival, the country’s biggest showcase of audio feature and documentary work.

Lea Thau, The Peabody award-winning creator of The Moth Radio Hour and the new hit radio show Strangers

Steve Angello of the world-renowned Swedish House Mafia

Producer Shea Shackelford  representing AIR (the Association of Independents in Radio)

Corey Ford of The Public Media Accelerator, a new incubator for public-service media focused start-ups

Sree Sreenivasan, Chief Digital officer of Columbia University

Tyler Moody, Vice President of  CNN Radio

Nuala McGovern, Presenter of the BBC World Service’s Newsday

The crew from NPR and PRX’s Snap Judgment

We’ve also had some questions regarding what type of support the fellowship program will provide. We value your time, effort, and experience as creators and want to help you succeed however we can. In addition to the support of our amazing community, the program will also offer some financial support (up to $5,000). You can find more information about all of this in the project-submission guide.