This piece is the final version of my sound piece for Being Frank. It differs from the previous version by removing key elements from the story in the third play through. This is intended to break up the piece even more and simulate the affect of Alzheimer’s Disease to a greater extent.
The sound levels have also been properly mixed; for the previous versions I altered the Master Volume of the sound piece, which means the audio peaks cannot rise over a certain level. Whilst this aids audiences listening to the piece, as it prevents discomforting speaker popping or similar distortions, it flattens out the sound too much. To add greater nuance to the piece I restored the Master Volume to full and shifted the audio levels manually. The most radical alteration to the sound mix comes in the final story, where after the “never to go again” refrain, my grandfather’s voice is almost entirely drowned out by the music. This is to symbolise the fact that in the future he will likely be lost to me completely due to his condition. As upsetting and unpalatable as that idea is to me, it felt important not to shy away from it in the final version.
I am very satisfied with my final piece. Like the previous unmixed version it communicates my love, admiration and respect for my grandfather and his stories, as well as my anxiety regarding his diagnosis and inevitable decline. With the altered sound mix and by removing some detail from the story it gives a greater impression of his condition but without overplaying it, being disrespectful or exploitative. It allows me to achieve what I set out to with my Statement of Intent; to document my grandfather’s stories and memories whilst reflecting my concerns about his illness. I done so in a way that stimulates emotion, thanks to my having strengthened my knowledge of using editing and sound to engender an emotional response. As such I am extremely pleased with my final piece and very happy with my response to the project.
The next and final step is to complete the installation around the sound piece. Further information on this last stage of the project can be found in my physical sketchbook.