Comments on a classmate’s Soundslides

I liked Shifen Xu‘s Soundslides “Live with Umoja” for some reasons, and didn’t like it for some other reasons. It’s a story of friendship and bonding through music. The story starts with introducing the main character and the topic of the story. I like the beginning of the story, because the starting sentence, “My band is called Umoja Orchestra,” is accompanied by the lively music of the band, and a nice overall photo of the band. It has a beat in it, it is forceful, and makes me interested to see the rest of the Soundslides, to figure out what’s interesting or important about this band called Umoja Orchestra.

However, I didn’t notice anything spacial at the rest of the slideshow that would give a climax to the story. Perhaps the idea that a lot of people are joining their band could become a climax, as a success story of the band. But the photos accompanying the audio do not give a sense of importance to the issue. Or perhaps, the idea that these people got to become closer to each other through their music could be considered the climax of the story. But again I don’t think it was forceful enough to convey a turning point.

On the other hand, I liked the ending. It has a sense of conclusion in it. The narrator talks about his overall feeling about his band, about friendship through music, and that “Friendship makes music way better.” The music fades away. The last photo is black and white, showing just the instruments. It gave me the feeling that a performance is finished, everybody is back home, and the instruments are left alone; a sense of ending.

Overall, I’m not sure whether I can call this a story, although there are certain elements of a story in this Soundslides. It has a good beginning and a good ending, it shows some interesting moments, and it tells some background info that can help us build a picture about the band and its history in mind. Perhaps if there was a climax moment in the story, for example the story of a concert, or a certain even that had happened for the band, this could become a more real story.

I liked the use of audio in this Soundslides. The music of the band was used as a sound bed, which made me feel the mood of the band’s work. It’s forceful beginning made me interested in the story, and its fading-away at the end of the story made me feel calm! I just suggest that Shifen turns the volume of the sound bed a bit down when the narrator is talking. It was a bit too loud and annoying at some points of the narration.

On the side note, I had some difficulty to relate this Soundslides to an aspect of campus life. I heard at some point some band members met through college, and I saw a photo of them on campus, but overall I couldn’t relate it to campus life. To me this was more something out of campus. It was more a profile of the band and their personal interactions, rather than an aspect of campus life. Perhaps some narration about how the band’s work affects the members’ school life, or how the band interacts with college students would make it more relevant. Also, it would be nice if there was something mentioned about the band’s practice or concerts on campus, if there were any.

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1 comment so far

  1. floraxu1220 on

    I quite agree with some of the points you raise about my soundslide. I did have difficulty in editing my audio, trying to find out the most interesting part of my interview. In fact, the person said about the band’s trip of performance outside Gainesville recently, but which will be too long to fit in the 90 seconds. I just want to show how these people get to know eachother through music, how they become good friends. To me, besides study, friendship and activies are the two most important thing in the campus life to every student, so I emphasize one this. The audio may sounds too broad and plain, but I just don’t know how to make a 90 sencond audio interesting.I think I should learn how to make a regular thing interesting and unique in my future interview.

    Yes, I really notice that this story is lacking of a climax. I just think that if I can reorganize the audio, it may be better. I didn’t notice that I didn’t mention any specific performance in my audio, that is really a problem. If I can asked some questions to let them mention their recent performance, especially the one related with my photo, which they played in Philip Center, it would be better.


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