Volunteer Interviews This week is Earthcalling..

Comments about LibriVox? Suggestions to improve things? News?
Starlite
Posts: 16693
Joined: April 30th, 2006, 2:17 pm
Location: Thunder Bay Ontario, Canada

Post by Starlite » June 17th, 2006, 7:44 am

Each week we will put the spotlight on a Librivox volunteer. Interviewing them with all sorts of questions. Please feel free to add your own questions in the thread below. An interviewee, may deny answering if they feel its too personal. (or shoot you a load of crap). If you would like to be interviewed just PM me. ( I got a line up already though)



1. Tell me about your family ? spouse, girl or boy friend, children, grandchildren. (how many and ages) (not too much detail required just basic stuff.) You can include your age if you feel comfortable to. (to all you students out there, I?m not looking for a thesis)

There are just the two of us at home, my daughter and me. She?s 17, nearing the end of her penultimate year at school and is thinking about choices for university. I?m a very proud dad, and with every reason. Looking further afield, I have a brother who is an actor, writer and musician. My parents are enjoying an active retirement in Lincolnshire.

2. What part of the world do you come from? Live now?

I?m English and currently living in London, though I grew up in Berkshire and Hampshire. I took Chinese Studies at Durham University, then lived in China for a number of years as a student and teacher, then businessman. London has been home for 17 years, and I love it here. Not just the history and arts, but the very buzz of the place. I feel it every time I come back from even a day away. I can?t think of anywhere I?d rather live.

3. How did you find out about Librivox?

It must have been one of those follow-your-nose sessions on the internet, when I found a link from someone?s blog. I browsed through the catalogue and found Kaseumin?s recording of Bashou?s poetry, and was immediately hooked. This was at a time when I needed something to do with my voice, so I guess I latched on pretty quickly and haven?t looked back.

4. What do you do here ie read, proof listen, coordinate? and why?

I do more reading than anything else, though I?m not quite sure why. Perhaps I just take on too many things and don?t have time for listening. I got so much pleasure from proof-listening King Solomon?s Mines in particular, and really ought to devote time to that side of things again. I?m co-ordinating my first project, Three Hundred Tang Poems, in Chinese. That?s very gratifying, as it has to be a team effort; I couldn?t possibly read all the poems myself - and certainly don?t do the most authentic versions of them. It?s LV?s first Chinese-language project, but I hope there will be more once this gathers momentum.

5. Have you had any previous experience in this area? ie theatre, radio, podcast

Nope, none whatsoever. Not since school, anyway. No, I tell a lie. I did co-present a TV series in China for children learning English. It was dismal, though, and I mention it only because you asked!

6. Is there a particular LibriVox book which you like the best because of the quality, the overall effort involved, its popularity, or for some other reason?

I have to mention three, each for its own reason: King Solomon?s Mines for the total credibility of John?s readings; it felt as if he was telling me of his own adventures. Second, Kaseumin?s project to record the Tale of Genji. On the one hand, there?s the sheer audacity of it; on the other hand, such a beautiful voice, so delicate, refined and precise. Not to sound inappropriate, but that is a voice I could happily listen to even if she was only reading a shopping-list. Finally, Ulysses cannot escape a mention. My part in it was tiny and at first reluctant, but I?ve been completely awe-struck by the enthusiasm, the will-power, the technical skill of everyone involved. Beforehand, I couldn?t imagine that a remote collaboration like that could work, but now I can?t wait for the finished product!

7. Of the projects you have worked on, which did you like most?

The most enjoyable must be ?The Lost Sanjak? by Saki, in the short story collection number 004. That was my first long piece, and it somehow fell into place very nicely. But watch out for The Canterville Ghost, which looks set to be a lot of fun once we (Anita, Cecilia and Stephan) have some time to move it forward.

8. Which drove you crazy?

The Riot Act. What a bizarre choice to record! But listening to it again now, I?m pleased that it is at least understandable. Not learning from my mistakes, I?ve now taken on The Universal Declaration of Human Rights - in Chinese. Please, somebody smack me!

9. What type of literature do you prefer to read/help with?

Finding characters difficult, I prefer narrative to drama. Macaulay, Darwin (when I eventually finish the chapter), Giles?s lectures on China, and The Imitation of Christ are the sort of thing I?m most comfortable with.

10. Who is your Favorite author(s)?

English - Dickens, without a doubt. Others - Mishima and Kawabata, Knut Hamsun, Ibsen and Flaubert.

11. What do you do for fun ie hobbies, reading, knitting?

Anything that counts as brain-food: reading, studying (currently Japanese), the odd sudoku puzzle, and the bits of my work that require quiet concentration. Listening to music, both live and via iTunes. Films, particularly foreign oddities. The occasional curry from this great place in Greenwich. When I can make free time early in the morning, taijiquan.

12. Favorite website/ personal site?

http://www.earthcallingdavid.com is mine
http://www.laurasong.com is my daughter?s

Picked up questions from the forum:


In an average week, how many hours do you spend in LibriVox recording / forums / etc. (what does LibriVox "etc" mean to you?)

I've not counted the hours, but a look through the forums tends to be the first thing I do in the morning (hence the unwashed look that puts so many of you off!), and I'll keep peeking through the day - those e-mail alerts keep pulling me back in! I wish I could spend more time recording, but too often there are other things that stop me. We live in a flat, and need to co-exist well with each other, so I don't record if my daughter is home; at this time of year, hayfever can trouble me; ditto the World Cup; ditto work, which I do have to remember every now and then. Under 'etc' I would include reading as prep for recording, browsing the 'classics' section of bookshops - yesterday I found Scriblerus and Jekyll & Hyde, both now added as solo projects. In short, then: both too much and not enough!

What is your recording and editing set up and do you routinely do anything to "sweeten" your audio?

Kit: eMac running OS 10.4.6; Audacity; Logitech USB mic.
Studio: My Mac is quite loud (untypically of Macs), so I need to be away from the computer desk to record. I put a separate table a couple of yards away, placed so that I am between the mic and the Mac, and that reduces the noise nicely. I read from a print-out if it's a short piece, or for a long piece I borrow my daughter's iBook and read off the screen.
Editing: I just take out repeats, coughs and (when I notice them) clicks. No sweetening, as to my ears it sounds OK without.

If you had three clones of independent means, where would they be and what would they be doing?

One would be in sweet seclusion from the world, a hermit or monk of some description. One would be living somewhere exotic - I'd guess China or Japan, possibly Nepal? - immersing himself in life there, possibly teaching, more likely (being of independent means) just walking around and meeting people. The third I'd send out to work so I can do the other things I enjoy here: going outside London for country walks, back into town for culture, and home so I can get that chapter of Darwin finished.

What do you do in "real life"?


I work for Royal Mail as a ... hmm, well... technical manager I suppose. I'm responsible for the measurement of quality of service (the time taken from posting to delivery) of international mail. So that's partly the technical aspects of the measurement, part (loosely) statistics, making sense of shedloads of data in a way that the operational people can make decisions based on it, and working with my counterparts in overseas Posts on the principles to apply, future developments etc.

What was your first recording for LibriVox?

I started with Aesop's fables, which are perfect for a beginner. Here's the first, which I did before investing in the desktop mic:-

http://www.earthcallingdavid.com/librivox/fables_11_01_aesop.mp3

Have you tried adding background sound to any recordings?

No, but a couple of times there's been very appropriate noise that's drifted in through a window: birdsong in Flaubert's 'A Simple Soul', an ice-cream van at "motherhood and childhood need special protection" in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.


Looking for more interviews? See here: http://librivox.org/wiki/moin.cgi/SpotlightOn
Last edited by Starlite on June 18th, 2006, 2:27 am, edited 3 times in total.
"Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world. Unreasonable
people attempt to adapt the world to themselves. All progress,
therefore, depends on unreasonable people." George Bernard Shaw

a.r.dobbs
Posts: 3230
Joined: February 23rd, 2006, 1:04 am
Location: Boston

Post by a.r.dobbs » June 17th, 2006, 7:47 am

Yay! This is so much fun! I can't wait -- when are the first interviews???
Thanks Cecilia! --anita
Anita
[size=59]Slacker MC -- it takes all kinds[/size]
[size=75]"Never increase, beyond what is necessary, the number of words required to explain anything"
William of Ockham (1285-1349)[/size]

Stephan
Posts: 1607
Joined: December 18th, 2005, 9:38 am
Location: Leverkusen, Germany

Post by Stephan » June 17th, 2006, 8:01 am

What helped you personally to get through "what-if-i-suck" stage?

Any rituals you do before recording?

Have you seen Eugene? Where have you met him? Can you describe him? Some rumours go he looks like sasquatch.
Last edited by Stephan on June 17th, 2006, 8:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
[url=http://librivox.org/wiki/moin.cgi/PromotionalMaterial][color=indigo]Want to promote LV? Print the poster and pin it at your library[/color][/url] | [url=http://librivox.org/wiki/moin.cgi/Stephan_Moebius][color=indigo]My wiki page[/color][/url]

Starlite
Posts: 16693
Joined: April 30th, 2006, 2:17 pm
Location: Thunder Bay Ontario, Canada

Post by Starlite » June 17th, 2006, 8:10 am

a.r.dobbs wrote:Yay! This is so much fun! I can't wait -- when are the first interviews???


SOON :wink: .................................
"Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world. Unreasonable
people attempt to adapt the world to themselves. All progress,
therefore, depends on unreasonable people." George Bernard Shaw

LibraryLady
Posts: 3148
Joined: November 29th, 2005, 5:10 pm
Location: St. Louis, Missouri

Post by LibraryLady » June 17th, 2006, 8:12 am

Oooo, fun!

More questions:
How/when did you find LibriVox?
What recording are you most proud of?
Of the finished projects you've listened to, what is your favorite?
What do you do in "real life"?
What was your first recording for LibriVox?
Annie Coleman Rothenberg
http://www.anniecoleman.com/

"I hear the sound I love, the sound of the human voice." ~Whitman

Peter Why
Posts: 4059
Joined: November 24th, 2005, 3:54 am
Location: Chigwell (North-East London, U.K.)

Post by Peter Why » June 17th, 2006, 10:20 am

Have you made any recordings for yourself or your friends of work that's still in copyright?

Have you tried adding background sound to any recordings?
"Anyone who believes that exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist." Kenneth Boulding, 1973

a.r.dobbs
Posts: 3230
Joined: February 23rd, 2006, 1:04 am
Location: Boston

Post by a.r.dobbs » June 17th, 2006, 12:03 pm

In an average week, how many hours do you spend in LibriVox recording / forums / etc. (what does LibriVox "etc" mean to you?)

In an average week, how many hours do you spend outside? [you know, not in a building, that kind of outside]

What is your recording and editing set up and do you routinely do anything to "sweeten" your audio?

Did you have any Singular events with literature while growing up? (Question is open to your interpretation.)

What's one single instance of your vision of utopia? (More are welcome!!)

What polling question would you write if you knew that every single LibriVoxer would vote?

Name one pious pleasure of yours. (e.g., I floss daily)
Name one "guilty" pleasure of yours. (e.g., afterward I chew caramel)

If you were interviewing yourself for an exclusive magazine called The Full Scoop, what question would you ask? [you don't have to answer the question that you ask :twisted: but we'll be curious; please us or tease us -- your call]

Why are you living there?

If you had three clones of independent means, where would they be and what would they be doing?

What's the most recent opinion you changed?

What movie have you seen more than 6 times? (willingly)

and there's more...

anita
Last edited by a.r.dobbs on June 17th, 2006, 2:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Anita
[size=59]Slacker MC -- it takes all kinds[/size]
[size=75]"Never increase, beyond what is necessary, the number of words required to explain anything"
William of Ockham (1285-1349)[/size]

kri
Posts: 5471
Joined: January 3rd, 2006, 8:34 pm
Location: Keene NH
Contact:

Post by kri » June 17th, 2006, 12:08 pm

Do you have any professional or amateur experience in recording audio prior to LibriVox?

Starlite
Posts: 16693
Joined: April 30th, 2006, 2:17 pm
Location: Thunder Bay Ontario, Canada

Post by Starlite » June 17th, 2006, 2:06 pm

WOW do you guys want thier name, rank and serial number too?? :?
"Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world. Unreasonable
people attempt to adapt the world to themselves. All progress,
therefore, depends on unreasonable people." George Bernard Shaw

a.r.dobbs
Posts: 3230
Joined: February 23rd, 2006, 1:04 am
Location: Boston

Post by a.r.dobbs » June 17th, 2006, 2:11 pm

Starlite wrote:WOW do you guys want thier name, rank and serial number too?? :?
Think they'd tell us?? ;)

[stating the obvious: it's your call what's in the initial interview -- we're just tossing out our brilliant, insightful, curious, comic, public domain questions for your enjoyment.]

anita
Anita
[size=59]Slacker MC -- it takes all kinds[/size]
[size=75]"Never increase, beyond what is necessary, the number of words required to explain anything"
William of Ockham (1285-1349)[/size]

Peter Why
Posts: 4059
Joined: November 24th, 2005, 3:54 am
Location: Chigwell (North-East London, U.K.)

Post by Peter Why » June 17th, 2006, 2:18 pm

Anita,

Could you expand a little on "The Full Scoop"? I'm not sure what it implies to you. Like National Enquirer? or a cheap tabloid newspaper? Kiss and Tell?


Definitely not quite on that subject ..

I faintly remember a cartoon in the Beau Peep strip, involving a journalist talking to the main character; he said something like "I'm working on Doggy Times. There's a big scoop in the first issue ... and in the second issue we're giving away a free pack of plastic bags."

Peter
"Anyone who believes that exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist." Kenneth Boulding, 1973

Starlite
Posts: 16693
Joined: April 30th, 2006, 2:17 pm
Location: Thunder Bay Ontario, Canada

Post by Starlite » June 17th, 2006, 6:12 pm

First post updated with The interview YEAH!!!!!!!! :D :D
"Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world. Unreasonable
people attempt to adapt the world to themselves. All progress,
therefore, depends on unreasonable people." George Bernard Shaw

kri
Posts: 5471
Joined: January 3rd, 2006, 8:34 pm
Location: Keene NH
Contact:

Post by kri » June 17th, 2006, 7:47 pm

That was really cool :) What a great way to get to know other volunteers.

a.r.dobbs
Posts: 3230
Joined: February 23rd, 2006, 1:04 am
Location: Boston

Post by a.r.dobbs » June 17th, 2006, 8:16 pm

What a super treat! I didn't let myself even peak on the forum for the last 6 (or 7) hours of editing. And I feel properly rewarded with a wonderful interview to read!!
ImageStarlite -- kudos! applause! yippees! fan mail!

So when does David answer the 112 other questions we wrote before we even knew who was first to be interrogated??

[Psst, Peter ...you asked, "Could you expand a little on "The Full Scoop"?" ... of course there is no such magazine (I hope!), but I just meant by that ... well, a great friend of mine is evolving a piece called Interview by a Doppleganger in which she interviews herself, and in her interviewer persona, she asks herself some pretty digging questions which in her answering persona she wishes hadn't been asked. :D Yah. That's my kind o' friend all right! Heheh.]

Another question!
earthcalling wrote:Looking further afield, I have a brother who is an actor, writer and musician.
That would be your identical twin?
[As the director type person that I suddenly am again because of ulysses, I hafta say, you have one of the finest flairs for comedy at LV, which is sointinly sayin' a LOT (there bein' so many fine comic flairs here)]
Last edited by a.r.dobbs on June 18th, 2006, 5:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Anita
[size=59]Slacker MC -- it takes all kinds[/size]
[size=75]"Never increase, beyond what is necessary, the number of words required to explain anything"
William of Ockham (1285-1349)[/size]

Starlite
Posts: 16693
Joined: April 30th, 2006, 2:17 pm
Location: Thunder Bay Ontario, Canada

Post by Starlite » June 18th, 2006, 2:33 am

First post updated with answers to some of the forum questions. :D


Edit: To one of the many coordinators out there - could I get a separate topic posting? I can see as interviews increase, there will be a need to keep it separate. :D
"Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world. Unreasonable
people attempt to adapt the world to themselves. All progress,
therefore, depends on unreasonable people." George Bernard Shaw

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