The poem I read for this audio was “With Whom, Then, Should I Sleep?” by George Ives. George Ives is really underrated, as historical figures go. He was a huge social rights activist, a scholar, and a poet (though I’ll be the first to admit his poetry is…lacking, in a lot of ways). However, all anyone seems to remember him for is his association with Oscar Wilde. With this assignment, I wanted to pay tribute to George Ives, and bring some attention to his accomplishments. I chose this poem because I think at it’s essence, it sums up a lot of Ives’s character. He was lonely, and very concerned with death, but pushed through and did his best to change society anyway. The track I put under the audio was from the instrumental version of ‘Fools’, by Troye Sivan. Ives was both gay and a huge proponent for equal rights, so I definitely wanted to use a gay musician’s song underneath my reading.
To create this audio, I decided to use Audacity.
Once I’d opened the application, I sat down to record myself reading the poem. I read it off of poetrynook, the literal only place I could find this poem online.
The next step was to go up to ‘Tracks’, hover the mouse over ‘Add New’, and then click ‘Stereo Track’. On a Stereo Track, I could copy and paste the audio of the song that would play underneath the poem. I went ahead and downloaded the sound file for Troye Sivan’s “Fools” off of Youtube, opened it in Audacity, and highlighted the softer piano part near the beginning. The rest of the song is pretty loud, and I just wanted to use that quiet piano part so that it wouldn’t be too distracting from the words I was reading.
After I clicked ‘Edit’, then ‘Copy’, I went back over to my poem file and pasted the piano on the blank Stereo Track.
However, at this point, I was still not done. I first adjusted the volume of each track to make sure the piano wasn’t overwhelming my voice. I did this by adjusting the +/- dial next to each track.
Then, I needed to pay attention to the length of the piano instrumental. It was around 30 seconds, while my reading was around 50 seconds. To fix this, I pasted the 30 second piano track again at the end of the bottom Stereo Track. I deleted individual piano notes until the piano track, too, was at around 50 seconds. To signal the end of the poem, I made sure the final note of the piano track coincided with the final lines of the poem.
Finally, my recording was done. I exported my audio as a .WAV file and uploaded it to Soundcloud. Shout out to you, George Ives! Just for fun, here’s an outtake from my recording (don’t listen if you don’t wanna hear me cuss, sorry!):
Guidelines for this assignment can be found here.