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ABOUT THE SOUND

About The Music 

Claudia approached a friend of hers, Gordon Clarke, about making some bed music for the show and what she got was a a unique combination of beats and animal noises that have become a hallmark for the show.  

Gordon Clarke is con_sol, a Kingston based electronic poet who tries and occasionally succeeds in blending improvised hypnotic beats with self indulgent stream of conscience poetry. He explains his thinking behind the music for The Animal Turn:

You can find Gordon (con_sol) on Bandcamp.

Gordon Clarke

"For the Animal Turn, I thought I’d let the animals speak their own lyrics. In the theme you can hear cows, pigs, goats, rabbits, camels and more expressing themselves in their own unique ways. I wanted to highlight the sometimes surprising musicality and rhythm of animal vocalists by layering them over a melody and a beat. I think animals clearly have a lot to say. It’s just up to us to take the time to listen.” - Gordon Clarke

Podcast Recording 

 

Claudia has no formal training in the art of recording but has been teaching herself some of the ins and outs of how to pay attention to what an episode sounds like. She was originally the host of the Beyond Canada Podcast, a podcast that explored the contributions of international research at Queen's university, where she received some rudimentary introductions to how to use Reaper and record in a studio. When she started The Animal Turn Podcast, and there was a looming pandemic, she had to quickly learn how to record from a distance. 

She continues to learn...

Here are some of the details of how she records and what instruments and software she uses: 

Recording Platform: Zencastr

Editing Platform: Reaper

Hosting Platform: Buzzsprout

Microphone: Originally the H2N and now the BlueYeti

Headphones: Philips SHP1900 

Other: Popfilters, pillows, and blankets

Claudia Hirtenfelder in Blanket Fort

"I have learnt a great deal about sound in the process of making this podcast. Good sound is really difficult to attain and in almost every episode I make mistakes. There are so many sounds you don't think about in your day to day - the bing of a phone, the vibration of a fan - when you record these are amplified and distracting. Not to mention the difficulty with regulating how soft or loud voices are and how to blend music and speech. I think this podcast will also be a project of learning about sound for me, and of - hopefully - constant improvement ”

Claudia recording one of her first episodes for The Animal Turn in what she calls her 'Blanket Fort Studios' 

Sound Editing  

Since August 2022, Claudia has had additional help with the Sound Editing. Christaan Menz joined the team as a fellow and has taken on the task of sound editing the episodes. Claudia and Christiaan are attuned to different aspects of the episodes and working together has helped to make the how sound and flow much more smoothly. Learn more about other Animal Turn fellow on The Team page. 

"Through sound editing The Animal Turn I've learned a lot about the interaction between human and animal worlds, and how we're more similar than most realise. In terms of the sound editing itself, whether it's music or podcasts, I find small, well thought out changes often bring more satisfying results for listener experience”

ABOUT THE VISUALS

About The Logo 

Claudia met Jeremy John while cycling through China with her husband, Oliver. They became firm friends and ended up cycling with each other through the Mongolian Steppe. Jeremy is a gifted photographer and digital designer so Claudia knew exactly who to talk to when she wanted a logo for her show! Because Claudia's thesis is on cows she knew she wanted cows in the logo. The rest is Jeremy's genius. Check out Jeremy's awesome website and Instagram account. 

Jeremy John

"Few things have made me more happy than a recent video of a cow playing with a bouncy ball, uncannily similar to a puppy. For the logo, I wanted to capture some of this playful and joyous energy, which I achieved with the final, carefree, skipping character that also acts as a speech bubble. Also, the laurels imply that this now emancipated cow, is finally being listened to.”
- Jeremy John

"Art and Visuals are an important way of getting to know animals and of seeing them. The podcast is an auditory platform and often requires listeners imagination and attentiveness in a different way to how visual art makes animals seen, or thought about. It was important for me that there were animals on every page. In the end, I chose these illustrations because of their aesthetic appeal but also because of the sometimes transgressive ways animals are depicted. Art has the potential to creatively challenge the human-animal divide in really interesting ways. ”
- Claudia Hirtenfelder

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