The sound of ds

Digital storytelling is a short form of digital media production that allows everyday people to share aspects of their story. Wikipedia

Digital storytelling at its most basic core is the practice of using computer-based tools to tell stories.” University of Houston

If you think about it, typing a story in a word processor or telling one over the phone is telling a story through digital means. From that perspective, just about anything could be a digital story. But what is a story? Generally we take it to mean a narration of events. There’s a linearity to it – beginning, middle, and end – and it has meaning. The digital environment changes that though. The key superpower of the digital is the hyperlink, IMHO. That means stories can be less linear and more immersive, with multiple trails to navigate through as readers/experiencers find their own ways. Digital stories can have very nontraditional structure. I think they can also be more fragmentary, like the way memes work as part of a larger cultural narrative

Digital can change the nature of the storyteller as well as the story. It can lower the skill barriers and the gatekeeping hurdles. We can all be artists. This was one of the ideas behind the Center for Digital Storytelling. It’s what we do in ds106.

One of the things I’m interested in these days is the way we can talk about music online. Adam Neely’s video, Scotch Snaps in Hip Hop

is not just a simple video. He’s used digital techniques to combine sound, image and video to tell a story of how the music people like connects to the language they use and the way they speak. It’s worth considering how the sound tells the story, and how the editing tells the story, and how it all works together.

Another example, non-video, is Ethan Hein’s post on Deconstructing the bassline in Herbie Hancock’s “Chameleon”. There’s a lot of theory in there that should theoretically be over my head, and a lot of it is, but the way it’s broken down and illustrated with interactive examples makes much of it comprehensible. Again, sound and image are edited together with text to convey meaning in a way that they couldn’t do separately. The Noteflight tool is particularly interesting

and the Groove Pizza for rhythm as well. I might actually be able to make something with the latter.

Maybe this is a bit of a ramble, but it serves as an example of using my blog to think out loud, so to type.

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