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MP3 Oral History Of The Ozarks Project - Tree Dialogues Vol I & II

Deep listening. Captured live spoken word mixed with ambient nature sounds and a wide variety of background musical styles.

15 MP3 Songs
SPOKEN WORD: Storytelling, AVANT GARDE: Sound Collage

Tree Dialogues, Volume I (cuts 1--8) is the work of Alex Primm. These tracks contain highlights from the audio environment which accompanied the March 2006 exhibit at the East Central College Art Gallery. There are nature sounds mixed with the voices that were used in the Gallery. These "elders" were all recorded on location in the Ozarks. Alex Primm is an Artist, Educator, Oral Historian, Performer, and Exhibit Curator who created the Volume I audio environments.

Alex explains “Not many collections of our oral history are readily available. These few excerpts catch people I have been privileged to meet and record over the last 20 years. Ozark people often have strong ways of speaking…not Elizabethan English…not many picturesque metaphors, which Vance Randolph collect so ably a generation ago. You can hear some aspects of the recent Ozarks here on this CD, Vol. 1 of Tree Dialogues. I dropped out of daily journalism because a typical human interest piece can’t scratch the surface of an older person’s memories…so many stories down the river… Most of my interviewing centered on how people relate to natural environments, one of the strongest bonds in the region. Besides a few big old boys or bulls, trees are our largest, most living things. When I started out in oral history, the transcript was the primary record…now, it’s all digital…I often erased the tapes and used them again. These few survived with good tree tales…some are scratchy…We tried to clean them up a bit without compromising what was said…and to kept the personal feeling, wisdom and joy behind the words.”

Tree Dialogues, Volume II (cuts 9--15) is the work of David Dunstedter. These tracks contain the stories collected during the March 2006 exhibit. David Dunstedter is an Educational Administrator and Media Specialist. David created all of the Volume II Sound-scapes.

David explains, “These tracks are not space music, nor do they provide a sonic background for doing household chores. They are a series of thematic sound collages that promote active listening. The stories were all captured during two in-gallery events in March 2006. Our visitors were invited to tell their ‘tree story’ in our Black Locust listening booth. Equal parts confessional and work station, the booth captured the private thoughts and public ramblings of our audience while they interacted with the four artist’s works. These two events yielded hours of digital recollections. Over the rest of 2006, anytime there was a spare moment, I spent it editing. It was during those solo computing hours that the themes and genres emerged…favorite tree factoids, ecological rants, single species stories, heartfelt family ballads, tall tree tales, arboreal mysteries, and wild and crazy dreams. That when I morphed into an audio sleuth. I surfed and saved all things ‘tree.’ I searched for music that fit and sounds captured from special places to enhance the ‘scapes.’ Though I never turned Druid, a second shift occurred and I started seeing, thinking, and finally writing about trees. Yeah, I even hugged one or two. Then, as a coda, out came ‘Magnificent Tree.”

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