A series of audio explorations and storytelling started in 2015 about the things I find right in front of my eyes. When I was a kid, I was a radio newsman, a journalist telling "important" stories about the broader world.
Today my interest lies in a more personal realm. I'm fascinated by little things, things that are there for the seeing but seldom noticed...the things we live with but take for granted. You could say, I'm more interested in following my nose...
The whole idea of these sound-logs—or “s-logs”-- is to rummage around in the idea of a personal, sonic account of what you could call the "near-field" (also a technical term in digital audio production, describing studio monitors placed close-up during editing and mixing), the things in life that are so close they are not only often often missed but dismissed. Yet little, everyday things are just as important as the meaning we give them. For the most part these s-logs emphasize sound as an integral element of the storytelling. No polemics—just candid reflections on personal experience in search of resonance. I hope you'll let me know what you think on the CONTACT page.
Scroll down, select a story, dim the lights and...imagine.
THE RED-HAIRED GIRL (February 2016)
This will be the third in the series of "S-logs" and the most difficult story to tell yet. It's a love story, the kind of story many of us leave untold. Love stories can be uncomfortable so we live with them but tuck them safely away, like dusty old photos in the attic. But sometimes we need to open the box and take a peek.
This story began in Highland Park, a Northeast Los Angeles neighborhood in 1962. Some of my old high school friends will remember...they were there, but few knew the story.
Among other things, it's a story about how a single, unanticipated event can change a life. I needed to tell this story. And you could say it took me more than 50 years to write it....
Dreams Become Real,Heartbreaking, Sock Hop, Beach Bum — Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License; http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
Great is the Contessa, Contrarian composed by Blue Dot Sessions, provided by freemusicarchive.org; Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
* You can also find a YouTube version here...
THE MAN IN THE BLACK HAT(July 29, 2016)
“I recall a time when things were very different…”
Work on this piece began one night after chatting with a friend on the phone about the dismal state of the world. It was an old friend and like a couple of old codgers, we talked about better days. In the middle of the conversation I was struck with the image of a childhood hero — a man in a black hat.
In the end, it became a kind of baby boomer’s lament, a personal acoustic story about growing up in the mid-1950s, in the midst of an explosion of liberating technological wonder, a TV hero that influenced the lives of a generation, and society’s loss of innocence.
One of the central figures in this story is an Hoffman Easy-Vision Model 917, another old friend. What have we left behind?
At Rest, Thief in the Night, Friday Morning, Disco Medusae — Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
Oak Park composed by Rick Dickert, provided by freesoundtrakmusic.com
* Optimized for stereo. Headphones highly recommended.
LUCKY (January 2017)
Continuing the idea of exploring fictional short-short stories produced for radio, I offer you..."Lucky". It's another radio "morsel", if you will. The story is less than a thousand words and runs about ten minutes long. The main character may resemble someone you've known--the kind of a person who fascinates you but leaves you shaking your head in wonder, the kind of person you never forget.
I'd love to play with this unusual genre more. If you have a suggestion for a story that might make good radio, let me know.
Atlantean Twilight — Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
THE 19th FLOOR (October 2015)
My inaugural, post-professional audio exploration was just that, an exploratory return to digital acoustic storytelling.
I had to ask myself, can you still tell a story? Can it engage, captivate, affect listeners--let alone transport them onto a personal sound-stage of the mind?
This first piece I’ve imagined as just a little “ditty”, an arietta, if you will, where I enter a new stage and test my new “voice”.
It’s approximately twelve and a half minutes long and called The 19th Floor. Alternatively, I suppose you could call it The Dream Shirt”. Public radio historians may find a "hidden" tribute to my old friend, the late Josh Darsa of NPR within the story.
The story is about searching for something that can't be found told by a dreamer who doesn't know he's dreaming.
I woke up with these images vividly in mind one day and had to get it out...
"Clean Soul", Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Where is the sausage made? A friend named it "Studio G" -- Whatever you call it, it has seen pretty amazing growth in just two years. This is what it's become...
RECENT: Listen to "Lucky" , original fiction
RECENT: I Should Buy Some Cement, -- a short story by Max Barry
THE SIGN (December 2015)
This second S-LOG is a good example of what I mean when I say I'm currently focused on stories that are about "things that are there for the seeing but seldom noticed".
I guess you could say this piece would qualify for the title "How I Spent My Summer". Or maybe "The Discovery".
Dedicated to my mentor and inspiration, Peter "Leo" Braun, it's about something in my own back yard, something I'd noticed but never really given any attention to. It was about something small and neglected. Something hidden from sight but, as it turns out, something so universal it touches us all.
It took me fifteen years to uncover what was right before my eyes...
Music: "Dopplerette", "Cherry Blossom", "Long Road Ahead B", "Perspectives" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) By Attribution 3.0 http://creative commons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
I SHOULD BUY SOME CEMENT (December 2016)
When I first sent this to a few close friends, I characterized it as something like a chocolate bon bon. You could also say it's like a canape: You're at a party filled with swells, you pop it in your mouth and forget it...or you say "Wait, what was that!?"
It's a radio adaptation of a short short story written by Australian satirical writer and novelist, Max Barry. He's very good...check him out. At 600 words, it's an ittsy-bitsy story but it totally cracked me up.
There's not much being done in short short or "micro" radio storytelling so it's kinda experimental. If you like it, let me know!
Anguish — Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)