Sunday, July 26, 2015

Journey to the edge of a forming galaxy

in early july i spent two weeks as "scientist in residence" at the ABC as a result of the Top 5 Under 40 award.  the main project i worked on was producing a science ninja adventure story that went live on the science show on radio national yesterday afternoon!

journey to the edge of a forming galaxy (website)
journey to the edge of a forming galaxy (mp3)

Artwork by Mischa Andrews from photo by Jenny Gabache and galaxy image by David Malin

long time readers may remember the seeds of this story from a blog post in 2010. you never know what direction random inspiration will go!

transforming the written story into something radio-ready was an interesting challenge.  phrases that look lovely on the page do not sound smooth or conversational when spoken out loud.  i wrote many versions of the story (in less than 2 days) before settling into one that i could read out loud comfortably.

Artwork by Glen Nagle

once the story was ready, i had the amazing luck of booking an entire afternoon in the studio with award-winning sound engineer Russell Stapleton.  i had shared an early draft of the story with him and he came prepared with directories of "space and ninja" sounds that he had been working with for the last 20 years!  he really made the story come alive and it was fascinating to watch him work. such a unique experience to work with him to create the depth of sound you hear throughout the story.

the science show producer asked me for some unique artwork to display with the story on the webpage, since a regular galaxy image would be a bit boring.  i was busy at a workshop during the couple days i had to produce the image, so i asked twitter for volunteers to help.  they certainly came through - the images are displayed through this post.  thanks so much to Mischa Andrews and Glen Nagle!

Put together by Glen Nagle from photo by Jenny Gabache and galaxy image by David Malin

Hope you enjoy the adventure!

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