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Otherwise my novels, short stories, verse, family, music, memories, vulgar interests, detestations,
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Monday, 17 September 2012

I'm still not joking


Recording Risen on Wings professionally would, I thought, cost a bomb. How about an atomic bomb?  £9995 plus VAT! VAT kills you with another £2k. Other irons are heating up.

Plutarch believes an actor’s unnecessary, no doubt recalling over-wrought poetry by Stratfordians keen to emote. I’m not so sure. Pursuing yet another solitary vice I recorded some RoW myself and discovered a huge difference between fiction and straight prose – or poetry for that matter. Fiction has dialogue and you’ve got two choices: scatter he said/she said throughout or create separate voices. After a while I started learning how to do this. Keeping it up for 120,000 words is another matter.

Plutarch is in favour of a woman doing the reading, as am I. But says she doesn’t have to be American. Jana is an Arizonan and her view of France is (I hope) consonant with that. A US accent might help minimise the author’s Englishness and remain detached from France’s Frenchness. Not a must, then, but interesting.

Plutarch recommends a good clear voice. The studio whose quote disturbed me offers samples from a dozen women with US voices. If anything they were over-clear, most having majored on TV commercial voice-overs. After a while I found myself yearning for restraint. Of the two I chose one was born in South Africa though had worked in the USA. Shows what I know.

I’ve only pondered this project for a day or two. More questions arise. How easy it to follow a novel read aloud? BBC’s Radio 3 does plenty but often they’re abridged. Does this make a difference? I do have a 22-CD complete version of Ulysses but that owes a lot to a brilliant Irish actor (Jim Norton).

2 comments:

Julia said...

I think that if the reader is good, it's fairly easy to follow a novel read aloud, and can make a book blossom. We listen to books on long drives and then spend a few days mimicking expressions we've all picked up.

Roderick Robinson said...

Julia: I wondered about long drives: is engine noise intrusive? The thing about audio is that - as you've explained - names and phrases enter the family repertory, and the memory often lasts for years. Much harder just off the printed page.