Three Square Meals

When I think of audio stories I tend to think of much more conversational, more stream-of-consciousness work than I tend to with written stories. Now I know that this isn’t really the case, most audio stories are extremely carefully constructed in post-production, after all. Yet there’s something compelling to me about the more free-flowing stuff. Or, perhaps more accurately, the stuff that’s preconstructed in a more informal manner. Not with a written script, but with careful mental rehearsal and construction beforehand. That interest actually drove this particular project.

“Three Square Meals” is an audio triptych of sorts. It is a before and after of three meals: lunch, dinner, and breakfast. Since each segment is under a minute, there’s an interesting sort of time compression. Since the segments are not formally scripted they’re a bit rambly, but I actually found this to be more of a feature than a bug. There’s an interesting sort of focus in which I, as the narrator, have to construct the most important parts of a complex series of events into a few simple observations. This odd sort of compression is highly revealing about what I considered important about what was going on.

Yet while the tone is mostly conversational, there’s a strong sense that I think is clear in the recordings that I’m not involved in a conversation. My tone and construction are those of someone relating a story in isolation, outside of the context of a conversation. There’s no sense that I’m going to have to respond to any sort of feedback from the people listening to the stories. This is the case despite the fact that these may be presented in class and I may, in fact, need to respond to my listeners. I’m fascinated by the way that such audience concerns seem somewhat inherent in my user of the medium. When speaking, if there is not an immediate opportunity for response, I don’t think of it as an interactive sort of experience despite the fact that someone could record an audio response of their own and send it to me.

I’ve presented these pieces in chronological order of recording, but I suspect there could be some interesting effects to ordering them differently. Anyway, without further ado…

Three Square Meals – Lunch:

Three Square Meals – Dinner:

Three Square Meals – Breakfast:


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