It was six years ago this month that I created and posted my first sound collage, the first episode of “Super Awesome Fun Time With Rand”, an episode I subtitled “A Step Out”. The subtitle came from the sprite-based comic series I made for five years and at least 500 episodes.
I’ve written about the genesis of my sound collage series, how I was inspired by the WFMU/WTJU/KOOP radio show Ken’s Last Ever Radio Extravaganza, and to a lesser extent the radio show Over the Edge Radio. Back then I had recently discovered the Phone Losers of America. I wanted to do my own sound collages and wanted to include prank call references.
Also at the time I was still hosting the Marble Operator podcast, and it was my cohost Erica that encouraged me to do these collages. I shared edits and final collages with her and she offered feedback.
To be fair, though, “A Step Out” was not my first attempt at making a sound collage. Back in 2010 or so I made an audio project I called “Patrolling the Mojave”. I had noticed a thread on the /v/ section of 4chan where people were asked to post recordings of themselves reciting lines from a recent video game (“Fallout: New Vegas” or something like that). The key line was “patrolling the Mojave really makes you wish for a nuclear winter”. I noticed that the site people were uploading to offered downloads of each recording, so I grabbed as many as I could, opened Audacity, and started playing around with mixing those vocal recordings with backing music. This became the first sound collage that I posted anywhere online (I posted it to the old Radio Free Caemlyn feed on TalkShoe).
At the time, Radio Free Caemlyn was my experimental podcast. The idea was that I would try all sorts of ideas, do stuff that I couldn’t do on Cultdom (or even expand my own discussions beyond what I had time to say on Cultdom Collective). It was also partially inspired by the public radio program “This American Life”. Anyway, I posted this sound collage (though I didn’t really know that term at the time) to the RFC feed and moved on. (Blog post bonus: to celebrate the anniversary of SAFTWR, here’s that Patrolling the Mojave collage, newly added to my Internet Archive archives.
Later on I would make another collage, this one based off of the YouTube series “Marble Hornets”. This was closer to the style I would adopt for Super Awesome Fun Time. I made this as part of the Marble Operator podcast.
Anyway. Here’s to six years of sound collaging. Thank you everyone for listening to them. I mean that.