ENGL 320: Sonic Studies
14 May 2018
The Significance of Location
Sound Play is a book that discusses the variety of music in video games. Video games are an interactive media between a person and an avatar. Music affects the person and how they play the game. Locations within the games play an important factor as well. From deserts to shops, video game locations can be anywhere. Chapter 1 of the Sound Play states, “Programming can be heard on desk radios found in local pubs, shops and NPC residences” (Cheng p.22). Within the video game, Fallout 3, there is a scene where an avatar enters one of these locations. The person playing can change which radio station they want to be heard, while they are playing. The location creates a vibe for the person and the person picks the music based on that vibe. The location plays an important part in video games and video game music.
The Radio and the Gendered Soundscape introduction, presents the evolution of radio. The importance of location for the radio is discussed, “Latin America was an important region for radio, and this rioplatense zone was the place in Latin America where radio emerged earliest and expanded most quickly” (Ehrick p. 18). If the radio was not introduced to this part of the world, we may not have had the advancements that came along with the radio that occurred in Latin America. This book discusses Radio Feminina. Radio Feminina was the first all-women radio program. This station started in Montevideo, Uruguay. The station was very successful and gave women the ability to have a say. Uruguay played an important part in women’s oppression.
The Auditory Culture Reader, chapter 12, examines different locations and different sounds. It discusses the importance of thinking about sound and thinking about what sounds that may occur at a location. For example, any job interviews occur in public places, but if the interviewer sets up a place that is not great for communication the interview could be unsuccessful. Wilson states, “It is routine to think pragmatically about noise interference when conducting interviews. If you are conducting an interview in a café or a bar, not only do you question the accessibility of the site for the participant…but you also might ask ‘is it conducive to conversation?’” (Bull, Back & Wilson p. 163). Location is very important when making these decisions as it affects the future of both the interviewer and interviewee.
Chapter 1 of The Sonic Color Line presented the struggles black artists’ faced throughout history. Linda Brent was an African-American writer, but she was also a listener. For example, “Linda arrives in the North listening out for signs of freedom, connection, and family life but learns that her raced and gendered identity still demands she continue to listen for danger” (Stoever p.73). At this point, she had realized how much race and gender affect one’s life, especially in her time period. The North was known to be a location of freedom. However, even though she was not a slave in the North, she was still looked down upon because of her race and gender. Location in this time period was crucial for freedom, but fair treatment was not always as expected.
As discussed above, the location of the radio was very important. World War II began in 1939 and during that time period, many radio stations were regulated because of the things being said. Rules that stations could not offend other countries and other similar rules were put in place and this affected the outcome of many shows. Radio and the Gendered Soundscape, chapter 2, states that “U.S. government’s infiltration of the airwaves of the Rio de la Plata…helps understand the ways in which World War II was fought” (Ehrick p.87). The U.S. played an important role in the war. Rio de la Plata is very close, location wise, to Buenos Aires and Montevideo where other main radio stations were located. Other radio stations could have been infiltrated, but were not and one could argue that this was because of location.
Feminism, the radio, and location influenced each other immensely. Location was important for the radio, radio was important for feminism. Paulina Luisi was a leader of the feminist movement in Uruguay. In Radio and the Gendered Soundscape, chapter 3, “Paulina Luisi’s voice on the occasion of the first (legitimate) presidential election since Uruguayan women had been given the right to vote” (Ehrick p.112). Luisi was an important figure for feminism as she fought hard for the citizenship of Uruguayan women. She often used the radio as a way to get her word out. Without Luisi, the radio, and the location, feminism may have struggled even more.
- How does location affect any issues today? Location affected the radio, and radio affected feminism, but what would one example be of location affecting some movement today?
- Does living close to Washington D.C. affect peoples beliefs? For example, the woman’s march was in D.C., did the closeness of the event affect people’s beliefs and/or the want to participate?
Word Count: 857
Bull, Michael, and Les Back. The Auditory Culture Reader. Bloomsbury, 2016.
Cheng, William. Sound Play. Video Games and the Musical Imagination. Oxford University Press US, 2014.
Ehrick, Christine. Radio and the Gendered Soundscape: Women and Broadcasting in Argentina and Uruguay, 1930-1950. Cambridge University Press, 2016.
Stoever, Jennifer Lynn. Sonic Color Line: Race and the Cultural Politics of Listening in the U.s. New York University Press, 2016.