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Remix a Classmate

June 28, 2017

Looking over Monica Avila Beal’s blog, twitter, and various assignments I was struck by how musical, reflective, and personal her work in our digital storytelling class has been. A classically trained composer and pianist, Monica is clearly at home utilizing music and audio in her work. She has incorporated field recordings of typewriter sounds and the ocean to craft a soundscape for her 30 second story – which was very cool. The short involved her time at the beach with her family and playing with the idea of lyrics/a message in a bottle.

It showed a level of spontaneity, creativity, and abstract thinking. Another favorite of mine was her analysis of the 360 degree video depicting what it is
like to live with autism.

She gave a detailed explanation of the topic, connected it back to her son who has Aspergers, and closed the critique on a wry note: a .gif from “Total Recall.” I am glad to hear that at age 13, her son is doing well and finding his way.

Screen Shot 2017-06-28 at 12.07.46 PM

Thinking about how our approaches to this course compare, I would generally say that we both enjoy being creative, have a sense of humor, and are at home in the musical world. I liked this strange “end of vacation” .gif. Ha!


We both reviewed the Anth101 course and had similar reactions – awe, inspiration, appreciation. That said, I find that my sharing and framing of content in this class is less personal than Monica’s. I haven’t shared about my family, shown pictures of my life, or allowed for too much exposure. I guess I am more private in that regard. I am not attaching a value judgement here to either of our approaches, rather an observation. I also am viewing the class through the lens of being a high school teacher – how can I utilize these tools and strategies pedagogically…

I chose to remix some of Monica’s blog text for my transform and combine assignment. I copied text from Monica’s reflection, pasted it into a text to speech application, and recorded various filters into Logic. I then moved the sound files around a little bit to create a staggered replay effect and added beats from a drum sequencer.

I don’t know if it really works, but it felt like a fresh way to approach text and chop it up like William Burroughs. I have been listening to entirely too much Kraftwerk…

Keep up the dope work Monica! I want to hear some piano playing!



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