On Wednesday, February 6, at 4:30 PM in the Carl Fields Center (58 Prospect St.), the first of IHUM’s Convergences will gather faculty from across the disciplines to talk about George Gershwin’s song “Summertime” and its seventy-seven year history of performance. Daphne Brooks, Steve Mackey, Tracy K. Smith, and Michael Wood will offer reflections, with musical examples, opening the way for a freewheeling discussion with the audience. Versions by Leontyne Price, Ella Fitzgerald, and Janis Joplin will be in the air, among others.
...and a call for voiceovers
The event will also feature contributions from the larger graduate student and faculty community at Princeton (and perhaps some fellow travelers elsewhere), which we are calling “voiceovers.” A voiceover is a superimposition of “Summertime,” in any of its versions, with audio commentary in the form of analysis, exegesis, critique, or reverie, taking in the whole song, or a crucial fragment. Like a sing-along, but without (necessarily) the singing—maybe more of a think-along, mixing the song with the response to the song. Consider it as an experiment in the interpretive remix, the fine sport of artscasting, or critical karaoke.
How do I make a voiceover, you ask? The canonical versions of the song are all available on iTunes or Amazon for a dollar. If you have any familiarity with audio editing software like GarageBand, you can readily record your voice on top of an imported track. There are old-school solutions, too, like playing the song on your stereo while you talk, and recording everything with an open mic. You can email us if you have particular questions. Captions over an image in a video file are fair game. Ditto collaboration.
And once I have made my voiceover, how do I get it to IHUM? You should prepare your voiceover as an mp3 or AAC file; also choose an image (since the files will be hosted on Vimeo: the image will fill the screen while the audio plays). Email email@example.com to let us know you’re ready, and we will send you a link to upload the audio and image files. (Anyone who wants to produce a full voiceover video, i.e. accompany the song with moving images, is of course welcome to do so.) We will do our best with cassette tapes, Edison rolls etc. should they present themselves. We will make the voiceovers available on our Vimeo page as they come in, and we will likely play a few at the event itself.