Monday, September 12, 2005
For years, we have been hosting “conversations with the artist” whenever musicians perform at Calvin. In these informal dialogues, college students and members of the public gather in classrooms to ask these artists about their craft, their faith (or lack thereof), their creative process, their lyrics, and anything else that has audiences curious (with the exception of Teen Beat-esque inquiries about boxers or briefs). This has been an experience beloved by and unique to Calvin students and Grand Rapids residents—until now.
We’ve been searching for an easy way to record these conversations and pop them on the web, and we found what we were looking for in a nifty contraption called the iTalk. Just plug it into the top of your iPod, and voila: instant high-quality digital voice recorder. The iTalk has impressive range, perfect for picking up audience members’s questions, and transfers the data to a hard-drive so quickly that a conversation can be online minutes after it ends.
We decided to take the iTalk for a test drive with Sufjan Stevens, one of SAO’s favorite musicians. Listen as Sufjan waxes eloquent (audio no longer available) about bird-wasps, why he claps after his own songs (“Everyone else is doing it… I’m impressionable”), his newfound mainstream success, and what he likes to listen to when he’s cleaning his house.