8 episodes

The radio equivalent of falling asleep with the window open. Sounds Like Life mixes the sounds of everyday life with music and reflections.

Sounds Like Life Sounds Like Life

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 3 Ratings

The radio equivalent of falling asleep with the window open. Sounds Like Life mixes the sounds of everyday life with music and reflections.

    Episode 8: A South River portrait

    Episode 8: A South River portrait

    Life has changed so much in just four weeks. Due to coronavirus and the response to it, much of my world is shut down and for good reason: to flatten the curve and prevent transmission of a deadly virus. As I write this, I find it funny to think that I was finishing production on the audio documentary in this episode truly just 4 weeks ago.

    I arrived in South River, Ontario in mid-February. I had been invited by New Adventures in Sound Art directors Darren Copeland and Nadene Thériault-Copeland to create a composition based on interviews they had collected with residents of South River.

    My goal was to create something that sounded like the place. And to do this, I incorporated field recordings that I collected and in the NAISA archive, used the interviews that Darren and Nadene gave me, and took a stab at composing my own music.

    The piece was composed with the intention for playing it in the gallery’s café space, with six speakers set up around the room. All the voices in the documentary were set up to play out of different speakers so they would sound like people in the room, sharing stories. And the field recordings and music were routed to play across the mid speakers.

    I’m really grateful for the opportunity to do an artist residency. I spent the time thinking, reading and creating a piece that I’m proud of.

    And as we all stay at home and cancel travel plans, I hope this documentary lets you explore a new place – a village in the Almaguin Highlands.

    • 28 min
    Episode 7: music to let go of [by garbageface]

    Episode 7: music to let go of [by garbageface]

    This episode guest hosted and produced by doom rapper and drone artist garbageface.
    The Sounds:
    We’re taught culturally – and music is contextual to whatever culture you’re raised in – but generally speaking, we’re taught that music is usually something that involves rhythm and lyrics. Elements that your mind can count and hold on to.
    Drone music, in many ways, stands in opposition to that. Drone music is intentionally formless. But that doesn’t mean that drone music doesn’t have structure. Nor does it mean that drone music does not require skill to compose.
    Throughout the month of November and for part of December, I ran an art installation called The Drone Room at 165 King Street in Peterborough. The purpose of the drone room was to create a space where essentially the only sound occupying the room would be a drone played at a relatively loud volume. And nothing more.
    The purpose of the drone room was to give people a meditative space. That was done not only through the drone, but through the various rules that were associated with entering the drone room, which included: no use of cell phones; no photography; no video, no audio recording and; minimal, if any, conversation.
    We live in a world where public space and where space in general has been divided up in a way that does not give us room to think. The drone room was meant to be a place to think. And to just be in.
    The Music:
    Performed live by garbageface.

    • 53 min
    Episode 6: The Master Canoe Builder

    Episode 6: The Master Canoe Builder

    For a few weeks in September, Chuck Commanda taught a group of young people how to build a birch bark canoe at the Canadian Canoe Museum. When I arrived to interview him, they had almost finished building it. The boat lay in the middle of the museum’s skills workshop and looked like it was nearly ready to hit the water.
    The ground was covered with wood shavings and the builders were idly picking away at little bits of wood that needed to be shaped to go into the canoe.
    Chuck told me about how they had taken the bark off of the tree for this canoe — carefully, but also quickly. And about the work they had done to get the canoe put together. He also told me about how he learned how to build canoes and learning from his grandparents. In fact, in order to get to the skills workshop I passed a canoe that he had built in his childhood with his grandparents. He took me back to that canoe and told me more about it.
    I had a lovely time speaking with Chuck and getting to know him a bit. I’ve been thinking a lot recently about Canada’s relationship to the canoe and my own relationship. Seeing the process for how it was built and speaking with Chuck shed some light on how he felt about it, as well as how he was channeled into that type of work.
    He had initially connected with basket-weaving as a way of reconnecting with the memory of his grandmother and with his culture, but in some ways the way he could make a living off of this work was in canoe building. And as beautiful as his canoes are, I wonder if settler Canadians have a certain fixation with this type of boat.
    In any case, Chuck spoke to me about the contentment he gets from doing this work, and I’m grateful that he spared the time for me.



    • 30 min
    Episode 5: A live pastiche

    Episode 5: A live pastiche

    Live from Sadleir House, Sounds Like Life braved a performance in front of a live studio audience. Part of Peterborough Independent Podcasters Pints & Podcasts pub night, I joined a number of other vulnerable podcasters getting onto the stage to lay our podcasts bare for all to see.
    I selected some sounds from the past year that I felt had some significance to the evolution of the show. I chose the first sounds I played on Sounds Like Life when it was a Trent Radio show, and some various pieces that stood out in other ways.
    I also spoke about where this show came from, and how I think about it. In dwelling on those thoughts and where I’ve come from, I think I’ve come to the conclusion that this radio show and podcast was something I did when I was going through some emotional turmoil. It was a meditative way of considering my life and what was important to me.
    I feel like I need it less now. But I still love doing this.
    I think I’ll need to reinvent the show in some way.
    Performed live by Dave Grenon, one half of the band Joyful Joyful.

    • 14 min
    Episode 4: The one with all the donkeys

    Episode 4: The one with all the donkeys

    There’s no question that the donkeys, mules and miniature horses at the Primrose Donkey Sanctuary in Roseneath, Ont. are well taken care of. Sheila Burns and her volunteers make the rounds every day to take care of these retired animals, many of which have stories of abuse and neglect.
    One afternoon in December, Sheila invited me (along with the rest of Ontario) to attend a Carolling Afternoon with the Donkeys event. It’s one of her biggest fundraisers of the year and essential for doing the work she does. She relies entirely on volunteers and donations, and each were in ready supply that afternoon.
    I’d estimate over 100 people turned out for the event, and they milled around, dropping little envelopes of donations in jars, and listening to volunteers tell stories of the animals. And I guarantee each animal has its own lengthy story. Sheila told me many of them, and that’s what makes up this episode.
    The Donkeys
    There’s Philip and his friend Charles who were transferred from a farmer’s trailer to Sheila’s outside a cheese factory in Campbellford. Those two and a few more were on their way to auction, likely to be slaughtered and made into dog food. Both are now spunky little donkeys who make the volunteers giggle and laugh for their antics. On the date of recording, Philip found himself a ball and was doing a little dance with it, to everyone’s delight.
    Some of the donkeys have sad stories too, like Joey who was found in an abandoned farmer’s field frozen to the ground after sleeping on snow, melting the frost, then freezing himself in the puddle. Only because a neighbour came across the farmer’s abandoned chickens was someone alerted to the animal’s duress. While Joey was freed from the ice, he lost half of his tail and suffered severe injuries to his legs and belly.
    Joey and many other animals are on the path to recovery in Sheila’s care. None of the animals are expected to work — only to heal and play.
    This year many more donkeys were headed to auction than could be absorbed by farmers looking to buy. Hay prices were at an all time high due to last summer’s drought. When faced with the question of whether they can afford to keep the animals, many decided they could not. Sheila is almost at capacity in her sanctuary, as is the other Ontario sanctuary in Guelph. Even with the animals being adopted out regularly as pets, too many are being auctioned off.
    I feel that I learned a lot from that one afternoon with Sheila and her animals. Not only the struggles to keep the animals cared for and happy, and the pressure to take more in, but also of the enormous compassion she has. And of course, I learned of the  many personalities of the animals themselves. It was a lovely afternoon.


    • 17 min
    Episode 3: Lac Brochet [by Jeffrey Moore]

    Episode 3: Lac Brochet [by Jeffrey Moore]

    Wander with me through my last day as I reflect on the familiar thoughts and sounds of the schoolyard and my temporary home in Lac Brochet.
    Lac Brochet is a tiny fly-in reserve in northern Manitoba. It is home to a little more than a thousand Dene and Cree people – and a few dozen outsiders trying to make a living or a difference. Lac Brochet is named after the pike of the lake on which the people of this community survived before the airport and the Northern Store.
    The Sounds
    The semitrailer arrived some time in January on the winter road, and was never opened. Just abandoned. It whistled and howled on windy days. There was a sadness to it that mirrored my own, and I felt content to let it be a mystery until this day. On this, my very last day in the community, I finally investigated where the mewling came from. I suppose I was worried some student of mine might ask what I was doing crawling around under a trailer before this. There was no woeful spirit in the trailer, of course. No anguish. Just physics.
    I taught high school math in Lac Brochet. I think I did it to make a difference. I think I made a difference regardless of why I did it. But the burden of it all was too painful for me to carry on, and even though having to give up carries its own pain, I had to make the choice that kept me going and let me continue making a difference for someone, somewhere – anywhere but here.
    The Music
    The sounds are recorded within one hundred meters of my house, and within one hundred meters of the school. The music is noise I created with an electric guitar and a mobile phone’s EM field.
    My name is Jeffrey Moore, and this sounds like life.

    • 24 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
3 Ratings

3 Ratings

Chanty the Peace Cat ,

I like the sounds of this!

Wonderful podcast, amazing host, sounds like a great one!

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