Audio is a special medium. Though a filmmaker, photographer, writer and visual artist my early encounters with audiophiles shaped my belief that the creation of sound is an art form in and of itself. Surrounded by musicians and creators, I learned not just to listen to vinyl, but to care for both records and the machines on which they were played to retain the clarity of the original pressing. I learned that records had a lifespan and to value each rotation of the turntable, whether because of the degradation of the medium itself or inspecting needles, monitoring speed and ensuring the level and integrity of the machine on which it is played. There were musicians in my home and eventually I joined their ranks, though never at their level of proficiency. I lay at my mother’s feet, head pressed against the sound board as she played the piano.
At the age of ten I was given a precious gift- a cassette tape recorder that, slung over my small frame, looked cumbersome, but felt perfect to me as I recorded the stories of my elders and friends. Then I moved toward documenting events, like the Amchitka protests of the early 1970s. Not even a teenager, I would gather opinions and ideas, stretching out the microphone on its short cord to pick up the sound of speakers who were using the old fashioned technique of “projection” to have their message heard about the crowd. I learned about cutting and splicing tape, but needed to find out about mixing at my friend Tony’s amazing studio, custom built in his basement. He began doing voiceovers for my projects and bringing music into the productions.
In the late 1970s, I began to merge sound and images together as a way of highlighting the needs of non-profit organizations as part of their fundraising campaigns. I witnessed the power of the spoken word as it was combined with music and interviews with real people who were on the front lines dealing with real issues. To this day I am thankful to Tony for donating his voice and talents to those projects.
Over the years I have been developing a strategy for broadcasting remotely and on location. Whether it be festivals, human interest stories, jams or local events, my desire has been to create media in real time for live audiences. Drawing on the rudimentary beginning in audio and the subsequent training I received in Tony’s studio, in theatre, filmmaking, radio and television and putting to use the amazing tools that are available today, my goal is to train up producers, hosts, musicians, story tellers, reporters and dj’s who have stories to tell, music to share, information that needs to be heard and events to air in real time to an audience around the globe.
If you want to be part of this project as a contributor, patron or audience member please become part of the Airstreaming community by signing up on the site and keeping up with the project…in real time!
Joani Thompson is the founder of Airstreaming Radio and Character Driven Media. She is an award winning director and her work in live theatre includes sound, lighting and set design. She is a radio and television host and producer, a published writer (PWAC) and photographer (PPOC). As the owner of D’Angelo Studios Joani was the cover photographer for Island Kids Magazine and her work appears in many other publications. She has been teaching filmmaking workshops for creative kids since the mid-90s and has been a regular workshop presenter for the Victoria International Film Festival. She founded the Behind the Lens Kids’ Film Festival in 2003.Joani has been producing and hosting CharacterDriven on CHLY 101.7 FM since 2010 and is passionate about the Airstream project, an opportunity to bring a variety of programming to listeners around the world via independent, internet-based radio.