STAY CONNECTED! Third Coast has gone digital in 2020, and we’re bringing you new programming celebrating the art & craft of audio storytelling. Whether you are a producer or an audio fan, sign up for our newsletters to be the first to know about what we have in store.


BEHIND THE SCENES with Inge Hoonte

*How does your piece interact with the "Trans-X" theme that runs through the compilation?

" Trans" stands for all that establishes connection. It is the physical, imagined, and energized space in between objects and people. It is preferably ambiguous or has a double meaning, and is built as a cross-over, mix, or collage, whether consciously chosen or unintended

As a lot of my other work, Mr. Right is very much about seeking connection with an automatically implied missed connection -- the play of reaching out and holding back when interacting with others

When placing a personal ad, your profile ends up in a special "person looking for person" section, next to rows and rows of other "person looking for person" sections. All of them are written from a desire to find someone, be with someone, share time with someone, to various degrees. On endless pages of newspapers, magazines, and Internet sites desires scream off the page, straight forward, aiming to reach the right person. It strikes me that technically one could draw lines between individual ads or cut them out to form them into pairs (or threesomes for that matter), to enable connections. It seems easy enough on paper, but reality needs more than a paragraph of words to connect you to someone. It needs the "trans," this indescribable powerful energy in the distance between people

In this case, your work is both narrative and conceptual. What are the main challenges of making conceptual audio work? Are you afraid listeners won't "get" it

It is my experience that people like to be challenged by a conceptual piece -- it's refreshing to be activated and engaged in that manner. As much as it takes two hard working parties to build a solid relationship, a powerful experience can only be built up if reader, listener, viewer, participant, and creator are engaged enough to do so

The biggest challenge is to captivate an audience. With live (improvisational) performance you can feel the audience and attune accordingly, whereas with recorded material for broadcast or publication these adjustments are edited and fixed beforehand

Through a process of layering, skipping certain information and enhancing the amount of detail in other areas, I aim to create work that engages on many levels, while leaving enough space in between these layers for the audience to complete the piece. Sometimes I embed subtle information that only a handful of people "get." By triggering different emotions in people a piece can provide more than a single experience, causing the piece to exist and be elongated in a broader range

How do certain production techniques in your piece deliver information, as well as sound design

Mr. Right was recorded with a stereo mic and DAT recorder, walking up 18 flights of stairs with a stack of selected Chicago Reader personal ads. I wanted very much to create an atmosphere of exhaustion with a high level of intimacy to emulate the sometimes exhaustive search for a partner, thus holding the microphone close to catch the full scope of my breathing. I walked the stairs a couple of times in a row so I would have a wider range of material to edit. My experience was that the material got more interesting after the tenth floor, and more intimate towards the top floor as the physical environment itself grew more intimate as I reached the roof.