Executive Producer, Pulse of the Planet
Jim Metzner has spent a lifetime recording soundscapes, from which he first produced LPs and CDs, then moved on to weave sounds and stories to produce radio programs and more recently, podcasts. In 1976, he travelled to Brazil with photogrpaher Jay Maisel to record the album Bahia, Traditional Music and Moments of Brazil, and in 1977 began a career in broadcasting with the ground-breaking short format radio series You're Hearing Boston. His other award-winning series include You're Hearing San Francisco, You're Hearing America, The Sounds of Science, Voices of Innovation, and Pulse of the Planet, which has been on the air since 1988 and is now heard widely as a podcast. He has recorded all over the world and received major grants from the National Science Foundation, NASA, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Grammy Foundation.
Over the years, Jim has interviewed many acousticians (including Carleen Hutchins, Thomas Rossing, Dear Ayers, James Hubbard, Max Matthews and Michael Guillen) and delivered a paper at the Acoustical Society of America's annual convention on the craft of producing science stories for radio. In 2020, Jim's sound archive was acquired by the US Library of Congress.
Jim is visiting the University of Otago as a Fulbright Specialist in Media and Communication, Jim has also given presentations at the University of Salzburg, Austria and Bauhaus University in Germany. His upcoming memoire, Adventures of a Lifelong Listener, was recently showcased at the Library of Congress's conference on audiobooks in Washington, DC.
The Library of Congress in Washington has recently announced they are the new home of the Metzner archive: 40 years of soundscapes, programs, interviews, music and non-categorizable audio.
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Exploring and Sharing the Soundscape
We inhabit a world of ever-changing sounds, and much of the time take them for granted. What makes a sound memorable, worthy of attending to and sharing? A sampling of soundscapes invites an exploration of how we actually listen to recordings and respond to the world of sound. "A microphone can open many portals," revealing moments of serendipity and subtlety. The challenge in sharing these moments lies in navigating the balance between context and pure sound, and finding stories in which the sounds can inhabit and breathe. When do sounds become part of our own stories?