Alex Marothy Capstone 2015: Our Beautiful Voices

Evidence (website)


For my 2015 Senior Capstone Project, I collaborated with a fellow student in creating and hosting a podcast here in the halls of SLA. It’s entitled Our Beautiful Voices, and focuses on examining and showcasing the talent and the passion here in our fine establishment. 

Passion is like a safety net for the mind. When we feel like we have nothing, passion is there to remind us why we continue on. Taking the next step is always easier with walking sticks of passion. Filling your life with what you love, waking up and opening your eyes to that magical force that moves your legs, can make an incredible difference not only in your own life, but in every life you interact with. 

Walking through these halls for four years, I’ve heard so many voices, an incredible symphony of vocal music. Today’s youth, vibrant and alive, sharing their passions with each other, keeping one another afloat. At the beginning of this year, I set out on a quest to give each individual voice its own megaphone.

Our Beautiful Voices focuses on the passion that is present in the halls of SLA. It seeks to highlight that passion, and present it, along with the individual who holds it, to the world, and send it back into the halls, more vibrant than ever. More than anything, it is an appreciation of students.

Of course, the actual creation of the final product was a much greater task than I initially assumed, and I’m very proud of the work I put into it. I learned a lot, and I hope that by listening, you can learn something too.

Alex Marothy

Abumrad, Jad, and Robert Krulwich. "In The Dust Of This Planet." Audio blog post. NPR, 08 Sept. 2014. Web.­planet/
Radiolab is one of the most successful podcasts to­date. I used this episode in particular as a source to better understand the specific style of podcast it utilizes, and how the authors’ thoughts and goals manifest to create a final product.

Radiolab’s distinct, overedited style keeps listeners engaged, but does also remind them constantly of exactly what they’re listening to. Radiolab cannot be considered a conversational podcast, but rather a more script­driven, documentary­esque narrative. This style has proven to be slightly more commercial, or publicly successful, and is often selected by today’s professionals.

I used this source to inform my own style of podcasting and decide what kind of podcast I wanted to do.

Atlee, Tom. "Ways to Make a Community Stronger, Wiser, More Resilient and Engaged." Ways to Make a Community Stronger, Wiser, More Resilient and Engaged. CII, n.d. Web.­
This source provides information about community building and strengthening communities. It brings up valuable points and interesting philosophies that will help me build and elaborate upon my driving questions and their manifestations. Can I actually make my community stronger through this project? Maybe.

This source simply maps out strategies for community building programs, and suggest possible in­roads to a stronger community. But it also analyzes what exactly defines a community as such, which helped me understand my own community and mission.

I found this source useful because it helped me to realize factors that go into community building I hadn’t realized before, which I utilized in building strategies to impact some kind of change with my project.

Becker, Deborah, and Lynn Jolicoeur. "‘Selma’ Is About ‘The Power Of Voice,’ Director Ava DuVernay Says." The Artery Arts Culture on WBUR RSS 20. 90.9wbur, 10 Dec. 2014. Web.­movie­ava­duvernay
The power of voice. This is a key element of my capstone project. I want to communicate to the community, by the community, a message of unity and passion and the realization of the self. And I feel the best way to do this is by way of the power of voice. The voice that the passion lives underneath.

This source helped me discover the truth behind that power. What are the voices of history that inspired political and social change? Of course, this is not the goal of my project, but if I can capture the power of voice in an interview from the community and give it back to that community, I will have learned it from histories leaders.

Game Over: Kasparov and the Machine. Dir. Vikram Jayanti. Perf. Garry Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov. THINKFilm, 2003. DVD.
Passion. An intense desire and enthusiasm for something. This is what I’m truly fascinated by. “Game Over” is a documentary about the passions of many that explores the specifics of these passions.

Through my exploration of this source I learned more about and better understood what passion can mean to a human being, how it can, and so often does, decide and command their entire life. I am absolutely fascinated by the notion of passion.

I will use what I’ve gathered from this source as inspiration for the seeking of my interviews, simply fueling a desire to learn about passion.

Kang, Cecilia. "Podcasts Are Back ­ and Making Money." Washington Post. The Washington Post, 25 Sept. 2014. Web.­are­back­­and­making­money/20 14/09/25/54abc628­39c9­11e4­9c9f­ebb47272e40e_story.html

I am not making my podcast for money, but for love. I am a renaissance man, a romantic of sorts. This article helps me remember everything I do not want my podcast to turn into. Capitalism... Capitalism, the Marlin Fish in the “Old Man in the Sea”.

But it’s interesting that podcasts are making such a bold return to the spotlight. I selected this source because it pertains directly to the work I’m doing. I found this source useful because it instructed me as to the audience that I will be addressing in my project. However it was not very useful in actually determining any choices or developing any inquiries.

Marothy, Alexander. “Interview with Apple Employee and Podcaster David Webb.” Personal interview. 03 Jan. 2015.
This interview introduced me to the world of amateur podcasting. I spoke with a person who podcasts simply because they enjoy it, not because they have an end­goal of monetary success or fame. This guy set me up with some great equipment that I can use to really get the ball rolling, and introduced me to other amateurs like myself.

Understanding the paths and quests of others with similar visions has been helpful in bringing me back to reality and comprehending exactly what it is I’m hoping to accomplish with this project.

The biggest limitation of this source is that I wasn’t able to talk with him very long because he had to get back to working at the genius bar.

Marothy, Alexander. “Interview with SLA Student and Community Member Sieanna Williams.” Personal interview. 27 Dec. 2014.
This source provided me valuable insight into the life of an SLA student and their experiences in the community. In the interview, we spoke about a sense of safety and belonging in the halls of SLA and the ways in which students look out for one another. Even though she doesn’t know most of the students who go to SLA, she has faith that if she’s in trouble she can count on them. I selected this source because it would give me a window into life inside the very community I want to inquire about. It specifically addresses at least half of inquiry questions.

Marx, Karl, T. B. Bottomore, and Maximilien Rubel. Karl, Marx: Selected Writings in Sociology and Social Philosophy. London: Watts, 1956. Print.
Marx’s social philosophy has given me wonderful inspiration and allowed for the development of an incredible birth of inquiry. His ideas on society and how human beings function in communities have given me great things to think about in terms of my own understanding of my community.

Of course, my podcast is not so directly about communities and social philosophy in that it doesn’t specifically target or speak about these ideas, but it is in many ways indirectly about these things. This source has helped me to embed notions of social and communal unity in the fabric of my project, without directly addressing it.

Muhammad, Ali Shaheed, and Frannie, Kelley. "Souls Of Mischief: 'It's Like Catching Lightning In A Bottle'" Audio blog post. NPR, 03 Sept. 2014. Web.­of­mischief­its­like­ca tching­lightning­in­a­bottle

Microphone Check is the hottest hip­hop podcast right now. I selected this episode specifically as a representation of the entire show, and used it to better understand the different styles and rhythms of podcasts. One of the beautiful things about a podcast, like so many other artforms, is its infinite forms and possibilities. Microphone Check is driven by conversation, and some would call it extremely under­edited. Pauses and breaths are not cut from the audio, conversations are allowed to spread their wings and soar. This moves away from the style of podcast that has proven more successful in the public eye, and provides the listening the unique opportunity to completely tune it out. This style of podcast is great to fall asleep to, or, if you’re in the mood, listen in as if you yourself are a member of the round­table.

Roose, Kevin. "What's Behind the Great Podcast Renaissance?" NYMag, 30 Oct. 2014. Web.­behind­the­great­podcast­renaissance.html This source works to document the recent success of podcasts. Apparently, numbers are soaring, and there are several reasons why. I selected this source because I wanted to learn about where

podcasting is currently, what’s happening in the world of audio journalism, and how the public is responding to it. This way, I can better formulate my own strategies in terms of audience and broadcasting. I found this source useful because it had important interviews with valuable, successful members of a community I’m attempting to enter. However, one limitation of the source was its lack of a clear conclusion. It didn’t attempt to make predictions about the future of podcasting, although it did mention the future of radio, and it isn’t good.