While we complete edits on our new BRASS serial “The Devil in Whiechapel,” we’re adding a new podcast, BRASS Stacks, where great Victorian and Edwardian short stories are narrated by a rotating company of actors. (Check it out this week for a new short story by the astonishing Virginia Woolf.)
Compared to the complexities and people needed to create our full audio drama, BRASS Stacks is a lot less work, but even a pared-down podcast has several vital steps.
STEP ONE: BOOKS.
The heart of BRASS Stacks is the literature from the golden age of the short story, the late Victorian and early Edwardian periods. Often written for popular literary magazines like Argosy and The Strand, short stories were an immensely popular form from the 1880s to about 1910. These magazines were at the birth of much genre fiction, including science fiction and mysteries.
STEP TWO: ACTORS.
We’ve been fortunate in the last three years to work with some of the finest actors in the Pacific Northwest in making BRASS, and even more fortunate that so many of them have joined us to narrate these stories, including several of the Brass company (including our Gwendolyn, Katherine Grant-Suttie, and our M. Tressano, Nancy Frye), theater veterans (including Nikki Visel) and even esteemed audio drama veterans (Larry Albert, best known as playing both Dr. Watson and Harry Nile for the long-running Imagination Theater). All of these actors, and more, will be heard on upcoming episodes of BRASS Stacks.
STEP THREE: A STUDIO
The smaller demands of narrated stories mean that we’re able to record episodes either in our lovely home studio, or via a series of small rented studios in Portland and Seattle. It’s an extra expense, but we’ve set a high standard of audio excellence for all of our work, and that extends to BRASS Stacks. So even for something as technically simple as a single actor narration, high quality microphones and soundproofed walls are a minimum requirement.
STEP FOUR: An Editor
Once we’ve got a recording, it’s up to our editor to find best performances, cut flubs and add pauses, run filters and generally turn a recording session into an episode. Thank goodness she works like a demon, and that she’s got:
STEP FIVE: AN EDITING SUITE.
We use Adobe Audition–which makes such pretty colours!–on a laptop originally custom-built for gamers. Instead of playing First Person Shooters, we use it to edit an anthology of eclectic 19th century literature. (Life is strange.)
Once the file is done, we upload it, the podcast platforms find it, and…you get to listen!