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[English] Starting a Specialization: My Own History

How can you live from audio and sound? Start a career or a specialization in the world of audio and sound; here a little bit of my experience.

How do you start a career or a specialization?

Here’s my story briefly:

I studied integral radio production, audio engineering and specialization in sound design. I did these studies in different moments of my life, this changed the way I was involved in the sound environment and how my works were developed.

I started working first as a production assistant and then as a radio producer in Argentina. When I finished my career in radio production I started a project called Estudio Rodante. A traveling radio station with which I toured a large part of Latin America for a period of two years.

In which I visited several community radio stations. At that time I lived mainly from giving audio editing and radio production workshops at the stations I visited, most of the time it was an exchange of stay and food and a small monetary incentive that allowed me to keep traveling.

Little by little during the trip, I was transforming my work, the experimentation with sounds, the design of sound environments and storytelling, were taking importance within each production.

Once the trip was over I started to venture into festivals and competitions related to sound experimentation, radio art and sound art. At that time I participated in the festivals and competitions without a financial return, since my main interest was to create contacts with other artists and learn from the world of sound experimentation.

By participating in these festivals my pieces began to have a place to be exhibited. At the same time I continued to give independent audio and sound editing workshops for institutions, this was my main source of income.

After five years in which I actively participated in various festivals, I began to receive, sporadically, commissions to make sound productions.

These types of commissions vary in their form of production -some commissions last for weeks, others for months- so I stopped giving workshops to better organize my time around these new works.

But as I said before, this kind of work related to festivals and exhibitions is sporadic, it depends a bit on the organization and a bit on being informed.

At a time when I didn’t have any commission, I was offered to make a sound environment for a video game and I started to get interested in this medium. Later on, specific sound designs for small audiovisual productions were added to this request.

I confess that there was a time when the fields I worked in were too diverse. From the realization of experimental radio works, through sound design to audio editing and mixing for audiovisual productions.

It was then that I decided to be more specific on the job and began to select, specialize in specific fields, knowing that I would lose job opportunities but gain experience and time.

Having clear objectives about the field I was interested in specializing in made my times and my economy organized differently.

When I was trying to cover a lot of ground to get more work, on the one hand it was almost impossible for me to meet the deadlines and on the other hand I was making extra expenses in my budget, expenses that were not included in the final payments of the productions. In order to be able to accomplish each of the jobs I had to organize myself financially and specialize in one field.

This is how I learned that:

More work isn’t always more money.
More money doesn’t mean you’ve improved your daily budget.

Being clear about the fields of work had the following impact on me:

  • Search for a specialization or specializations.
    In my case the audio spatialization and the immersive storytelling are central themes, the works I choose to do are somehow related to some of these topics.
  • To know who I am going to work for.
    In my case, the realization of independent productions for festivals, digital media, performances, theater and video games mainly.
  • To know what products to make.
    For my part, compositions that have as their main axis sound experimentation and surround sound, abstract sound design, ambient sound design.

When I began to specialize, work connections became more specific. In turn, my studies and my involvement in the audio industry began to take much clearer and more specific paths.

I am interested in the development with technology related to headphones, audio spatialization and audio related to virtual reality, as far as my possibilities I try to participate and be informed about meetings, conferences and exhibitions related to these topics.

Another aspect that changed was the choice of the platform on which much of my work would take place: as I mentioned at the beginning, it was radio and now it’s mainly the Internet, festivals and live performances.

To show my work I started having a portfolio, a web page that was mutating until becoming this portal where I develop topics of personal interest, related to the world of audio and sound.

This presence on the Internet, both through the website and the various social networks, meant that I began to have my own audience.

To this I added the realization of online and face-to-face workshops.

In this case the workshops are a space for exchanging knowledge that motivates me not only to continue learning but to develop other ways of communicating and communicating with sounds. Although these workshops are not the main economic source of my work nowadays, their development allows me to build other possibilities both for work and for direct relationship with an audience interested in audio and sound from different parts of the world. That is why the workshops are online and personalized, because I am interested in direct contact with the participants.

In summary:

Although in the beginning radio was my first work medium, with time and specialization other work fields opened up.

Both the sound and the audio fields are diversified into countless specializations in which one can have an interest and start developing one’s own career.

Seeking to understand which field is of our interest will help us to better choose the type of work we want to do, the ways of working, the studies and the places of participation.

Author: Sol Rezza
Editor | Corrector: Franco Falistoco
@ 2020

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