Listening to Excelsior
Star Trek: Excelsior is recorded in more than two dozen places on three continents, produced in Adobe Audition and Cool Edit Pro in 192kb sound, and finally released to the public in 128k mp3 sound files. The upshot of all this is that you can listen to Excelsior on pretty much any device that plays music. Windows or Macintosh? You're covered. iPod or Zune? We're there. Burned CD? Car stereo? The boombox you keep under your desk at work for you to use during those boring data entry assignments? We can do that, too. If it plays an mp3, it plays Excelsior. If you have any technical problems, don't hesitate to drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
But getting Excelsior turned on is only half the battle. There is an art to listening to audio theatre, especially in this age when visuals are king. You cannot listen to Excelsior the same way you watch a YouTube video. You cannot sit passively at your computer and watch your monitor and just listen to our glorious audio landscapes fall out of the speakers. It won't work. You live in a visual age; you will attempt to engage your visual senses. You might listen to the show for a minute, but then you'll wonder if there's anything new on CNN and you'll open up a new browser window and you think it'll be fine because you can still listen while you're reading CNN but you can't because that's not how brains work and soon enough you've missed three minutes of the episode and have no idea what's going on. Trust me: we've all been there.
No, if you want to enjoy Excelsior -- if you want to open yourself to the rich, wide world of audio theater, from Excelsior to our friends at Darker Projects and the BrokenSea hooligans, from the NPR rendition of Star Wars to the BBC's original Hitchhiker's Guide productions, to the whole vast history of audio theatre -- then you have to learn to listen to it. I won't lie: it's a skill. It will take some practice, especially if you're young. But you can start in six easy steps:
- Put on some headphones. Turn them up. Block out the world.
- Turn on an episode of Excelsior.
- Turn off your computer monitor.
- Turn out the lights.
- Close your eyes.
Keep imagining until the end credits roll. You won't regret it.
With kindest regards,
James Heaney, Executive Producer