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Episode17 is entitled "Broken Fingernails." The podcast speaksabout death, loss, and funerals. The sound effects are solemn andintended to capture the sorrow that accompanies funerals. The piecetalks about the human practice of mourning loved ones. Archeologistshave learned plenty about ancient cultures and generations simply byunearthing the graves. The vocal delivery of the piece is slow andpointed, intended to capture the finality of death. The 27-minutepiece uses five songs to provide background music. The songs are fromtwo artists, Massergy and Chad Lawson. Massergy contributes threesongs while Chad Lawson contributes tow songs. Massergy’s songs areBaintha Break, Alzate, and A Burial in West Texas.Chad Lawson’s songs are Bridge to Peace and Ballade in CMinor. The piece argues for the special significance of thegraveyard. Understandably, cemeteries are avoided by some peoplesince they do not wish to contemplate their eventual death. The piecenotes that a cemetery is a place of transformation, transition, andmystery. The cemetery is described as a portal between the currentworld and the next. Cemeteries are seen as the ultimate end for allhumans despite their belief system. Others though do not view thecemetery as the end.
Contextfor the Piece
The tone of thepiece is slow and deliberate. The theme focuses on the significanceof cemeteries in modern society. As an added effect, the narratorcites historical examples as he attempts to present his piece to theaudience. Burials were influenced by several factors such as religionand economic status. For example, it was quite common for Protestantsto be buried separately from Catholics. The wealthy individuals couldalso afford to buy graveyard space within the churches. Social statusdetermined where a person was buried in the churchyard. The mostaffluent persons were buried closest to the church and vice versa.However, everyone sought to avoid burial in the North Corner sincethat was where individuals of uncertain birth were buried. Stillborninfants were also buried in the North Corner.
The increase inpopulations led to the decrease in the size of graveyards. Thesituation got worse since dead bodies were stacked and piled on topof each other. This became problematic during times of heavy rain.Some cemeteries in France were even emptied of dead bodies so as tocreate space for more funerals. The piece cites the rumors ofother-worldly experiences surrounding cemeteries. Different sectionsof the piece are calibrated by songs. For example, a hair-raisingtone is used to demarcate the historical significance of cemeteriesfrom the discussion on the supernatural occurrences at cemeteries inplaces such as Chicago. The piece cites satanic rituals and meetingsthat have occurred at the cemetery as a case in point. Historicalrecords also suppose that the fabled gangster Al Capone stashedbodies of his victims at the cemetery. Besides, some sightings of theWhite Lady have been made at the same infamous cemetery.
The elementsmentioned above appeal to an audience by providing insight andperspective. They also help to create suspense as the readercontinually looks forward to hearing more about the supernaturalsightings at the mysterious cemetery. The audience for the piece isthe Christian community that professes a strong belief in theafterlife. The narrator examines the significance of the graveyard tothe Christian faith. He explores the relationship between death,burial, and the afterlife. The exigence of the piece is captured atthe moment the narrator transitions into the mysterious occurrencesat the Chicago cemetery. The author faces time constraints in hisdelivery of the piece. He acknowledges that much could be said aboutthe history of graveyards in Europe. However, he chooses to overlookthat and instead focus on the mysterious events at the Chicagocemetery. This text was delivered to the audience in a slow anddeliberate manner.
The piece provides a historical significance of graveyards. Forexample, it cites the past traditions in Eastern Europe where peoplewere buried in churchyards. This is because many people professed tobe Christian. Therefore, they presumed on the afterlife as anupcoming sojourn after death. The piece is introduced by a sombertone that sets the mood for what lies ahead. The narrator theninterrupts the music with opening statements about death and thegraveyard. This introductory segment is interlaced with backgroundmusic. However, the audience can only hear the clear, crisp voice ofthe narrator. Therefore, the music selections back up the vocaldelivery and help to provide insight and perspective on the subjectmatter.
These relationships make arguments by juxtaposing pertinent issues.The audience is encouraged to consider the merits of the creator`sarguments by comparing with previous knowledge. The author chose touse the songs mentioned above since they have sorrowful andthought-provoking tones that inspire auxiliary thinking techniques. Iwould make the piece more effective by using a change of pace in mydelivery when speaking about the mysterious events at the cemetery.The background music works especially well since it puts the audiencein the desired frame of mind.
Mahnke, Aaron. Episode 17: Broken Fingernails. Lore. Lore. 12October 2015. Web. 29 March 2016.