Audio Producer, Geolocation Enthusiast and VoiceMap Storyteller, Miranda Diboll, provides some insight into her BritPop audio tour of Camden. For her, creating a VoiceMap was a way of reliving an exciting past with an “older pair of eyes”.
VoiceMap: Do you see potential for apps and other new technology to engage new audiences in music from the past?
Miranda: There’s a lot of interest in music from previous decades. Anyone who loves music will tend to look back at the influences of their favourite bands and listen to those influences. Britpop is a case in point — it was very much influenced by the 60s, Northern Soul and Mod. Some people wrongly labelled it as a mod revival which it wasn’t, it was much more diverse than that.
Now people are seeing Britpop as much more than just a music craze or some kind of revival. Twenty years have passed and the music stands the test of time. The 90s was an interesting decade, it was a time of hope and celebration of British culture. For young people at the time, like myself, it was the first time we could see the end of years of Tory government. The internet was just round the corner and so was a Labour government that promised us so much. We had so much hope for music and politics! It didn’t last.
So yes, I think people are keen to engage with the past and a VoiceMap tour is an incredibly immersive way to do that.
VoiceMap: Were you surprised by how starting out with a map influenced the stories you ended up telling?
Miranda: When I mapped out Britpop Camden I could see that I would end up taking people on a very long walk. There are venues like the Kentish Town Forum which I just couldn’t include on the tour. So I had to narrow it down to a walkable route and that certainly influenced the story.
VoiceMap: As a storyteller, what do you gain by knowing exactly where your audience is at any given moment?
Miranda: Being able to point out detail to your audience is great. Of course, I had to be careful not to mention anything that is likely to change. Fortunately, because I’m telling a story that took place twenty years or so ago, I’m describing history so I’m on safe ground there. I really love those apps that allow you to look at a photo taken in the past and see it superimposed over the present view. I guess I tried to do this with my tour, albeit using words.
VoiceMap: What did you enjoy most about creating this audio walk?
Miranda: Revisiting my past. Walking the streets I used to walk 20 years ago with an older pair of eyes and the benefit of hindsight. Most of all, to be able to share a past that will interest people and take them on a magical mystery tour in the Time Machine that is VoiceMap!
It was also therapeutic in a funny sort of way. At the time I felt quite sad that my career as a music dot com entrepreneur never took off. Revisiting the past through making the tour led me to realise that I hadn’t really put the effort in as much as I should’ve done and I only had myself to blame!