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Mixtape: Stories of Love, Music, and More

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Alex Chambers:  Did anyone ever give you a mix tape? It is a pretty great feeling. It was a key part of both friendship and romance of the late nineties. The cassettes with the hand written list of songs, they were even the songs you would not have liked in any other context turned into something emotionally resonant. The fact that you have been thought of. So, I decided to make you a mix tape for this week. Maybe it is not quite as personal, and the songs on the tape are actually stories. But still there is a variety and it felt good to put them together. There are a few stories about people who do their work out of limelight. There's also a story about what happens to your relationship with your father once he finally retires. There is some poems and in keeping with the spirit of romance, that a mix tape provides we also sent out a report to determine whether love is real. We're pressing play on the first song soon, but first a short break. Stick around, my friend.

Alex Chambers:  Welcome to Inner States from WFIU in Bloomington, Indiana. I am Alex Chambers and this is the mix tape we made for you. A word about this first song, Natalie Ingalls is in a band, but that does not mean she understands what the bass is all about. So she decided to find out. Here is song number one, "Some About that Bass".

Dominic Heyob:  In a live setting, people could give less of a shit about bass.

Natalie Ingalls:  This is Dominic Hayop, one of the best bassists I know. Sounds a little pessimistic, no? Well I get where he is coming from. Up until probably, two and a half years ago, I did not really understand the bass. It does not typically draw a lot of attention to itself, which had me questioning its importance. But every band had one, so it must serve sort of function. The bass from my conversations with Dom and my friend Phoebe is an enigma. It is subtle but compelling. It molds the music but is invisible. It is ignored when it is there, but missed when it is not. So, as I was taking to these bassists, the one question in mind was, why? Why the bass?

Natalie Ingalls:  For Dom, the bass was his way to break free from expectations. Dom grew up in a musical household. His parents spent 20 years playing in and around Indianapolis in a successful cover band. Most of that happening after his birth. He has an older brother, who took to the guitar pretty quickly and eventually started playing shows with this parents. Dom, while musically inclined struggled to connect with an instrument in that same way. He played piano for six years, starting at six years old, and told me a funny story of how he unceremoniously ended his piano career after choosing not to learn the songs he needed to memorize for a piano competition.

Dominic Heyob:  I kind of just threw in the towel, did not practice at all, half forgot my songs memorized. My parents thought I had them really memorized, I would go to competition, I sat there for about 30 seconds of pure silence, not saying anything, and then I got up and left. My parents were like "that was fast", and I was like "mm hmm, yep."

Natalie Ingalls:  Dom picked up the trombone in middle school and played in a jazz band, but turned to theater as a form of expression.

Dominic Heyob:  I adopted theater as my thing. Theater was my space for myself. I loved acting, I was musical theater but I actually really loved the play acting a lot more. I was in a band, and I was in a choir in high school, that was where I just invested my time. It did not feel like school, even though it was actually in school ironically. I hated piano because it felt like school, and now I am doing music in school, and it felt even more free for some reason.

Natalie Ingalls:  Dom has told me before that for a while, he felt like the black sheep of his family.

Dominic Heyob:  My parents always tried to get me to go up on stage, but it was a combination of anxieties, feeling like I was not good enough. You know those things that maybe kids do not typically experience that young, but when it comes to that sort of music, and our dynamic as a music family, that was my relationship with music for a long time. I was more of an observer. I would go, I would watch, I would listen, and when I was really young I would fall asleep. I was the kid that when my parents were having a show, would go and make slingshot out of sticks, in the trees behind the stage. I was just that kind of person. Just disengaged, and when I chose to be engaged, I really would take in the music and understand.That is the way it informed my understand of music as an observer more than anything, which has actually paid off a lot now.

Natalie Ingalls:  It was not until he started playing the bass, which he picked up his junior year of high school, more serious that he felt like he had finally found his thing.

Dominic Heyob:  When I finally discovered that I could have what my brother had, at such a young age, with guitar, where it was just an extension of himself, and it was just for him, and his exploration and expression, I was like, oh bass guitar can be that for me. So I kind of chased that, and the people who allowed me to do that and it wasn't piano, and the stars aligned in a way that I felt comfortable for the first time stepping into a band environment. And because of my entire past experience growing up, I was really prepared for it.

Natalie Ingalls:  Okay, that makes sense. Dom felt like himself in playing the bass, in a way that he did not with piano or trombone. But why the bass specifically, why not the xylophone or steel drums?

Dominic Heyob:  You are the invisible thread, I think, through the band that connects everything.

Natalie Ingalls:  What is everything?

Dominic Heyob:  It connects the motion and the tempo. Not the rhythm of the song but like the rhythm of the performance itself, I think bass is really integral too. Because when you are working in a more improvisation environment, when you are dealing with solos and you are talking about build ups, and getting the energy in and manipulating. Pushing and pulling sort of the band itself. I think that is the role of, at least me, as a bassist in the band. You get a bass line that is the cords. Then you can do things like do slow walk-ups, do lead-ins, do descending lines that cue next sections. And if you get a band that is cued into that, it become intuitive, it becomes a lot more creative, and actually opens up a lot more in terms of what we can do on stage together. Because all of a sudden they are not relying on me to go "one, two, three, four" into the next section. There are moments that are, very simply, we will be doing solos and stuff like Valerie, and I will be playing the line and then I will cue the next section by descending, and they hear and then the drums match up and then everyone flows into it.

Dominic Heyob:  It is all in layers, like, I control the band, and the band expression controls the crowd. If we can really grip the crowd, then that makes the experience and the performance itself on the solo level. It is a lot, sorry I go on so much.

Natalie Ingalls:  Listening to Dom, you can tell just how important the bass is to him. But he is just one person. Does every bassist feel this way about he bass? Meet Phoebe Spratt. I have known her for two and a half years, but the first time I saw her play the bass was two months ago. She learned to play the bass at her local school of rock, which she is a part of from sixth grade to her sophomore year of high school. She put it down when she got to college, until she and her long time friend decided to start a band this past summer, before their senior year. Phoebe's a great bassist, but is pretty new to playing in a band. I wonder how she feels the bass contributes to a live setting.

Phoebe Spratt:  You feel the music a bit more with the bass.

Phoebe Spratt:  Sometimes guitar, alone, is kind of ugly, you do not feel it. And I think the bass, that is when you start to feel the underlying beat to where you can like really then appreciate the guitars. It has happened when I accidentally stop, and when I am pretending to play. People are like, "oh my gosh, what is wrong?, like why does it sound bad?" and then I willl play the next time, and they band members will be like "oh my gosh, it sounded so much better." "what? Oh my gosh, yeah, what, why is that?"

Natalie Ingalls:  I sat in on one of Phoebe's band rehearsals, and it is true, the songs felt incomplete if she was not playing. Another thing I noticed was that the other band members often improvised on songs, or at least that is what it looked like to me anyway. But Phoebe never did and so I asked her why.

Phoebe Spratt:  I used to know the fret board a lot better, so that might be something I should work on, but when they will be like "yeah, that goes into like A minor", I am like "okay".

Natalie Ingalls:  Phoebe never did jazz bands, but if you remember from earlier Dom did, and he is really good at improvising. It is a cool skill to have. I do not think Phoebe not being able to improvise takes away from her musicianship. Something that struck me when talking to Phoebe is, just how stoked she is to be playing music with friends. To me, it seems like for her, it is less about the bass itself, and more about what can happen when you decide to start playing an instrument with other people. Which makes the bass, the perfect instrument for her. As much as every band needs a bassist, every bassist needs a band. The common thread through both Dom and Phoebe's stories is once they found that band, then they really fell in love with the bass. And if you do not believe me, listen to their advice for other bass players.

Phoebe Spratt:  Just go for it, especially in Bloomington. There is so many people that want to play.

Dominic Heyob:  I think just enjoy the experience of performing, with the people that you love and care about, and put on a good show.

Alex Chambers:  Natalie Ingalls. Natalie produces the "I am no Expert" podcast at the Indiana University Media School, and she struggles with bar chords on her guitar, in her spare time. The next song on our mix tape is by Jack Lindner. Jack went behind the scenes at a theater rehearsal, or maybe in front of the scenes. But before I play you Jack's song, I have a poem by Tonya Matthew. The poem is Concert Hall, and then we will play Jack's song, "Blinded by the Lighting".

Tonya Matthew:  Concert Hall. I sit in the hall, the pianist has not yet played. The audience not yet applauded. There is a stillness, even as the hall fills up. Spotlight shine on the stage of polished wood, the piano and the piano stool. Dimmed lights set in the high ceiling and side balconies shine on the audience. The white paint gleams. The lights are clear, the carpet and plush seats immaculate. Behind and above the stage, the organ. Silver fumed bird presides, silent wings folded. Like banners, lengths of red velvet hang, rippled beside high windows. Everything pristine in this hushed place, the lights create hold. The pianist plays, we listen, applaud, are in awe. The program is over, but she returns to renewed clapping. Then it is ended. Later, quiet fills the hall. The deserted building. Then they arrive, the setters of the scene, the backstage artists, to walk the rooms and concert halls. Bring them forth, that in the muted light they, with their instruments of clean, may take a bow to a silent and standing ovation.

Jack Lindner:  When you think about going to the theater, you probably think of your favorite characters brought to life by the actors on stage. Like Idina Menzel's Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West. Lin-Manuel Miranda's Alexander Hamilton, or Ben Platt as Evan Hansen to name a few. But it takes a lot more than just the actors to bring a production to life. Today, I want to shine a light on to those who deserve just as much credit for a production's success, as those on stage. And who better to shine that light on to than someone who works with them for a living.

Jack Lindner:  I talked to Jen last October, when they were working on a production of the Importance of Being Ernest, with Constellation Stage and Screen, right here in Bloomington, Indiana. Jen is a freelance lighting designer, who travels across the country, going from job to job, and working on one production after another. One month they will be in Southern Indiana, then they next they will be in Boulder, Colorado preparing for their next production.

Jen Fok:  The primary goal is to work with the director, the set designer, the sound designer, the costume designer, and to help create the visual world on stage. I help create mood, atmosphere, time of day. Help with transitions, really guiding the audience in where to look too. The way that I view lighting design is transformation of space over time. So, lighting is rarely, you know, it is always changing and morphing and it is rarely ever always extremely static. But at it is essence it allows people to see and it also reveals the world of the play.

Jack Lindner:  Much like the actors putting together a character, the process of putting together the lighting for a show requires long hours of collaboration and creative decision making.

Jen Fok:  There is also different qualities of like. Where the light is coming from, what angle, what color. You can also put patterns into different lights. Shadows are also a big part of lighting design and choosing what not to light is also as important as what to light. It is interesting because a set designer can show a set design, a costume designer can show what they are wearing. Then sound designers can play things, and compose things. But lighting designers can not really show anything. We can show visual research, but we really do not know how it is going to look or feel, until we are really in the room.

Jack Lindner:  The process of putting together lighting cues also includes asking questions that many probably never even considered asking.

Jen Fok:  The question that I always post to a director is sunlight, what color is sunlight? It is very different for every body, and where you are in the world, and also the world of the play. Sunlight can mean many different things.

Jack Lindner:  When I asked Jen if they had any advice for aspiring lighting designers, I expected their answers to be something along the lines of, never give up, keep going, the more you work the better you get, etcetera. Instead their answers revealed a new side to them, that I had not seen during our interview. It really showed how determined they are in their career aspirations.

Jen Fok:  This is a like a common thing, but I think it still holds truth. If there is an inclination in your bones, heart or soul that you want to do something else, go do that. Because it is so hard. I work full time as a freelance lighting designer, and there is certainly ups and downs. But there are times, maybe once a year, where I will be like "maybe I will go and be a Vet", or maybe I will like try to go and work at National Geographic. Then I wake up the next day and I am like "no, this is what I want to be doing", and "I am good at what I do." I am meeting people, and it has been the best experience of my life. But if there is any inclination, and that you are on the fence at all, go do that. I mean it sounds like bad advice, but truly it is a really hard job.

Jack Lindner:  While determination is a key to success in the industry, Jen also said that it is important to remember that life does not revolve around the theater.

Jen Fok:  Find things that are not theater, that interest you. I love to travel, and I love museums and contemporary art. I am also starting to get into more hiking, because I go to Maine every year. I love to swim and love to play golf. Finding things to do outside of the theater is extremely important, because it all feeds your sensibilities as a lighting designer.

Jen Fok:  I get to travel and make lighting design and art with people and then give it to the community, I love that I can sit there with my fellow colleagues, and we can give this art work to the community. I just love doing that.

Alex Chambers:  Jack Lindner. Jack is an intern at Inner States and podcast manager for IU Student Television. Okay, let us take a break. When we come back, there is something different about the way people talk at night. Stay with us.

Alex Chambers:  Inner States, Alex Chambers' Mix Tape. Okay, the next song I want to play for you, is about the people who take care of things, when most people are sleep. But first, I have another poem, because ghosts come out at night too. This is "Notes on a Ghost", by Erika Anderson-Senter, followed by Helen Rummel's song, "Workin' at Night's Alright".

Erika Anderson-Senter:  "Notes on Being a Ghost". So the first thing is, we are dead. Each moon collapses and are vacant chests from here on out. We cannot start fires, even though we want. There will be resounding clear pings of movement where you will be between the blood and his neck. But blood is stranger to us now. Now, now exists similar to sine, cosine the rising and slope of the earth's fat thigh. Concepts that are kinderling for trash can fires and broken down barns. And maggots in the eyes of our mothers.

Erika Anderson-Senter:  We will rarely remember the good. Moon wash of the lovers sin at midnight. Dust falling lightly through the sun in your best friend's window. Small weight of a warbler. The collective noun for trout. Walking a dog with old bones, and blood that runs winter rivers slow. As a ghost, you become obsessed with blood, and it is just not that way. As soon as you can not have it, and all of that. Anyway, these words are nothing but ash, and now so are you. Yes, even under this moon, this one right here, the one collapsing inside of us.

Helen Rummel:  Well, Good Morning, it is currently 12.51 AM and I am on my front porch, with a cup of tea. Essentially, just getting warmed up, and prepared to go out. Because today, we are going to be taking a look at the night shift. I am trying to be a little bit soft spoken, partially for audio quality, and mostly because people are probably sleeping.

Helen Rummel:  When I came to college I actually took a job at a library. Mostly just because I like the idea of it, as opposed to what the job actually looks like. My boss approached me and asked if I would be okay with closing the library up. Because apparently no one was interested in these kinds of jobs, because it was so inconvenient. It is really quiet. I have a moment to myself and just sit for a bit. I am able to talk to people I feel like in ways that they would not talk to me when it is noon, on a Tuesday. I do not know why that is but I feel like people have a lot of vulnerable moments at night. Sometimes people are alone at night, and they wished they were not.

Helen Rummel:  Undoubtedly, first thing anyone notices, when they walk into Baked Cookies for the first time, is that warm inviting scent of a batch of cookies pulled straight from the oven. The space is open and surprisingly bright. Especially after you walk in from the dark after hours streets of Bloomington. Cardboard cookie boxes are taped up onto the walls, with elaborate artwork on them. By now, it is past one AM, there is not a single customer left, and Desiree Carter is sweeping the lobby floor.

Desiree Carter:  So, I am a townie. I grew up in Bloomington, I went to IU and everything. I used to come to Baked all time. I was like a high school student.

Helen Rummel:  Desiree Carter, 23 years old, closes up shop here two to three times a week. She says she has never minded the hours. In fact, they are kind of a plus.

Desiree Carter:  I have always kind of been a night-owl. The later shifts never really bothered me that much. I close maybe two to three nights a week, so I am not opposed to staying up late. I do not know, I find peace in the night time. Not too many people are awake, and it is just kind of peaceful at night.

Desiree Carter:  Let us see, last Halloween, there was one person who had an alcohol bottle, and dropped it on the floor, so that was a fun thing that I had to clean up.

Helen Rummel:  This is when I told Desiree about my theory, my working theory. That people kind of open up after a certain time. If you force them to stay up past their bedtime, maybe they can understand you.

Desiree Carter:  Yeah, I just feel like anyone that comes in here later at night, I feel like they are more sympathetic and everything. We are open so late, so they want to be a little bit nicer, since we are here so late at night. And giving them cookies, they are definitely a lot nicer about that.

Desiree Carter:  I do not know, we like to have fun. I guess we are night owls, so it is a fun type of thing that we do. We still get work done and everything, but I do love every that I work with.

David Michael:  Hello, I am David Michael, I am a shift supervisor. I have been here for about nine and a half years now.

Helen Rummel:  David has a long history of working graveyard shifts. While he has been with CVS for some time now, he has a storied late night resume.

David Michael:  A couple of gas stations, late shift at fast food places. Target, I was overnight there for a while. I think that is it.

Helen Rummel:  Part of the reason he likes the night, it is more comfortable. Not only does David enjoy the peace and quiet, but he also has an extreme sensitivity to light making it difficult for him to be out on a bright Tuesday afternoon.

David Michael:  When I say I enjoy it, I prefer it over day shift. I am more comfortable being awake at night, and have been for most of my life.

Helen Rummel:  So you would consider yourself, for sure, a night owl?

David Michael:  Oh yeah.

Helen Rummel:  David starts his shifts each day at 11 PM. He says that nights start off pretty normally, until three AM. Conveniently, that is when alcohol sales end. After that, it is a ghost town. Any person in the store is a surprise. For David, he says, it is hard to say because he really spends most of his life in the night time. But, he does agree with Desire, that people are more real at night. Except, that is not always in a good way.

David Michael:  Everywhere that I have worked, is interacting with customers at night time, we have got a lot more people who are just "oh yeah, no, no this is who I really am", then we get during the day where it is "I am on my way to work, shut up, go away". I wouldn't say there was less judgment, there is fewer people to do the judging. It is a lot easier to be your true self, and allow who you really are to shine, when there is only a few people around to judge that, than it is in a big group of people where, "oh fuck, everybody is looking at me."

Helen Rummel:  CVS in my experience is one of the last true 24 hour businesses in town. And when David was thinking about it, he says, he agrees.

Helen Rummel:  Well, back home again. It is 4.25 AM. So, I think we are going to call that wrap. I think I might get some sleep before the sun comes up. That seems like a good idea. Okay, so on that note, have a good night everyone.

Alex Chambers:  Helen Rummel. Helen is the Editor in Chief of the Indiana Daily Student.

Alex Chambers:  Meredith Hemphill’s dad, Tim, retired recently. That changed their relationship, and she wanted to talk with him about it. Before we listen to the song she made out of that conversation, I am going to play Steve Henn's poem, "The Dad Rules". Then we have Meredith's song, "Dad Moon Rising".

Steve Henn:  "The Dad Rules". Because he is paying the mortgage he is allowed to walk around inside his house in only a t-shirt and boxers. When they reach the height of the handle his young must be trained to push the lawnmower. Never speak of the era in which he drank beer after beer after beer. Lightning can’t strike you while observing the spectacle of a thunderstorm from the front porch, if you’re next to a dad.

Steve Henn:  Avoid even bringing up the clogged gutters. No, you may not shoot the BB gun at aluminum cans, for the BBs are traveling all the way across the yard,

hitting the neighbor’s house. He wishes you might ask about the book he’s reading sitting in his camper chair, in the backyard but you never do. Fast food cheeseburgers from a place about a mile away if you do a good job cleaning out the car. He refuses to feel ashamed driving the minivan. He quit

watching ESPN. The old couple two houses down find him pleasant to speak with. He leaves the outside lights on, when the teens aren’t yet home. He is always keeping watch. His phone is always right next to him.

Meredith Hemphill:  Now it is recording.

Tim:  Okay, so what are we doing here?

Meredith Hemphill:  My dad's name is Tim. He is 62 years old, and lives in the small town of Kernersville, North Carolina. He went to North Carolina State University. Just like his two older brothers, and me, and three of my cousins. Dad studied computer science. It was obvious to dad that the digital age was imminent. He wanted to go where the jobs were. And, it worked. He has spent an entire career, in Information Technology. I most remember my dad as a figure sequestered in the home office all day. Hunched over his desk, and grimly lit by two or three monitors. Or, when I was very little, a man in smart suits who went to a shiny office building. Sometimes I got to visit him as a treat. I was endlessly fascinated by the rows of gray walled cubicles. Like playhouses for grown ups. But, wherever he was, he always seemed to be working. Always on the phone, always in front of a screen. Recently though, things are starting to change.

Meredith Hemphill:  How long as it been now, like two months?

Tim:  I retired at the end of August. There is basically you know, three flavors of organization. I started with one bank, it bought some banks. Then it was bought by another bank. And then that bought bank was bought by a bank. So, the cumulation of all that was forty years, in Information Technology.

Meredith Hemphill:  I still do not really know what your job was.

Tim:  Oh! I guess the simplest way of describe it is database design. There is two type of systems at the bank, and this is common in lots of companies...

Meredith Hemphill:  The software that runs the bank generates data. Dad would take that data, organize it, and run programs to find the important information hiding in all those numbers.

Tim:  ... and then you can run queries and all kinds of analysis, without impacting the operational systems.

Meredith Hemphill:  Was this like fun for you?

Tim:  Yes, there is lot of things that go on in a big corporate environment that are not necessarily a lot much fun. But, design of databases, yes it was a fun thing.

Meredith Hemphill:  Has there been anything that has really surprised you about this new phase of life?

Tim:  I wouldn't say surprised, but what gives you some kind of angst about doing this, is that for your entire working life you save money, or at least you should be saving money. A lot a people do not, I realize, but you save money in a 401K or whatever for the purposes of retirement. Because social security was only designed to supplement on like 30% of your income, or something like that. For those who try to plan ahead for retirement, your save your entire working career, for that. And then the switch turns 180 degrees at some point, and it is like okay, instead of saving money, you are taking money out. Money is not coming in, it is going out of your savings. So, that is a completely different mind set and it is a completely different way to plan.

Tim:  While you are working it is "am I saving enough for retirement?" and then all of a suddenly is "have I saved enough for retirement?" So that is an interesting maths problem. I have the simulations and all of that, and that is what they are simulations, because no exact way to know how much you are going to need. That seems all very inexact, especially for someone who has worked in Information Technology their entire life.

Meredith Hemphill:  You know some people say that retirement is the best thing that every happens to them, and then some people are like, I hate this, I am bored. I do not think that you have had that problem? But do you generally feel like your mood is any different?

Tim:  Oh yes, because even in the best of jobs, like my old job, there is always going to be some sense of anxiety of something that needs to be done, and deadlines and this type of thing. It is a little bit different when you have a job, when you just go and show up, do whatever is there, and go home. Our jobs were not exactly like, there were certain things that were expected to be done at certain times and that gives a certain amount of anxiety, depending on what the environment is like, and the the likelihood you actually be able to get those things done, and get them done well. So, depending upon what is going on, there can be that certain sense when you wake up in the morning "oh, I got to go to work!" Whereas now, you know I wake up and it is like "eh" "what do I want to do today?" And that is very freeing. Now I have gone through this transition there is lots of folks that I talk to that say that retirement is not overrated.

Meredith Hemphill:  So, I have noticed that in the period of time that you have not been working, I hear a lot more from you than I think I have ever. I mean a couple of weeks ago you called me, just to tell me you fell in a pile of leaves. That has never happened before.

Tim:  Well yes, it gives you more time to do things. I mean you can do whatever you want to do, whenever you want to do it, I mean within limits of physics. If I want to look at twitter, and send you direct messages, I can do that. If something funny happens in the backyard, then I can text you or whatever.

Meredith Hemphill:  I mean, I like it. It always felt like I did not know you all that well. You were always on the computer, and then the last two months you are talking to me all the time.

Tim:  Yes, when I first went to work in IT, it was pretty structured and pretty predictable. But over periods of time when technologies and expectations change it got to be not such a great job anymore. Even though I worked remotely for the last several years, you do kind of get shackled for eight to ten hours a day, to this machine as you get older. I mean if you were a young person doing that it is a little bit different. But as you get older and your energy level is not the same as when you are 25, pretty soon that eight to ten hours at the machine every day, it kind of sucks the life out of you. So when you actually get to the point where you have finished your task and you decide you are just going to quit for the day, there is not a whole lot of energy left.

Meredith Hemphill:  So do you have any thoughts for like what you want this part of your life to look like?

Tim:  Well, there is some things that I would like to do, because I have time to do them now, that I did not have before. Travel some more. We got to do a little bit of that while I was still working, but now I would have the time to choose when I would want to travel, and to where, easier than I would when I was working. And of course there is lots of stuff that I want to do, around the house and the yard, things like that, that I did not have time to do before. Plus, I like to work outside with landscape and stuff anyway. Beyond that, no. I am just kind of taking it a day at a time. When I told them I was going to retire, I started making a list of things. It was like at least a page and a half of things I wanted to do, around the house and the yard, or whatever. I have put a little bit of a dent into it, but it is nowhere near finished. It will probably never going to be finished. Yes, I am having fun.

Alex Chambers:  Meredith Hemphill studies investigative journalism, and writes speculative fiction, under the pen name, Maria-Elena. Okay, let us take another break, and then talk about love.

Alex Chambers:  Welcome back to Inner States, I am Alex Chambers. As we made this mix tape episode, we got thinking about love. So, we sent out a reporter to figure out whether love is real? This is going to be the last song our mix tape. It is Avi Forrest and it is called "Can you Explain the Love Tonight".

J P Houston:  J P Houston.

Avi Forrest:  J P Houston, do you go to IU?

J P Houston:  I do not go to IU.

Avi Forrest:  What are you doing out here?

J P Houston:  I am promoting a Pickleball tournament.

Avi Forrest:  Cool, and there's a big trophy there. Is love real?

J P Houston:  Yeah, I think love is real.

Avi Forrest:  Do you love Pickleball?

J P Houston:  Yeah, I like Pickleball. I like Pickleball, I do not love Pickleball.

Avi Forrest:  This is recording. What is your name?

Blake Wasco:  Blake Wasco, I am a sophomore. Yes, and I think it is multiple different forms. Of sense of like, okay that was a big question to ask at this time. There is like platonic, romantic, sexual, there is all kinds of different forms of it. But it comes down to the essence of just caring. I see it in multiple forms, because she is my best friend, and I love her.

Avi Forrest:  What is your name?

Grace:  Grace.

Avi Forrest:  So you love Grace?

Blake Wasco:  Yes, I love Grace.

Lena Voitnan:  I am Lena [PHONETIC: Voitnan]. I am a narrative journalist and an editor at the Existential Desk at Politiken, a newspaper in Copenhagen.

Lena Voitnan:  Love is an emotion and I would say that to me it is very real when I am with people and especially if I am with my closest people, my relatives and my children, my partner. Yes, I would say the love is very real when I am in the room with love. I would say that the notion of love is at a distance, much more of a fantasy, or an imagination. And it is much more the concept of love that you have yourself, and that you project to others. So, I would say that love is much more real when you are actually in the room with people, than when you are not.

Avi Forrest:  What is your name?

Kurt Waldman:  Kurt Waldman. I am a teacher. I am in the geography department.

Kurt Waldman:  I guess you would know if you had experienced it.

Avi Forrest:  Have you experienced it?

Kurt Waldman:  Yes.

Avi Forrest:  When?

Kurt Waldman:  With my wife.

Avi Forrest:  Do you both love geography?

Kurt Waldman:  No, she does not love geography at all, I do not think. It is easier to find people different from you more interesting. If somebody is the same as you, it is kind of boring.

Avi Forrest:  I can not believe I am asking this, but is love real?

Rex Blackwell:  I'm Rex Blackwell.

Scott Meadows:  I'm Scott Meadows.

Rex Blackwell:  I mean you either love them or you do not. I mean call up my other half, I have been with her for 22 years so, something say something there.

Scott Meadows:  I have been in love, I have been married 40 years. Yes, love kids.

Avi Forrest:  Hi, sorry to interrupt. Am In interrupting you? What is your name?

Darren Collins:  Darren Collins, I am a freshman this year. I feel like that lots of times people equate love only to certain people. But love extends to a lot of different things. I feel that everyone truly loves something. I truly love drums, music is what I do, so love does not have to just be between a man and a woman, or a man and a man, or a woman and a woman, whatever you want to identify as. It goes to things you are passionate about. Passion is a direct extension of love.

Avi Forrest:  What is your full name?

Sasha:  Sasha [UNSURE OF NAME].

Alex Chambers:  Is love real?

Sasha:  Yes.

Avi Forrest:  Why?

Sasha:  Because I think I have felt it before. I think I have felt it right now, when I am with my boyfriend. It just feels really happy, and warm inside. I would get anxious about how I am going to get somewhere or just like regular things people get anxious about and do not even realize. All that just seems a lot more insignificant, and I do not stress as much about the little things. I also do not stress as much about the big things, like finding a job after college. It just seems that everything is going to work out. Even though nothing has really changed, it is just the feeling of love, yeah.

Avi Forrest:  That is fantastic, I love that. Also, can I get a small, black coffee, please.

Emma Elizabeth Austland:  I'm Emma Elizabeth Austland. I grew up here, so I am just visiting home right now. I am going to college at the University of Arizona. I think it is a by-product of survival. I feel like surviving in the world, and having your needs met is not enough to feel human. I think that love is something that we have created and have become reliant on, to feel human and feel connected with the world and the people around us. It has become an important necessity of life, is having love.

Avi Forrest:  So do you think love is good or bad?

Emma Elizabeth Austland:  I think it has good intentions, but it can be used cruelly, depending on who wields the love. So, my parents divorced when I was young and when I had to chose which parent to live with, my dad would use his love in a way that was kind of emotionally manipulative. He did not realize it at the time, he just loved me and wanted me to be with him. And so he would bribe with "I will get a dog, or I will buy you a car." You know just all this stuff to try to get me to live with him, because of this love. He did not see it as a negative thing. But definitely I think that love can turn negative because of the desperation that often comes with it. Also, how much we love and what that can turn into when we can not get that love back.

Brian Harris:  My name is Brian Harris, nice to meet you. Well, I am older but I am going to school to be an electrician.

Avi Forrest:  Have you told anyone that you love them?

Brian Harris:  Yes, I have.

Avi Forrest:  Who?

Brian Harris:  My mother. I love her because she has supported me throughout everything that I have ever done. She even loved and supported me when I was not the Brian that you understand in this stature now. The Brian was a very talented skater just sensitive and quick to react without thinking things through. The honest answer is, she helped me through that by the kicking me out. Kicking me out really had me up against the fence and it let me really come to terms with the things that I needed to do, and the things that I did not need to do, in order to survive. It was that kind of love right there, that I hated in the beginning. She did not let me grab my stuff, nothing, just kicked me out cold turkey. I had to start 100% from scratch, but I ended up winning $2,000 about two weeks later, and that money right there ended up me getting my first apartment on my own. I won the money on a scratch off ticket.

John Shue:  My name is John Shue.

Joy Shue:  And Joy Shue.

Joy Shue:  family and friends, and everything, I have seen it first hand. The motto of our family is love loudly.

John Shue:  Be loud about your love.

Joy Shue:  Yes, and that came from our granddaughter. It was very literal, she was very loud.

Avi Forrest:  What's her name?

Joy Shue:  Caitlin. She passed away on Valentines day, seven years ago?

John Shue:  It will be eight years this Valentines day.

Joy Shue:  That was the theme of her service and the pastor said, "you knew when Caitlin was around, because she loved loudly." So, we all say loudly, love loudly. You have to.

John Shue:  She was a very outgoing little girl. She died at the age of five, so she did not have a very long life but when she was around, you knew it.

Joy Shue:  She had an illness, and they could not determine that, from autopsy.

John Shue:  We do not know why God took her, but he did. He had a reason.

Joy Shue:  Right.

John Shue:  She would go in church and everybody in church knew she was there. Because she would go "hi you, hi, hi!"

Joy Shue:  A very loud voice.

John Shue:  A very loud voice, and a very loving child. She loved everybody. Everybody that knew her loved her. She loved everybody, she was very loud and proud about it. We want to keep that memory of her alive.

Alex Chambers:  That was made by Avi Forrest. Avi is an intern at Inner States, and the host of "I am No Expert". A podcast from the Indiana University Media School.

Alex Chambers:  That is it for our mix tape, I hope you liked it. This is Inner States from WFIU in Bloomington, Indiana. If you have a story for us, or if you have some sound we should hear, let us know at Okay, I have got one more thing before the credits. Have you been listening for a while? Maybe this is the first time you have heard the show? Either way, we are doing a survey to get to know more about what you like on the show. If just getting to talk to us, is not enough motivation on it is own, we also have a raffle. A few lucky survey takers will get some classic public radio prizes. We will have a link to the survey on our website. While you are at it, tell your friends about the survey and the show. We like talking with people. We hope you do too.

Alex Chambers:  Alright, time for the credits. Inner States is produced and edited by me, Alex Chambers. With support from Violet Baron, Eoban Binder, Mark Chilla, Avi Forrest, LuAnn Johnson, Jack Lindner, Yané Sanchez Lopez, Sam Schemenauer, Peyton Whaley and Kayte Young. Our Executive Producer is John Bailey. Our theme song is by Amy Oelsner and Justin Vollmar. We have additional music from the artists at Universal Production Music. Special thanks this week to producers Natalie Ingalls, Jack Lindner, Helen Rummel, Meredith Hemphill, and Avi Forrest. Avi also helped to produce this episode. The poems you heard came from WFIU "Poet's Weave", produced by LuAnn Johnson. Alright, time for some found sound.

Alex Chambers:  The poems you heard came from WFIU Poet's Weave, produced by LuAnn Johnson. Alright, time for some found sound.

Avi Forrest:  Ready, go.

Avi Forrest:  One, two, ready, go.

Avi Forrest:  One, two, ready, go.

Avi Forrest:  Alright, so, this time, your thumb is going to move down a string.

Avi Forrest:  One, two, ready, go. Third, fourth. One, two, ready, go.

Alex Chambers:  That was guitar class, recorded with permission by Avi Forrest. Until next week, I am Alex Chambers, thanks for listening.

Cassette tape

Ready to be a mixtape (Alex Chambers)

Did anyone ever give you a mixtape? It’s a pretty great feeling. A collection of songs they put together just for you. It was a key part of both friendship and romance in the '90s. The cassette with the handwritten list of songs, the way even the songs you wouldn’t have liked in any other context turned into something emotionally resonant. The fact that you’d been thought of.

So we decided to make you a mixtape this week. Maybe it’s not quite as personal. And the songs on the tape are actually stories. Still, there’s a variety, and it felt good to put them together for you. There are a few stories about people who do their work out of the limelight. Sometimes right behind it. There’s a story about what happens to your relationship with your father once he finally retires. There are some poems. And, in keeping with the spirit of romance that a mixtape provides, we also sent out a reporter to determine whether love is real.


1. Some About That Bass


Phoebe Spratt on bass
Phoebe Spratt doesn't pretend to play the bass

Natalie Ingalls is in a band, but that doesn’t mean she understands what the bass is all about. She got some bassists to explain it to her.

Natalie is president of WIUX, student radio at IU Bloomington, and her single, Undergrowth, just dropped. Find it under Prairie Scout.


2. Blinded By the Lighting


Jennifer Fok
Jennifer Fok is usually behind the lights

Jack Lindner decided he’d heard enough from actors and directors. He wanted to hear what it was like to work behind the scenes. Or maybe, in this case, in front of the scenes. To warm us up for that, this segment starts with a poem by Tonia Matthew, called “Concert Hall.”

Jack is a senior journalism student at the IU Media School and works as the podcast manager for IU Student Television.


3. Workin’ At Night’s All Right


Places people work at night
Some of the places where you might have a good conversation at night

Helen Rummel’s a night person, and all that time around other people in the wee hours, she developed a theory: people are more open and honest, maybe even vulnerable, at night. She talked with a couple other people who work at night to find out. Before her story, we have another poem, because ghosts come out at night, too: “Notes on Being a Ghost,” by Erica Anderson-Senter.

Helen is a reporter with the Arizona Republic covering housing insecurity and homelessness.


4. Dad Moon Rising


Meredith and Tim Hemphill
Meredith Hemphill and her dad, Tim

Meredith Hemphill’s dad, Tim, retired recently. That changed their relationship, and she wanted to talk with him about it. We lead into that with Steve Henn’s poem, “The Dad Rules.”

Meredith just wrapped up her own podcast, Reproductive Injustice, which is about the experience of women in the prison system.


5. Can You Explain the Love Tonight?


So many mixtapes are made in those heady days of early love. It got us wondering about love, so we sent our intrepid producer Avi Forrest out to answer a question: Is love real?

Avi is Inner States' associate producer. They come up with all the fun stuff.


Our theme song is by Amy Oelsner and Justin Vollmar. The episode also uses music from the artists at Universal Production Music, and more music from Amy and Justin.


Special thanks this week to producers Natalie Ingalls, Jack Lindner, Helen Rummel, Meredith Hemphill, and Avi Forrest, who also helped produce this episode. The poems you heard came from WFIU’s Poets Weave, produced by Luann Johnson.

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