Everyone's got different ways they like to explore new things. Some people hate trails and maps, and just prefer to wander out into the woods (like me) and see what they find, but some people like a little bit of guidance on where to start. So... if this is your first time here and you'd like a little direction, here are my recommendations: My piece "The Rabbi" is definitely my favorite, with "How to Be a Man... (sort of)" and "Stories of Lost & Found #4" coming in second and third. I know other people have others that they like more for this or that reason, but personally I think that those are the best work I've done. So if you're just coming across Phonography, and want to start with the very best, start with those. Otherwise, feel free to venture off into the woods and see what you find out there.
Category:About Phonography -- posted at: 11:59am EDT

For now, while there's still not so many of you fans out there, anyone who wants to write to me and send me their address, I'll burn them a free CD. It won't have fancy artwork, and in fact I might steal the case from another CD in my collection (say Pearl Jam's "Ten"). But on the upside it won't have any of that annoying plastic wrap that's impossible to open. My email address is ryan_scammell@hotmail.com.
Category:Free CDs -- posted at: 12:27am EDT

Yeah. So this is me. Ryan Scammell. This is my podcast.
Category:About Phonography -- posted at: 6:14pm EDT

I used to be a filmmaker. I used to be the lighting designer for a jam band. I used to pick fruit, and make coffee, and pop popcorn, and hustle stereo speakers out of the back of an unmarked white van. I’ve written and produced audio pieces for Weekend America on NPR, Storyscape Literary Journal, Storylifepodcast.org and I used to intern over at WNYC’s Radio Lab. My films have played in Ninth Letter, and have received various grands and awards. I’ve written fiction for Flashquake Magazine and, back in the day, articles for NUComment.
Category:About Phonography -- posted at: 6:13pm EDT

Brooklyn. Why? Are you coming over?
Category:About Phonography -- posted at: 6:12pm EDT

I do live readings of most of the work that appears on this website, where generally I use a combination of live foley and cued sound effects to recreate the piece in a live environment.  Previous places I've been asked to perform include:

New York University ("The Rabbi")

Maryland Institute College of Art ("One Reason When Visiting Sacred Sites..." "How to Be a Man" and clips from "Beneath the Surface" and "Immune")

Brooklyn Historical Society, NY ("And I Have No Idea...")

Cake Shop, NY ("One Reason When Visiting Sacred Sites...")


Category:LIVE! -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Phonography literally means “writing in sound” and most of what I’m putting up here are non-fiction audio stories, mostly essays and memoirs, that try to use music and sound effects to bring them to life. But the stuff that appears on this site, can be just about anything, and I kind of think that each piece requires it’s own medium so it’s not surprising to find short films, or written pieces, or photo-journals, or whatever other weird stuff I can come up with to put up here. You can also hear my stuff on www.myspace.com/ryanscammell.
Category:About Phonography -- posted at: 6:10pm EDT

You’re always welcome to email your praise or death threats to: ryan_scammell@hotmail.com.
Category:About Phonography -- posted at: 6:09pm EDT

Any inquiries regarding booking me for a live reading, securing copyrights, publishing my work, sampling my work, comments, whatever, feel free to contact me directly via email at ryan_scammell@hotmail.com.

Category:Contact -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Subscribing If you like what you hear (and I hope you do) you can certainly subscribe to my podcast. It’s free, and all that it means is that rather than checking the website for updates, it’ll send them to you automatically, so that whenever I finish a new piece it’ll come to you within a few days after I post it. This way you can put it on your Mp3 player or burn it to a CD and you don’t need to be confined to your computer.

ITUNES: Just click here or on the button on the left side of the screen that says "Subscribe with Itunes" and you're all set to go.

GOOGLE READER: Like Itunes, you can just click here, or on the little google reader button on the left side of the page. This won't actually download the files, but it will let automatically let you know when I post something new.

OTHER MEDIA PLAYERS: My recommendation is to download a program called Juice. It's free and it will take care of downloading the podcasts automatically. Once you install Juice, click on the green plus. Type http://ryanscammell.libsyn.com/rss into the blank next to where it says URL. That'll subscribe you to my website. Check the episodes you want to download and then click the button with the blue circle with an upside-down triangle in it to download them. Juice works best with Winamp or Windows Media Player, but once you download the files you can listen to them in virtually anything that plays MP3s. If you want Juice to automatically check for updates, you'll have to set up the scheduler (the button with the clock). Not the easiest, but it works.
Category:How to Subscribe -- posted at: 6:06pm EDT

PIECES WITH MUSIC I WROTE: Beneath the Surface, Stories of Lost and Found #4, Stories of Lost and Found #2. 

However, up until recently, almost all of the songs I used were excerpted from existing pieces. The bands and musicians that I use, if you have heard them, you know how incredible they are, and if you haven't I can't recommend enough giving their music a listen. Please visit their websites and their myspaces and please, if you like what you hear, buy their albums.
Here's the list:


"just like i pictured it" by Medeski Martin and Wood (buy)

"hypnotized" by Medeski Martin and Wood (buy)

"nocturne" by Medeski Martin and Wood (buy)

"Go Do" by Jonsi (buy)


"Anna Kournikova" by Tin Hat Trio (buy)

"Grub Ridge Stomp" by Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey (buy)

"Holiday for Strings" by Walter Schuman (buy)
"Ansari" by Tartit (buy)
"Apache" by The Shadows (buy)
"Carmina Burana" by Carl Orff
"Symphony # 5" by Shostakovitch
"In the Morning" by The Donkeys (buy)
also including excerpted film clips from: K2
The Edge
Jeremiah Johnson
Star Trek

#3 THE LETTER: "Lord Stand By Me" by Reverend Gary Davis (buy)

"Mama Told Me Not To Come" by Three Dog Night (buy)
"Untitled" by Jeff and Guy and the Asylum (Jeff and Guy and their assorted bandmates play on random nights in Washington Square Park around 10pm)
"Less Than You Think" by Wilco (buy)

"Pistol Dreams" and "Shallow Grave" by Tallest Man on Earth (buy)
"Alanson, Crooked River" by Sufjan Stevens (buy)

"Skinny Love" and "Lumpsum" by Bon Iver (buy)
"I Used To Do" by The Clogs (buy)
"Spem In Alium" by Thomas Tallis

"You Don't Have to Be Afraid" by Kaki King (buy)

THE OTHER:"Freedom of '76" by Ween (buy)
"All Our Base Are Belong to Them" by The Books 

Category:Music Credits -- posted at: 2:52pm EDT

BENEATH THE SURFACE: originally aired on Remix Radio and XM

HOW TO BE A MAN (...SORT OF): originally aired on the first episode of O'Dark 30, put out by the NPR affiliate KUT-FM in Texas.

A LESSON IN SOCIAL CONFUSION: was a featured piece on the Public Radio Exchange and Rainn Wilson's website SoulPancake.com

AND I HAVE NO IDEA..: played in StoryScape: The Literary Journal of Champions, Issue 3

ONE REASON...: played in StoryScape: The Literary Journal of Champions, Vol. 1, Issue 2.

A LENGTH OF TIME: played in the featured artist section of Ninth Letter in February 2009 and received a Creative Short award from the Missouri Review in their 2008 Audio/Video Competition.

THE RABBI: originally aired on StoryLife and will be included in an upcoming issue of Drunken Boat.

IT'S JUST A MATTER OF TIME: originally aired on The Listening Lounge on Minnesota's NPR affiliate KFAI.
Category:Publication Credits -- posted at: 4:37pm EDT

I know some people have trouble figuring out how to get the pieces to play, which is reasonable since the interface is not particularly intuitive. Choose a piece that you'd like to hear and just click on where it says "POD" next to the title. This will stream directly in your web browser. If you'd prefer to download it, you'll see a link that says "direct download" at the bottom of the description of any episode. Click on that and the episode should start to download to your computer immediately. Or you can, of course, download any of the episodes free of charge directly from the Itunes store by searching for Ryan Scammell.
Category:How To Use This Website -- posted at: 4:18pm EDT

If you have the free moment, please check out the work of some of my closest friends. They range from artists to writers to musicians and besides being talented in their own right, most of them are people that have been featured in some of the stories you may have heard.

Abe Ingle's podcast "The Flight and the Fall"
Evan Cobb: http://www.evancobbjazz.com/
Nell Haynes: http://ya-na-bah.livejournal.com/
Ryan Costello: http://the-ugly-book.livejournal.com/)
David Riemenschneider http://eshinisrael.blogspot.com/2007_03_01_archive.html
Amanda Murray: http://mandr.tumblr.com/

Radiolab: http://www.wnyc.org/shows/radiolab/
This American Life: http://thislife.org/
Joe Frank: http://www.joefrank.com/

The Mountain Goats: http://www.mountain-goats.com/
The Hold Steady:http://www.theholdsteady.com/
Category:Links -- posted at: 4:25pm EDT

Do you want to get away for 3 1/2 minutes? Try this: Close your door. Put on your head phones or turn up your speakers. Close your eyes. Click here and listen. Did you laugh? Did you picture yourself on a specific street corner, or did you recall a detailed, awkward memory with a creeped-out stranger? You’ve just experienced the art of Phonography, the brainchild of independent producer, writer, filmmaker and former fruit picker, Ryan Scammell. His mostly fiction audio essays combine spot-on scoring with beautifully layered sound effects, leaving no question as to whether he has chosen the best medium for his art. Listening, like really actively listening, is one of the hardest things to do in the world. But if you let them, Scammell’s high-flown stories and hypnotic voice will take you to a place where listening comes almost as naturally as feeling. http://www.redpepperland.com/2009/02/11/social-confusion/#comments

When in doubt, poke some fun at yourself. And if you can incorporate some spot-on scoring and sound effects into the mix, all the better. If you haven't checked out Phonography yet, you owe yourself some mid-day procrastination. Phonography is the brain child of independent producer and former Radio Lab intern Ryan Scammell. His most recent audio essay examines into the deep, dank world of "manly men." Don't worry, this is no Women's Studies 101 critique of masculinity. Instead Ryan delves into the personal, recalling a Thanksgiving excursion with his father and their attempt to chop down trees with manly abandon. Dressed in chinos with nary a hatchet between them, Ryan and his father aren't exactly the "gentlemen Rambo" types. Hilarity ensues. Other Phonography highlights include the step-by-step dissection of a friend's failed relationship and a meditation on how to defy gravity with a slightly drunken Rabbi. These pieces are layered, complex and beautifully produced. You'll be glad you took the time to listen.
Category:Press -- posted at: 8:46pm EDT