The Dreamers #76 - With Heath Piper From Playback Interviews
Chatting with Heath Piper for our latest instalment of the Dreamers was a pleasure. Health is the creator of Playback Interviews, which puts together pieces of audio art by capturing stories from our elderly. These recordings become a modern-day memoir to be cherished by family members for generations to come.
WELCOME TO THE DREAMERS.
My wife Helen and I are ten years married this year. We have two children - Tiggy, who’s six months old and Aero, who turns five this month. I guess, like a lot of families, we just want to live a content, community-based, mindful and healthy life. Helen’s side of the family has Ukrainian heritage, so we often get involved with the Ukrainian community in Sydney and Wollongong. We love being part of what feels like one big extended family. Thinking of our ten-year anniversary coming up, I try to make my family’s time here on earth a little more fun, adventurous and, dare I say, romantic. Helen and I help each other smooth out the rough edges of life. I don’t know if I’m achieving these lofty ideals - you’d have to ask Helen!
We live in Scarborough, NSW. I’m from a family of spud farmers and grew up far from the coast, only getting to go to the beach in school holidays. My Nan, who sometimes took us to Manly Beach for the day, insisted on catching two trains, six buses and a ferry to get there. We loved it! Now as a family, we can walk down most days. I feel like I’m on holidays living near the beach.
With young kids, we love to explore the local cafes, beaches and parks. We can spend hours at Stanwell Park beach on the weekend - playing in the park, walking through the bush tracks to the beach and watching the paragliders land on the sand. We love to stroll through Thirroul to check out our favourite shops after a coffee and a game of UNO. On a sunny day, we also take a slow bush walk down the Bulgo track at Otford. We love to explore the shacks, play on the beach and reward ourselves with a pastry at The Pantry Cafe at the end.
Playback Interviews specialises in creating pieces of audio art that capture the decades of stories older people have to tell, like a modern-day memoir. In an interview with your loved one, I ask the big questions that celebrate their life and show an insight into their unique perspectives and treasured wisdom. I have 20 years of professional broadcasting experience and believe audio is a powerful medium that ensures genuine and authentic responses that are engaging, deeply insightful and often profoundly revealing. I ensure your elderly loved one is shown as their best self and your family history is professionally recorded to live beyond the physical form - preserved as a piece of audio art for your private keepsake.
Rad Kid Primary Splice Organic Rib Tee
Rad Mama Mauve Ringer Tee
Rad Dad Brights Stripe Hemp Tee
Old Mate Hemp Tee
Little Sis Organic Cotton Onesie - Brown
Rad Nan Scoop Neck Tee - White
Where did the idea come from?
I started Playback Interviews because I showed my son a picture of my Pa. He asked, “Who is that?” My Pa had passed away, and I wish I had something of note to show my son. A story, a video, but I didn’t have anything. We should be recording, documenting and celebrating our grandparents and older people’s stories, wisdom and the lives they’ve lived. Without some form of record, those stories die with that person - and if you’ve lived 70, 80 or 90 years + on this earth, you must have some wisdom to share, some stories to tell and some guidance to give to those coming up behind you. I feel genuinely lucky to put my broadcasting skills to work to help families record these priceless stories to keep forever.
Rad Kid Two Tone Kids Baseball Cap
Rad Kid Stripe Organic Knit Beanie
Could you share with us how the interviews are run?
When you commission me to interview your loved one, I will have a discussion with you to provide an overview of the process, questions you’d like covered and additional information on the interviewee and their life story to add to the final product. I then talk to the guest and send through the questions so that they can consider their responses for a few days. When I arrive at the location of choice, with recording-studio quality microphones and headphones - sometimes this can be a park, a bench at the person’s favourite beach, or their living room - I create space where they feel comfortable and most at ease to record our conversation.
The interview takes approximately an hour and a half. It’s a relaxed chat, but we lock in and get a bit deeper than your regular chats. Life regrets, intentions behind big family decisions and end-of-life are all topics for discussion. I then edit the interview audio for improved sound quality and remove any unnecessary “umms” and “ahhs”; however, no content is removed. I aim to present the interviewee as their best self. Music is added to suit the theme of the interview and any other soundscapes that may add to their life story. The result is a beautiful piece of audio art for generations to listen to on playback.
Has there been anything profound you have learnt from interviewing people?
It’s the same simple yet profound message that comes through time and time again. Every day people who have lived long lives and experienced great loss, financial ruin and deep sadness all say, ‘Take each day as it comes, live in the moment, and be kind to others.’
Where can people find you?
Heath Piper - 0402 920 409
SHOP BANABAE RANGE:
You Grow Girl Kids Cap
Bright Side Terry Bucket Hat
Keep Growing Hemp/Organic Cotton Playsuit
Retro Stripe Organic Cotton Twinset