32 minutes | May 3rd 2020

Bonus Episode - Walking Through Saskatoon

What does Saskatoon sound like during a global pandemic?

For the first weeks of our city shut down due to Covid-19, I couldn't get over how quiet the city was. There were fewer cars on the road during my morning commute to work. The trails along the riverbank were sparse and neighbourhoods like Broadway and Riversdale were empty of people. Everything slowed down and it felt like a hush went over the city.

I wanted to capture that feeling on the podcast for a few reasons. 

The first was I thought it would be interesting to look back on this time a year or two from now and remember just how different life was. How a bustling avenue like Broadway could become so calm due to a virus. I really like what the Western Development Museum is doing by collecting photos of life in the pandemic and I thought it would be neat to try something similar with sound.

The second reason was that I am really loving an American podcast created by author Jon Mooallem called The Walking Podcast. The podcast consists of Jon going out on different hikes in Oregon and recording them. That's it. There's barely any talking and no gimmicks or sound effects. Just the hypnotic rhythm of a person going for a walk. I find the podcast calming and it allows my mind to let go over the daily challenges we're all dealing with and just...drift away. I wanted to try something like what Jon does on his lovely podcast. 

A journalism professor once told me that radio is the most visual of all the mediums. Her reasoning was that a great piece of audio will make you close your eyes and picture what's happening in your mind. When I listened to Janelle and I walking, I closed my eyes and could see the young guys playing basketball behind Ecole Victoria School. I could see how crowded the Meewasin trail was underneath the Broadway Bridge. I could see how empty the Yard and Flagon pub was. 

To be honest, I thought our walk was going to be quieter. It was a gorgeous Wednesday night and just a few days before Saskatchewan begins to open up again, so maybe that's why there were so many people in certain spots of our walk. But you will hear how quiet our city has become due to pandemic. How that makes you feel is entirely up to you. 

One more thing...Janelle's photos are stunning! You can see them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. As you'll discover at the end of this episode, Janelle is moving in a few weeks and I am truly going to miss working with her. 

YXE Underground is a local, independent podcast. You can subscribe for free on Apple Podcasts or your favourite podcast app. You can also stream episodes on the website or on Spotify. 

Thank you for listening to this little sound experiment. Please let me know what you think by leaving a review or shoot me an email. ericandersonyxe@gmail.com

Stay safe and keep washing your hands!