As a Cornellian full of Big Red pride, I’m always ecstatic whenever I find media that showcases the euphoric sensation I get whenever I take a step back from the pressures of college life and realize: Wow, I’m at somebody’s dream school so I better appreciate the heck out of this opportunity. I was searching for illustrations of this feeling far before I began my time on the hill, and one of my favorite videos to watch as a prefrosh was “Sounds of Cornell – A Day in the Life at Cornell University” by Daniel Stabile ’20. What stood out immediately were its quick runtime and effectiveness. The video is under two minutes long, yet it is the very definition of quality over quantity. Stabile manages to transform the mundane into the extraordinary by taking simple sounds—from the chimes of the clocktower to the ringing of an alarm clock, and then synthesizing them into a fun track. In doing so, Stabile reminds his audience that there is still something to find joy in, even in the routine life of surviving Cornell. Always curious to hear more from the creators of my favorite Cornell related content, I held a Q & A with Stabile over his work.
What made you decide to share your Cornell experience in the format of your “Sounds of Cornell – A Day in the Life” video?
I had always wanted to make a music video using the sounds of my everyday life. The summer I made that video, I was working as a program assistant for the Pre-freshmen Summer Program and had a lot of downtime. I made this video really just as a fun and challenging project for myself.
How has your video helped inform others of Cornell?
I think the video gives people an idea of what Cornell is like during the summer, my favorite time to be in Ithaca, and gives small glimpses into college life.
What’s something you feel people who are considering documenting their Cornell experience should address? What are we not seeing enough online?
I haven’t really looked at what other people have been putting online about their Cornell experience. I think it’d be cool for someone to start making a YouTube series where they write scripts that are relevant to Cornell life.
How did you go about choosing what sounds you wanted to capture?
I’d say about half the sounds were chosen out of need for certain “instruments.” For example, the books, pens, and keys were my percussion. The other half were sounds that I encountered a lot and thought would be cool to incorporate. For example, the sidewalk crossing, the bus, and waterfalls. There were a few sounds I knew I had to incorporate, like the clock tower and musical tiles, because I felt like they were unique to Cornell.
What is your best advice to other Cornellians who are thinking about sharing a bit of their Cornell experience online?
I don’t know if I’m really qualified to give any advice. Maybe I’d just suggest that you be honest because somewhere out there, someone is going to read/watch what you post and it might have a significant impact on them.
By crafting a video that appeals to our senses, Stabile offers a representation of campus life that is truly one of a kind. Most videos centered around the daily experiences of college are focused much more on visuals and voiceovers, rather than an emphasis on sound. Because of Stabile, I stop in my tracks when the Alma mater is playing from the clocktower and think to myself, I want to remember this. That’s a wrap! Check out the video down below and see which sounds ring familiar to you!