“People always call me the NPR girl,” said senior Haley Taylor with a laugh. As the fearless leader and a contributor to “The Pulse’s” new audio offshoot, Counterpoint, Taylor knew that her love of audio would now be even more apparent.
However, she said the National Public Radio obsession is a relatively new one. “I always wanted to be a professional pianist.” said Taylor. But upon entering college as a communication major and facing the department’s “sophomore check,” a faculty review of each student’s progress in his or her major, she realized that she had to define exactly what her passion was in communications and pursue it.
That was when Taylor realized her love for audio communication. “I always loved music, but I was never blessed with composing,” said Taylor, “but I feel like creating audio is a lot like creating music; it’s all about how you use your voice and where you place this or that.”
So what is Counterpoint? As the audio branch of “The Pulse,” Counterpoint is composed of a website (http://arborcounterpoint.com) on which the site’s personalities upload podcasts on topics such as the arts, opinions and news.
Taylor said the name Counterpoint harks back to her original pianist dream. “I chose it because it’s actually a musical term,” she said. The “counterpoint” is the part of a musical piece where melodies are combined. But the name has the added benefit of meaning an opposing view in a debate setting. This is what Taylor hopes Counterpoint will be.
“I really hope students will be challenged and entertained [by Counterpoint],” she said. “I think a lot of people on campus are afraid of offending others, but we can share our opinions and also disagree.”
Taylor said she wants to foster those opposing ideas. “I want people to listen to our podcasts and say, ‘I don’t believe in that at all,’ and that’s fantastic because then we’re creating a discussion,” she said.
In order to encourage that discussion, the Counterpoint personalities are given liberty to pick their own topics. Right now Taylor is starting a project in which each contributor picks a person in his or her life to interview. “I have this aunt who swore she’d never get married and she’s traveled everywhere and I’ve always wondered why,” said Taylor. “I feel like everyone has that person in their life.”
Taylor has a lot of plans for the program, but most of all she wants students to know that Counterpoint will be a program they can go to if they want to be entertained and informed.
“New York’s National Public Radio has this great slogan in which they aim, ‘To make the mind more curious, the heart more open and the spirit more joyful,’” said Taylor. “That’s exactly what I want Counterpoint to do.”