Snap Judgment is an NPR radio show turned podcast. It was created by the Host, Glynn Washington and the executive producer Mark Ristiche and aired its first episode in July 2010. The podcast puts a unique twist on storytelling by creating a unique soundtrack to each story told. Their tagline is “storytelling with a beat.” The music is used as a tool to manipulate emotion, build suspense, and create a pace to each story that keeps the listener engaged.
There are a handful of different producers on the show. The beginning of the podcast is always introduced by Glynn Washington who tells a short story that relates to the theme of the episode. Each episode has a few short stories that focus around a theme and range from dark and deeply emotional to funny and light hearted. The most typical way a story is told on Snap Judgment, is the producer of the story introduces the premise and then transitions to recordings of the interviewer. The voices you hear are also introduced by the producer of the story. The entire story is filled by background music that fits or even creates the atmosphere of each event as they occur. These changes in music are fairly rapid in most instances, even as often as sentence to sentence. All of the music is created for the show, it is generally electronic, sometimes they sample sounds from the storyteller to create parts of the music. Occasionally you will have sound effects that add detail to the story, such as the sound of footsteps, birds singing or a door closing. This Podcast is amazingly done, I never miss a new episode. The method they use for storytelling is so different and so compelling, you are pulled into a world with the sounds and the story in a way that you can’t get from TV or a book.