Audio Project: Reflection – Michael S. Webster

My audio project, titled ‘Doctor Phobos Intro” functions as an introduction to the internet radio program “Doctor Phobos and his Eclectic Chair”. The intended effect is to introduce the show itself, the eclectic nature of the program, and to excite the listeners to the content of the program.

This project works well as just audio. Adding a visual component isn’t unlikely. Although it is intended for a radio audience, adding a visual component would work well for a video blog, serving as an opening sequence like many television programs. The images included would also have to reflect the eclectic nature of the audio track. This could include still images and video clips as well.

The video would start with the warning using video text displaying the warning Then switching to a dark room with an electric chair sitting empty illuminated by above by a spotlight. When the screaming starts a swirling appears in the chair and grows. The swirling is composed of different images jumbled up which are then displayed during the playing of the music.

From this project as well as the discussions in class, the idea of sound production as storytelling has increased my understanding. Ever since I was young I listened to the radio. Not only for music, but also for the storytelling. I grew up listening to audio drama of the classics such as “Treasure Island” and ‘Dracula”. Rather than audiobooks, these productions performed these works. It combined spoken words with music and sounds to create a story. In class, I discovered that audio storytelling doesn’t necessarily need speech or music. A story could be told with just sounds.

Storytelling can be done in a multitude of methods as well as combining them. It’s been said that a picture is worth a thousand words. With it being a snippet of time, the story of it being up to the viewer. The same could be said of a single sound. We hear a sound and we try to decode what it is; develop the story of the source and meaning of that sound. The challenge of using only sound if to be able to convey the story well. In the example we listened to in class was supposedly a story about a lost dog. However, without the idea being seeded at the beginning, it would have been impossible to determine what the story was about. From the initial sounds, it seemed like someone was just going out for a walk. Until the last moment, there was no clue that it was about a dog that ran off.

Working with sound was enjoyable because, in my opinion, it is easier to work with than video. Video requires the right angle, correct performance, and aligning the audio to the video. Audio can be crafted into a soundscape. You can play with layering, fading, and when using stereo techniques, there is also motion. You can have someone walking, for example, from the right side to the left, all in your ears.

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