Things talked about in the audio:
And here is the background sound I used if you’re interested!
Hi everyone! Welcome to my week 5 reflection post. Since we’re focusing completely on audio this week, I thought it would be fitting to do my reflection post in audio form. And it’s also an excuse to figure out how Audacity works, so hopefully you guys are hearing some background music or something. If you’re not, sorry I couldn’t figure it out. 🙁 (spoiler, I figured it out) However, if you would rather, there is also a transcript in my blog post you can read instead of listening to my voice. Which I don’t blame you!
So, for this week, like I said, we’re focusing all on audio and for the reflection we were asked to reflect on two videos by Jad Abumrad as well as an audio drama called Moon Graffiti. So, there are some guiding questions that I’m going to follow which mostly focus around Moon Graffiti so we’ll start with that.
So, Moon Graffiti is an audio drama based around if the 1969 moon landing actually crashed instead of landing safely. Already, I was interested in that topic and the audio drama is really interesting and super cool so be sure to go listen to it if you haven’t already! There will be a link in my blog post.
The first question that I have is ‘How does sound drive stories?’. So, in the Moon Graffiti audio drama there’s so much sound in it which makes you fully immersed in the experience. There’s footstep noises, there’s the sound of the crash, there’s this ambient background music. The voices of Buzz and Neil are distorted when they put space helmets on. All of that really adds to the immersive experience of an audio drama. I love listening to audio dramas, I’ve listen to quite a few. So I’m already quite familiar with all of this.
Next question is ‘how does sound impact mood and create atmosphere?’. So in Moon Graffiti, I really noticed the ambient noise in the background in a lot of places. It’s this really eerie, kinda spooky noise which I think is really fitting for the mood of the story. Because the story is a scary story, it’s a horror story, so you wouldn’t have this cheery, upbeat music, you’d have this weird ambient sound which is so fitting.
I’m also going to be talking about Abumrad’s videos and I also really enjoyed those. I think his outlook on audio and radio is really interesting. He talks a lot about how audio dramas and radio is a collaborative story, which really fits into our theme. I think I talked about it in one of my theme thought posts about how I’m really interested in collaborative storytelling. So the fact that audio is this kind of co-authoring or co-imagining of a story is super interesting to me. So the way he explains it is that you have the people who are producing the audio and then you have the listener who has their own experience and has their own visual of what the audio is talking about. So if the producer of the audio does a good job, the listener is able to picture what’s happening and they don’t even need the visuals.
He also talks about soundscapes which was really interesting because we sort of take sound for granted. Soundscapes are everywhere and we don’t really think about them just because they happen all the time. Like from your keyboard clicks to making your coffee, everything has sound and we just really take it for granted.
And he talks about how he likes to take a familiar sound, like a syllable somebody says, and make it unfamiliar which made me think about the uncanny valley with visuals. So it’s interesting how we usually think of the uncanny valley as being a visual thing, but it can also be an audio thing. In Moon Graffiti I think there’s a really good instance of this uncanny, unfamiliar voice or sound that, we know what’s happening, but the way the audio distortion is happening it makes it really unfamiliar. So about 12 minutes in Buzz has a panic attack while Neil is talking and Neil’s voice gets all distorted and he’s talking in jumbles and we hear that through Buzz’s perspective so we feel immersed in the experience and we feel like we are Buzz, alone and trapped on the moon with only two hours left to live. I think that’s a really interesting way to tell stories.
Thank you all for listening! (Or reading ;)) I’m excited to dive deeper into audio and audio manipulation this week and try out some of the techniques we talked about for myself. So stay tuned!