Sound as the Storyteller

Sound is essential to creating a setting within radio journalism.  Without it, you are left to only imagine what a place or time may sound like given the physical description.   However when sound is added, you are able to almost experience what the characters are experiencing and if you close your eyes, it often feels as if you are there.  In the Invisibilia podcast “True you” you are first introduced to a story about locusts and their strange connection to grasshoppers. Throughout this story you can literally hear the locusts, which brings you the emotions that many of the characters in the story were probably feeling when exposed to them.  Without this sound you are left to only guess what the characters felt like, however with the sound you yourself start to feel the anxiety and panic that the locusts would likely have caused. Farther along in the podcast, we hear from Tanya, a woman who sleep talks and records herself when she sleeps. After listening back to her sleep talking one day, she discovers that she in fact has this “alter ego” that sounds like a young happy girl who giggles and is full of life.  This is not similar to Tanyas personality at all, as someone who was abused constantly as child and has suffered for many years because of it. One night, Tanya is able to communicate with this alter ego who she names “X”, through a dream. This part of the podcast is completely written for the ear. While Tanya describes this interaction we actually get to experience the conversation she has with “X” and you feel like you are actually there in her dream with her listening to this conversation.  “X” has a slightly altered and higher pitched voice compared to Tanya’s and you are able to feel the connection that Tanya makes with “X”. Without the manipulation of sound and the strategic writing for the ear, this interaction would just not have the same effect if it was written solely for the two dimensional.