“One Step Ahead of the Spider”

A few people referenced audiobooks with regards to the Anansi Boys dramatization. Some of us found this interesting since there are very distinct differences between audiobooks and radio plays, or audio dramatizations. An audiobook has a narrator reading the text of a book. In some cases, the reader will provide vocal characterizations. I’ve heard a few that use multiple narrators to good effect, when different chapters come from different character’s viewpoints. But that is typically the extent of their use of sound. Radio plays, going back to the early part of the 20th century, use sound effects and music to tell stories, as well as dialogue.

In hindsight, the confusion shouldn’t be surprising. Over the past few decades, I suspect that audiobooks, books on tape or CD, have been much more popular than audio dramatizations. We seen some resurgence of audio drama in podcasts, but news, opinion, documentary and talk show type podcasts seem more common than drama. So audio stories get associated with audiobooks, and audio drama is more of a niche thing.

But in listening to the show, people had some great insights

Sound creates setting:

I thought it was amazing that you could distinguish the location the characters where in, be it a bar, work, outside, etc. just based on background noises like chatter, wind, or rain.

Sound signifying transition:

The scenes were able to be differentiated through the use of the music changing. They also used sound effects which helped lead to the setting.

We may not be conscious of it, but we know things by their sounds:

Have you ever thought about beeps in movies/television/radio shows? I hadn’t, but now I can’t stop! Hospitals, airports, intercoms, various machines. Do you have any that you can think of? There are so many unique ones!

From listening, we can see the potential for what we can do with sound:

I can’t wait to play around with our assignments in audio this week!!

All are the kinds of things I like to hear. By listening and analyzing, we get ideas on how we can use the medium for our own creativity.

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