Audio Storytelling or Mind Control?

Audio effects are one of the most under-appreciated elements in film because it’s often used to support the visuals. Sound alone changes the tone of any setting and circumstance. When it comes to this topic, I can’t help but immediately think of jump scares in horror films; soft, low music plays while we anticipate something frightening, until we’re abruptly greeted with loud, high-pitched music to accompany whatever jars us onscreen. This jump scare from Insidious is a perfect example.

Without visuals to support the audio, we’re left to piece the narrative based on our experiences and imaginations. I thought this would be difficult before I listened to “Moon Graffiti“, and I was surprised to find that I easily understood the narrative based on audio alone. Muffled speech, static sounds and beeping implied radio usage, while loud, clear sound connected our presence to that specific space. The smallest details, like volume and background noise, told us where we were, who we were with,  and what we should be feeling.

Now that I have a better understanding of exactly how audio impacts the listener, I feel like this week’s assignments are going to be a bit of a challenge. We have room to create any situation we want our audience to imagine. Where do I even start?

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