My Thoughts on the DS106 Radio Station!

One of the assignments we were tasked with completing this semester was to live-listen to the DS106 radio station and give our thoughts on what we listened to. Specifically, we were told to talk about things like the sounds we hear, and how they tell a story. We were told to focus more on the sounds that we hear and how they drive the story rather than the dialogue that exists, if there was any. Keep reading to hear my thoughts!

So, after taking the time to listen to the radio station, I have a couple thoughts on what I listened to and how they relate to the field of audio storytelling. One of the first things that I listened to was a Blade Runner-esque story that was based on the same book that Blade Runner was based on. Even though there was no dialogue, the background music was very clear and really allow one to have an image of what is going on in their head. There was a narrator that allowed the listeners to keep track of what was going on, but also the the sounds of people talking in the background, the footsteps in the background, and the sounds people hear as the story goes on really lets us imagine the seen and the setting they are in. Even when people are getting into and out of vehicles, there was an audio clip that was used to represent this and really helped to keep track of where the character was at any given moment. Even the small things such as the size of the room can be determine because there is an echo in the background. The sounds that are being used in the story give a sense of place and a sense of action. By this I mean that the various sounds that are being used give a sense of scene. Furthermore, the sounds being used can help the listener determine in what type of building or area the current scene is taking place. By sense of action, I mean that the different movements of the characters can be heard as well which gives insight into what is going on, for example, when Deckard and Rachel were walking and talking, you could hear Rachel’s heels being hit against the ground to represent that the characters were currently walking. Also, when the characters enter a new room, the sounds of doors opening and closing are very clear and can be heard clearly to represent that the scene has moved to a new setting. The sounds of whirring technologies and computers allow the listener to realize that there might be someone else in the room who is on a computer typing in the background. At one point, you can also hear the sharp inhale of Rachel as she claps her lips together to indicate that she just took a draw from her smoking device or cigarette.

Those were just some of the examples of how sounds drove the overall story being played on the DS106 Radio Station. Furthermore, the use of solely sounds and narration in this piece allow for a more engaged listener, smooth and easy transitions, more character development, and the creation and setting of various atmospheres and moods. Also, the sounds and the narration really emphasize the emotions of the scene because of the fact that there is no image that the viewer/listener can focus on which takes all of the attention to the words being spoken during the story and really emphasizes each and every statement being made. Like stated before the sounds that are being used allow the listener to easily identify when a transition is taking place whether that be walking to a different part of a building or entering a room, the background sounds make it very clear. The futuristic nature of various transportation modes and the sounds they make, make the entire world seem more futuristic and technologically advanced. As you can see, a lot can be obtained by just listening to the sounds that are being played in tandem to the dialogue. While the dialogue gives the story meaning, the sounds create the image for the listener to see and allows for a sense of uniqueness and creativity because everyone could be imagining different settings for the same scene. Overall, I really enjoyed this experience and it was cool to do it as a class as well because we could see each other’s thoughts in tandem with ours and see what the differences and similarities we had when it came to deciphering what the sounds were and how they affected the story. Like stated before, i enjoyed this activity and would definitely recommend it to others even outside of this class because it is something that you can do to relax and really appreciate how much of a role sound plays in the telling of a story. Hopefully, in the future, I can do this again some day and see if I can pick up even more information than I did today and see if my sound knowledge and appreciation has progressed. Till then!


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