I had not thought about audio storytelling as the story in itself but more to amplify and assist a story of words. As I listened to Abumrad, he brought it home when he explained that radio connects people with their imaginations by one person transmitting a visual image to the receiving person with their voice that he describes as a vibrating, intimate paintbrush. This is basic communications but using the different senses as metaphors for each other.
In “Moon Graffiti” the sound took me to the moon with the way the astronauts described LM damage and where they landed. At first there was silence, which was appropriate, with no background sound because there is no sound, no wind, on the moon. Then we heard different types of communication sounds, as if one was between the two men on the moon and the other was an attempt to communicate with Houston which was to generate hope (in the listener) that the men would be able to connect back to Earth and their families. The silence on the other end created more tension when there was no connection. I could sense how cold it was on the Moon at that point. The background music was ominous and well-placed to generate emotions with the listener, create the atmosphere and help drive the story to its fateful end. Then we are brought back to Earth with the sound of Nixon announcing that the astronauts are doomed. It ended with the ominous music fading out, taking the listener away from the astronauts’ fate without leaving the listener with a sense of dread.
Sound amplifies an experience by creating greater emotions, as we relate sounds to visuals. It also gives us clues as one of our senses to help define what we experience, giving greater clarity to what we are “seeing” in our story, like opening a bottle of champagne:
Sound protects us by alerting us when there is danger like when we hear a vicious dog barking, in the example below:
So as I tell a story, I need to use sound with the intent of eliciting the feeling or visuals I want from my audience to hopefully transmit my message across to them, always considering cultural context.