“Movies for your Ears”

Can I just say, originally I thought I would not like this unit at all… but now I’m kind of in love with audio storytelling. For this reflection, we had to listen to a radio story and comment on the audio elements in the story. In my case, the series I chose was The Truth (“Movies for your ears”). With a name and slogan like that, it seemed like an entertaining listen.  The series of stories I listened to were Falling, Fine Dining, and It’s Going to Change Your Life .

Falling:

Falling was a “not your typical” love story between a woman and a man, and how the woman met the man by saving his life. Of course any story needs a great intro- the radio bumper had played, and the radio host began his commentary but soon afterwards music and background noise connects the show to the story plot. Briefly two men are talking in the opening scene and in the background, faint hustling and bustling of the people in the rain station. The voices of people get louder and the listener hears there’s a man on the track with a woman.  Then, a loud sound effect of a speeding train is heard followed by silence.

Progression occurs within the silence, a radio show bumper is heard and the couple appears on the fictional radio show signaling the listener they are in a new setting. The story shifts to the middle of the story, where the couple seems to be in a stable relationship. Scenes such as a romantic dinner date and dinner at the woman’s apartment use background music, and sounds of clanking glasses, shutting doors, and a sizzling stove top creates an atmosphere for the listener to imagine.

The last part, tells of when the couple goes through a rough patch. During this part many sounds were drowned out to create drama between the two. The woman tries to jump out the window and an echo of when she did that is heard. Dead silence is heard and followed by a beep from an EKG machine, which is telling others that the couple is in the hospital. The couple reconciles, and a sweet, melodic song is heard bringing the story to an end as the music fades away.

It’s going to Change your Life:

This is a semi-uplifting story on how a young career woman is in a comfortable job and her boss who is being promoted “voluntold” her that she will take her place, and the woman has to go to a seminar to improve her skills. Action starts almost immediately in the story which captures the listener’s attention. Karen the young career woman is called into her superior’s office. Actions are reflected with sounds (slamming of doors, papers shuffling, and turning of doorknobs) giving people a chance to imagine what environment Karen works in. After the first scene, when Karen’s boss tells her to go to a seminar a transition occurs as the landing of an airplane is heard.

At the seminar, Karen is talking with others and background talking can be heard to signal to the listener a new setting has emerged. Karen struggles during her seminar and the leader has a stern talk with Karen. When the seminar leader and Karen are talking all music, voices, and sounds are cut- this shows a tense moment between the two characters. The airplane sound is heard again, and a transition occurs yet again in the story.

Karen’s boss is at a swanky establishment waiting for Karen to arrive, the place Karen’s boss is at is not seen for obvious reasons but the listener can imagine it must be at an upscale place because fancy jazz music blares to establish some sort of setting. The music cut off and Karen is heard talking to a taxi driver, she orders him to go a different way. Karen’s boss calls her, and the fuzziness over the phone captures how realistic and a bit muffled people sound over the phone. Karen sticks it to her boss by saying her boss essentially pushed her into something she didn’t want nor asked Karen if she wanted to do and said that shows the she is a horrible boss. Of course, Karen gets fired but has a new sense of pride in herself. Loud party music is heard in the background and progressively gets louder- revealing Karen’s location. Karen is happy and accepts her unknown fate in the job market and celebrates accompanied by upbeat music which fades away to end the story.

 

Fine Dining:

This quirky story details a fall, then deep fall, then rise of a pragmatic chef who has an underrated appreciation for his passion. The story begins with the opening to the radio show followed by the host making a small commentary- the host does do a good job by incorporating his thoughts and ideas to the story. Swanky music is followed by the commentary and this signals the start of the story. The swanky music fades away and a muted, almost ethereal tune starts playing in the background while the main characters thoughts are being said. The main character revealed to be a chef is snapped out of his daze by his wife and the listener is revealed that he is a chef because minor noises such as pots and pans crashing, waiters coming in and out, and the boiling of liquid is heard in the background. The chef goes into another thought daze yet again and the same melodic tune begins to play as he thinks about his love for making and preparing food, this tune is heard throughout the story to emphasize his thoughts.

Layering occurs with a mixture of loud music and yelling shows a scene change has occurred. The loudness is soon drowned out by his episode of dramatic thoughts yet again. Dead silence occurs, and swanky music is heard signaling that they are back at the chef’s restaurant. A customer enters the restaurant but as he enters a squeaky wheel is faintly heard to tell the listener the customer is wheel chair bound. The handicap man sues the chef because it was not handicapped accessible and this leads the chef out of a job, his restaurant gone, and his marriage on the rocks. The chef’s thoughts happen more frequently but the music isn’t light hearted anymore- it has a more grim tone to it to show the change into the store. The chef’s wife leaves him alone to wallow and dead silence occurs.

In the last part, A TV show’s blaring is heard and the sound gets louder- the chef decides to get a job at a chain restaurant as a line cool and mend his relationship with his wife. Transition occurs as loud music is heard and the chef is working unhappily at a chain restaurant. The same handicapped guy comes in, and the chef goes into “thought mode” the grim tune is heard again and the chef plans to food poison the man who ruined his marriage, and job. The handicapped man gets sick and proceeds to go to the bathroom, the chef follows him into the bathroom trying to ridicule him for being so mean to him. A crackling is heard, along with being layered by dramatic music to show an intense scene where a fire starts in the restaurant. Eventually both the chef and the handicapped man were saved. Sounds of sirens are heard at the end, the chef’s wife finds him and reconciles with him and the music starts to play in the background to show that things have come full circle for him.

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