Frankly, I never really had an opinion on audio storytelling before now, because I’ve never given it a shot before. I’m more of a visual listener/learner/you name it. I always find myself getting vastly distracted whenever I attempt to listen to something that requires my full attention. Maybe it’s the years of using audio as an outlet to block out thoughts while doing physical actives that, more times than not, induce pain (i.e. running)? Maybe it’s the fact there are no stimuli involved other than hearing? Whatever it is, it has always been hard to me to focus and really dive into anything audio-based.
In terms of how the use of sounds effects stories, moods, and atmospheres – I may contradict myself, but audio plays a HUGE role in all of those things. The example that sticks out the most to me when I think of how sound drives stories and impacts mood is the one of John Carpenter’s Halloween. The classic Halloween movies are my absolute favorite series. My dad started me on my journey to becoming a horror fanatic when I was only ten years old. Incidentally, I own all of the movies, as well as, some documentaries about the movies. From those documentaries, I learned that the 1978 Halloween almost never made it to theaters, because when John showed it to the producers – he broadcasted it without any sound! Could you imagine watching a horror movie without any sound? Horror movies are known for their intense and strategic use of audio. No sound, no horror movie. Needless to say, John Carpenter went straight to the piano and composed the entire soundtrack for Halloween. Yes, he composed it himself! Below is the soundtrack to Halloween – all composed by John Carpenter.