When “Moon Graffiti” started, I had (wrongly) assumed that it was a fictional story being told, so I was listening to the sounds as if they were sound effects and not actually happening. So, with that said, when I was listening and hearing the ‘fuzz’ of the recording, I was thinking how realistic it sounded and how it really put me in a place of understanding that they were communicating via radio/walkie talkie type of technology. Small things like that really help set the scene, whether you can or can’t see! An example that comes to mind for me is Grey’s Anatomy, both their sound and visual effects are really good, even down to the small details. For example, the sounds of machines and heart monitors beeping throughout the hospital adds to the background noise. I don’t think you would notice if it wasn’t there, but with it there, it really puts you in that mind space of a hospital.
Here is a clip of Grey’s Anatomy to show you what I am talking about!
The Grey’s Anatomy clip (especially if you watch and not listen) is a good example of sound creating mood and atmosphere. You can hear her labored breathing which creates a sense of urgency and shows that she is in distress. The beeping of her heart machine, adding to the atmosphere of the hospital. Small sounds like the sound of the doors opening and closing of her room and the doctors tools (stethoscopes, tubes, etc.) touching, clinking, etc.
Abumrad’s video titled “Digital Shamnism and Old-Fashioned, Newfangled Storytelling Magic” made me think in two different directions. 1st, he was talking about people who can just encapsulate you in a story with their voice and how amazing that is. For me, I usually think of a grandparent-aged person, often a male with a deep voice, who is able to do this, at least for me. They can just mesmerize you with tales of their youth or with folklore. I feel like this is a common perception among our culture as this is often seen in movies with children gathered around a grandparent to hear a story. They usually use such vivid details that they can bring you right in.
The other thing that this video made me think of is comedians! They can get up on stage and really set a scene for you with the sound effects that they are able to make with their voice. It’s truly amazing. Whenever I watch a ‘Fluffy’ comedy special, I usually notice how good he is at sound effects. It blows my mind! Here is an example.
Did you notice how he can make sounds like a car engine vrooming, a police siren, etc. all with his mouth? You could fool me into thinking that was the real deal!
Sound drives stories because without it, it would seem awkward or forced. Without background noise in a tv show, it is too quiet. Without the occasional music in a movie, a scene or montage will not go together right or a transition will be awkward. Without sound effects in a radio show, you would miss half of the plot! Without sound in a verbal telling of a story, you would not be as interested. Sound is a huge player in how we interact and consume a story, and I had never realized!