1. Radio is the most intimate of all forms of story. There is beauty and uniqueness in the human voice, one person’s human voice, whispering in our ear. Our voices are part of the essence of who we are. The timber, the pace, the rhythm, the pitch, vocal quality, regional accents, and more are all a stamp of identity, our individuality. Stories told live, in print, on film and television are often beautiful, but none has the power and intimacy of that whisper, a voice in our ear.
2. We engage in active listening.
There are no words on the page to reread and no images in front of us to help decipher the story.
We create pictures in our mind from sentences in the air.
That active listening makes us engaged in the story, a part of it as we hold on to the words and the voice and the sounds.
3. We don’t have to take a seat.
They are mobile. Listening on the radio or downloaded to our iPods, iPhones, MP3 players and smart phones, let’s us move. Drive. Walk. Do dishes. Roam about and live our lives.
4. They take us somewhere.
When the storyteller takes us into a scene, the sounds of that place transport us there. Focusing on sounds without visual images or words on a page creates a greater feeling of being with the storyteller in a specific place. Hearing the sounds of a woman in her kitchen laughing with her daughter while the tea kettle softly whistles can make us feel like we’re in the kitchen with them. The sounds of Thai villagers buying food with motorcycles and clucking chickens in the background puts us in the outdoor market. Sound creates a sense of place, and for a few moments we get to be there.
What do you love about radio stories?