The Design of an Audio Film: Portraying Story, Action and Interaction through Sound

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Nowadays, audio description is used to enable visually impaired people to access films. It presents an important limitation, however, which consists in the need for visually impaired audiences to rely on a describer, not being able to access the work directly.

The aim of this project was to design a format of sonic art called audio film that eliminates the need for visual elements and for a describer, by providing information solely through sound, sound processing and spatialisation, and which might be considered as an alternative to audio description.

This project is also of interest for the domains of auditory displays and sonic interaction design, as solutions need to be found for effectively portraying storytelling information and characters’ actions through sound (not narration).

In order to explore the viability of this format, an example has been designed based on Roald Dahl’s Lamb to the Slaughter (1954) using a 6.1 surround sound configuration. Through executing the design of this example, we found that this format can successfully convey a story without the need either of visual elements or of a narrator.
Original languageEnglish
Article number8.2
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalThe Journal of Music and Meaning
Issue numberSection 2
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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