“Moon Graffiti”

“Moon Graffiti” is a great example of audio storytelling. I thought that I would have a hard time sitting and just listening to a story without any images, but I was actually very intrigued with this story.

The sounds in the background of the story showed suspense throughout the entire story. Would the astronauts survive somehow? Would they be able to fix the spaceship? Would they die? The story kept you wondering the whole time on what was going to happen next and where this story was leading us.

I liked how a real speech that was written in case of something like this was actually used. And the actor reading the speech is very solemn so that we understand the severity of the situation and that men died on this trip.

In the beginning of the story we hear the moments before the crash and the crash. Music and background sounds were used here to create chaos, a sense of urgency, and stressfulness. This was done by the men yelling overtop of each other as well as sounds in the background, such as the beeps of the ship telling you that something is terribly wrong.

Listening to the story I felt a sense of loneliness. As the astronauts are getting off of the spaceship, they being to understand that the moon is completely desolate. The image in my mind during this story was created by the tense music in the background as well as many different sounds effects.

Sounds drove this story but making you feel the hopelessness and chaos as it was going on in the audio. It creates a mood atmosphere and changes the mood based on what sounds you use. Like if I were to use a system malfunctioning (the beeps) such as this story did then it would let you know that the ship is failing and about to crash. This is done in a lot of movies where the airplane crashes. At around the 30 second mark in this video that I found on YouTube, you can get another idea of the sound effects that are used to create the moods felt in the story.

  “What Doesn’t Kill You”

Here is the show I listened to.

At first I was sure of which post to listen to so I actually listened to the first few minutes of each show to see which I thought would be the most interesting. I picked this show because within the first few minutes we learn that a comedian is going to do a set about the last couple months of her life, and she wasn’t going to talk about light subjects.

This audio story added upbeat music and sound effects over top of the people speaking so you thought that there was going to be a happy ending. At some points there was happiness and others not so much. Intense sound effects were also used, especially in moments where the stories got deep. As in when the woman (then a young teenager) was in the middle of what they think was a shark attack.

The sounds also sped up and slowed down in different moments. Such as in the second story the sounds slowed after the doctors said she would be fine, but they also slowed down and got deeper when we learned that she was throwing up blood. On the flip side the sound effects were fast during the attack but also fast again at the end when she was sent to a real hospital.

Overall Thoughts:

I think audio plays a huge part in storytelling. I had never listened to an audio story before so I never recognized how big of a role audio/ sound effects are. The producers used a variety of sound effects including but not limited too: music, speed of sounds, layering of sounds, and creating atmosphere. Here is a Prezi that I found helpful to better understand some audio techniques.

Both of the producers layered sounds over their audio and embedded sound effects into the background to create a mood in their stories. This allowed me to understand in “Moon Graffiti” the serious and helplessness that was being portrayed. In “What Doesn’t Kill You” I was able to feel the happiness in some parts as well as the fearfulness and sadness because of how the sound effects made the story feel. As well as the narrator’s dialog which was often solemn.

A few techniques done in these stories that I had never noticed before were the effect that layering a sound on top of others has and the pace of the sound effects. As well as just never noticing how important sounds was. Because without the techniques, a story wouldn’t have the same effect because everything would be monotone with no emotion.


  1. Callie Dunham says:

    I agree that the layering of sounds and the use of the sound effect created a sense of urgency that was very strong. I also haven’t listened to many audio stories so it was interesting to listen to “Moon Graffi” and very clearly be able to picture it in my head. You did a great job at sumarizing the stories and thank you for the added information its very useful.

Leave a Reply