Tuesday, February 19, 2013

ABC's Hearing Voices: The Invisible Intruders

1) The podcast that I chose to review was ABC National Radio's "Hearing Vpices: The Invisible Intruders".
2) The topic of the podcast is essentially people who suffer from psychological conditions that result in them 'hearing' voices of other (or themselves) that aren't really speaking, or even there. This podcast looks deeper into this phenomenon, and humanizes it a bit more, straying away from the traditional view that people who hear voices are inherently crazy. These conditions are related to regular everyday people who wouldn't be seen as insane by most, and instead of being terrifying, they can apparently sometimes be somewhat comforting in times of crisis.
3) This podcast definitely addresses issues of listening and hearing, because its consists of stories and cases of people who one day, began to 'hear' and 'listen' to voices that didn't really exist outside of their minds. This particular podcast doesn't so much deal with the effects of technology as much as it addresses physical people and the extent to which they believe what their minds conjure up internally. These voices are described as initially being very distracting, but after a while become one with these people's everyday lives, becoming even comforting. This can be compared to technology and the extent of which it surrounds us; initially new and distracting but becoming inherent and 'part' of us as we continue with it ingrained in our lives.
4) The theoretical and cultural contexts of this podcast is exploring the case-by-case basis of one's 'imagined' voices, and the hold and effect they have on their creator's everyday lives and interactions. The cases and examples of these afflictions range from being subconsciously comforting to being extremely destructive. The podcast begins to explore how most peoples voices are triggered by a specific instance, usually a traumatic one, and can be traced back to such instances and pinpointed. There are both segments involving people with first person experiences involving voices, to medical and psychological professionals who offer a more objective viewpoint.
5) The podcast doesn't really explore too many audio production techniques, and primarily relies on one or two effects, such as fade outs, layering of sound (voice + music/audio samples), etc. Because this podcast doesn't address music or the business/practice of audio production, we don't hear to much variation other than people's voices and selected accompanying musical tones. The podcast doesn't encourage us to listen as it encourages us to be aware and more introspective.
6) If this was my podcast, one production technique I would apply to more so engage the theme, would be to layer multiple voices and have them wander in and out of our audible existence. No one voice would would be clearly heard, nor would it be very impressionable; but creating an atmosphere with multiple voices could potentially shed some light one what it is actually like to 'hear' voices (your own or someone else's) that aren't really there.

1 comment:

Trace said...

Great description of the podcast and the key ways it "familiarizes" or "normalizes" this unusual experience. I think that the technique you mention in the last item is very interesting and would effectively increase the empathy that this production promotes. The only "audio production technique" that I would add is the "interview" style of approach, getting a variety of first-hand stories in addition to the overall reporter's point-of-view that threads it all together into a cohesive story. I'm pretty sure that in your last line of section 5 you mean it DOES encourage us to listen, right? If not, what does this sentence mean?