Radiolab – Sound as editorial device


‘We learnt a long time ago that movies would be nothing without music’ says Dylan. The film Jaws would be nothing without that ominous theme tune… There are three elements in audio storytelling – Dialog, Sound and Music. Each part of these marry together to get someone fully engaged in the narrative. In radio, we have a lot more power over our storytelling than in film, we’re not trapped to a fixed image, crafting the conversation . Even just switching it to let the sound lead before the narrative will keep the excitement and anticipation. In reality, you’ll experience a situation and then have it clarified in your brain as you come to understand it, so let your story do the same. As Dylan puts it…‘Show THEN tell’. ‘In this day and age we can make anything sound real, but that doesn’t mean that ethically we should. That’s where the artistry lies’, is something very important to Dylan, especially in the more emotional pieces he makes, including one he played delegates, which spoke about drone strikes. On knowing when enough is enough… he says it’s art, broadcasters know their limit but it’s something they’re consciously aware to look out for.

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