The Hidden People

Take a listen to the first episode of this audio drama from Dayton Writers Movement!

The Hidden People

I am on the crew as composer and sound designer and have found it to be quite the playground to explore my fascination with all things first-person perspective. The story would, I think, genuinely justify the generally overused description of ‘epic’, as you will find if you stick with it.

As the releases continue, I would like to talk a bit about how aspects of this particular bit of work have been so conducive to developing my practice and my interests.

These include:

  • The nature of the story.
  • The remarkably trusting and permissive directors, letting me knock myself out playing sound games with their cherished and long-developed project, while also directing most helpfully, often pulling me back out of the conceptual sound design rabbit hole and helping me to keep it comprehensible!
  • The very medium of audio drama itself, with its intimacy and particular ability to inhabit that trans-diegetic sound world – the interesting place somewhere between sounds that could be heard by the characters in the story and sounds (usually music or voice-over) that comment or interpret outside of the story .

This first episode dwells a little on what is real and what is not. In a couple of scenes in particular I have had a bit of fun smudging and blurring sounds that are real, or symbolically real, or inside characters’s heads, or representing emotions, or may just be in all or none of these places!

Where does music stop and the dull drone of a car engine start? And does that car engine know what the characters are feeling, as its ebb and flow seems to reflect their thoughts? Is that an eerie hunting call, or was it just that high wind?

Early on, you will hear two pieces of diegetic music that also slightly respond to the story and blur those lines further.

The underscore uses bits of repeated and continually developed thematic material (vaguely in the Leitmotif tradition).  As I need to arc my thoughts over 22 episodes, this has been very useful for helping me develop a coherent strategy.

The other major theme in this episode is a group of characters physically together but mentally very much apart. In this episode you will have musical material introduced to you representing one character’s depressed solitude, another character’s simple grief, the first step into a mystery, and something a bit more sinister………


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