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Friday, November 6 • 11:30am - 12:30pm
The Art of Listening: Creating Authentic Stories in Sound

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Audio is having a moment. People are tuning in to on-demand radio in their millions. New podcasts are popping up every week. NPR’s “Serial” became a global phenomenon - the first podcast to be awarded a Peabody, as well as becoming Apple’s most popular podcast ever. Audio – more than words on the page - can make you feel something for someone, or something, totally unfamiliar. Barriers go down when people just listen. And it helps you – look, feel, remember.

This talk-show style panel will show how audio is having a new lease of life in the mix of in-gallery media, websites, apps and other mobile tech in museums. Audio is more than a tired old ‘interpretation’ friend and can be used in innovative ways to communicate and learn. As a medium, it offers a singularly direct connection with the listener, creating a sense of presence and intimacy that can be hard to achieve in a museum environment or with screens alone. Yet audio storytelling in a museum context often struggles to go beyond ‘talking catalogues’, with it’s didactic messaging. This panel will offer worked examples of how audio can be a more effective tool when authentically expressed, and as an extension of the drive towards authentic communication, emotional engagement (E. Munro, 2014) and visitor participation in museums, breaking down barriers between institutions and audiences. Just as social media and our online lives have pushed the boundaries in museums beyond formal interactions with the public (MW2015,Provocations in art: engendering art debate on social media), so too can audio help museums to connect with visitors.

We’ll examine the impact of audio as a supplemental layer to the visual or as the leading primary experience, and how new directions in audio storytelling employ plot-driven narrative approaches, as well as challenge the visitor with responsive, immersive and theatrical experiences, including using viscerally charged binaural techniques to tell the story. As a 2012 study by Emma Rodero has shown, dramatized audio in particular can stimulate the imagination, create vivid mental pictures and generate more emotional arousal and interest, and the use of sound effects and sound shots increases the level of listener’s mental imagery, and also helps them to pay more attention.

The session will be a talk-show style panel with brief introductions to worked examples including installation based and responsive mobile and location-aware technologies, followed by a series of questions to prompt discussion among the panelists. Slides will be limited and audience questions actively encouraged. The goal of the session will be to share innovations in audio design and storytelling both in museum contexts and outside, to build an understanding of authentic communication styles and to provide tangible examples of how these can be applied in a variety of in-gallery and mobile applications.

Panelists from The Smithsonian Museum of American Indian, The Baltimore Museum of Art, the National Music Centre, Second Story Studio and Antenna International will show how their organizations use audio as part of the experience design process and to explore new rules of engagement with the visitor.

Speakers
avatar for Sofie Andersen

Sofie Andersen

Senior Content Designer, Antenna International
I'm a cultural anthropologist and story seeker. I love making connections, with people, ideas, and magical thinking.
avatar for Suse Cairns

Suse Cairns

Director of Audience Experience, Baltimore Museum of Art
An Australian in Baltimore. Podcaster at museopunks.org, former blogger at museumgeek.wordpress.com.
DD

Daniel Davis

Manager, Media Group, Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian
Let's talk about Universal Design, mobile, multi-touch table experiences and the emotional power of audio experiences..
avatar for Natalie Marsh

Natalie Marsh

Education Outreach Coordinator, National Music Centre
Natalie Marsh (BFA, B Ed.) is the Education Outreach Coordinator with the National Music Centre in Calgary, AB. In addition to being a visual artist, she has 15 years experience in teaching and educational program development for classrooms, museums, and municipal government. She is currently pursuing her MA in Museum Studies at Johns Hopkins University.
avatar for Christine Murray

Christine Murray

Senior Content Designer, Antenna International
I'm a digital storyteller, experience-maker, and cultural infomaniac. I've been writing and producing documentary films, audio tours, multimedia guides, apps, and location-based experiences for the past 25 years. My relationship with Antenna goes back to its fledgling days as an experimental theatre company working out of an abandoned Army fort, back when audio was still cut on tape. My first task involved immersing audiences inside a... Read More →


Friday November 6, 2015 11:30am - 12:30pm
Minnetonka Hyatt Regency Minneapolis 1300 Nicollet Mall Minneapolis, MN 55403

Attendees (58)