RADIO DAY - Prix Italia- From the credible to the improbable. Radio between truth and fiction - Palermo, Teatro Massimo - Sunday 15 September

'Soundhouses and Radio Drama' - Alan Beck's Speech

Alan Beck spoke of radio as being suspended between blindness and invisibility, between the concreteness of the word and the imagination. With growing exposure to and consumption of very sophisticated audio products (Dolby Surround, Home Theatre, etc.), listeners in the digital era have developed a sort of "hyper-ear". Today the "ratio of the senses" that McLuhan spoke of in the 1960s has changed and we need new experiences, new forms of listening. We have explored the limits of the word in radio drama and discovered that we cannot fully reach the limits of the unconscious, in the sense of a pre-verbal state, as happens in the theatre and the cinema. In the past a "sparse" form of radio drama prevailed, dominated by the word, but today a new type of "dense" radio drama, characterised by a more filmic style, is emerging. We are dealing with a new aesthetic, which breaks down the boundaries between radio, TV and cinema, and is not afraid to use techniques borrowed from cinema within the radio universe. Radio drama dialogue is now accompanied by emotional music and various sound effects. A new tri-dimensional sound and a new use of symbolism are typical of this phase. The productions of the radio drama director John Dryden, broadcast by the BBC in the last three years, are typical examples of this kind of approach. This "dense" new radio drama is expanding, breaking through barriers and introducing a perpendicular experience to radio (which was previously horizontal, linear), thanks to the fullness of the sound and a new combination of time, space and movement.

Naturally, every radio drama needs both components, the "sparse" and the "dense".






This site is 'Radio Drama - directing, acting, technical, learning & teaching, researching, styles, genres'. See INDEX to navigate also.  Complete curriculum of scripts, techniques (acting & directing & post-production & genre styles), advice, sound files - effects and atmoses (with no copyright and so free to use), detailed script commentaries, etc.

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