Sightless Realms of Terror:Disembodied Voices and Sonic Immersion in Contemporary Horror Audio

Hand, Richard (2019) Sightless Realms of Terror:Disembodied Voices and Sonic Immersion in Contemporary Horror Audio. In: Gender and Contemporary Horror in Comics, Games and Transmedia. Emerald, pp. 191-202. ISBN 978-1-78769-108-7

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Abstract

This is an unprecedentedly rich era for audio drama. Not only has digital technology perfected the sound we hear and our access to it, it represents the perfect form for our ever-hectic lives of multitasking wherein the traditional act of watching a movie can seem luxurious. To this end, audio drama can succeed in entertaining us while we work, drive, jog or fall asleep. Within audio drama, horror has always been a major genre, not least because of the power of the disembodied voice which – invisible, immaterial and, quite literally, ghost-like – seems to talk to, through and around us. In this regard, the female voice has often been perceived as particularly ‘uncanny’ and horror radio abounds with examples of gender-specific or gender-ambiguous voices, exploiting their ability to unnerve or terrify. This has been amply demonstrated in the diverse audio of recent years: podcasts such as Welcome to Night Vale (2012 onwards) and the keep-fit gaming app Zombies, Run! (2012) have demonstrated compelling innovation while BBC Radio 4’s distinctive reworking of The Exorcist (2014) and its binaural adaptations of The Stone Tape (2015) and Ringu (2015) have revitalised classic horror films by placing listeners at the mercy of ethereal voices.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: audio,radio drama,horror,podcasting
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Art, Media and American Studies
University of East Anglia > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Film, Television and Media
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 20 Oct 2021 03:38
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 03:38
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/81829
DOI:

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