Point of listening in a radio fiction: the eternal problem

Emma Antón
2009 Observatorio (OBS*) Journal   unpublished
One of the fundamental elements to construct a radio fiction product from the point of view of the sound is the denominated point of listening or 'point icí' of Souriau. The point of listening represents the space relation existing between the listener and the rest of the sound objects of the scene. Its importance is then in which it determines the place from which the sound perspective settles, forming the space and expressive meaning. For all these reasons, it is decisive in the perception
more » ... n the perception process that the listener makes of a radio product. In spite of this, years of experience in the realization of fiction products on radio demonstrate that the suitable location of the point of listening is one of the most complicated aspects: the eternal problem. Therefore, the preoccupation by this aspect has taken to us to analyze 30 fiction stories on radio with the objective of finding the main problems of location of the point of listening and establishing a catalogue of errors that helps in the education of the radio production. The results indicate that 25 of 30 stories contain some error in the positioning of the point of listening. Overview Teaching radio as a medium has traditionally focused on areas such how to write text for the medium and, to a lesser extent, on production. This is a fact that according to Forrester "is rather surprising and may in part be due to what Beloff (1994) has called psychology's overemphasis on written language" (Forrester, 2002:39). However, it is less usual that the learning focuses on the particularities of sound editing and on an advanced audio design relevant in a complex production. In general, this is because the Spanish radio stations production is mainly informative and does not require elaborate production. As a consequence, it is difficult to achieve a good production quality, particularly in radio dramas, with people lacking experience in handling audio on radio committing relevance errors in making the sound design. Factors that require attention when producing radio dramas have been assessed during a training program for future radio professionals working on these formats. One of the most common aspects identified during this analysis involves the correct placement of the point of listening in a production. It plays decisive role to shape the listener's perception of a story on the radio.