Institute of Art Design + Technology
Dún Laoghaire
On Show 2020
Heather Casserly

The aim of this project was to examine the techniques used when creating a dramatised audiobook, pertaining to the style of narration, music composition and sound effect implementation. These techniques were analysed based on their contribution to an engaging and immersive listening experience. Previous research in this area indicates that music, sound effects and atmosphere can greatly benefit the listener, however they should not be overused, lest the production become filled with additional audio assets that detract from the spoken word. For this project, a short audiobook was created which took the form of three short stories, Beneath The Lake, The Fairy Forts, and The Merrow, by Michael Scott. A musical score was composed to accompany these stories, atmospheric audio and sound effects were implemented, and this original piece was analysed critically for its effectiveness in creating an engaging listening experience. The results of this supported previous research, the music and soundscape created served to enhance the immersiveness of the story, but only when they were not overshadowing the narrator and the tale itself more

These results indicate that through careful use of these features, audiobooks stand to capture the listener’s attention for a longer period of time. Worthwhile future studies in this field may analyse the techniques utilised by audiobooks, and conduct a survey to determine exactly which of these characteristics are what compels a listener to engage with a story