For my individual audio project, I have finally settled on creating an audio adaption and audio discovery of Roald Dahl’s adult fiction anthology Kiss Kiss. As far as my initial ideas go for the project, I plan to include narrated excerpts of 3-5 stories from the book, and potentially some guests/voices/interviewees/guides to help the listener discover this untold part of the great writer’s collective works.

A Summary of the Original Text:

Kiss Kiss was published in 1960 by American publisher Alfred A. Knopf; an anthology of 12 stories – all of which were published individually throughout the 1950s, and are labelled as “some of his most macabre works”.

When I personally came across the book; I found it in an Australian bookshop – the seller told me as I purchased it that Roald Dahl’s adult fiction was fairly obscure and underrated – compared to his children’s literature. Indeed, the stories all end with their own respective gruesome and unsettling twists – although one is supposedly a ‘true story’ (Genesis and Catastrophe: A True Story). This is the main driving reason for this piece; to explore and

Reference Audio:

My first point of reference, was to go back to the audiobooks I own and listened to when I was younger.

Skulduggery Pleasant is a children’s/young adult fiction and fantasy series by Irish author Derek Landy. The audiobooks are narrated by fellow Irishman Rupert Degas – fitting, as the series is also set in Ireland. The choice of narrator is crucial as an Englishman reading in Irish characters’ voices wouldn’t make sense and would take away from the story itself as a voice must do the text justice. I also listened to the chapter transitions for inspiration; for this audio series in particular, the transitions are characterised by echoing alleyway footsteps, distant screams and other SFX that create a shadowy, grimy and uneasy feeling soundscape – all within 50″.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UIzXqkY3EZE 

Skulduggery Pleasant books also use musical beats/rhythms and simple eerie melodies between chapters to set the tone/soundscape. I will bear in mind the importance of music, but also the importance of not saturating my piece with it.

Production Process/Outline:

 

Week 4 – 5

More preliminary listening to past projects from previous students and more audiobooks – of both children’s and adult literature (of both fiction and non-fiction). From there, I will begin to draft a rough outline of how my piece will look, with clear components such as interviews, narrations, voiceovers, monologues etc. I will choose my top 3-5 stories from the anthology, to focus on and start to think about how I would visualise them into a soundscape. All the while I will be collecting atmos, wildtrack and other SFX that may be useful to me, and researching/contacting potential contributors.

Week 5 – 7

Recording any necessary voices. Gradually piecing together my three major key ‘scenes’ (one scene = roughly 5′)

 

Reflection: 

Some of my initial thoughts:

I am confident I don’t want to create a simplistic audiobook but rather an audiobook experience within a really fun and creative exploration into underrated work by one of the greatest authors to come from Britain. I will be careful to curate my audio and voices to do the work and the author justice and deliver and experience to the listener!

 

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