In 2011, when I was teaching myself how to use Audacity sound editing software, I had an unexpected surprise. I narrated one of my stories and then added some film music clips as background music. I was amazed at how the music matched the story so perfectly that it could have been written for it. For example, if a kite fluttered in the story, the music sounded like a kite fluttering. This intrigued me, so I experimented with other stories, and the music did the same thing in all of them. I also began experimenting with sound effects.
I soon realized that the film music was no longer simply background music. The music was an integral part of the storytelling. The words and music were intertwined and interdependent–they needed each other to tell the listener how to feel about the story–which is exactly what narrative film music does for films. It enables the listener to experience immersion and transportation into the stories. This led me to do research about audio stories, film music and sound effects, which resulted in my s2m blog and podcasts.
In 2017, my creative process changed. Instead of finding film music that matched my existing stories, I began to write the stories to the music. Film music is written to tell a story, and for some reason, it ignites my imagination with characters, scenes and plots. As I listen, I see the story that the music is expressing, so I write the words to fit the music. Now stories2music is just that–stories written to the music. It is a unique process that surprises me with every story.
Sometimes, something quite ordinary, such as learning Audacity, can become something quite extraordinary. These audio stories are a unique genre because they are original flash fiction stories written to the music. They are innovative because they show the power of film music to tell a story. They are captivating because the music and sound effects, like radio dramas, make the stories immersive. Put on your headphones, close your eyes and get swept away.