Stories using on/off binaural again – the haunting inside the head!

Okay, how’s this for a use for intermittent binaural?

When I did my English A-level (er, a few years ago…!), there was the option, instead of an extended essay on the text, to write a story responding to it. Then I had to produce a commentary on how my story was a response. I was the only one in the year mad enough to take this option, and this is the story I wrote.

A boy (narrating the story) is in his late teens, and has a severe form of cerebral palsy. He feels terribly frustrated about the challenges he faces in communicating and in making full use of his keen mind. He speaks lovingly of his mother, who is his carer, but like all teens is driven spare by her; she understands more about him than most people, but not as much as would address the loneliness and frustration.

One day, this boy is visited inside his head by the ghost of a working class Victorian man, equally frustrated that his intelligence is not recognised or his potential fulfilled. Almost the entire story consists of their conversation – and their eventual row, after which the connection between them ends forever.

Luckily the story is long since lost, as I’m totally certain I would find it excruciating to read now! But I think that something like this could work well in audio.

If I made it, I would make the audio depicting the real – but rather distant – world binaural, super-immersive and overwhelmingly busy, to depict the difficulties the boy has making himself heard. And the conversation in his mind I would produce in a studio, immaculately, with a mic for each actor, maybe with some sounds from the past added, but carefully placed in post-production to contrast the modern world over which our protagonist has no control.

Music…. I think I would add it in the ‘ghost’ sections (where the boy can be fully himself and the music express that) and leave it out in the ‘outside world’ sections.

But! It might be interesting to experiment with the music seeping into the modern sections, as though the other place where the narrator is living creeps into the edges of his consciousness from time to time. Now that could be fun to mix, especially moving from one type of scene to the other and finding where the boundaries are between them… if indeed there are any clear boundaries at all…

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