Soundtrack as Auditory Interface: Exploring an Alternative to Audio Description for Theatre

2.50
Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/2436/620895
Title:
Soundtrack as Auditory Interface: Exploring an Alternative to Audio Description for Theatre
Authors:
Dalgleish, Mat ( 0000-0003-3697-8556 ) ; Reading, Neil
Abstract:
Theatre conventionally relies heavily on the visual, for instance to convey narrative and context, and to set the scene. This reliance can significantly hinder the experience of blind and visually impaired people, and can in some cases exclude them entirely. Audio description for theatre attempts to make performances accessible for blind and visually impaired patrons by translating the visual aspects of a performance into a spoken commentary that fits between the gaps in actors’ dialogue. However, while 40% of UK theatres have offered at least one recent audio-described performance,1 its methods remain largely untested and potentially problematic. We describe the use of an ambiently diffused soundtrack as an alternative to audio description for theatre as part of a recent research project at the University of Wolverhampton. Informed by conceptualisations of the soundtrack posed by theorist-composers Michel Chion and Stephen Deutsch, our approach is to use an assemblage of informative and emotive sounds to provide a kind of auditory interface or "way in" to the performance. Crucially, the soundtrack evokes and implies but, contrary to audio-description, does not enforce a single rigid or fixed interpretation. Additionally, use of the house sound reinforcement system also removes the need for specialised and potentially othering personal equipment. The remainder of this paper provides background to the project and related work, outlines the theoretical basis of the project, discusses two trial performances and initial findings, and finally offers suggestions for future work.
Publisher:
Institute of Acoustics
Issue Date:
Nov-2017
URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/2436/620895
Additional Links:
http://reproducedsound.co.uk/
Type:
Meetings and Proceedings
Language:
en
Description:
Conference paper presented at Reproduced Sound 2017 - Sound Quality by Design, organised by the Institute of Acoustics in collaboration with ISCE, AES, ABTT, APRS. - 21-23 November 2017 at Nottingham University
Sponsors:
University of Wolverhampton Early Researcher Award Scheme (ERAS)
Appears in Collections:
FOA

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorDalgleish, Maten
dc.contributor.authorReading, Neilen
dc.date.accessioned2017-11-24T09:18:10Z-
dc.date.available2017-11-24T09:18:10Z-
dc.date.issued2017-11-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/2436/620895-
dc.descriptionConference paper presented at Reproduced Sound 2017 - Sound Quality by Design, organised by the Institute of Acoustics in collaboration with ISCE, AES, ABTT, APRS. - 21-23 November 2017 at Nottingham Universityen
dc.description.abstractTheatre conventionally relies heavily on the visual, for instance to convey narrative and context, and to set the scene. This reliance can significantly hinder the experience of blind and visually impaired people, and can in some cases exclude them entirely. Audio description for theatre attempts to make performances accessible for blind and visually impaired patrons by translating the visual aspects of a performance into a spoken commentary that fits between the gaps in actors’ dialogue. However, while 40% of UK theatres have offered at least one recent audio-described performance,1 its methods remain largely untested and potentially problematic. We describe the use of an ambiently diffused soundtrack as an alternative to audio description for theatre as part of a recent research project at the University of Wolverhampton. Informed by conceptualisations of the soundtrack posed by theorist-composers Michel Chion and Stephen Deutsch, our approach is to use an assemblage of informative and emotive sounds to provide a kind of auditory interface or "way in" to the performance. Crucially, the soundtrack evokes and implies but, contrary to audio-description, does not enforce a single rigid or fixed interpretation. Additionally, use of the house sound reinforcement system also removes the need for specialised and potentially othering personal equipment. The remainder of this paper provides background to the project and related work, outlines the theoretical basis of the project, discusses two trial performances and initial findings, and finally offers suggestions for future work.en
dc.description.sponsorshipUniversity of Wolverhampton Early Researcher Award Scheme (ERAS)en
dc.language.isoenen
dc.publisherInstitute of Acousticsen
dc.relation.urlhttp://reproducedsound.co.uk/en
dc.subjectaudio descriptionen
dc.subjecttheatreen
dc.subjectvisual impairmenten
dc.subjectsoundtracken
dc.subjectsound designen
dc.subjectChionen
dc.subjectinterfaceen
dc.titleSoundtrack as Auditory Interface: Exploring an Alternative to Audio Description for Theatreen
dc.typeMeetings and Proceedingsen
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