What Are Audio Adventures?
The most powerful storytelling is not done with pictures, but with sound!
features "ear grabbing" characters, introduces vocabulary to the young listener, and features original story concepts designed to make kids listen and learn."
(Jim Cox, Midwest Bookreview's Children's Bookwatch)
When the pictures are not provided, and the soundscape is elegantly crafted, the imagination CREATES IT ALL. Place an exciting, intelligent drama within this setting, and you have a truly powerful entertainment medium - AUDIO ADVENTURES - a distant relative of radio drama reborn with modern technology.
All Growler programs are riveting audio experiences produced with hundreds of sounds, original scores, unique audio environments, real kids, unusual voices, and innovative characters. There is never a narrator. No one tells you the story - it's up to you to listen in and figure out what's going on. These fantastically exciting audio experiences put kids INSIDE the action, where they become INVOLVED listeners.
Our innovation is sophisticated, conceptual storytelling that is specifically designed for audio, combined with exceptionally high production standards. Growler programs represent the state of the art in children's audio.
Turn off the TV and LISTEN.
"3 hyper kids in the car became totally quiet.
Growlers are getting a lot of play in our house."
(Bob Leverone, WBBR)
Growler stories are audio experiences involving lots of unusual audio stuff. The excitement is generated with a merging of exceptional storytelling and a level of audio production never heard on children's releases. Nontraditional ideas permeate the drama and the production, and so a listener is exposed to many esoteric sounds - aural colors ranging from voices and lingual accents, to musical instruments and detailed audio environments.
Although you may find Growlers in the audiobook collection at the library, they are NOT recorded books. Most audio for children only exists because the publishers see a way to further exploit their catalog - they hire voice talent (or better yet, celebrities) to read edited versions of existing books, especially classics or folk tales. But Growler stories are created specifically for audio, intended as unique listening experiences, where the aural aspects are significant, not added as an afterthought to enhance the read of a book. And unlike audiobooks, where music and sounds come from prerecorded libraries, all Growler programs use original music scored to the action, unique sound design, detailed audio environments, and an unusual cast of characters consistent throughout the series. All Growler stories rely on richly produced audiodrama instead of narration, enabling the listener to be virtually present as the action unfolds.
The new recording technologies are used extensively in the production of Growler programs. The primary advantage of these new audio tools is the ability to simultaneously control very large numbers of audio elements. For example, a traditional audiobook has one element, the voice. Some use two - one for voice, one for stock music or sound effects. By contrast, Growler programs employ very large numbers of simultaneous elements. We track every instrument in the score separately as well as every voice (sometimes crowd scenes have 30+ voices going) and every sound. Technology also provides the means for creating and sculpting some of the unusual voices.
The music draws from an extremely large, internationally eclectic palette of instruments. The Growler Radio theme contains some traditional instruments, like drums, guitars, piano, and bass, but there are accents using didjeri doo (Australian aboriginal ceremonial instrument made from a termite hollowed eucalyptus log and beeswax), udu (African hollow clay drum with no head), shofar (Middle Eastern ram's horn), and lots of unusual percussion devices like seronkembe, dulce, vigar, bata, tamboura, mizmars, dumbeg, etc. Some of the stringed instruments heard throughout the series include, guitars (gut string, acoustic, nylon, steel, slide, 12 string, electric, distortion), oud, lute, shamisen, dulcimer, cora, harps, banjo, koto, sitar, thong, zither, and many others.
Here in Growlerville, sounds are everything, and in search of audio innovation we will do anything. Microphones have been placed in pig pens, subway tunnels, vacuum cleaners, pipes, ovens, refrigerators, toilets, modems, bottles, cans, bathtubs, sinks, rainstorms, computers, musical instruments, and many places no one else has access to (like inside the distant depths of the Bottomless Bag).
Then there are the uniquely created sounds, like the tines of a fork scraped across a huge Chinese gong and then played back real slow, down several octaves. You guessed it, that's the eery screech of the Imposimazoo. Another scary one comes from the hydrophone - bent metal tubes and water, creating an ethereal unreal weirdness.
From the real world sounds of unscrewed jars, weather, footsteps, squeaking cork stoppers, breaking glass, animals, machines and whatever, we create the elements used to make the unreal.
Examples include backward thunder, inside out heartbeats, shredded sneezes, flame melted ice, the noise of smell, the whisper of empty, the scream of bad breath, the knock of opportunity, and the sound of very big and very small.