Sound Rich Listening
Masako Fukui • 21 October 2022
Do you have a favourite author or authors? Maybe you revel in their eloquent turn of phrase. Or perhaps the themes they explore illuminate humanity in a way that challenges or excites. I suspect you admire their skill, their artistry, their strong sense of their own voice.
I have favourite audio producers I look up to for similar reasons. And I think of them as shokunin, a Japanese word that defies literal translation but is perhaps a cross between a professional, a craftsperson, and an artisan. Audio producers need to have mastered an array of technical skills – from mic technique to editing, sound design to sound engineering – and be able to write tight but lyrical scripts. They must be engaging interviewers or narrators as well. And to make sound-rich, beautifully crafted audio stories like the ones I’ve selected, they also need to be creative and bold.
As Siobhan McHugh says in The Power of Podcasting, it’s 'relatively easy to make a podcast. It’s much harder to make a great one'. For each of these stories I want to share with you, I highlight at least one audio storytelling skill that makes them truly great.
Masako Fukui is an independent audio producer, writer, and bilingual journalist. She was born in New Delhi and has lived in Japan and Australia.