Psychedelic Soundscape

This project began with the creation of a mind map. The idea of an audible hallucination of some kind was the prominent idea from the mind map. Research uncovered that hallucinations are primarily visual phenomena where the element of sound has not been explored. It was chosen at this stage that the cause of the hallucination would be the drug LSD. The main idea was to make the radio drama around the idea of how a hallucination would be perceived through sound. Through the research it became evident that there was a lot of information on how hallucinations feel, what causes them and how they are visually. Therefore to shape the narrative and research a storyboard was created. This gave structure to the project and allowed the research to be more creative, thinking in terms of sound.
The story was divided into three segments; scene one the introduction into the establishing location where the drug is taken, scene two the hallucination and scene three the morning after. The title ‘The Drug Trip’ was chosen. Research pointed out that psychedelic drugs such as ‘LSD’ cause more vivid and intense hallucinations, this experience – the trip- could then be explored creatively. LSD is a powerful hallucinogenic drug in which users typically experience distorted views of objects, reality and hearing. This experience is called a ‘trip’. The main side effects whilst experiencing a ‘trip’ consist of time and movement appearing slower/faster, distorted objects, and double vision.
This is interesting creatively and technically as it meant that such psychological and perceptual states could be recreated and manipulated through effects and creative surround mixing. Before beginning the recordings on a Tascam and AKG C12 microphone, a list was made to clarify which direction of sounds each scene would have: thinking in terms of environments and hallucinogenic sounds. The recording process began by following the lists, the first scene which required recordings: was the two characters dialogue, party sounds which set the location for the story line and various other noises like the drug actually being taken, characters walking and some surrounding conversations. Here it was important to capture the fact that the two characters exit a party, take the drug outside and re-enter.

Team Credits

Olivia Sully-Karlis

  • Message
  • Sound Designer, Sound Engineer, Music Producer, Illustrator

Project Tags

  • soundscape

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Olivia Sully-Karlis
Sound Designer, Sound Engineer, Music Producer, Illustrator