Insomnia - A Narrative Driven Sound Walk


Insomnia is a POV sound walk from the perspective of a sleepy/almost delirious student entering into Tisch and going about their day before heading to class at ITP. The project was created in collaboration with Anna Oh and Timothy Lobiak. During the course of the walk the listener will experience everyday interactions and sounds through this distorted lens. The intended effect being that the user feels as if they are sleepy and easily susceptible to overstimulation. Using the provided map listeners will stop in specific locations that the narrator has his interactions at.

Refining the Idea and Sound Recording:

Following the initial recording of sounds from the first assignment, week two involved more emphasis on learning the fundamentals of Adobe Audition, and flushing out ways to make the narrative more engaging to the listener. After the initial interaction with Audition, Anna, Timothy, and I realized that we would need to dedicate more time to recording extra effects and transitions.

The idea of making normal sounds, such as people talking or lockers opening, more intense was brought up. As was adding some surreal elements to the piece to really exaggerate the fact the the main character was borderline delirious.

After some badgering, I agreed to be the voice of the main character for the project. Tim played the part of the Security Guard, and Anna voiced the friend. We recruited Elvin Ou to voice the professor.

Below you can see an outline of the script and sounds used:


We had some of the same issues as the week prior when it came to recording and re-recording sounds. One of the biggest issues was actually editing the whole walk to sound like it was happening in one take. The elevator at the bottom of the building was one of the biggest issues with this. We ended up solving the problem by recording a full walk from the Tisch entrance to the classroom all in one take, early one Sunday morning. Once we recorded the sound this way it was much easier to layer the different sounds and effects on top of the base.

Map of Tisch and locations listeners will visit

Map of Tisch and locations listeners will visit

Final Thoughts:

Creating this sound walk was an exploration of a medium that I have had little to no experience with prior. The experience of listening to sound walk for the first time to collaborating with two people to create our own narrative driven walk taught me a lot about sound and the intricacies of recording and editing it. I also found the whole process of being limited to only sound genuinely enjoyable and a good introduction to the possibilities of using sound as an art form

You can listen to the full Sound Walk below: