Hidden speakers are placed around the trees (or another site specific location) and key moments of the story are illustrated by 3D holographic surround sound in the forest around the listeners. For example, when the storyteller says “…and the giant’s footsteps could be heard in the distance…”, a giant’s footsteps will be heard in the distance. Or if the story takes the listener to a city beneath the sea, the audience are immersed in a detailed and magical underwater soundscape. Soundscapes are carefully crafted so as to enhance not distract from the story and vice versa. Sometimes storytellers feel inspired to invent a story about particular sounds as well.
The way the environment looks is key to truly transporting the audience; it is much more effective in a forest or site specific location than a traditional theatre or performance venue as visual cues will often override audio ones. For this reason the stories are best told at night as well . Technology is meticulously hidden .
The installation usually takes place around a camp fire, at night, in a clearing of a wooded area, though other places, such as Neolithic sites have also proved effective. Groups are invited in at certain key times to sit round and listen to the story.
The event is also consists of a standalone art installation. So at other times, when the storyteller is not telling stories, a subtle and magical interactive sound art installation will come into effect which audience members can walk through. An example of this interactivity is microphones which are disguised in the vegetation. By talking to these hidden microphones, the participants’ own stories and voices are subtly spatialised and echoed around the trees and undergrowth. Whispers emanating fromt he wood at night create a surreal and subtle atmosphere.