Podcasts and genre weird, or, what the everloving fuck is Greater Boston
So podcasts are this quirky little medium in that most of the time, you have no visual in what you are consuming. Because of this, I feel that the bounds of genre are a little bit blurred because you can’t see some of the defining characteristics of what makes a certain genre, like you can’t see the magic wand, or the starship, or the monster lurking in the shadows. Now obviously there are other ways than visuals to get this across from the obvious “hey look at the dragon over there”, to the more subtle hum of a spaceship locked on some beautiful sound scapes, and things like horror use the lack of visuals for there very purpose. This works for some of the more “high” genres, like sci-fi and fantasy, but what about the more down to earth “slice of life” podcasts? Especially difficult in that a lot of pods are non-fiction, and some audio dramas like to use the “mockumentary” style storytelling (hello the black tapes).
I’m talking, of course, about greater Boston.
When I first started listening, I thought greater Boston was pretty sturdy magical realism, mostly normal but with a few weird quirks like Leon Stametes ghost and the redline, but then I remember back to many hours I spent researching that same genre for when I had to do a paper on chronicle of a death foretold. One of the main characteristics of magical realism was that people saw “magic” as normal and seemingly mundane things as fantastical or sublime. By that metric, welcome to night vale would be magical realism! But I think that show has enough what-the-fuckery that’s off the walls enough to be considered surrealism or something. And the citizens of greater Boston don’t think things like the referendum to make a city on a train are normal, but they aren’t completely shocked by it either, same with Leon and the writing tree, so what does that make it? And it’s not like the “magic” isn’t a part of the overarching world, I mean the situation of redline even takes into account racial housing issues and other social factors! (Which I am thoroughly enjoying by the way, it feels very refreshing and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a media, especially one with fantasy elements, tackle these issues so head on before, but I digress). But like, it’s not realism so
What is greater Boston? Id love to hear some thoughts or the genre-weirdness of other podcasts, due to the medium or not!
Atriox and the banished are a dark, gritty and powerful enemy, arguably one of the toughest opponents the UNSC has encountered to date - and they are also a very intelligent and nuanced group. We wanted to craft a sound scape that captured the raw power and brutality of the banished warlords, while simultaneously underscoring their complexities with beautiful orchestral details and bespoke musical sound design. In this specific cue, we use powerful tribal drums and high tech electronic percussion to create an intense rhythmic foundation. Heavy brass and layered synths augment the rhythm with explosive stabs, expressing dread and fear, while strings add tension and colour to create contrast.
Isabel enters the Halo universe in a time of turmoil and loss and needs to quickly step up to some overwhelming challenges. We wanted her theme to portray all of this in a musically poetic way. So “Isabel’s Awakening” is comprised of three sections: First, an introduction and delicate statement of her main melodic theme. Next, a lament to honour fallen heroes and to underscore the present strife and unrest. Then finally, a reprise of her main theme that blossoms and grows into a bold and hopeful hero’s song.
Both of these pieces are awesome! Run Little Demons has been featured in one of the ViDocs, but Isabel’s Awakening is new.