Inventions in Sound

To experience this award-winning piece in full, including a subtitled video, a transcript, closer captions, and more, click here.

All materials for this piece, including a transcript, are here.


[Sound of sky splitting]

[Sound of heart accelerating]

[Sound of shadows behind a door]

The poet Raymond Antrobus explores the art of translating sound for the eye, looking at the poetic possibilities of closed captions.

What can these captions — designed to illuminate the sound world of a film or TV show — reveal about how we conceive of sound itself? Raymond speaks to fellow D/deaf poets and artists to explore their experiences navigating the spaces between the words. Are closed captions just a simple act of transcription — [Doorbell rings] — or a more subjective act of translation? How might we reimagine them?

[Sound of something invented]

This work was originally featured in the 2021 Web Showcase, a new way of celebrating all eleven Third Coast/RHDF Competition winners with in-depth materials, including comments from the judges. Plus, our first-ever list of finalists in each category.

Full Credits

Inventions in Sound is a Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4. It was presented and written by Raymond Antrobus and produced by Eleanor McDowall with mixing engineer Mike Woodley and executive producer Alan Hall. This piece features the sound artist Christine Sun Kim, poet Meg Day, filmmaker and founding member of FWD Doc Lindsey Dryden and the captioner Calum Davidson from Red Bee Media. With poetic captions inspired by the work of Christine Sun Kim.

produced by

Eleanor McDowall

Eleanor McDowall makes audio documentaries, zines about the radio, podcasts and occasionally writes sound captions for films.

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