Podcasting is, by nature, an intimate medium. We’re often listening to
podcasts on our headphones, locked deep into a world of sound that is only
limited by our imagination. But building trust with your audience and creating a level of intimacy that keeps listeners coming back requires particular skill.
In 2015 journalist Sarah Allely had a bike accident that left her unable to read, write, watch TV or listen to podcasts. Going into nature helped her recover from a mild traumatic brain injury and she’s since created the narrative documentary podcast Brain on Nature, a very personal portrayal about her recovery process.
Among the more exciting developments has been the introduction of sound designers and musicians to narrative series, taking podcasting into the realms of sound art. Brain on Nature, from the Sydney-based producer Sarah Allely, elegantly charted her own recovery from a brain injury, taking us deep inside her head through field recordings and ambient sound. Fiona Sturges, Financial Times. Read the full article at FT.com Read the full article at FT.com
An Interview with Brain on Nature’s Sarah Allely – Podcast Review: A Los Angeles Review of Books Channel
Allely’s keen and lively narration makes the podcast as entertaining as it is informative. I spoke with her to learn more about how the independent podcast came together, and the long journey of her recovery. Jack Conway, Podcast Review: A Los Angeles Review of Books Channel. Read full article Podcastreview.org
There’s an abundance of introspective shows that explore identity and emotions, but not a whole lot about the host actually immersing themselves in learning a task or conducting a personal experiment, despite the huge success of this genre as illustrated by films such as Super Size Me. Brain on Nature is a great example of the potential this format holds for audio. Former SBS journalist Sarah Allely suddenly found music unbearably disorienting and books impossible to read after a bike crash in 2015, and documents her struggles in the aftermath of the accident, and her rehab, in the show’s six
Brain on Nature shines brightest when revealing how injury can completely change family dynamics and self-image, prompting blank pages in a previously jam-packed social schedule – and now the kids miss being read bedtime stories. Brain on Nature unfolds like a well-kept secret, revealing why nature feels like medicine in the modern world. Nathania Gilson, The Big Issue
For Allely, making a nature podcast was also about questioning who misses out in the age of climate crisis. She wanted to remind people that nature should be protected, and not just for the benefit of those who could afford it. “It’s about governments making sure that they don’t allow developments to take over green spaces. That schools still have decent-sized outdoor grounds and that kids aren’t just forced to sit in classrooms. We have to make sure that accessibility to nature still exists.” Nathania Gilson, The Guardian. Read the full article at theguardian.com
“There’s a rare intimacy to Allely’s narration, which shifts between an audio diary format (her inability to process new information meant she habitually recorded conversations after the accident) and academic enquiry. More atmospheric still is the sound design by Ariana Martinez, which, in between subtle waves of ambient music, takes the listener deep into everyday noise, from the clattering of a coffee shop to the hubbub of a school playground to the soothing sounds of crashing waves and seagulls (to experience this audio collage in its full glory, headphones are a must). Brain on Nature functions both as an illuminating
Beginning of an immersive series about the influence nature has on our brains. Host Sarah Allely had a serious bicycle accident that seemed to fundamental change what was going on inside her head. She lost the ability to prioritise sounds and feelings; she could no longer tell whether something is background noise or the voice she is supposed to be listening to. “It was like my brain was stretched to capacity,” she says, and it left her unable to concentrate, read or really think straight. But in nature, she finds a kind of cure, and here seeks to explain the