Re-Imagined Radio presents “Storytelling with Sounds” in March

VANCOUVER, Wash. – How do sounds bring stories to life? Re-Imagined Radio considers the question in its March broadcast “Storytelling with Sounds.” Featuring examples from literature, drama, oral history and radio, the program explores how sounds, such as the storyteller's voice and sound effects, have contributed to storytelling throughout history.

The hour-long episode will be broadcast at noon March 15 on two local radio stations: Vancouver’s KXRW-FM (99.9 FM) and Portland’s KXRY-FM (91.1 FM or 107.1 FM). Rebroadcasts will be offered by Portland’s KUIK-AM (1360 AM) and Salem’s KMWV-FM (98.3 FM) The performance will also be available online via the stations’ websites and will be archived at

“Sound sparks our imagination like no other human sensory input,” said John Barber, faculty member in WSU Vancouver’s Creative Media and Digital Culture program and producer of Re-Imagined Radio. “As result, storytelling with sounds is especially effective in creating engaging stories.”

The program draws on examples from Beowulf to Shakespeare to Orson Welles, to show, in Barber’s words, how “storytelling with sounds creates a visual world in the mind's eye.” For instance, the program includes journalist Herb Morrison’s first “live on location” news report:  In 1937, when the Hindenburg caught fire, burned and crashed in seconds, Morrison recorded his observations, complete with his powerful emotional reaction. He is said to have hidden in a barn for hours, evading German SS officers who wanted the recording. But Morrison was able to return to Chicago and broadcast the news over WLS Radio.

Community Partners

Re-Imagined Radio draws on community voice actors, Foley artists, musicians, sound artists and engineers. Partners include Holly Slocum Design, Illuminus Audio Productions, the Kiggins Theatre, KXRW-FM, Martin John Gallagher Theatrical Music and Sound Design, Metropolitan Performing Arts, Regina Carol Social Media Management and Photography, and Willamette Radio Workshop.

About Re-Imagined Radio

Re-Imagined Radio was begun by Barber in 2013 to celebrate sound-based storytelling and pay tribute to the radio programs of the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. Episodes initially were stage productions for live audiences, with limited opportunities for broadcast or streaming. Now, with COVID-19 restrictions, Re-Imagined Radio has become a monthly broadcast and livestreamed event.

About WSU Vancouver

As one of six campuses of the WSU system, WSU Vancouver offers big-school resources in a small-school environment. Both in person and online, the university provides affordable, high-quality baccalaureate- and graduate-level education to benefit the people and communities it serves. As the only four-year research university in Southwest Washington, WSU Vancouver helps drive economic growth through relationships with local businesses and industries, schools and nonprofit organizations. 

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Brenda Alling, Office of Marketing and Communication, 360-546-9601,

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