Radio Drama: Welcome to Night Vale

Please make sure you give comments on both Radio Drama entries this week. Deadline for both is Wednesday, 9 April 2014, 23:59.

(And if you’re reading this, you probably could guess that entry Radio Drama: Cabin Pressure will be up tomorrow. Right? Right. Thank you.)

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The moral of the story is a low buzzing hum from the stereo and a soft rustling in the back of your closet.

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You may consider Welcome to Night Vale as one story containing other small stories; there are big story–the recording is a radio drama featuring an episode of radio show–and small ones–everything read by Cecil. Observe how aspect/element of story triangulation (plot-characterization-setting) in Welcome to Night Vale is built. Focus on how the aspect/element is significant to the story triangulation, considering the constrain and strength.

Your response should be in form of significant opinion and/or valid argument about one specific aspect/element of any of the story triangulation in relation with radio drama storytelling process.

We provide a list of aspects/elements you can pick and choose to discuss. (Please pick and focus on one specific detail to form solid argument of how the aspect/element works). You can either write your comment of your own composed opinion or submit a comment about one of these points.

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Opening | The News | Reminder | “A Message from Our Sponsor” | Alert | Community Calendar | The Weather | “Dear Listeners” | Description | Public Service Announcement | Ending || Featured Music(s) | various BGMs | Cecil’s tone | Sequence | Segueing || Dog Park |Big Rico’s Pizza | Water Front | Arby’s | Raydon Canyon | The Post Office || Old Woman Josie | John Peter, you know, The Farmer | Carlos | Apache Tracker | Angels | The City Council | The Secret Police | Hyra McDaniels.

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As usual you can refer to exempli gratia when you discuss about any specific part of the story or consult the FAQ page if you have any other question.

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175 thoughts on “Radio Drama: Welcome to Night Vale

  1. Muhammad Reihansyah Maulana
    180410120107 – Class F

    Thing that draw my attention is the background music. The background music played in the Radion Drama help the listeners to make an image of what is happen in the story, in what situation each story occurs. I can say the background music make the listeners more easily to dramatize the story through their imagination.
    For example in 11:11-11:32. At the beginning the background music played with a little sound but when it comes to the end of the sentence it becomes louder. For me, this creates a sad surrounding in night vale for people in night vale didn’t feel the catastrophic earthquakes that occurs in Night Vale.

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  2. Muhammad Bahmaniar
    180410120133/G

    The “Dog Park” thing in the “Pilot” (0:37) sure is odd and strange. First of all, Cecil announces the opening of this “Dog Park” (makes it important since it is placed right after the opening) just to remind the listener that people and dog are not allowed to enter the park. What kinds of park that forbids any living being from entering it? Not only that, after reminding people that it is also dangerous because of the hooded figures and the electrified fences, in the end Cecil said “The Dog Park will not harm you.” Isn’t it strange and contradictory?

    But in the end it all makes perfect sense, this announcement –just like the PG13 alert in a movie- used as a reminder that this saga (at least to me) is a set of fiction and “nonsensical” stories and the listener should take it and respond to it like one.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. 180410120117
    Class F

    I think Welcome to Night Vale’s opening, both song and Cecil’s prologue in episode Pilot, give me a hint about what Cecil would explain the content of the whole podcast later. After Cecil had told a prologue, an opening music, which was occurred in 00:12 – 00:37, made me think the podcast would talk about something that would give me some goosebumps, or shared some scary stories, or shared some stories that would be fine if all of the listener were adults. The serious tone of the opening music and Cecil’s low and sexy voice made me thinks that the content of the whole podcast would be a serious topic, not jokes. (111 Words)

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  4. Evira Tifany Tiurma
    180410120057/B

    The background music in “Welcome to Night Vale”-the first episode-vividly portrays the tense situation on the plot. It also represents a scary sensation of the story (02:44-05:00). The narrator, Cecil reports the strange gesture of a helicopter and the disappearance of a commercial airline in the sky. By hearing the background music and understanding the plot, I assume that Cecil implicitly describes that Night Vale has a watchman in the sky and a strange object (not a UFO) flying in the sky which is very bizarre and eerie. The background music helps everyone to easily grasp the plot of the story and helps me to define the genre of the story as well, which is thriller.

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    • 180410120089
      Class E

      I think the genre of Welcome to Night Vale is magical realism because the story focuses on supernatural events surrounding the bizarre desert town and its inhabitants then it is delivered in the style of news broadcast that gives a sense of realism.

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  5. Muhammad Rizky
    180410120082/Kelas E

    It is interesting to see what Cecil, the narrator of the story, sees throughout two episodes of Welcome to Night Vale. In fact, it is arguable to state that when Cecil broadcasts particular news regarding neighborhood or public announcement, he at the same time characterizes the people of Night Vale, particularly when including the word “we” while opining about certain events, as if he were the Vox Populi of Night Vale. Coincidentally, the word Vox represents main strength and constraint of the podcast, voice.

    This can be seen from the Cecil’s (and people of Night Vale’s) impression toward Carlos, stating, “We all hate and despair and love that perfect hair [of Carlos] in equal measure.”(Pilot, 05:07-23) It is observable as well in Saturday community calendar (Glow Cloud, 10:04-22) and the Cecil’s “list of things” before saying goodnight (Ibid, 17:46-19:03). This pattern indicates the submissiveness of the people of the Night Vale.

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    • I agree with you that the narrator consciously charaterized the people of Night Vale for instance the narrator described the apperance of Carlos. However, While the narrator was doing it, he [unconsciously] characterized himself. He showed what he thought and therefore we can know his character as well.

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  6. 180410120025
    B

    The various kind of Cecil’s tone in broadcasting each of the small stories shows its own characterization. For instance, at the beginning of ‘Pilot’, his being cautious in ‘”Dog Park” could be perceived through his saying every word in a slow, dynamically-sequenced tone. Few minutes later, his turning ecstatic as he describes “Old Woman Josie” shows a more elaborative, joyful feeling, which characterizes Josie to be the one inessential enough for her being old but seems to be influential for other stories. At the ending, Cecil’s being comical in construing Carlos’s perfect hair also shows that of Carlos’s trait. Such amuse could best be sensed through Cecil’s relating him to Josi, who, as I’ve guessed, is somehow pertinent to building not only her character but also that of the other’s.

    Indeed, Cecil’s various tone is what makes these characters in ‘Welcome to Night Vale’ thriving.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. 180410120050
    C

    The plot of the story is rather confusing as it consists of other small stories. I think Carlo is the center character of the story because his characterization is described clearly by the narrator and mentioned repeatedly. Cecil, the narrator, depicts Carlo as a charming scientist. Through the description of Carlo’s character by the narrator, I can even see the narrator’s character, for instance the fact that he has deep adoration for Carlo. It is shown in “…and everything about him was perfect, and I fell in love instantly” (05.50-05.57). Despite his admiration, Cecil also has fear for him. When I focused on the music background whenever telling story about Carlo, I found that the music is not played except in the beginning and ending or it is played in low volume. I assume that it is so in order to make the listeners focus on those parts.

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  8. 180410110128 / C

    Carlos playing a role as representation of audience of the radio drama ‘welcome to the night vile’. From the way Cecil tells the news, it can shows that people of Night Vale accustomed with the strange thing that occur in Night Vale. When Cecil said “Well, we have all been scientists and one point or another in our lives.” In minute 02:19, it somehow show that everybody also have been questioned about strange thing, like Carlos did, but give up about it because of some reason. However As the newcomer (or outsider), Carlos do research about strange thing that occur on Night Vale. The audience can related themselves to Carlos because the audience also curious what happened in Night Vale.

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  9. 180410110082
    Kelas A

    Cecil’s Intonation is the main control of the drama. Intonation Cecil follow all the changes the plot, setting, and characterization. In addition, Cecil also interacts with the existing background music. Precise timing between sound Cecil, up-down plot, and setting the story easier for the listener to imagine the story. Although Cecil serves as narrator, he continued to interact with the audience and the characters. He established itself as an intermediary between the characters stories with listeners. Cecil’s intonation controls the entire drama.

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  10. 180410120072
    Kelas A

    “Can you believe this guy said he used Indian magic? What an asshole.” (03:09-03:15, episode 2)

    I think the way Cecil says and adds this line after he reports the news about the Apache Tracker, who says he has a magic power, shows a little insight of Cecil’s character. With this line, Cecil shows that he thinks that what the tracker says is just a hoax. Although Cecil is used to report every mysterious event happening in Night vale, somehow he finds the story unbelievable. So, this line shows that even in his mysterious world, Cecil still puts a limitation of how far mysteriousness can be still categorized as something which is believable. (113 words)

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  11. 18041011082
    Kelas A

    The laughter makes the story alive. Different with “Welcome to Night Vale”, this drama gives listeners a lot object to focus without narrator, and the laughter help them to feel the condition of the story. I think, the position of narrator is changed by the laughter here. The laughter takes place in the whole of story and its follows the plot up-down, the tension changes, and the interval of conversation. By catching the laughter, listener know when the story climax begins and where the resolution. The laughter leads the listener along the story run to feel and take a part of the drama, as an audience who laugh for the story.
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  12. 180410120043 / Kelas B

    As far as I concern, there is a changing in Cecil’s tone when he talks about the new man who comes into the town (00:02:04-00:02:34). His tone sounds more sarcastic and depicts that he is annoyed with the perfect-haired scientist’s arrival. The way he describes the scientist, Carlos, also shows that he actually does not like Carlos, but in the same time, he wants to be like Carlos or I would say he is jealous, as he says later, “His hair is perfect, and we all hate and despair and love that perfect hair in equal measure.” Talking about him disliking Carlos, Big Ricco’s Pizza is one of the things that shows his feeling about Carlos. When he talks about Carlos’ lab, he suddenly changes the topic to Big Ricco’s Pizza which is next to the lab. It indicates that Cecil gives more attention to Big Ricco’s Pizza than to Carlos thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 180410120050
      C

      I though that he had deep adoration to Carlos since he emphasized that “…and everything about him was perfect, and I fell in love instantly” (05.50-05.57). :)

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  13. Annisa Hapsari
    180410120066
    A

    There are a lot of things that is told by Cecil from the radio show, one of them is the news. The news that is described by Cecil is one of the ways to introduce the characters in the radio drama. For the example, Cecil tells us about the new guy in town, Carlos, who is a scientist. Since there is no dialogue in the radio drama, the characters are built from the Cecil’s tone and monologue when he introduces them. From the description about Carlos in the news, his character is shaped. Then, the way Cecil describes him shows that he has a certain feeling about Carlos and his appearance in the Night Vale, which shows a conflict and it creates the plot of the story.

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  14. 180410120081
    Class A

    In my opinion, the listener’s knowledge of the characterization of certain character is limited to what the narrator says about him or her, so the listener will have their own interpretation of the character. In “Glow Cloud,” there is John Peter, you know, the farmer, who is mentioned by the narrator three times. I think John Peter is a person who is a well-known person in Night Vale as the narrator always says “you know, the farmer” every time he mentions his name. The narrator assumes that the listener already know about John Peter, let alone he emphasizes about who he is by adding “the farmer” after his name. But, it seems like John Peter is not a very reliable person, or just an old man who talks nonsense because the narrator also notify the listener that it’s “probably nothing,” let alone twice. (143 words)

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  15. Annisa Setyarti Putri / F / 180410120121

    “Why his perfect and beautiful haircut? Why his perfect and beautiful coat?”, this is the starting point when he makes me think that he likes Carlos because those questions are most likely his own. Also at 05.10-05.22, Cecil said “He has a square jaw and teeth like a military cemetery. His hair is perfect, and we all hate and despair and love that perfect hair in equal measure.”, which are also his own opinion, even though he used ‘we’, and the commentary was irrelevant to the news which is about Carlos calling a town meeting. And then, Cecil makes his feeling clear at 05.49-05.56 when he said “He grinned, and everything about him was perfect, and I fell in love instantly.”, and even clearer at 06.09-06.11 “I fear for Carlos. I fear for Night Vale”, the comment showed that Carlos is more important than the Night Vale to him, whereas he has only known Carlos for a day. And he always says “Carlos and his team of scientists…” or “Carlos and his scientists…”, both showed that to Cecil, only Carlos is relevant.

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  16. 180410120005
    A

    In my opinion, the radio drama: “Pilot” builds the characterization of Carlos through the description that keeps repeated by the narrator, Cecil. The narrator describes Carlos not only from his appearance (in 02:04-02:42) but also mentions the objects in his place he is renting and what he is doing. For example in 10:45-11:30 which describes what Carlos is doing makes characterization of Carlos stronger and clearer. In addition it also automatically builds the setting, because the setting follows the characterization. It makes me easier to imagine not only his characterization (for example his costume) but also the place considering Carlos is a scientist. In conclusion, in this radio drama, Pilot, the characterization of Carlos is limited to what the narrator describes.

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  17. 180410120089
    Class E

    (WTNV: Glow Cloud, 02.16 – 03.16)

    When describing “the heavy stench of scorched flesh” and “the words written in blood”, Cecil diverts the attention of the listeners to The Apache Tracker’s racism. The absence of any visual appearance is the strength for the radio drama writers to explore The Apache Tracker’s character that might not simply be revealed visually without considerable production properties like costume, special effects, etc. Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor entice listeners by presenting something numinous, yet keeping the mundane aspects. The flesh odor and the strange message are mystical, but racism is a concern that the listeners ordinarily encounter, and it becomes more prominent as it is juxtaposed with extraordinary supernatural objects. Hence, Cecil’s narration about the magical elements is used to enhance reality and force the hearers to focus in it. The audiences are invited to react, not to the smell and the bloody words, but to The Apache Tracker’s racism.

    (150 words)

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  18. Mutiara Hapsari
    180410120037 / B

    The city council announce the opening of new dog park, but dog neither people are not allowed to enter there. It also said that the listeners must prevent coming, or even looking to the dog park because there was a hooded figure (who was it? a grim reaper? a figure that symbolize something mysterious and should be avoided?) there, and it sounds weird for me.
    Really, this ‘dog park things’ on the drama opening is absurd for me. Perhaps, this information is not important at all, or perhaps it’s only a joke. But the Cecil’s way informing this ‘news’ using a deep and very heavy voice while informing this things, plus the thrilling background music was creating a serious atmosphere which could make the listener paying more attention to listening to this info. the weird or mysterious things, somehow, can make people curious, right?

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  19. 180410120080/ A

    The news in Welcome to Night Vale are nothing makes sense to me. All of the occurrence that Cecil reports are very strange, yet they are described as if they are just common cases. In reality, we would not listen such thing as old woman who sees angels, in “Pilot”, is being reported on the radio, instead we will just think it is a weird woman who is hallucinating, but he even inform about the sale of lightbulb. A stranger thing occur in “Glow Cloud”, the rain of dead animals, but then again Cecil says that “this is probably nothing”, even in the end, he tells people to bring umbrella and teach children about colors, which becomes hilarious instead.

    Nevertheless, the place itself is fictive and we do not know where exactly it is, so we cannot decide whether it is rational or not. Besides, they also have fictive listeners, Night Vale’s citizens, to whom the news are informed. However, it is entertaining for the “real” listeners to hear the stories from the fictive place.

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    • 180410120064/ A

      I could not agree more that “Night Vale” is a fictional, imaginary place in which everything –ghost cars, five-headed dragon, animal rain– seems to possibly exist. Likewise, I see the news as something nonsense, as, for me, it creates another story inside the main story which I assume that not all of the news are significantly important to build the main story’s plot.

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  20. 180410120056
    Kelas B

    At ‘Glow Cloud’ (12:40 – 13:12), Cecil’s statement is contrary to his tone. He says that Glow Cloud simply is nothing but all hail. Nonetheless, his saying betrays the fact that he admits directly that the Glow Cloud is something ‘mighty’ and powerful through his dreadful and cautious tone. He places himself as small and powerless thing under it.

    It is also interesting how Cecil presents John Peter, you know, The Farmer – as a trustworthy person because all his reports are ‘probably nothing’ but actually matters, and he is contrary to the Apache tracker who cannot be trusted, showed by Cecil’s sarcastic tone and statement against him.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. 180410120069
    A

    On the first part of the reminder: “Just a reminder to all the parents out there…….You need to give them plenty of water, make sure there’s a shade tree in the area, and keep an eye on the helicopter colors”, there is no featured music. It is a part in which there is just Cecil’s voice. I think it is because Cecil wants to make that part sounds more distinct and intimate to the listeners that it is a reminder, an important part he wants to tell to the listeners.

    On the other hand, Cecil’s voice becomes lower on the last part of the reminder when he says: “No one knows what those helicopters are, or what they want……” This also implies that Cecil is afraid of saying this warning loudly. It is like he doesn’t want helicopter’s division heard that he is talking about them.

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  22. 180410120035
    Class B

    The background musics contained in this radio drama can indeed describe some existing sequences and become the imagination-developer of the individual events. However, it sometimes sounds not very consistent in some sequences of events and does not coincide with each themes. For instance, when the news tells about ghost cars (10:38), the background music is even like referring to the news about nature, adventure, and so on. Also in the early part of “the weather”, there is no background music at all after Joseph Fink’s song played (15:15), which sounds odd; moreover, the next part, about Tiered Heavens and Hierarchy of Angels, which tends to be actually more sacred, gets a harpsichord-like sound applied to it, which is much more incompatible, since perhaps some gothic sounds will actually work. (128 words)

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  23. Nurul Hidayah
    180410120094
    E

    In my opinion “Welcome to the Night Veil” is basically just presented in a way which is very short because this radio drama is composed of several certain parts that are different but it still maintains its solid impression. For instance is in Pilot’s opening. Conciseness is clearly visible in the opening (00.38) in which it only describes the situation and the atmosphere of that story in one sentence. Even though it is introduced in a brief way, yet it is strengthened by background music that is capable to bring the listener into the beginning of that story. From the tempo of background music that is played from slow to fast in the opening, I can find that how the speaker is presenting the atmosphere of that story from a brief and simple sentence toward a complex situation by using intonation, pauses, and word emphasizing.

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  24. Wiwin Cahyati
    180410120006
    A

    I will discuss about Cecil’s tone in radio drama Welcome to the Night Vale (Grow Cloud). From the beginning until the end Cecil’s tone is appeared in various tones according to the news which he is reading, sometimes his tone flat, up and down. In 04:23-04.43, when he read the message from the sponsor, Cecil’s tone changed from the previous part, which normally relaxed; suddenly Cecil’s tone became a little tense and strain. In my opinion, not only Cecil’s tone but also the background music was changed. The relation between both Cecil’s tone and the background music are the listener can easily identified and imagined what is being delivered by Cecil.

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  25. regina 180410100177
    class b
    “Can you believe this guy said he used ‘Indian magics’? What an asshole” Based on Cecil statements.
    Apache tracker portrayed as a stupid and unimportant person. In the episode ‘Glow Cloud “in particular. Stereotype and underestimate the role of Apache tracker, cecil tone was flat and as if it considers that the apache tracker is very despicable. Listeners also feel invited to assume that apache tracker who has been acting in the office as person who does not need to be trusted. although the character apache tracker is not often discussed, but the stereotype of the narrator’s character clearly visible.
    The narrator seemed to be trying to make the audience participate and underestimated apache tracker. In fact in my opinion, although apache tracker still use magic and does not seem unreasonable, but certainly they have an important role, apache tracker always portrayed negatively in several parts of the story.
    Apache tracker able to speak Russian, I think it does not matter. Why The apache tracker are crucial to be discussed by the narrator and presented to the listener very negative.

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    • 180410120135
      Kelas G

      When I first heard the opening ambient music of “Welcome to Night Vale,” it gives an impression that this radio drama will tell stories about science fiction. And I was right. The whole radio drama is about science fiction. I guess the whole BGMs in this radio drama are set up to be like this in order to give a kind of horror science fiction atmosphere to the listener. Unlike the “Cabin Pressure,” the BGMs in this radio drama, I think, do not play really important roles. It does not participate in building up the plot of the story but merely constructs the atmosphere of it. In fact, I find some of the BGMs do not really match with the story that is being told by Cecil, like the BGM that plays in (07:13).

      (134 words)

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