jasperThere is something captivating about listening to children on the radio and Kate Montague’s “Imaginary Friends” is no exception.

In “Imaginary Friends” Kate takes a look at the imaginary friends of children.

The story is a confession or self exploration which starts with her own childhood with her  own friends and ends with her son, Otto and his imaginary friend known as Puppy.

The use of atmos and sound effects is subtle. The bath water, the birds, the television, the pram wheels, the sounds of kids playing all sit quietly in the background, not distracting but somehow helping us to imagine where we are in the story.

The other important element in this story is the music – nothing special about it except without it somehow the piece would seem bare. The music gives the story light and shade and changes the pace. Notice at around 5 minutes into the story, the music stops as we transition from one person’s story to Jasper- the music disappears while Jasper’s mother (Casey) speaks and starts again as Jasper tells his fantastic story about Tiny and Enormous. The music signifying the continuation of the story after we have paused to find out about Jasper from his Mum.

And again later at around 7min 40secs, when Kate brings her own son into the story the music disappears -we slow down, even stop to listen to Otto asking his imaginery friend a question – check out that magnified moment and what happens to it when Kate (along with the music) comes back in with her commentary. A simple technique to shine a light on the moment or a few seconds of radio.

Perhaps the climax of this piece is when Jasper explains about the death and reincarnation of his imaginary friends – giving us some idea of just how thought out this imaginary worlds are.

” On their 20th brithday they just die and they come alive again at the age of one….but when they die sometimes they don’t come back to life instantly. It’s usually the next day but depending on how many problems they have had in life sometimes it is even a whole week befor they come alive again…and we never know how long it takes until it happens.”

“Imaginary Friends” Producer Kate Montague shared her script and notes with the CMTO AudioLab.

All the Best (ATB) is a storytelling program broadcasting on FBi and the Community Radio Network. You can listen to this entire episode of All the Best or subscribe to their podcast feed.


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