Storytelling and Connecting Through Sound

Storytelling is something I have been passionate about since before I can remember. I’ve always loved listening and telling stories traditionally (spoken, written) and as a child of the digital revolution, through pictures (Instagram & EyeEm), gifs (Loopcam) and most importantly through sound (SoundCloud, ThingLink). Working with creators who use sound to express themselves has been extraordinary and at times challenging, but consistently mind blowing to behold.

Something that has struck me while working with so many community members who create beautiful sounds is the storytelling aspect of their actions.

Musicians tell stories through a pluck of a string, actors tell stories through a drop in tone or pause, poets tell stories through their words, and so on and so forth. When their stories are told through sound they are given little wings that metaphorically sprout and allow their stories to be heard across the globe. It is a beautiful thing!

5 Ways To Share Your Story Through Sound

But how does it work? What makes a good story? People ask me all the time for advice on how to connect through sound, but the choices are endless if you have a little creative spark—and you don’t need to be a musician.

Here are 5 ways SoundCloud community members connect and tell stories using sound that might inspire you to encourage storytelling in your own community:

1. Get personal.

Steven Leckart used his iOS SoundCloud app to record the birth of his child. Instead of recording this moment using video, Steven used sound to be less intrusive and he saved the recording just for his loved ones privately. Listen to his story below.

SoundCloud Speaks – 003 – Steven Leckart by SoundCloud Community Team

2. Record travels in a sound diary.

Nico from Record and Ride recorded all the sounds around him on his 5 month journey around Europe. He recorded musicians, gypsies, buskers and ambient sounds that he was able to share with his listeners, family and friends.

3. Share memories.

Share the memory of your first concert or what you are passionate about!

My First Concert – Don McLean by jtomhnatow

4. Collaborate and share your voice.

One Hello World invites you to leave him a  voicemail and he then writes music behind your narrative. Call it a soundtrack to your thoughts. I call it a stunning sound story.

He Writes Music to Voicemails by One Hello World

5. Discover, learn and share knowledge.

Learn a new language or ryhme along with educational rap.

To encourage community members to share their stories I make sure to remain open (share my own stories/examples), be available and responsive to engaged (and excited) sound lovers, creators and listeners alike. Working closely with so many creative community members daily has opened up my eyes to world of possibilities when it comes to digital expression.

Does your community use sound, pictures, audio, video or any other methods of digital expression to tell their stories? How do you encourage them to create and share? Do you have any favorite use cases?

Photo cred: New York Public Library

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About the author

Natalie Keshlear

Natalie is an American CM in charge of content and engagement working at SoundCloud in Berlin. She loves digital storytelling, artistic expression, music, Stevie Nicks, words, travel & dachshunds. Connect with her via Twitter: @ntljk


@ntljk Thanks for the @EyeEm push by the way ;)