‘Eternal’ was hypnagogic.
Targeting willing participants in their comfort zone, Darkfield Radio’s latest binaural experience, ‘Eternal’, is enough to cause nightmares. Offering a night alone with a vampire, this 20-minute audio production sure makes one question whether there is indeed a monster lurking under the bed.
Creators David Rosenberg and Glen Neath have managed to conjure up another immersive and multi-sensory production. As with their other at-home audio experiences – ‘Double’ and ‘Visitors’ – ‘Eternal’ follows the same pattern; quickly inviting a supernatural being into the confines of one’s humble abode.
Participants lay on their bed, alone in the dark with headphones on; tuning into the transmitted show and blocking out the reality of the world around them. It’s in this predormital period that another presence enters the room for his nightly ritual, offering a bargain that may seem too good to refuse.
Familiar with their other binaural experiences, Darkfield Australia and Realscape Productions are mastering the art of at-home thrills. ‘Eternal’ marks the third, and arguably the best, in their Darkfield Radio series, which has made theatre accessible during the COVID-19 pandemic. Shows are broadcast directly to users’ smartphones and can be experienced virtually anywhere with a solid internet connection.
In their latest innovation, participants are encountering the unknown completely alone. There’s no companion to whisper to, no friend to handhold, and no buddy to endure the adventure. Already the stakes are high, and you’re left wondering just how brave you are in the face of danger.
What ‘Eternal’ gets so right are the detailed noises that make doors slamming, cupboards opening and beds creaking incredibly realistic. While room layouts could pose a limitation to the imagination, the soundtrack makes up for this and allows audience members to think things into existence. ‘Eternal’ is also interspersed with Darkfield’s signature style – from eerie music boxes and household items breaking, to loud door bangs and in-ear whispers. It’s intimate and recognisable, yet still manages to be totally unexpected and fresh.
‘Eternal’ hones in on all the things that go bump in the night. It leaves audiences double-checking locks on doors and windows, wondering just how safe they are in the comfort of their bed. Exploring the concept of eternal life and the price one would pay for it, this Dracula-inspired production will leave adrenaline junkies thirsty for more.
Darkfield Radio’s ability to penetrate one’s imagination with paranormal activities is quite inventive and experimental – and worth experiencing at least once in one’s lifetime… eternal or not.
‘Eternal’ broadcasts until Thursday, 31 December 2020. For more information, visit Darkfield Radio’s website.