Under the research question What challenges, concerns, and tools require the presence of mimesis when transporting oral storytelling to digital platforms? the project aims to create storytelling performances for the medium Podcast, where the objectives is to look at what aesthetic tools are needed to create a holistic artistic oral storytelling experience when the listener is not present in time and space. This is an artistic research project in which the process from planning to implementation is developed and explored through a method-developing practice aimed at a digital medium. The performances will be planned and implemented, organized and disseminated through Podcast where the storyteller’s aesthetic tools are re-articulated and tested through a medium that is not the oral storyteller’s daily working platform.

Each narrative consists of a mixture of autobiographical material, Norse material, theory and sounds recorded in the immediate area of where Dahlsveen lives.

The project was supported by Federation for European storytelling.

This document will give an overview of the anonymous survey that followed the Podcast. The survey is not yet fully analyzed and will therefor just have comments.

What made you listen to the Podcast?


The survey indicates that most people listen because they know the storyteller, or are in the network of the storyteller:

“I’ve met Heidi at storytelling festivals and I listened to her stories and watched her shows.” (Dahlsveen, 2020)

One says that a previous episode led him/her to a new episode. One who answered might have found it randomly.

This confirms what we already experienced, the listeners comes from the network of the storyteller. Yet, on the other hand, maybe it was also these who felt they could answer the survey.

Where were you when you listened to the Podcast?


Most people where at home, no wonder due to the corona crisis. Some are specific like in the kitchen, in the bedroom. Some mentions “at the desk” this might refer to both at home or at the office. Some were specific about what they were doing:

“cutting up a large cardboard box with a small, sharp knife (Dahlsveen, 2020).

Here we could have added what time of the day they listened to the Podcast.


Through which platform did you listen to the Podcast?


The survey indicates that most people listen to the Podcast through Soundcloud, whilst no one used iTunes (Dahlsveen, 2020). This could also mean that those who listened via iTunes could/would not answer the survey.

What device did you use?


More than half of the people listened using a PC/Mac (Dahlsveen, 2020). Again, this might also be that it is easier to answer a survey using a computer.

Did you use headphones?


The majority did not use headphones, which is surprising. It does give another experience listen through headphones.

What was the most enjoyable, rewarding, surprising thing about your listening experience? Why?


Here the experiences vary and will be further explored. Several commented on the sound: enjoying the sound of peeling, the variation of indoor and outdoor, the rain etc.:

“The raindrops. The echoes, the parallel dance of personal and mythical stories and characters (Dahlsveen, 2020)”.

Others comments positively on the mix of and jump between stories:

 I liked the jumping in & out of the story, the almost ordinariness of the telling (The reference to the reading glasses made me laugh) together with the reflections on geography, topography & Norse mythology. It was lecture, performance and conversation all rolled into one. The use of water l, repetition and echo were mesmeric. Very engaging and very beautiful. (Dahlsveen, 2020)

Was there anything about your listening experience that was challenging? Why?

Here one can divide the answer into different categories:

Exterior – some found the place where they were or technicalities regarding playing the Podcast disturbing, or taking focus:

Det mest utfordrende var nok alt som skjedde rundt, lyder av matlaging, ting som skjer utenfor vinduet, på skjermen, ting jeg kommer på som jeg må fikse. Det var lett å miste fokus dessverre. Kanskje burde jeg satt meg et annet sted hvor jeg var helt alene. (Dahlsveen, 2020)

Interiour 1 – some found moments of or images in the story disturbing:

“Ubehagelig med scenen med barnet og mannen, vekket frykt og avsky og redsel for hvor langt han ville gå. (Dahlsveen, 2020)»

Interior 2 – some found the construction of the content disturbing:

The requirement to move from one story to another carrying the threads as I searched for the connections of narrative and emotion. Also moving out of the story listening space into the academic/explanatory space and then back again. (Dahlsveen, 2020)”

Which parts do you remember most? Why?


Most Reponses here relates to specific images in the stories:

The splinter in the Queen’s finger, the flapping of your sleeve as you ran in the hospital, the boat on the laptop screensaver, the glasses, the queen taking the king to bed. I think it’s because I may have experienced or remembered experiencing all of those things; maybe not the specific settings, but I know all of them. (Dahlsveen, 2020).

Other comments on the sounds or something that puzzled them.

How did you feel when you listened to the Podcast? What did the combination of stories mean to you? What do you think it was about?

Naturally, most comments to their personal feelings like feeling sad, relaxed, curious etc. Some also mentions memories:

(Childhood) memories (the good ones, the bad ones, of happiness, pain, loss, etc., they all contribute to defining you – and influence the stories you tell about yourself. Maybe the king’s (and elf-woman’s) monstrous daughter took revenge for being abandoned.»The phantasy monster you remembered from your childhood.» Stories (oral storytelling) rely on memory and re-assembling the parts that matter (either to suit them for the audience at hand, or to define identity). (Dahlsveen, 2020)

How would you compare this Podcast experience to listening to oral storytelling live, with other people in the same room? What is the same, what is different? Why?

There are three elements that recurs in the answers:

The lack of the community: “I think that this is a more private experience. Not sharing it with others is a little lonely, but it didn’t make it any less engaging. The senses were activated in the same way as a live performance. Not seeing you didn’t mean I couldn’t see the story.(Dahlsveen, 2020)”

The lack of the gaze of the storyteller: “Det var utfordrende for meg å ikke ha den nære kontakten, blikkontakten, den fysiske nærværet. Det gjorde det enklere å hoppe av, miste fokus, og vanskeligere å komme inn igjen. (Dahlsveen, 2020)»

The lack of the embodiment: “My body is overall less involved with the podcast, and I’m passive towards the storyteller (if we don’t consider this questions I?m replying now), but I’m not overall passive, because I react to the experience and my emotions, thoughts, are affected by it. (Dahlsveen, 2020)”

What is your previous experience with storytelling for adults and podcasts?


Most of the respondents were themselves storytellers and experienced in being present in storytelling activities. Very few were had any experience in listening to Podcasts.


This survey will be further investigated in an academic article and used as a reference in developing the Podcast.