I would like to start off by saying “Moon Graffiti” was one of the most eerie and emotional things I’ve ever listened to. Outside of this class, I’m also in Dr. Harris’ Conspiracy Theories class this semester. A couple weeks ago I finished a paper that debunks moon landing conspiracy theories, so listening to this after doing all that research was creepy and weird.
The amount of effort that went into this podcast was amazing. I felt as if it was something that actually happened and I was extremely emotional by the end because it sounded so real. It’s the subtle things, like imitating the sound of their voices through their suit’s comms systems. I really enjoyed the emphasis on their breathing, and how that was amplified to create the illusion of silence. They also included this eerie background music that set the tone for the story, making you feel desperate and alone, much like how Armstrong and Aldrin would have felt. The only thing I didn’t like was the noise they used when Aldrin was supposedly stomping around. The sound effect was unnatural to me, but otherwise this was a solid production.
I think the worst part is knowing that something that almost happened. The Apollo 11 module experienced some technical difficulties when the computer onboard tried to do too many things at once, setting off alarms in the shuttle. Nothing serious happened, yet what if it had been a major malfunction causing the events of the podcast to transpire?
It’s a scary thought.
This podcast honestly strikes me as more than a “what if” scenario and crosses right into alternate history territory. They hint at the repercussions in the podcast, saying the Space Program would have likely been shut down of heavily delayed. Then what would have happened? Would the Soviet Union had completed a successful trip to and from the moon? Would the dreams of the Space Race simply burned to ashes? This is all without considering the public backlash, which would have been outraged and adding fuel to the fire in the wake of the Vietnam War. There’s so many factors to consider and it all comes back to the fact that this could have happened. And I’m sure that in an alternate universe it might have taken place this way, changing the course of history forever.
Outside of this podcast, we also were told to listen to Radiolab’s Jad Abumrad: How Radio Creates Empathy and Digital Shamanism and Old-Fashioned, Newfangled Storytelling Magic.
All the feelings Abumrad talks about in connection to his love of radio was like listening to myself trying to explain why I love it. There is something about the absence of video or pictures that makes the listening experience in radio so much better. I think it’s because it allows your mind to visualize what’s going on and you aren’t limited . Your mind just creates the scene and expands upon it. It is a unique way of storytelling that they keep saying will die out, yet it hasn’t! The best part if that you can create so many relatable sounds of of things you wouldn’t think possible until you try.
While I don’t have that much experience editing audio at the moment, I am excited to learn more and try out new things. I love audio productions for so many different reasons, and I’m happy we get to explore that in this class.