What if We Never Made it to the Moon

Listening to Moon Graffiti by The Truth Podcast was a very eerie experience. I felt as if it were real. The use of the real speech Richard Nixon would have given in the event of a failed moon landing lent the piece an air of reality. At the beginning, a short bout of intro music adds to the mysterious quality of the piece. The radio static and background noise of radio communications and beeps from the spaceship help to set the scene for listeners. The brief overlapping narration at the beginning gives further information to ground today’s listeners in exactly what was happening at the time. The constant beeping and quick communications between the astronauts and Houston give a sense of urgency and trouble. After the crash, silence is used to show how all ties to earth are lost. The silence also emphasizes the shift in mood, from one where there is urgency but no fear of failure, to one of complete isolation and loneliness.

Isolation is conveyed a lot in this piece. The minimal, if at all, background noises show just how alone these men are. The radio static that is used shows how these men had to communicate and transplant the listener into their situation. The sound effects used for camera snaps, kicking dust, and staking the flag also show just how quiet and lifeless their surroundings are. Normally, these sounds would barely rise above the ambient noise of a situation, but in this story the sound effects are loud and clear. Throughout the story there is little narration (only at the beginning and end) and this is done to make it seem like a real situation and conversation between two men stranded on the moon. The narration also adds to the isolation, because in breaks in the conversation there is nothing to fill the space.

You can feel the desperation and resignation in the astronauts’ voices. They have exasperated and longing tones and don’t know whether to try and salvage any contact with earth, carry out their mission, or just wait to die. The shaky and heavy breathing of Buzz in the story gives the listener insight into the physical implications of being stranded on the moon.

During the final part of Nixon’s speech, it starts off with no background noise. To me this resonates like a eulogy. I suppose that’s exactly what it is. The use of just his voice gives a somber mood and one of loss that the world would have been feeling. It also echoes the rest of the story. At the end there is sad music playing, either as an outro or the music of a funeral procession.

The  author gives a thanks to their contributors and sponsors, then the station’s bumper plays, and that is the end of an audio clip that could have been very real.

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