When I first started reading the assignment paragraphs that detailed the questions to be answered in this blog post I started to worry that there was no way that listening to this one single story off of Soundcloud would give me the answers for all the questions listed and I wondered how adding layers and sound could possibly add to the story without subtracting from it as well. Then I listened to it.
After listening to it I realized I was almost definitely wrong about both of my concerns. For starters, this specific podcost utilizes almost every tool that can be used to enhance a storytelling, from layering to fading, plus starting and ending the cast with music that matched the tone of the story. The storytellers and producers wrote a realistic rendition of what could have happened and then used a series of layering and sounds and music to demonstrate space and location and make the story more emotional and relateable, not to mention their use of acting out the story and using sound effects rather than just telling it on their own. To me this was super exciting, I love when you can read a book or hear a story and get so wrapped up in seeing it in your head that it is more appealing than watching television and feels like you are actually in the event.
All the Effects:
This podcast was amazing, one of the more apparent things that I noticed was the use of layering and sound effects to create a sense of space and place. Specifically in the parts where the astronauts were outside of the ship and just sitting in their suits, looking out into the vastness of space, and trying to come to terms with the fact that they would not be going home. The use of the sound of heavy breathing to signify the oxygen intake and the tank and the voices as well as the utter silence present besides the breathing (which echoed slightly), really causes the illusion of being completely alone and in a large space, in this case literally in space.
I thought the use of layering was also interesting. In some places you could hear the machines in the ship with the sound of breathing and voices. Interestingly enough in a lesson about audio, one of the most impactful effects of this particular story was the presence of silence. The silence helped to create the feeling of space and also influenced the mood and atmosphere. The silence and the emotion in the voices of the storytellers/actors was their biggest tool in projecting the emotions, felt both by the reader and the storytellers. The eerie music before the somber voice of the narrator in both the beginning and the end was the biggest indicator of the mood of the story.
I also enjoyed how the effects changed depending on the speaker in each part of the story. The narrator puts me at home in my bedroom, listening to a radio, worried about the two men stuck on the moon who will never come home. The speech by President Nixon presented with a slight echo to simulate a microphone and a slight buzzing that sounds like lights or the silence of a crowd of people, puts me in the press room and listening or sitting in front of a black and white television listening with a crowd of people as the President reveals the sad news and makes me feel as if I should be mourning with them. The tone and effects that are paired with the astronauts in the landing vessel put me in the vessel with them, they cause my heart to race and a nervous feeling to form, and once they step out I feel like I am right there with them realizing the truth, accepting it and sending a silent message home.
The thought of this having been the outcome of the moon landing rather than what really happens is emotional enough as is, but the way that the writers and producers of the story created and told their version makes it feel all too real.
I also listened to The Truth Podcasts other creation called A Drop in the Ocean. Now I will admit that I am a little bit of a sissy, I do not do well with horror movies or anything like that, however, I thought this particular one might give me some good examples of some of the things that I needed. I was right, the layers and effects created a freaky and spooky vibe that kind of sent chills down my back.
To sum it all up, The Truth Podcast does a really good job with their storytelling.
But in all seriousness I did learn a lot from the podcasts that I listened to and the readings and videos that we watched to learn a little about audio. This assignment in particular was a good example and entertaining at the same time.