SOS: Titanica -
The central theme: A nation
supposedly "unsinkable" has overnight sunken to deep ignobility.
The desperate cry ensues.
It opens with the author announcing the title and by-line, and
proceeding to read the poem. During the course of the narration,
the emotions morph from bewilderment to anger, sadness,
resoluteness and resignation. At the symphonic climax of final
words, erupted with emotions, music leads in...
The somber music track selected is the hymn Nearer My God To
Thee, which is reportedly played at the final moments of the
ill-fated Titanic. As the music plays on, the frantic Morse code
transmission of S.O.S. can be heard in the background, becoming
louder by the moment...
As the end is imminent, the music stops, the persevering radio
operator signs off with E-Y-E-F-U-L---T-O-W-E-R, followed by one
last futile attempt of
SOS, before going completely silent; just as water
rushes in, washing off everything.
Suddenly, a thunderous tidal wave crashes in, mercilessly
destroying everything in its path. Shortly afterward, the
bubbling sound of the submersion can be heard, followed by the
fading sound of the boundless ocean in complete darkness.
The wreckage is now resting peacefully at the bottom of the
ocean, never to be seen again. All the perished humanity
drifting about aimlessly, amongst the floating debris. Once
again, all is calm. Another day is dawning elsewhere. It was but
another "unremarkable" footnote in the history of the universe.
Others will continue on with their pursuit of happiness in no
Poem & Illustration
This section is geared toward aspiring sound engineers and
The final 00:03:10 soundtrack is mixed from 6 prepared tracks,
carefully time-shifted to paint a visual picture of the events
Track 1 is the poem narration. The raw recording was edited to
eliminate pauses, and then normalized and compressed (to reduce
dynamic range and improve clarity).
Track 2 is the background music. The first passage of the
clip was manually adjusted with envelope tool to achieve the
"lead in" effect and perfect timing to match the narration.
Track 3 is created by appending 8x SOS clips, 1x call sign
clip and 1x SOS clip. Fade-in applied to the entire SOS portion.
Both Morse code clips were generated using synthesized flute for
better harmonic quality and less harsh modulation, rather than
simple on/off pure sine wave. The tone frequency is 1 Khz and
keyed at a moderate 12 WPM speed.
Track 4 is a stock clip of running water, simply faded in and
adjusted to -3dB.
Track 5 represents the tidal wave. It was simply made with
saturated white noise. The distinct effect of the leading edge of wave
crashing in was
simply done by modulation of a short attack envelope. The clip was
extended by copying to provide a 35 second duration. 3x
consecutive linear fade-out was performed, with staggered
starting points, to produce the rapid initial drop-off and
sustained final fade.
Track 6 is a clip of water bubbles, with natural envelope,
and adjusted to -1dB.
Overall, the saturated loudness was limited to a 10 second
duration for the climatic scene ―sufficient for the
dramatic effects, while minimizing practical annoyance.