The Last Day Origins by the Last Day Audio

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The Last Day Origins by the Last Day Audio. Perf. Arkadiusz Wozniak, Jashae Slaughter, Jean-Michael Newberg. Available to download from,

Traveling through the odyssey of audio drama is like embarking on a trip, the outcome of which remains completely unknown. Just when you think you've covered the major bases of the genre online, a new drama crops up that makes you understand its huge imaginative potential.

This is certainly the case with "The Last Day Origins." In terms of plot, the drama tells a familiar tale. In an unspecified future where people must live with the walls of Tri-City, under the rule of The New Earth Order (NEO), or be cast out to fend for themselves. At the same two protagonists must figure out how to retain their personalities, while a scientist is about to meet his end at the hands of his own creation. There are echoes of the Bible as well as Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" in this story, whose principal theme focuses on the notion of overreaching. Either people must conform to established rules (however constricting they might be), or they run the risk of destruction - either by the results of their own experiments, or by those charged with the responsibility of controlling them. Although set in the future, "The Last Day Origins" makes some trenchant points about the relationship between conformity and free will.

What sets this production apart from other examples of the SF genre is its sonic landscape. It makes great use of overlapping sounds, which not only create the sense of hierarchy (control?) prevalent within the NEO, but make us aware of just how powerful the imagination can be. It's not only the two protagonists' personalities that are at risk; so are the listeners. If they empathize too much with the ideas of the NEO, they could be equally suppressed. Hence it is their responsibility to give their imagination full rein by understanding (and appreciating) the depth of the sonic landscape created by this production.

While the BBC and other mainstream organizations offer a rich diet of thought-provoking productions in audio drama, they sometimes tend towards the conservative in sonic terms. This is where productions like "The Last Day Origins" can fill a much-needed gap, reminding us of the limitless possibilities available for innovative sound designers.

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