“UFO Hunt” Through Electronic Music
She sent “unpopular” music such as Shepherd, jazz, reggae, Afropop, as well as the music of artists such as Kraftwerk, Fela Kuti, Steve Reich, and Tangerine Dream for nearly 30 years, signalling millions of miles of space.
Using archival footage and using Shepherd’s descriptions and directed by Matthew Killip, the documentary film explores the process from John Shepherd’s upbringing next to his step-grandparents to the invention of the huge STRAT (Special Telemetry Research and Tracking) machine that sends signals deep into space.
Speaking to Pitchfork about the music choices he sent as a signal to space, Shepherd said, “I love rock music, but it’s dominant everywhere. Sending a rock music signal would be a very ordinary broadcast. Instead of screaming loud guitar sounds, I wanted to move forward with music that embodies our soul and makes sense in this respect. I was looking for something that explored human emotions warmly and effectively. “The purpose of transmitting music to space was to use the feeling of being human and that feeling of enthusiasm as a communication tool.”
Drum And Guitar Sounds
John Shepherd continued his words as follows. “The interesting rhythmic structures and the instruments used have been the most influential elements in the music I have chosen. They offered a beautiful, unique audio experience that most people had never encountered before. Most of the things that were heard were the various drum and guitar sounds. Realizing its appeal has opened up a whole new world in my search for listening and broadcasting. Then I thought why not and decided to share this music with my invisible audience. “
The documentary also touches on the various challenges John Shepherd faced during this process. His inability to establish a loving relationship with his mother, loneliness, the feeling of alienation he created in the conservative environment of his homosexual identity, and ultimately finding the connection that would change his life on Earth stand out as striking details in the documentary “John Trying to Contact Aliens”.