Via Vanessa


Forbidden Zone


Thought & Sight

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Harry had been right, it did look like a hawk. Sort of. Except that it was a thousand feet tall and it had no wings. It might have had feathers, I couldn't tell because the light wasn't very good. I didn't know where I was. I wasn't sure I was anywhere. The hawk was feasting on people who were very small compared to the hawk. Many, many people were filing past, dwarfed to insignificance, being taken in to the hawk's beak like little kernels of corn. I realized I was the same size they were, and that I was filing past the hawk too. I didn't want to get eaten like a kernel of corn. So I played a little tune.

He awoke, or became aware, while walking down a sidewalk in a place he could not place. He was surrounded by people. It made him a little enochlophobic. What's worse, he couldn't remember how he got here. Worse than that, nobody was noticing him. Worse than that, when he went to ask a random passing male where he was, it was as if the person could not see him. And worst of all, when he patted the man on the shoulder, he felt a weird lack of resistance to the shoulder, kind of in between being there and not being there. The man made no indication of having felt his touch. I must be dreaming, he thought. He had always hoped that when he thought this he would go directly into a lucid dream. But try though he might, he was never able to enter into a lucid dream. He then felt, rather than remembered, that he had been in a real dream, a dream from which he awoke into this place. He could remember the dream, which was unusual for him. He never remembered his dreams.

The cat likes the desert. She can go outside anytime she pleases. Not at night, of course. Don't feed the animals.

"Trut', mon. De trut' unfol'. " Mowata spoke, leaning over my shoulder to peer into the display. "I 'n' I, we see t'is t'ing mon" Softly in the background was playing Jamaica Ska by the Dragonaires. Mowata's head bobbed to the rhythm. "Jelani, mine bret'ren, com' see t'is t'ing we be seein'." Jelani was tending equipment across the room, but he flashed a dazzling grin as he looked our way. "Naturally, I have my own display over here," he said, and then lapsed into the accent. "Jah, and I see wha' we be seein', good as you. An' please stan' back from t'e woman, mon, one might t'ink you 'as getting' too familia'." "I been accuse' o' worse," Mowata replied a with shake of his abundant dreadlocks.

Homo Primarius

In the beginning, Homo Primarius (First Man) grew cunning, and with his newfound intelligence, began to devise all manner of labor-saving devices, such as the heavy club, the heavy rock, and the day off. Having conquered nature, or at least the need to scrabble constantly to eke out a living in his harsh environment, Primarius found himself with time on his hands and soon had discovered boredom. Putting his cunning to work, Primarius invented leisure time and realized he had a need to fill it with activities and pursuits that took his mind off his daily grind.

Since shopping and off-road vehicles had not yet been invented, Primarius turned to music. Not the mindless mimicry of soulless birdsong or the ugly noises of nature, like the incoherent cascade of a waterfall or the irritating susurrus of wind, but to the artistic creativity that his high intelligence made possible.

Using implements he had at hand (heavy club, heavy rock) Primarius came up with this:

Thunk, thunk, whack... Thunk, thunk, whack...(Huh!) Thunk, thunk, whack... Thunk, thunk, whack...(Hubba!)...and so on.

Notice the inclusion of the human voice, a musical tactic that would be key to the future of the art form.

A few short millenniums later, Primarius had evolved into Homo Hierarchus (Every-man-in-his-place-man) and two important inventions followed almost immediately, religion and science. Religion initially turned to the human voice as the exclusive conduit to God. Religious music exalted the divine power of the human voice to inspire, such as when you can hear your mother calling from ten hectares away and was seen as a way to get closer to God, or at least to take your mind of unnatural and ungodly pursuits such as baseball. This made it just barely possible that you might go to heaven, an opportunity dubbed the Gregorian Chance.

Science, on the other hand, followed a different path. First, it was necessary to separate and categorize all noises into those deemed MUSICAL and those deemed SOMETHING ELSE. Once all noises were properly categorized, science turned to the invention and limited-edition production of tools to make musical noises, tools like the gong, the drum, and the licorice stick.

To aid the design of the new tools, science further sorted noises in terms of pitch. Using formulas known only to tenured purveyors of the arcane arts, science developed the scale, close harmony, and twelve-tone serialism, which was used to explain the noises your cat makes when walking on the piano.

Soon consonance and dissonance emerged, and though nobody yet knew the difference, the table had been set for a feast of composition.

Unemployed persons from every corner of civilization flocked to the new endeavor and mothers everywhere soon learned to warn their daughters against such losers. A musical explosion was underway, and several notable works were composed, most of which are now relegated to the category of "classical" music, of interest only to those who live in the past and have thoroughly failed to "grow up", much less become efficient members of society.

No matter. Hierarchus also busied himself with the worthless pursuit of learning. All aspects of musical theory were handed down from generation to generation by the elitist class and much respect was given to the actual musicians themselves who toiled lifetimes to attain technical excellence in the performance of difficult, if otherwise incomprehensible, works which were often written specifically to showcase such technical skills.

Science soon came to its senses and recognized its folly. New devices were invented that enabled anyone, even the village idiot, to compose and perform with the same apparent skill as any of the so-called masters. Before this device became available, many "new" musical forms had come into being. Though thought to be original forms, "blues" and "jazz" were merely simplified versions of "classical" music and were relegated to the lower FM frequencies. "Country and Western" and "Top 40" (later "Alternative Contemporary") forms, with their liberal use of the female singer, showed signs of venturing into new territory, but it was not until the advent of "rap" music that a truly creative form emerged. For example:

Thunk, thunk, whack... Thunk, thunk, whack...(Expletive)


Tech? No!

Consider the musical movement known as "techno". This is a style that was considered to be the next commercial success, and in a way it was. While it spawned hundreds of artists, traditional commercial success was limited. Advertisers, on the other hand, embraced it to an extent that was almost frightening. Now we hear this style in virtually every automobile commercial and in so many other media that the style itself is beginning to work it's way into our collective imagination. Techno is the embodiment of the revolution in electronic music-making machines coupled to the strongest elements of previous forms. Part of the appeal of the style is its ability to fuse the hypnotic, the trance-like, and the emotional with the sterile landscape of the obviously synthesized sound. Now that inroads have been made, a circle can be completed.

Just as techno imitated previous forms, now non-electronic sounds can imitate techno. Combined with performance art, a viable medium is at hand.

Keep in mind that the sounds techno depends on can be reproduced mechanically. The most obvious hurdle is the need for precise rhythm. The glory of the machine is its ability to keep precise time. The glory of the human performer is the performer's ability to keep almost perfect time. The sounds available mechanically will dictate the compositions. Intrinsically rhythmic sounds will be virtually effortless. Melodic and harmonic sounds must be accomplished with imagination. Natural harmonic scales can be accomplished with spinning tubing. "Sculptures" can be created that will emit music when spun through the air. Other melodic elements will depend on the talents of experienced percussionists and wind players. I propose that the troupe be artfully disguised in a manner similar to, but much more elaborate than, the "Residents". Advantage can be taken of the fact that no electricity will be required for performances.