Thanksgiving Is Ruined

The Personal is Political. The Political is Personal.

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June 14, 2011

Here's the great and timeless Alan    Vega, speaking about his artistic practice, as he segues into discussion of his favorite musical note:

. . . It's like listening to one sound of music, continuously.     [sculpts arc in air, with right hand]    And it just changes on its own.     [sine wave motion]     It never changes, but it changes in your mind.

I used to like to do that when I was a kid. I used to love a b-flat. For some reason. I used to put a tape on the key, and just play it.
   [mimes motion of depressing keyboard key]     And just sit there, for hours on end.     [leans head back, smiling]

I still love a  b-flat. I don't do it anymore. But I still love the b-flat. For some reason, only the b-flat had that quality of transcendence.

Don't ask me why.

I tried all the others, believe me.

The above is from an interview viewable on the website of London's Isis Gallery, approx. 8+1/2 minutes in, here.


Could Vega
[who, as a youth was fascinated with astronomy and built his own telescopes,

(as stated in the above-linked interview, and mentioned too here, at the time of his terrific 2002 show at Deitch)

and went to college with intentions of becoming a physicist,

then changed his last name (from Bermowitz) to that of the Alpha     star in a constellation named after a musical instrument,

and who later sang like a Roy Orbison from space about "touching infinity's prism," and who instructed us to "take a plane to Saturn"
(as per "Saturn Drive" (1983), listenable here)]

      possibly have guessed that, someday, astronomical measurements would identify none other than B♭ as the note emitted by the black hole at the center of the galaxy cluster in the Perseus constellation
(not where the star Vega is located, unfortunately)
       , as discussed on the NASA website, here?

And that B♭ might be what John Rockwell speculatively called a note of "cosmic implication," perhaps even "the acoustical bedrock of the universe"? (in 2004, see here)


What if you wanted to watch the Alan Vega interview while listing to a sustained B♭ tone?

Or, better yet, to listen to the note underneath Suicide's "Cheree" (a perfect match)?

Then TiR would suggest that you make simultaneous use of Seventh String's on-line tuning fork, here.

We believe that 116.54 Hz works best.

Be sure to set "Note Duration" for "Play until stopped."