Friday, July 7, 2017

I am not the same table





This is just one of those crazy things. A piece came into my head tonight that I hadn't even thought about in years - some sort of crazy whistling or pinging, only synthesized. Then I heard myself say, "That's Debussy." Yes, it was the  Arabesque by Debussy, but whatonearth version was this?? Hadn't I heard it on TV a long time ago? Where, and when?

All it took was to do a search on YouTube under Debussy Arabesque Synthesizer, and up it popped, over a dozen versions of the same piece: and it was the right one, the whistling, pinging one. But it didn't solve where I had heard it before.

I had to go to the comments for that.




I am JUST SICK of comments sections now, and have started not to read them at all - particularly on YouTube where people wage bloody war on each other for no reason, wishing each other a slow horrendous death. Racism, sexism and every other kind of ism abound, and there are no rules, no laws, no holds barred.

But this time it was worth it. Someone mentioned that this piece was the theme song for a short program called Star Hustler that came on PBS in the '80s, usually late at night,. Later, as the name "hustler" increasingly came to mean prostitute, it was changed to Star Gazer. Jack Horkheimer, whoever he is, would come on and blather on for five minutes about the wonders of astronomy. He was fat, cheesy, decked out in a grey polyester windbreaker, a kind of bargain-basement Carl Sagan. Star Gazer was a crash course, fast and aggressive, a kind of "learn this or else" that made you feel even dumber at the end - but the only really interesting thing about it was the theme song.




Realizing that this DID come from somewhere, that it was an actual "thing", was a revelation. I had not imagined it.

I've pulled information out of the internet like this before, and found my neurons exposed to certain things for the first time in decades. It's a weird experience. They say that every seven years, every single cell in your body is replaced. One by one, they die and are regenerated, until there's no original material left at all. In that case, it's a completely new me who is listening to this music - which means that, in truth,  I've never heard it before.


This piece also jacked open the cover on a new genre, or a new composer of a genre - new to me, at least. I must admit that I had never heard of Isao Tomita, but he is everywhere on YouTube - master of the synthesizer before anyone was using it in movies or in recordings. I had a delicious album called Moog by Dick Hyman (and I've found that one again, too) which was a dinosaur version of synthesizer, quite primitive by any standard, but which I still love to hear, because . . .  I've never heard it before!  All my cells have been replaced multiple times since I first heard it in the '60s, so it's REALLY new to me now.

I went through a time in my life when I feverishly took courses - not to get a degree, which I knew was useless and impossible, but just to try to learn something. One of the courses - Philosophy 101 or something - talked about how, if you had a table, and one day replaced a leg, then the next day replaced another leg, and so on, and so on, and then replaced the top. . . so that ALL the parts were now completely different parts. . . would it be the same table?






I am not the same table. I know I am not the same table, but I am able to hold on to the shape of the table I used to be, because of a little thing called Memory. Memory is a dense tangle like seaweed, with molluscs and clams and giant squid attached to it. Without it, I would be a piece of meat, plain and simple. But even animals need Memory, or they would not know who to flee, or where to fly.

BLOGGER'S REALIZATION. My God, the Arabesque on the synthesizer is just like the X Files theme! I mean that whistly, swoopy effect that is almost human, but not quite. Whoever composed this eerie snippet must have been influenced by Isao Tomita. Or is it possible they had never heard him before?



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