I Am Sitting In A Room

Commentary and thoughts on (mostly) classical music.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

18 Musicians and Siren

The first Wednesday of every month--at noon--Cincinnati tests its air raid tornado warning sirens. Today's test went off while I was listening to Steve Reich's Music for 18 Musicians. The siren snuck in right behind the pulsing clarinets* during Section V (the one based on the Violin Phase pattern). If I hadn't been looking at the score and paying attention at the time it probably would've taken me a while to realize the sound was external.

At that thought my sick little brain started free associating. I pictured a group of blissed out '70s kids sitting around the living room listening to the Reich on vinyl while the Cold War escalated sci-fi style. Unaware of the wailing sirens**, they didn't know what hit 'em when they were vaporized a la War of the Worlds ('50s version) or Repo Man (see photo); there were some obligatory wisps of smoke and a little ash settled on the still-spinning turntable.

Thus is my time spent while waiting for classes to start back up.

* Give a
listen to the opening Pulses for an idea of what this sounds like if you're unfamiliar.
** If I were trying to be artful these would be klaxons.