Archive for June 23rd, 2010

My toilet is singing; my window replies

Posted on June 23, 2010. Filed under: Culture, Games, Health, HowTo, Music, Musings |

Alright, this is going to be a strange one, even for me! You know how, when the water-fill mechanism begins to deteriorate inside the water tank on a toilet, it might start to leak? Well, mine is doing this. In the past, when this has happened, it sounded like an annoying, constant trickle. Not this time. I work in a large room which contains an attached bathroom. I was sitting here, typing away, as I will do, when I heard a mournful but uplifting tune from not far away. At first, I thought a neighbor might have the radio on. Both bubbly and mystical—what instrument could it be? It sounded a bit like panpipes+water fountain. I wanted to know which station was playing this music. I stood up, and noticed that the closer I got to the bathroom, the louder the tune became.

You guessed it; it was coming from the commode. The WC. The lowliest, yet greatly useful, appliance in the house. I’d patched in a couple of devices to regulate water pressure a while back, and the nice, clean water was spritzing through one of those. My first thought was I’d have to go to Home Depot and get a new thingy (technical term), but just as I was about to jiggle the handle (that’s the temporary fix for these things, right?) I drew back, as if from a hot stove, and realized I’d have to jot down the tune first!

You must understand I’m afflicted with a chronic sense of pitch recognition. When pouring a glass of water, I’ll hear a musical scale—all the pitches in the universe—as the water level gets higher. That’s why I used to think a container for serving drinks was called a “pitcher”, because it contained all the pitches!*

Perhaps you have seen the public television creativity promotion which features a composer sitting at a piano, looking for inspiration for his latest piece? He happens to glance out the window, and notices five electrical power lines arranged horizontally, like a musical staff. On the lines perch several birds. He plays the notes represented by the birds on his piano, and, voilà! his new melody.

I was feeling rather like that bloke. Except, while he was inspired by birds! in nature! I was inspired by…a toilet. 😦 Should I read something into that? {Insert joke/bad pun}

So… I’m writing the notes on staff paper when we get one of those desert “breezes” that can sometimes rattle the windows. (Yes, my windows need repair, as well as the commode.) The wind made this “whoosh” sound (rather glissando-like), then a rumbling (percussion), and the window rattled a beat just right to accompany the tune I was writing.

The harmony is emerging naturally from the tune. It’s in a plaintive, inquisitive mode. It forms itself as I sit here and take dictation, and mold it all into a coherent work. I like this work. It’s one of the best things I’ve written in some time. The thing is: What shall I call it? “Toilet Symphony”? I think not! 😕 Somehow, “Ode to Water and Wind” sounds a bit…meh! Can you help me out with a title? If I choose yours, I’ll send you a Muse-o-graphed copy of the final score when it’s complete! ♪ ♫ (Just promise me you won’t play it in the bathroom!)

*Actually, no I didn’t. I just made that up. But it seemed to fit. 🙂
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