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Chronicle of the NonPop Revolution


 
The Essay
Show #173
Transparent Subsidiary Code
David Gunn

When, in 1958, Maurice Chevalier stepped up to a microphone at a remote outpost on the Ferlinghetti Plain in Africa to croon "Tanka Haven for Lentil Curls," he wasn't paying his melodic respects to curvaceous seed pods that harbored abstract Nipponese limericks. Rather, he was sending code to the Resistance battling the Soviet occupation in the blue-black foothills of Hungary. T.W. Adorno, the German musicologist who moonshined for the CIA, had taught Chevalier how to alter his inflections, interjecting imperceptible dits and dahs into the normal pattern of his singing voice. Behind the ironclad curtain, Erich Leinsdorf, a respected bandmeister whose performance venues knew only one boundary, deciphered the messages and passed them on to Magyar freedom fighters. A decade earlier, Arnold Schönberg and Mel "Twelve-Tone" Tormé had teamed up to offer similar cryptographic assistance to the Inubuick indians of Tuktoyatuk, Northwesternmost Territories. Culturally sat upon for centuries by a ruthless pile of carpetbaggers from Nevada, the Inubuicks were perilously close to completely losing their indianinity when the two songmongers plied their serialistic talents to the cause. Picking up covertly interjected historical anecdotes and "I'm OK, You're OK" subliminal perk-up messages from the daily fishball broadcasts, they were gradually able to regain their indigenous arts and crafts, as well as rather a lot of midlife identity crises.

In 1940, Leopold Stokowski led the Philadelphia Orchestra in a film score rendition of Walt Disney's "Fantasia." While clearly comfortable with a baton in his hand and a big band at his beck, Leo would eventually gain a lot more notoriety for his anti-extraterrestrial stands. In the movie, the sequence of Mickey Mouse as wizard compelling scores of broomsticks to carry buckets of water may seem innocuous, but it really was an alert to the secretive Hangar 52 in Roswell, New Mexico, of a gathering of unfriendly alien troops just beyond the moon's orbit. Employing conducterial sleights of hand he learned in the Cincinnati string section trenches, he was able to send his message -- a message he rightfully suspected was being closely monitored by the hostile interlopers -- in time for the US Armed Air Guard to launch a surprise defensive strike. The result? Well, you don't feel a need to galvanize all the males in your nuclear family or suck nutrient from a wicker chair, do you? So it must have worked.

Similarly, the music you are listening to now is working two separate agendums. The happy main theme is very nice, sounding like a goatee stuck in a car wash's rinse cycle. But it contains streams of harmonically altered code that has a transparent subsidiary purpose. Originating in a tiny outboard computer in ruralmost Vermont, USA, the signal travels through the telephonical equivalent of an Algonquin Hole, bypassing local internet bus bar feeds along the way, to the Steimatorium Control Centre in north Holland. Here -- or there, depending -- skilled technicians plug in the New Fibonacci Sequence, a series of theoretically disproportionate number chains. Devised by Oolong K. Fibonacci, Disputed Professor of Indiscriminate Mathematics at the University of Dublin, Ohio, the sequential integers instinctively follow a path to their eventual mathematic demise, randomly pursuing one another like lemons into the sea. Pitfalls prevail, yet this sequence is nominally responsible for today's trans-time zonic broadcast of Kalvos & Damian's New Music Bazaar's extended 173rd episode, an episode which has been asked to traverse thousands of miles of digital air in order to bring you the following special flambeau oriange edition of the show along with the vocal gymastics of its spokesperson, or, in the lingo of the host country, spakes-a-personûi, Kalvos.