My first experience with CCRMA

I was a freshman in the year 2000.  I lived in Ujamaa and on the way back from one of the trailers parked behind the pomegranate tree on the knoll where I had rented a backpack and sleeping pad for a camping trip I heard the strangest sounds eminating from the old mansion.  This was before the renovations and the building was truly creepy.  There were owls.  I'm synesthetic, so what I saw were these Black black timbres, very low, impossible for a human to produce these vocally, maybe, yet they modulated around like a living thing.  I heard some other dense sounds in the middle low register, hollow, with a sheen of bronze but overshadowed by the blue overtones of the black. 

It was night and I walked toward the building.  I thought some kind of glitch was happening.  Thunder on a clear night, or perhaps a computer was blowing itself up.  I felt it needed me to help fix it.  Maybe I had that relationship with god at the time, like god was in trouble, or maybe it was my natural helpfulness.  What I heard was different.  I felt the call.  I went to the outside of the ballroom, right over the grass; the sounds were coming from inside and through a crack in the blind I thought I saw people sitting in a dark room.  I worked my way around to the door and tiptoed to the ballroom.  Chris Jones was standing there mysteriously in the doorway and he handed me a program from the music stand and stood back as I crept to one of the seats in the room. 

Yes, this was some kind of concert.  I had heard metal before, stretched my Cat Stevens and Whitney Houston ears to accept Manard James Keenan and Adam Horovitz, and even Bally Sagoo and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, but this was Karlheinz Stockhausen.  It was my curiosity that led me to concert after concert in the Strictly Ballroom series, pondering and finally understanding how the quiet audience members came back again and again for such a strange experience, listening to these speakers in that room with a few pieces of foam taped to the wall above the fireplace for some mysterious sound dampening reason I presumed, but now I think because they were an interesting form. 


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