Side Note

The earth’s magnetic shield is my new favorite noise musician

Rendering by NASA.

Rendering by NASA.

Listen as it reacts to radiation from a solar storm.

Our planet is surrounded by a magnetic shield that protects us from all dying from scary-ass radiation. Every day that I wake up and am not dead, I thank it. Earlier this week, a group of British schoolchildren released a sped-up recording of waves created by vibrations in said magnetic shield that were caused by a solar storm. At their normal speed, these waves are so slow that they are inaudible. At the speed in the below YouTube clip, they sound completely bananas, not unlike something you’d hear flitting around in the background of a Chino Amobi performance.

What I find interesting about the recording is how much it suggests that there are certain sounds, frequencies, and patterns that are natural to the universe, and that when we make music, we might unknowingly be in conversation with those naturally occurring patterns. Music that we find dissonant often doesn’t quite feel “right” to us, even if we lack the musical terminology to explain why; perhaps the reason we find something like experimental noise music challenging is that we’re hearing sequences of sound that literally go against those patterns that exist subliminally around us. Or maybe I’m reading way too deep into this. Either way, those British teens found some trippy shit.