You are in a well-lit, expansive room about the size of a small auditorium. It is at a cool temperature, but the clothes on your back help you retain warmth. It is completely silent. There is a clock on the [[North Wall]] in front of you. The walls are all plastered a garish scarlet hue that makes you subconsciously stay gazing towards the floor, which is tiled in blue and orange tones, speckled with [[Arrow Markings]] that seem to weave all around the space without form or fashion. You are currently standing in the center, and towards the [[East Wall]] you can see a variety of nice-looking furniture, almost as if you were in a large display case. Over on the [[South Wall]] is a door multiple heads above you in size, currently closed shut. Finally, blocking the entrance to a corridor at the bottom of the [[West Wall]] is a bust of a handsome-looking figure. As it currently stands, you are completely alone.You shift on over to the wall. For some reason, you cannot hear your own footsteps. This is not because the room is built in a specific way, however. Rather, each time your foot makes contact with the floor headed towards the clock, it lets out a loud TICK-TOCK, for your left and right foot respectively. Indeed, every subsequent step you take leads to the passage of another second. Left - TICK. Right - TOCK. If you try to speed up, the second hand winds round at an increased rate. If you stay completely still, it follows. You wonder what would happen if you were to use [[both feet at once]], or perhaps [[balanced on one foot]], but there is still considerable distance to cover between you and the clock, and it looks like time is waiting on you today.You step on the first arrow you see, and note that it lights up bright yellow with a tone similar to that of an old synthesizer. The arrow is one of many in the room, all connected to each other in some kind of arbitrary path that flows throughout in a large [[figure-8]] pattern. It covers nearly the whole place! You don't know why, but it almost seems like stepping on the arrow caused to you be [[followed]]...The furniture is neatly arranged like something out of an advertisement. There is large throw rug in the middle of a variety of dusty, yet expensive-looking objects. There's a big leather [[couch]] which you pale in comparison to, each of the cushions looking like it could swallow you whole. Across from the couch is a [[vanity]], with a mirror and a cabinet set attached to its undercarriage for storing small trinkets inside of. Instead of a television or radio, a rusty [[gramophone]] sits atop a coffee table, a messy assortment of mint-condition vinyl records begging to be slipped out from their sleeves and stuck with the needle. Perhaps the most impressive attraction of all, however, is the [[armoire]] in the corner of this exhibit, its glass window giving a glimpse into the many coats and dresses inside of it.You make your way over to the door, knowing full well that it will invariably be locked and block your escape from this strange surrealist prison. You've been taught that in any maze situation, a door in the first room never, ever works. Sure enough, when you reach it and twist on the solid brass handle, it fulfills your expectations. That might have been the only thing in this entire place that made any sense.
Yet all is not lost. A voice answers when you pull your hand away, coming from beyond the door.
"Sorry, friend. Only special members are allowed to witness this show!"
[["What show? I haven't heard of any show!]]
[["Oh, buzz off! Open this door, I'm stuck!]]
[["My apologies. Good day to you!"]]You stride on over to the bust to get a closer look. Why, it's [[John Cage]], looking like a Greek statue! Every feature on his face is present, from those multitudinous eye bags, to his wispy hair and kempt beard. His smile was soft, but there was something more in his eyes. Bending your knees and pushing up into the air, you vault above the tiles, landing and witnessing a giant crash as the clock comes off its hinges completely and shatters on the floor. The glass scattered all around, you are now able to hear your footsteps. You consider [[investigating the rubble]] and maybe rummaging around inside.You begin to hop up and down on the foot of your choosing like a devout maniac, watching the clock intently and hoping this isn't going on YouTube later. The change is there, but it's nothing special. Instead of advancing the second hand, the hour hand moved. You ought [[not to do this]] too many times, however, because you can feel...yourself...getting...very...[[drowsy]]...Within the array of glass and broken analog parts you find a scrunched up note. The handwriting is elegant, but the words are anything but. You'd recognize this anywhere. Ernst Jandl, the same creator as "Ottos Mops" once created a sound poem meant to harness the sense of panicked energy found in a warzone
You begin to hear stomps while you're just starting to get into the meat of the poem. In the vast silence of the room, they completely colonize the space.Those stomps turn into a full-on stampede when you look over to see the source. Out of nowhere, as if they had materialized from the floor itself, a platoon of about twenty armed infantry runs through the room, screaming German phrases, reloading their weapons and causing a general ruckus. How dare they get in the way of your reading! "Überprüfen Sie Ihre sechs!!!" cries their leader, a spectacle-wearing elderly man with more patches on his vest than you can comprehend. One soldier points you out and [[throws a gun towards you]], instructing you to stay safe, whether you can understand him or not. Still, you've got so much more left to read.
[[grrrrrrrrrt]]Shirking away from the note, you decide that sound poetry just isn't vibing with you right now, and take up the gun. It is an StG 44, one of the most famous German assault rifles. Despite the safety being left off, it is completely unloaded! Perhaps the soldier was just toying with you? No, because when you enter the fray of soldiers, you find out that they are not speaking any language at all! "Krzt chkchkchkchk," a young recruit bellows out while waving his pistol in the air. "Da-booommmm!!!!" Exclaims a fellow kicking up the rear, holding either an unloaded RPG or a tube of PVC. A soldier in file next to you scowls and yells over top of everyone in human terms, causing them all to stop. "Gefahr!!! [[Panzer]]!!!" The expressions of those around you turn to horror, but they take cover as best they can in the open expanse, prepping up their guns and staring with intent at the same wall as the statue. You decide to ignore the soldiers, though, and continue reading the rest of the poem. You can feel that stress weigh down on your shoulders while they curse you out in German and take up cover a little ways away from you. You can hear someone shout "[[Panzer!]]" and a large creaking noise reverberate in your ears, then silence. The perfect occasion to read some more!
[[t-tt]]The surge of war flows through your veins. A Panzer? That's some kind of tank, isn't it? Joining a group of three soldiers miming with their weapons above an imaginary trench, you await the vehicle to tread forth into the space. Eventually, a compartment opens up in the wall, revealing a massive, creaking M2, an American tank of all things! It seems...oddly light! The supposed leader of the pack cries out in a hushed yell. "Seitengewehr planzt auf!" The soldiers all respond by making a simultaneous "Shk!" noise with their mouths, prepping their weapons. You join in, too, aiming right at the tank as it moseys on inside, about ten or so paces away from you. It lacks an engine, and upon further investigation, it almost seems like the soldiers inside of it are making lip trilling noises. "Blblblblblblblblbl!" chimes a chorus of four or five American forces inside. In fact, from beyond the rear end of the M2, you can see that [[it's being pushed]] by some poor greenhorn! It's little else but a Trojan Horse! You point out this revelation to the man holding a rocket launcher in the back. He nods, says some affirmation in German, and widens the distance between himself and the pack. He pretends to load up his weapon, takes aim, and fires it off with a hearty "PTSCHOOM!" Despite there being no ammo anywhere from what you could see, though, the result is terrifying! The walls of the tank all fall down at the same time, revealing of passed-out American soldiers, one of them letting out half-awake "Blblblblbl" trills under the sea of German vocalisations. Even the newbie pushing the convoy is taken down, falling to the floor and landing on one of the treads of the faux super-weapon. Despite the Germans sealing the victory, though, this doesn't feel right. You don't think this is how it was meant to be.
GAME OVER! ROUTE A FAILED!Right as you finish the poem, however, you hear about a dozen-plus bodies hit the floor, cheering resounding from the far wall. Shock looms on your face as you turn to witness all the Germans that had just passed you by laying unconscious on the floor, a few of which are writhing in what appears to be intensive pain. Were they acting? You try to see what the source of their fate might have been, but all you are able to observe is the closing of a wall compartment, the low bass boom of a commander ringing out above the rest. "Gentlemen, what you have seen today is war. War never changes." You look back down at the note, at Jandl's signature, and drop it back down to the ground, unsure how to help the fallen infantry.
GAME OVER! ROUTE A FAILED!What else could 'Panzer' mean besides a tank? You start to remember the original purpose of this poem, and are shocked to see a mock battle taking place between a platoon of German infantry and Americans inside of a tank! Who cares if it's fake or not? This has to stop somehow! Quickly, you rush into the fray with the note held in your hand and wave off both sides, because that's what works in the movies, and why would it not work now? You hold up the note in your hand and explain to the warring nations that this is all a mistake, that the words on the page are [[controlling]] them. "Shut yer trap, damn millenial!" one of the Americans barks, only to be followed up by German expletives neither directed at him nor you. Clearing your throat regardless of if they'll listen to you or not, knowing that you won't get attacked since there's not even anything in their weapons, you begin reciting the poem once more, from the top, this time with added gusto. One of the soldiers on the American sides yelps when you reach "tssssssssssssss" and pulls out a flare from his pocket. "This crazy kid's got them witch powers, Commander!" he cries. So too, for every individual "scht" you read out, do the German soldiers pretend to reload their guns. Both sides' leaders come forth with confusion imprinted on their faces and read it with you. "By gosh, I ain't never seen anything like this in my life!" The American commander states, receiving a perplexed nod from the German. They both stand there, scratch their heads and return to their respective groups, bidding everyone to pack up and get out of there before things get rough again. Before leaving, the German and the American both shake hands, agreeing on a silent truce, the former speaking to you in his foreign language: "Beabsichtigen Sie, diese Notiz zu [[behalten]], oder werden Sie sie [[zerstören]]?" He makes a gesturing motion towards his chest, and you reflect on that by keeping the note with you, perhaps placing it in one of your pockets. Giving a sigh of reluctance, the two commanders finish packing up shop and leave completely, returning through compartments placed on the wall. The room returns to its former state. All is well. Even the clock seems to have fixed itself in the process. The only different thing is the note in your hand, which now shows an excerpt from an [[interview]] with Jandl:They seemed pleased that you had decided to tear the note in two and stop this literal hold placed upon their bodies. The American gave you a thumbs-up to express his appreciation, but by the time your eyes could process his thanks, he was gone. So, too, was the German. They had all vanished. In the blink of an eye, like dust in the wind, or perhaps the fog of war, the battle was erased from history, with the poem calling it action being lost in the mist of time as well. With that clock broken, too, and no other humans inside this place, a sopping wave of dread poured over the walls, as if something more was lost than just human lives had been scratched from existence.
GAME OVER! ROUTE A FAILED!"I have little facility to be proud, and I have little reason to be proud of anything. I do not feel proud. But perhaps one could speak of a certain satisfaction that artistic phenomena, in whatever field of art, were totally misunderstood and devalued by the reactionary public, that they had the power to change the audience. Above all, the young audience, whereby the force is of course not only in the artworks alone, but there is already on the part of the audience, a great use of power to do so. It will have to be done again and again, not just at a certain historical moment, forbidden art to bring to light and talk about banned literature as a normal thing, as a thing to deal with, and that it will not be considered in the long run as the work of madmen or any devils. I am very pleased to hear that today Schönberg, Webern, Alban Berg are playing, that one can seriously deal with the fact that one gets to judicious judgments about this music. In the fine arts - I am very pleased about it - the non-objective art has gloriously asserted itself, and I notice with a certain sadness, because it shows me that I did not constantly evolve, that it is already in the field of non-objective art Again there are artistic manifestations that I find hard to join. Alban Berg plays that you can seriously deal with the fact that you get to judicious judgments about this music. In the fine arts - I am very pleased about it - the non-objective art has gloriously asserted itself, and I notice with a certain sadness, because it shows me that I did not constantly evolve, that it is already in the field of non-objective art Again there are artistic manifestations that I find hard to join. Alban Berg plays that you can seriously deal with the fact that you get to judicious judgments about this music. In the fine arts - I am very pleased about it - the non-objective art has gloriously asserted itself, and I notice with a certain sadness, because it shows me that I also did not constantly evolve, that it is already in the field of non-objective art Again there are artistic manifestations that I find hard to join."
SUCCESS! ROUTE A COMPLETED!The clock had to have been at 4pm when you came in here at first. Now, it was at 3pm. Moreover, you were on the floor, sand in your eyes and a small puddle of drool on the floor. For some reason, your hearing is now off. You can hear the same amount in the room, but it feels different. A good night's sleep doesn't matter when you might have just suffered hearing loss, or worse. Reaching up to your ears, you can feel them, but plugging them does nothing to stifle the voice in the room emanating from your feet. Hey, someone else is in here! It's a woman's voice, airy in its velocity. She speaks from below you, flowing out into the space bottoms-up. "Take a walk...so silenty...become ears..." You can hear bits and pieces, but never the [[full picture]], standing now and collecting yourself. When you rise to your feet, the voice disappears.You decide that looking ridiculous and making a fool of yourself is not suited to this journey, and head on back to [[the center of the room->Beginning]]. You try to walk around the room somewhat to listen for this voice, and try to not undergo motion sickness from this sudden change in hearing capacity. What you know after some trial-and-error is this: You can no longer hear from your actual ears, but from the soles of your feet instead. The effect is more pronounced when you stand and lift up on your [[tiptoes]], but it still works when you [[sit down->tiptoes]], as well. The woman's voice is elderly, and seems to be instructing you in some type of meditative practice. You feel a sense of ease at hearing your voice and wish to pursue it further. If your feet are ever flush against the ground, though, the effect is nullified to the point of being [[incomprehensible]].You try and get comfortable such that you can hear the voice in full clarity. There is something ethereal about being able to listen and take in sound from the floor, rather than your head. It as if the ground and the voice are working in tandem to deliver a conjugal message to you. With this new ability, you are able to determine that the ground beneath you is hollow, not bound to some deeper foundation. The acoustical range of the floor is decidedly tinny. Moreover, that voice. Could it be the deep listening coach? In addition to her voice, an accordion drone precipitates into your body by way of hearing. [[Staying still]] is not just your desire, it seems altogether necessary to cease [[excessive movement->fizzle out]]."A-
The sounds are not muffled, but cut up and disassembled from their source. Almost like your new ears are taking them apart and jumbling them around, rather than turning it into a blurry mess. It soon starts to [[fizzle out]], at first unnoticeable but becoming apparent to you when it gets quieter, more space between the noises should you choose to [[stay]] in this position.You get up and try to save the sound before it can die out completely. If the owner of the voice and its neighbors could speak directly to you, they would be thankful as you move to a [[better position.->Staying still]] instead of [[staying->stay]] and losing them completely."I-
GAME OVER! ROUTE B FAILED!The voice reaches full clarity now. The elderly woman is speaking through an AM transmission signal, but not directly to you. Her statements are canned, with minimal silence after finishing so she can move on to the next.
"[[Take a walk]] at night. Walk so silently that the bottoms of your feet become ears.
"[[Search]] for a natural or artificial canyon, forest or deserted municipal quad. Teach Yourself to Fly in this space."
"[[Focus]] your attention on on external source of constant sound. Imagine alternate sounds while remaining aware of the external source."
"[[Listen->stay]] to a sound until you no longer recognize it.With a bit of reluctance, you concede to the gentle demands of the woman's voice and go off on a search of the room to find some kind of canyon or valley to glide over. Your wish is not immediately granted, due to the fact that 1) you are currently inside a closed space, and 2) there is little to interact with that you would feel comfortable with. You could [[assume]] that the room itself is a proverbial valley in your mind - a valiant New Agey sentiment to hold - or you could just [[go back->Staying still]] to the voice's catalog of instructions.Shrugging your shoulders, you decide to quit resting your bones and peruse the space a bit more, while keeping cognizant of the sound. Its wavering pulses in response to your feet's new sensations keeps you occupied for a handful of minutes, until you are utterly captivated by the wah-wah effect of the woman's voice disappearing and reappearing on your stagnant journey. Your path is notable in that it strays from hitting the aforementioned arrow markings. Near the tail end of your trip, when you've made a handful of laps around the room, you've managed to perfect an implicit technique where you avoid dwelling on a flat foot by the time you complete a step, such that the voice is always accompanying you. Every nook and cranny above the tiled floor affects your stride. If you go over near the furniture, the floor is quieter, with stilted pangs coming from the obstacles. When you return near the opened center, there is thus room to breath with this new hearing. While it accomplishes little, it is nonetheless a rejuvenating experience, combined with the comfort of that voice's unerring [[presence->Staying still]].You consider the presence of an external sound, and this proves to be quite difficult. The voice is clearly coming from inside your feet-ears, and the clock only starts ticking when you move toward it. You cannot hear your own heartbeat under the voice, so this proved to be a [[fruitless endeavor->Staying still]].You successfully perform the copious mental gymnastics required to envision yourself outside at the apex of a warm desert canyon. Obviously, you're still in the room, but there is a certain dusty feel to the room, now that you take a closer look. Mind you, there's no dust present, nor does anything look particularly weathered by the passage of time (for obvious reasons), but that dusty feeling persists. You can almost hear [[wind passing through]] while you assess the next part, consisting of [[teaching yourself to fly]].The wind becomes stronger the more you focus on it, loud whoosh noises collecting and coalescing around your feet while the voice attempts to bleed through. Your body is relatively unaffected, but hearing the wind attempt to pick up under your [[soles]] is unnerving, to say the least. You might want to get [[moving]] to try and 'get away' from the dusty wind, should it increase in velocity.It can't be that hard, right? Just flap your arms and jump around until you're flying, right? You decide that anything must be possible in this room - a rookie mistake - and climb atop the armoire from before, waving your arms at your sides like an idiot. Visions of the Wright Brothers and flying squirrels convince you to go through with this ridiculous plan, and you dive off, holding your arms forward and kicking your legs out!
To no one's surprise, not even the voice inside your feet, you fall without any grace or gusto. That had to have been a seven foot drop, at least. Youch! You're fine, for the most part. No broken bones, but maybe a bruise or two. Let's hope your knees are in good shape, too. While you could get up and [[dust yourself off->Search]], the pure [[SHAME]] from that disaster clouds your mind.You allow the wind to take full control, standing still and letting it rise in power until you are no longer being urged to go a specific direction, but altogether taken on a journey without your own discretion: [[Up]]. Now that you think about it, you never really had looked up when you first came in here, now did you? It's not like you're missing much. It's nothing but faded plaster up there, some paint chips visible the more you ascend. There is admittedly a blatant [['X']] marking right above you, and your head seems clean ready to crash through it, but, Lord, compared to the level of detail that went into the rest of this place, you find the lack of ceiling ornamentation to be a disappointment.With the wind kept at low strength, you start flowing around the room. Perhaps [['hover']] is a better word to use in this instance, though, as you soon hear less space in the voice between each footstep. The wind is a loud noise to plough through, but underneath it, the woman's voice can soon be heard clearly. In addition, you feel somewhat taller - not too much, about an inch or two. You're tempted to [[look down]] to see what's up.Sure enough, with the newfound confidence you have skating a hair's length above the surface, you relish the ability, letting your subterranean eardrums breathe along with the voice. It is not an automatic motion, as you still must [[push your feet]] around, but you have some leeway thanks to the gentle lift of the wind. It is like being on a jetpack, only without the pack, or really the jet, either. That was a [[stupid]] analogy.Unfortunately, the wind is feeling a little shy today, and comes to a stop when you dip your gaze down to peer at its lifting force. You should probably [[try that again->wind passing through]].Over the course of about ten or so minutes, you get accustomed to this new hover-walking power. You are no longer putting one foot in front of the other, so much as you are idly fluttering to keep everything in check. Sadly, it never seems like you ascend any further beyond a couple inches. That, or this process is going to be very slow. Maybe [[try something else?->Staying still]]Look, I'm sorry. Go back to your [[flying lesson->push your feet]], jerk, I'm just trying to tell my [[story]], here.This story is lame? What's lame about it? I'd like to see you try and write something like this! You know what? Fine, that tears it. You're done.
GAME OVER! ROUTE B FAILED!Completely defeated, you curl up into a pathetic fetal position and sob uncontrollably on the floor, trying and failing to tune out the sound of your aching limbs and the elderly woman's voice. This was a terrible idea. You really should have decided on something better. I mean, come on! Did you honestly believe jumping off a wardrobe while conducting a symphony with your arms and pretending to be Superman would end in anything but this? Maybe you're not cut for this whole 'deep listening' stuff after all. Haha JK you aight :)
GAME OVER! ROUTE B FAILED! LOL!You attempt to divert the path as the wind now has you up maybe twenty feet, and maybe reel it in while using its power, but this fails almost immediately, sending you hurtling into the East Wall, some distance above the couch. They'd be scraping you off for a while after that one, Chief.
GAME OVER! ROUTE B FAILED!'X' marks the spot, they always say! Letting the wind do its thing, you brace for impact, sending a prayer to your loved ones right before a massive bang. You had to have been traveling pretty fast, because it was over in an instant. Some water blurs your vision, and by the time you've recovered from the blow, you're treading knee deep in a manmade pool.
Indeed, it looks like you've left the room entirely. The 'X' is nowhere to be found in the clear deep water, and the lights are considerably dimmer than down below. This is a much more archaic space, with several [[ornate columns]] holding up something as foundation. [[A staircase]] helps you to get out of the location proper.
Most astounding of all, though, is that the voice has completely left you. You can't hear the woman speaking and the wind's whoosh is gone, but your ears still aren't functioning where they normally should. You can tell, mostly because, despite being [[only up to your knees in water]], it sounds like you're currently in a fishtank.With curiosity, you ignore your sopping clothes and tread on over to one of the beautifully-designed columns to examine it closer. Upon it is an engraved set of initials about the size of your hand.
Pissed Off? Puny Ox? Pulmonary Obstreosis? [[Now what could this all mean...?->'X']]You step out the pool and begin to climb the winding set of metal stairs to an unmarked room. As you begin to do so, that accordion drone creeps into your eardrums, becoming warped by the loud grating clank of your toes upon the steps' material. In fact, it almost sound ominous, like this might be the wrong idea once you reach the top.
You eventually do, though, and you are greeted with a sanded wooden floor, a single long window drawn by shades, and a silver-haired woman sitting in a chair with an enormous accordion propped up by her lap. There's no mistaking her now: Pauline Oliveros. Above her head on a foundational arch are the words:
[[DEEP LISTENING DOJO]]
You've never seen anything quite like it. A mixture of Eastern practices with Western sensibilities. That drone persists, rumbles in the floor threatening to take you off your feet. Oliveros does not look at you, but instead continues to make droning sounds, depressing and extending the diaphraghm of the instrument in tandem with her equally slow breaths. It seemed less like a musical device, though, and more like an extension of her body.You decide to bide your time by playing around with this feeling. You're not thirsty, but taking a dip seems like a fun experiment. Going over to one of the walls, you take your head down and descend it into the water, kicking your back feet up to remain above surface as you come into some kind of plank position. It's immediately clear that, while you can feel your breath stifled by the water all over your skin, you hear the whole room! But [[enough->'X']] of that, this is really not the most comfy position to be in. Please don't drown.You come into the crux of the room and stare ahead at the droning woman. Your clothes are wet, your ears are discombobulated, and you still have no idea what this whole shebang is about. What do you do?
[[Join her drone]]
[[Escape]]You point your finger in her direction and stand proud, detailing your situation and that you have no patience for games with her. If she wants to cause a ruckus, if she's behind this whole mess with your feet and the wind, you aren't having any of it.
For a moment after you are finished, she merely looks at you, then closes her eyes for some time, enhancing the volume of the drone until the rumble became a devout earthquake of sound waves! It wasn't loud enough to where you couldn't hear her voice again, though.
"You are not ready, young one. you have no understanding of the eight essential chakras. You are not privy to the depth of knowledge there exists concerning the outer limits of your ears. What does it mean to you, to 'listen'? What is the difference to you between the inner and outer, and how do they contrast with the metaphor? Why is it that my drones only subsist in the bottoms of your feet? Are you still stuck, dare I say it, on...'hearing'?
[[Inform her of your time spent in Frasch's class]]
[[Stand and stare at her]]Thinking that the best way to connect with Oliveros is to hum along with and develop the pitch with her, you open up your vocal cords and keep your mouth closed, trying to lose yourself in the noise. However, you only succeed in stopping the noise altogether.
"Quiet over there!" Pauline shouts, a mild scowl replacing her neutral expression. She goes back to droning after scolding you. Yikes, maybe this would work better if you could actually hear normally.
[[Try something else->DEEP LISTENING DOJO]] You've got no time to worry with this crap. Deep listening? How preachy. All you need is your brand spankin' new Sennheisers and you're off on a brand new journey. You decide to turn around and leave, making it to where you came from before realizing it's no longer there! The stairwell is not just gone, the passage to it has been completely sealed up! [[Guess you're stuck here->DEEP LISTENING DOJO]] "This Heather Frasch is a disciple of my teachings? Indeed, so there is reason to why you come into my dojo today, young one. Yet what do you have for me, to prove your worth? How might you wish to implore my body of deep listening knowledge? Do you intend to merely stand there, or are you going to show me something?"
She goes back to droning on her accordion, this time with a hint of fervor etched on her visage.
[[Take some deep breaths]]
[[Steal her accordion]]You do not attempt to entertain any discourse with Pauline, instead looking straight ahead to keep watch on her. However, she is anything but pleased by this. The drones grow to unbearable levels, now, forcing you to descend onto the ground. You can hear the tones, but the feeling of having the dojo shake and rattle your bones makes you pause completely, unable to resist. This continues indefinitely, until the coach decides to pack things up for the day.
GAME OVER! ROUTE B FAILED!You inhale and exhale slowly, trying to match the drone to a degree. It doesn't have much of an effect, though. In fact, you're getting a bit lightheaded, so maybe [[try something else->DEEP LISTENING DOJO]].Puffing your chest, you briskly walk up and lift her accordion from her hands while her eyes are closed. She's quick to open them when the drone stops, but she does not look to you with hostility, mostly because the thing is like forty pounds and you barely look like you can hold it up with ease, let alone do you actually know how to play it. She takes pity on you and steps up, giving you a chance to sit in the chair.
"It will take some time, but you will learn quickly with my help."
She instructs you the proper method of holding it and shows you how to produce a note. Your drones are not nearly as effective as hers at vibrating the structures around you, but that's not nearly as important. For every few minutes you hold the accordion, and make noise with it, your hearing travels up. Literally.
It starts at your feet, the floor reverberating inside of you. Then it goes up your legs, sounding taller but not nearly as deep. You feel some inkling of nausea when it rises into your stomach, but that sickly feeling transforms into exuberance when your ears clasp like a round band along your chest, sound seeming to emanate from your torso.
"Yes, you are learning. [[Let us go deeper]]. This is only a preview of the chakras' power..."And this, is to go even further beyond. The sensation of hearing does not just move to your arms. It expands out, enabling you to hear the flow of your blood vessels from your palm to your breast, to hear each and every creak of the muscles while you click various keys and adjust the diaphragm. Pauline does not comment on this, but it is clear from her observations that she is pleased. The hearing then goes back down into your stomach, but when combined with being able to hear everywhere else but your head, it no longer gives you pause. The drones begin to shake your chair, and you can't help but glance over to Oliveros, as a silent check of your current progress.
"Yes. Now, we shall truly [[listen]]."A beam shoots out from the top of the accordion, blue in color yet constantly escaping your gaze, at the same time your ears regain their hearing in conjunction with everything else. Oliveros ducks just in time for the surge of energy to heat up the entire room, drones turning into shimmering synthetic blasts that are coming neither from inside or outside your form. For a second, you feel like you are permanently affixed to the accordion. That charged beam bounces to and fro, dancing but not causing any damage outside of the intense heat. Soon, the wooden grain is bathed in a teal neon glow, the accordion taking you on a deep listening journey through sound itself. Oliveros comes in front of you, a smile on her face, and delivers some [[advice]] before finishing her lesson.The advice comes in the form of a series of consecutive questions. Oliveros' voice comes from every angle, but is not imposing. It is not comforting, either. It is new.
Are you listening now?
Are you listening to what you are now hearing?
Are you hearing while you listen?
Are you listening while you are hearing?
Do you remember the last sound you heard before this question?
What will you hear in the near future?
Can you hear now and also listen to your memory of an old sound?
What causes you to listen?
Do you hear yourself in your daily life?
Do you have healthy ears?
If you could hear any sound you want, what would it be?
Are you listening to sounds now or just hearing them?
[[What sound is most meaningful to you?]]The sound most meaningful to you might matter, it might also not. You closed your eyes and let the drones seep in, and when you opened them back up, you were on one of the chairs in the corner of the room. Silence is present, but it is more than that. The drones from Oliveros, as well as yourself, seem to tacitly vibe between the cracks in the chair's legs, diving through your feet and out your hands and so forth. Whatever you might feel about this, at least you can finally hear normal again.
SUCCESS! ROUTE B COMPLETED!"Why, the Cabaret Voltaire, of course! It's only the most prestigious production this side of _______! Yes, with the famous _______, his cohorts ______, ______ and _______, this year's production by the Cabaret Voltaire will be sure to spin many heads! Not yours, though!"
[["Not if I have anything to say about it!"]]
[["Why did you censor yourself?"]]"I hope a wet newspaper blows across your face while you are walking down the street and various bits and pieces rip off and get stuck on you before you can manage to get it all off! Now good day to you!"
GAME OVER! ROUTE E FAILED!"And to you, my good not-friend!"
If the door could have slammed, it would have. So much for that, then. [[Return?->Beginning]]"Ha! Surely you don't mean you happen to know of the Cabaret Voltaire? What might you know about the most elegant and devoted band of performers in _____?"
[["I took a class where we talked about them!"]]
[["I'm in the Cabaret Voltaire, you nitwit!]]"I've not a clue what you're talking about. Bye-bye now, see you never!"
GAME OVER! ROUTE E FAILED!"And I took a sewing class in Sixth form! As I said, only special members can attend this performance! Good day to you!"
GAME OVER! ROUTE E FAILED!""Hmmm...Dada?"
GAME OVER! ROUTE E FAILED!"D-Dada!? Dada dada dada?"
[[Dada! Dada dada dada!]]
[[Dada dada dada. Dada dada!]]"DADA DADA! DADA!!"
The door opens, and you can barely see a scene of a massive auditorium filled to the brim with socialites and other important looking people. The speaker you were just talking with shows himself. He is wearing a tight-fitting aluminum costume, looking like some strange alien creature. He is not pleased at all to see you.
"Hugo Ball's grandchild? Well, you sure don't look like him. Bah, who gives a- Just be quiet! We only have the Nosebleeds left, and don't you dare ask me for any magnifiers. Dada dada..."
He grumbles off, leaving the crack open for you.
[[Enter and watch the show]]An uproar of laughter comes from beyond the door, followed by a thud, then more laughter.
"DADAAAAAA!!! DADA!!!!!! Dada? Dadahahahahahaaaa!"
GAME OVER! ROUTE E FAILED!Compared to the original space in Zurich, this is much larger. It seemed like the only well-dressed people were those in your line of sight prior to entering the auditorium. In the rows that were furthest back, which the door opened up to, were normally-dressed civilians, clapping and laughing along with the show. However, as evident by the scene below, they were less than spectators. Merely observers of the Cabaret Voltaire's many followers as the famous initial showing drew to its midpoint.
You'd know that scene anywhere. Three men swaying back and forth while reciting a simultaneous poem; The Hugo Ball lookalike pretending to jump back on stage while a sinister looking fellow grabbed on him and held him back with extreme prejudice. Dancers dotted the elongated stage, weaving between shows of grace and disjoint breakdance-esque maneuvers that managed to attract wild rage from the audience.
The crowd of people in front of the stage were of note. Their constant noise drowned out any chance to hear the discordant piano player, not that you might have wanted that in the first place. Moreover, they were all undeniably rude, or at the very least so intensely involved with the production that it made them seem like a pack of wild animals.
[[Join the observers]]
[[Become a true Dadaist]]It would be best to leave the pit alone, and stay safe up here. You squeeze past the feathered hat of an old woman and hop over the thighs of a sleeping husband before descending into a seat and taking things in on a greater scale.
Actually, on second thought, this is really boring! Don't you want to be down there with the rest of everybody?
[[Yes.->Become a true Dadaist]]
[[Dada.]]It was no mosh pit, but it definitely didn't look safe. The cavalcade of impersonators and fans were yelling incoherently, splices of Dadaist poetry mixed in between copious expletives. It seemed they were not happy with the performance to you, but to them, it was quite the contrary case.
"Bravo, Dada, Bravo, you $%&@&*!!!"
You're sidewinded by a drunken duo of men with carboard boxes on their head, nearly falling to the ground. They're too invested in a simultaneous poem to look where they're going.
"Bigger there! That wa-"
"Ten cents! Ten twenty on your-"
"And I'll have another extra lar-"
"No way! No way, no how!"
If you didn't have a headache already from your previous prison, this new one would certainly cause a migraine like no other. Again, this time a school of young ballet dancers storm through the aisle against you, like oncoming traffic barreling towards a bike, and you're just barely able to withstand the onslaught of pirouette and tutus.
This is terrible. By the time you've gotten to a seat, someone speaking in cut-up sentences is screaming their head off at you.
"In at to are or see! They you...you...fool? Why, this need where's look would when my I do you reserved pummel him! You your seat! Everybody, idiot? You face, ought currently this Ball!
OVER GAME! COMPLETED SUCCESS ROUTE D(ADA)?Quickly, you turn and check past your shoulder. Nobody there - yet. [[Might as well go off now!->figure-8]]You begin to trace the figure-8 of arrows with your eyes firmly planted to the ground. Each one sounds off with a different tone, but lights up the same color. You pass another, then another, and [[so on...]]
"Down here we have a new face on the Sound Walk Circuit, Bob. Looks like their qualifying lap is off to an iffy start!"Suddenly, a jingle plays. Voices come on announcing some type of event.
"...And down here we've got a brand new face, Bob. This is their qualifying lap on the Sound Walk Circuit, and it looks like it might be a rough start. Barely past the first bend and they're at a complete loss how to take it further."
"Yep, Jay, this is going to be a tough lap to beat. It's one thing to be behind the Parisians, but if those of you at home are paying attention, even if this one finishes their first lap at a sprint, they'll be in last place!"
"Speaking of, why are they staring at us?"
[[Get a move on!]]
[[Take your time.]]You ignore the voices and finish your apparent qualifying lap around the circuit, running for your life while the tones sound at an increased rate. By the time you make it around, you're nearly out of breath. This place is bigger than you thought!
As you turn to try and find the source of these voices, a jumbotron has appeared, with your name at...the very bottom. Looks like it couldn't have been helped.
"Whelp, at least they tried, Jay. Let's gear up for the real [[race]] now that everybody's gone, why don't we?"You decide to just walk the rest out, casually moving from one arrow to the next until you finish. When you reach the last arrow, though, a big klaxon sounds, pulsing in your eardrums.
"Ooooh! That's gonna leave a mark, Bob! Disqualified! That might be the very first time that's happened at the Sound Walk Circuit, isn't it?"
"I've got no words, Jay..."
GAME OVER! ROUTE C FAILED!What's this? A host of competitors has arrived on the scene! They all are dressed in their Sunday Best, yet instead of clogs and boots, they're feet are adorned with Boomer Sneakers. New Balances, faded Adidas...Asics? Yeesh...You can't try to chat any of them up, because already the announcers are gearing up to start the event.
"Bob, the weather is quite nice today. You think we're gonna have a stellar show from these racers today?"
"Well, Jay, it'll be interesting if anything to see where our underdog ends up after that embarrassment. The Parisians are slated to win, but if they run out of steam early around the last quarter, you know it's usually anyone's guess as to who might take the lead."
"You've got that right! Let's watch now as everyone takes their positions."
Everybody lines up in their respective spots, two to a line. The man next to you has a weird mustache and eyes much too large for his head. "Ik zal je levend opeten!" He mutters, presumably to you.
"Alright racers! Time for the Sound Walk of the century! On your marks...Get set...[[Listen!]]You peer closer to assess if it's really up to snuff with the John Cage you know and love, and when you come within inches of his face, his eyes open! Well, they were already open, but now they're -really- open!
He blinks once, smiling at you and staring.
[[Smash]]You get some distance between yourself and the statuette and look down to stare into its eyes. Only the eyes are moving, but it does not blink. It seems you have entered yourself into an impromptu staring contest.
[[Blink]]The statue's eyes close in pain at your yell, and if you try to summon it again, it garners no response. Now why would you go and do that to poor old John Cage?
GAME OVER! ROUTE F FAILED!With what? Your hand? Come on, now. [[Face your fears!->John Cage]]You stare back, ignoring your watering eyes, and try to challenge the statue back at its own game. You might think this is impossible, but there has to be a chance! Those are real human eyes you're looking into!
[[Wave your arms around]]As expected, the statue's eyes return to their marble form, no longer full of life.
GAME OVER! ROUTE F FAILED!As expected, the statue pushes forth and does not even so much as show an indication that it's tired. Granted, it is a statue after all. Cage's gaze peers into your very soul until you've been worn down to a mere husk. A quiet, meditative husk with an immense appreciation for the monolithic power of nature.
GAME OVER! ROUTE F FAILED!No statue is immune to the elusive NoodleArm technique you learned from your former days as the international staring contest champion. The John Cage statue blinks, letting out a cute, yet pitiful little [[whine]]. Along with its pedestal, it slides away, allowing you to delve into the cramped [[corridor]]. You sit on the couch and take in the space around you. The leather is tempered well, allowing you to sink into it without feeling like you're sitting on quicksand. For such a mysterious room, it's a lot more calm than one would expect. Perhaps...[[a little too calm->East Wall]]...You approach the vanity and look at your reflection, fiddling with the small accessories and makeup kits on top. Most of them appear to be used or close to empty, and there's barely anything of worth in the cabinet. [[Might as well head back->East Wall]].All of the vinyl cases are empty, though, their records having been taken out at some point. Only one remains, a black case titled "[[Feeble Pins]]." Its record has a few locked grooves in it, but only one track, judging by the extensive wear applied to one specific streak close to the edge.You insert the record on the gramophone and get it up and running. Curiously, there is no music, but instead, spoken word.
"A truffle, by and turn of a yam, is a blight on the surface. What if there were no questions. It would be rubber."
[[Turn off]]"No luck for turnips. A pencil in the eye is not beauty. Wishing for gardens of the form that would be a cousin. Is there green. Salmon every day is hot enough for two chairs."
[[Keep going]]"What if the rope was a mix of hares. What if the road was a shoe. Poles of any nature have the wrong idea of going to the real rooster."
[[Indeed]]"Let it be known the duck is enough for cabbage. When rooms of collision are made of ice, then there is a painting. A painting of true reverse. Poles on the veranda would be too much for crochet, but that is not purple. Neither is that a tourniquet. It is a blind crack and a found barn, which is neither here nor in the next forest."
*CLICK*Looking around to make sure you're not intruding, you open up the wardrobe and peer inside. There are about twenty full outfits hung up in the main portion, and likely some other underwear and light clothes in the subsequent cabinets. The clothes seem to be evenly mixed between those for men and those for women.
[[Try a dress]]
[[Try a coat]]It is much too tight, but in a good way. It is a form fitting piece of clothing that hugs your figure to a rude degree. A frustrating case where getting the outfit off takes exponentially more time than initially putting it on. Whoever owns this wardrobe must have some strange demands, you think to yourself as you manage to pull off the dress.
[[Go back->East Wall]]It is somewhat big on you, but that is your least concern. There is absolutely nothing holding it together, once you take it from the hanger. Instead, it is all strewn about with minimal sewing, merely taking the shape of what a coat ought to be. By the time you get it fixated on your body, you are wearing something more akin to a robe than a fancy coat.
[[Go back->East Wall]]That's enough for one day. [[What else is in this place->Beginning]]?You apologise to John Cage before doing anything else, but he is not appreciative. He is also not rude, either. He is a statue. I'm not sure what else you really expected from this exchange.
[[Delve->corridor]]The ticks of the clock follow you into the corridor, which is quiet enough to be an anechoic chamber. Wow, you really can hear your blood flowing! It's just like the meme! It is tight at first, but gradually opens up into an open space, with only a stool and a piano. Already you know what's about to happen. You were made for this.
You descend into the seat and submit yourself to perfect posture. The closed case of the piano looms below the horizon. Confident in your skills and with the clock as your guide, you unmask the keys, assume the position, and tap ever so slightly.
You know that your foot taps are progressing with accurate seconds. There's no way you could be below 60 BPM. Even if you were, it would not matter. You control the time. You call the shots. You and nature are one.
The movements come and go a lot slower when you're performing, you notice. Had you an audience to watch this, you would probably be receiving a standing ovation by the time you finish.
It's peaceful, but there's a finality to it. Like losing a friend. You'll always miss John Cage. Sure, he was kind of weird and there's plenty of his work that many will wax poetic about, calling him a hack or a fraud. At the end of the day, there's something inescapable about this one. Speaking of which...
[[Four minutes and thirty-three seconds.]]You get up silently and bow to nobody. Every second from that performance will forever be ingrained in your mind. You hope someone somewhere was able to witness this moment.
SUCCESS! ROUTE F COMPLETED!Oh, well suit yourself, then.
GAME OVER! ROUTE D FAILED!Dada dada dada dada dada dada dada dada dada dada dada dada.
DADA DADA! DADA DADA DADA!They're off, along with you in the back. It was quite the sight. Everybody broke into some deranged cross between a sprint and a power walk, flailing their arms about and creating a solid mass where there was no clear leader for any large stretch of time. You might want to [[head into the midst]] and check out what they're doing.
Canned crowd noises played from invisible speakers, and the announcers began their whole spiel, but you could also hear an uproar of chatter from the other racers. Some had their heads butted against one another while they ran around from arrow to arrow, exchanging observations in angry spurts. The less-extroverted racers were rapidly scribbling in notepads, the Dutch man with the mustache making a [[ruckus]] by screaming his thoughts aloud with reckless abandon.
"This is something great, Jay!"
"I tell ya, Bob! Not even past the first turn and everyone's in a big pile! The Parisians are at the lead, but look at the form on those [[Germans]]!"
"I'd watch out for the Dutch walker, Jay. He doesn't look trustworthy at all!"
You kicked up your feet and began to descend into the pack. The voices around you were loud enough to lose your focus, but you trudged forth anyways.
"I do say, the tiling is quite lovely. It makes me wonder what the aesthetic implications might be!"
"Ik kan dit niet geloven!"
"Pathetisch, denkst du, du kannst aufholen?"
"Ah, yes, write that down...write that down..."
"Allez allez allez allez [[allez]] allez allez allez!!!"You try to listen to the Dutchman better, but doing so floods your ears with a wealth of information about surrealist musings on architecture. We're not even gonna TRY to translate that, because you're out, bud.
GAME OVER! ROUTE C FAILED!You decide to burst between two Germans in the midst of spurious arguing about the contents of the vanity in the corner right as you pass the halfway point in the race. They both exclaim with shock when you interrupt them, but acquiesce and permit you to come ahead.
"Sie sind mutig!"
One of them faints, letting the Dutchman travel right at your tail. You can either [[fend him off]], or pursue a trio of [[Swiss walkers]] ahead.Those are the Frenchman. It's amazing how far of a lead they've already pulled at this race. It'll take a miracle to [[pass by->head into the midst]] them.Turning around on your feet you scowl and stick your tongue out at the Dutchman, who looks up from his notepad and begins foaming at the mouth. His entire face gets red, scaring the Germans to trail behind him, as well. A crash happens when the German about to faint falls over and trips the Dutchman, disqualifying all three of them at once. Now, onto the [[Swiss]]!You pick up speed and try to get to a point where you can make it past the Swiss men, when you realize something terrible: They've formed a barrier! There's not enough time to burst through! You're going to lose!
GAME OVER! ROUTE C FAILED!In response to the fall taken by the prior trio, the Swiss have broken apart, allowing you to pass through them with relative ease. They express dissent, but do not object.
All that lies ahead of you now is the infamous Parisians in a single-file line as they make their way past the final bend and near the finish line. Yes, this is only one lap, what did you expect? Moreover, what will you do?
[[Pick up speed]]
[[Speak to them]]
[[Admire the room]]Double-click this passage to edit it.You clear your throat and attempt your best French, saying something either quite rude or quite nice, because the Frenchmen all stop dead in their tracks and look at you with their notepads out and gums flapping nonsensically.
"Ces murs étaient faits pour admirer!"
"Je suis perdu dans la beauté de ce circuit!"
"Honnêtement, c’est une course très inutile, il suffit de nous devancer, car on dirait que vous voulez gagner. Il n'y a pas de prix. Juste aller."
Your feet are on their last legs - no wait, that expression sucks. Your feet are flying - wait, already did that. Er, you go really fast across the finish line. Congratulations, I guess.
"Wow Bob, the underdog made it! Who woulda thunk?"
"...H-Huh? Oh, I was asleep, Jay."
SUCCESS! ROUTE C COMPLETED!Really, this place is splendid. You've grown to enjoy it a bit. Now you're in dead last again. Dummy.
GAME OVER! ROUTE C FAILED!