a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society
This piece is titled Ouroboros. It is a meditative song about the snake that eats itself, a metaphor for the philosophy that all of consciousness and nature is One, and connected to Itself in the drama of creation and destruction. Each time the main theme starts over, we’ve made a full circle in observance of this snake, all that Is, and I imagine that with each cycle, one would notice slightly different details along the way. As the song ends, a singularity occurs; leading existence out of duality in what would surely be a magnificent event.
Ouroboros is part of a set of songs I’m working on, all tuned to what is called “Verdi’s A,” where A = 432 Hz. The American Federation of Musicians accepted A = 440 Hz as the standard in 1917, and it did not become the worldwide standard until 1953. Before that time, many used the 432 Hz tuning because it is mathematically consistent with the universe and the Earth’s vibration, called The Schumann Resonance (named after German physicist Winfried Otto Schumann.) Some call The Schumann Resonance (between 7.86 Hz and 8 Hz) the Earth’s heartbeat. The 432 Hz scale mathematically resonates with 8 Hz. It is tuning in its wildest form. Mozart used the 432 Hz tuning, and Verdi championed it, writing a letter to the Congress of Italian Musicians to have it approved as the standard tuning in 1884. He was unsuccessful in his attempt.
The mystery goes even further back, as instruments unearthed from ancient Greek and Egyptian sites have been found to be tuned at 432 Hz. One researcher used a Korg tuner while listening to a CD of Tibetan singing bowls to determine that they were all harmonic to the 432 Hz scale. There is chatter of the legendary Stradivarius Violins having been tuned to 432 Hz. There are musicians and metaphysicists all over the world pushing to go back to Verdi’s A, as it is said the tuning invokes a sense of peace and well-being, feelings of warmth, and inspiration in its listeners. Some believe that the tuning has the power to heal, and those prone to conspiratorial thinking even consider the worldwide move to the 440 Hz scale to be an intentional deception, an attempt to pull a veil over the higher consciousness and health that music at 432 Hz can invoke. Still, many others believe that it makes no difference one way or the other.
With a mere 8 Hz discrepancy, the untrained ear may or may not hear a tonal difference, depending on one’s natural pitch-recognition capabilities. Some will feel at first that something is “off,” however unable to put their finger on it, but many people say that the sound is warmer, with greater depth and a brighter tone. Personally, I try not to make judgements on things I cannot confirm or deny. I like to experience mysteries with all my senses and revel in my wonderment. I can only say that, to me, 432 Hz sounds a bit rawer, a little less tame, a smidge improper. I think that’s why I’m drawn to it.