In a post modern sort of way, The Question of Music, Meaning, and Life Project aims to provide the listener with a deep, philosophical sound, or lack-thereof, with which they can meditate on the deeper philosophical questions of life.
I have since lost the audio files for this project, but it’s worth reiterating they were a joke. All tracks files were either complete silence or static, and the real journey was meant to be the track descriptions left below.
It is imperative that you read the description of each track to fully understand and appreciate each song on the album.
- White Noise – 2:15
- The Hows and Whys of What Led to Us – 3:31
- Greenpeace – 2:51
- I Made the Tree Fall in the Forest – 2:39
- Song of the Deaf – 5:24
- I’m the Reason Your Nose is Itching – 4:17
- The Female Mind – 10:14
- We Miss You, Pluto – 4:59
- Triangle Sandwiches Taste Better Than Square Ones – 3:03
- The Ultimate Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything – 0:42
- What Was the Best thing Before Sliced Bread? – 4:22
- Dark Matter – 3:54
- Male Thought Patterns – 0:01
- Untitled – 3:13
- [Hidden Track] – 10:50
Thank you for your support!
White Noise – 2:15
Potentially one of the most controversial tracks on the album, White Noise refuses to live up to its name. The complete lack of artificial noise of any kind renders the possibility of white noise on the track impossible.
Critics have argued that this track is not really worthy of the name White Noise, but the song was written deliberately to shatter the preconceptions of the avid listener. Alone, they will be sitting in their room, ready to hear a track full of White Noise, and they will be completely flabbergasted at the notion that there is no white noise on this track!
Indeed, it seems that the sibling track to White Noise would have to be [Hidden Track], the only track on the entire album which actually articulates some sort of waveform. [Hidden Track] portrays the components that White Noise is lacking, but the average listener will never hear it.
The Hows and Whys of What Led to Us – 3:31
In each relationship there is a beginning and an end. The beginning is beautiful, the end is painful and there are peaks and falls all throughout. It is impossible for those who once loved each other to articulate, once the relationship has ended, exactly what drew them to their former partner in the first place. Hurt feelings, raw emotions and healing hearts require just one thing:
Greenpeace – 2:51
I Made the Tree Fall in the Forest – 2:39
This is no laughing matter. If a tree falls in the forest, and there is no one there to hear it, does it make a sound?
Presumably no, by the definition of sound. For a sound is the vibration of matter as perceived by hearing. If there is no one there to hear it, no sound can be made, because hearing is part of the definition of a sound. However, hearing is not only done by humans. Hearing is done by animals and all other creatures of creation as well. The chances of there being absolutely nothing around to apprehend the noise vibrations is extremely unlikely.
However the question does suggest that there is no one present to hear it. Since the definition of hearing is circular, perceiving sound through the ear, we can be most certain that a sound is not actually made by the tree falling in the forest with no one around to heart it.
This track was written in loving memory of the numerous trees who have given their lives to prove this point.
Song of the Deaf – 5:24
Many people misunderstand this track, assuming it’s silent because deaf people can’t talk. What these people fail to realize is that deaf people actually may be able to talk, they just certainly can’t hear. Dumb people, or their more appeasing title of mute people, are the ones who are unable to speak.
This track is meant to speak directly to deaf people, moving their very soul. Written and performed with the utmost concern for them, this track shows empathy towards them, understanding their inability to hear by intentionally giving them nothing to hear at all. Rather than smacking them in the face with audible sounds and vibrations as if to say, “Ha! You can’t hear this!” the artist chooses to recognize them and give them what they can hear.
I’m the Reason Your Nose is Itching – 4:17
There’s the old urban legend that if your nose is itching, someone is thinking about you. Is your nose itching right now? It should be. But have you ever stopped to think about the screaming silence of an itch? An itch invokes the sense of feeling and, if from an open sore, potentially even the sense of smelling. It’s likely one could look at the area in need of scratching, by crossing your eyes in the case of your nose, and you could even lick an itch, if you really wanted to. But there’s absolutely no way to hear an itch.
Think about it. It’s an emotional attachment to the one who loves you; an understanding simply through the sense of feeling, but they aren’t even present to be touching you. It takes a true, deep love to be able to affect someone so deeply through the senses without even being present.
This track is a dedication to that love; a silent love that can only be understood by the one who’s nose is itching, silently.
The Female Mind – 10:14
The complexity of the female mind cannot be explained with words, sounds, or anything rational. It is obvious that women don’t understand the ways their minds work just as much as (if not more than) the males who try to understand them. “If not more than” is specifically stated not because of a superior intellect in the male gender, but because males simply don’t care to understand the female mind, therefore they give up trying. When they give up on understanding, they understand as much as they understood at the point of giving up, and they do not lose any understand beyond that point because they simply refuse to think about it. However, in the female’s persistence to continue to understand her own mind, she is, in actuality, lessening her own knowledge of her own mind due to the frustrations encountered in realizing more and more how impossible it is to understand herself, thus lowering her own knowledge of herself and other female minds.
The artist doesn’t even attempt to understand the female mind; he simply goes on about it in silence for the entirety of this song, which is probably the way such matters should always be approached.
We Miss You, Pluto – 4:59
Poor Pluto has been the victim of much criticism, simply due to its small stature. Pluto was discovered and considered a planet up until the year 2006, at which point so much controversy was stirred over the planet that scientists finally created an entirely new subset of planets known as dwarf planets. Officially, Pluto was placed in this category, but we still think of Pluto as a planet.
By far the most saddening and even disturbing fact of all this is that people seem to be forgetting that planets have feelings too. Calling Pluto a dwarf planet may permanently damage its self image! Did anyone ever stop to think about that?
So, Pluto, here’s to you … A moment of silence in commemoration of when you were a planet. We still think of you as a planet.
Triangle Sandwiches Taste Better Than Square Ones – 3:03
The mindset that all sandwiches are created equal is a fallacy of life that far too many people are sucked into.
You say that a sandwich is a sandwich, no matter which way it is cut, but that is simply untrue. For, in fact, the taste of a sandwich may be perceived by one as better if it is cut differently. One of the definitions of taste being “to appreciate or enjoy,” one may appreciate or enjoy a sandwich more if it is cut triangularly, thus rending the sandwich a better tasting one than had it been cut squarely.
In fact, this is most commonly the case, as numerous accounts of triangularly cut sandwiches tasting better then squarely cut ones have emerged all over the globe. While it may be a matter of your taste as to whether or not the triangle sandwich is better or not, it is more likely that you simply are one of those who wishes to go against the trends of everyone, therefore your mind is refusing to allow you to enjoy the superior taste of the triangularly cut sandwich. We pray for you.
This track is dedicated to all the triangle sandwiches that are eaten by people who refuse to admit they taste better. Don’t worry, Sandwich. You do.
The Ultimate Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything – 0:42
The track doesn’t lie. It does, in fact, hold the answer to life, the Universe, and everything within it, though the amateur listener may not notice. (At least, according to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.)
The track length is forty-two seconds. Digitally, the hexadecimal representation of the background for the Track Artwork is #2A2A2A. The hexadecimal color was chosen purposefully setting RGB to (42, 42, 42), which resulted in the aforementioned hexadecimal color.
There was much debate about whether it was more appropriate to start with RGB: (42, 42, 42) and convert to the hexadecimal representation, which is HEX: #2A2A2A, or whether the hexadecimal color should be set to #424242 to be converted to RGB, which is RGB: (66, 66, 66). After lengthy meetings and phone conferences that no one wanted to attend, the decision was finally made to start with the RGB color and convert to hexadecimal. The final decision was made due to a convincing argument pointing out that the RGB representation of #424242 was a string of sixes, which is frowned upon in most cultures due to its close association with the anti-Christ.
What Was the Best Thing Before Sliced Bread? – 4:22
Or, more specifically, when was sliced bread invented, and by whom?
The story is very near and dear to the artist’s heart. Sliced bread was essentially invented by Otto Frederick Rohwedder of Davenport, IA. Alex Laird is also from Iowa and enjoys freshly sliced bread each morning. Rohwedder built a prototype for the first bread slicer in 1917, thus rending bread now sliceable. The prototype was destroyed in a supposedly accidental fire.
What many people don’t know is the controversies that have been had over whether slicing bread should be legal or not. In the mid-1900s, street riots broke out frequently simply as a result of arguments of bread slicing, how it should be done, and whether it was ethical. In fact, in 1943, the U.S. put a ban on sliced bread for a short period of time, but the response to this ban was so great that it was soon lifted. This is why the fire destroying Rohwedder’s bread slicer is frequently considered intentional. It wasn’t until the 60s, when peace and love were spreading rampantly, that Americans decided bread should be able to be sliced if people wanted to slice it.
This track contrasts the violent and noisy acts of bread-slicing lovers throughout the years who have fought to keep the slicing legal and remembers their courageous actions.
Dark Matter – 3:54
Perhaps one of the most profoundly titled tracks on the album, Dark Matter dares to attempt to give us a glimpse at dark matter itself. (The dark matter being the things in the universe that cannot be seen but their presence can be felt under given circumstances.) Scientists estimate that about 90% of all matter within a given galaxy is dark matter.
Why is this song called Dark Matter? Listen to its silence, absorbing everything around you, meditating specifically on the infiniteness of the universe and the eternity of life after death. Are the hairs on the back of your neck standing up? Is your heart suddenly getting all flippy and floaty? Those are the forces of the universe around you that remain unseen, and this track caused it.
Male Thought Patterns – 0:01
Males don’t need to be diagnosed with ADHD, because they all already have it. A male’s thought patterns are disjointed from one another, rarely flowing in a fluid manner. Short and to the point, just like the length and message of this track.
Untitled – 3:13
In view of the popular cultures, which currently seems to be craving untitled tracks that precede hidden tracks, the artist includes this track as a nod toward his fellow artists who seem to have slumped into the kitsch of music and sound.
[Hidden Track] – 10:50
By far the most moving piece on The Question of Music, Meaning, and Life, [Hidden Track] is the only track to actually feature audible waveforms. Specifically, white noise. In fact, [Hidden Track] is the sibling track to White Noise, a controversial silent track that offers no white noise.
While the general theme of The Question of Music, Meaning, and Life is to contradict all musical norms by going against what is expected, the artist chose to close off the album by following two stereotypes of a mainstream album: firstly, a track which is simply titled Untitled, and secondly, a hidden track which plays after several minutes of silence.
Most shockingly, [Hidden Track] is the only track on the album that actually delivers noise to the listener. This was done intentionally as a final emotional movement to the album in which, after pulling moving the listener emotionally for all the previous, the artist finally gives them what their heart is so longing for: a sound.