The 'Buzz' about Giza
Without ever having first hand experience of the Great Pyramid but tons of books and research into it, it would be a challenge for us both to combine our thoughts and knowledge of its creation and translate that into orchestra musical terms. It was easy to find the inspiration thankfully for having spent many hours studying it and Tommy's endless knowledge of ancient Egyptian culture. The point I want to make is, it was as if Tommy and I had entered into a ‘time-bubble' until the piece had ‘composed itself', and this is precisely what happened. I never changed a note of it and wondered to myself, after my trip to the great monument herself, if I would change a note now?
I wouldn't change a thing about it now and feel a great destiny about how close my imagination got to the truth of the pyramid and its designers after waiting 7 years to see it for myself.
The word that defines the Great Pyramid and its complexity for me is: ‘Perfection'
The designers were going for a huge degree of detail and perfection and it strikes you right away when you look at the size of the materials they were working with and the degree of detail they achieved working with such huge and colossal stones. The question in my mind (and probably a billion other folk) was why?
Why go to such a degree of perfection and detail. I thought of symphonic work 7 Wonders and started to realize that this building (in the same manner that a composer aims for the highest degree of perfection in their scores) these builders were ‘tuning' the building to an almost ‘computerized' level. In fact, I would say beyond any doubt in my mind, that computers were used in the design and definitely in the manufacturing of the elements of the pyramid. It is beyond the normal capabilities of the human mind in design, un-imaginable (The Grand gallery for example)
The construction of the Chamber has almost no margin of error and to feel human again inside this structure, I began looking for errors in the carving of the sides of the stones. One little tale tell sign that this could have been possible by human hand, a chip in the rock, one side slightly out of line to the next. Nothing.. just pure and utter perfection in the construction and manipulation of some of the hardest rock known to man.
It reminded me of medical precision and in fact this realisation led me into a hypothesis that ‘ring's true' in more way's the one:
Anyone who has listened to a choir and music in one of the many great cathedrals has experienced an acoustic ‘up-lifting' of mind and spirit. The balance of emotional music and acoustic properties of the cathedral saturates the body in waves of sound and generally involving only one or two notes. Open harmonic notes that seem to flood the whole space and connect with its dimensions. The Kings Chamber is no different.
The first acoustic element you notice is your voice being reverberated for such a long time (16-20 Seconds) around the perfect walls. How can you engineer such a long reverb time in such a small space. It reminded me of a cathedral when you can hear the tiniest whisper at the other end of a long hall. The Kings Chamber is designed to pick up every nuance and sound in such a way as this. You can almost hear your own heart beating if the Chamber is quiet enough. This means that the design of the Chamber is precisely for working with acoustic sound.
I climbed into the Sarcophagus and began humming a note and sliding down in pitch until I ‘hit' the resonant frequency of the coffer and chamber. There was no doubting when I found that pitch because the entire room just filled with sound, I could not even hear what Philippe was shouting to me in the flood of sound the had began to occupy the space. It was as if the chamber was suddenly filled to the brim with energy and there was a sensation of being ‘lifted'. I could only hold the note for as long as my breath would last (im a smoker) but even after I had stopped the note carried on with its same effect for up to 20 seconds. I achieved this same note with my voice 5 or 6 times over the next 30 minutes. (We were lucky to have arrived at the lowest point of the tourist season and fortunately had the chamber to ourselves for over an hour).
The note I kept hitting to cause this effect was around 190 hz = F#2 on a piano.
The realisation that came to me in the days that followed because of this powerful frequency effect has made certain pieces of a very interesting and un-expected puzzle fall into place.
In the month before I left for Giza I had been researching an interesting perspective with my colleague Richard Merrick that Egypt was known as ‘Ta Bitty' meaning ‘The Land of the Bee' and the great Pharaoh's were known as the ‘Queen Bee'. http://www.andrewgough.co.uk/bee1_1.html
Now this is interesting enough on its own when you consider that Bee's are a successful society, directed and instructed by the Queen entirely through the medium of vibration.
Bee's are known to ‘hear' these instruction through their legs and antennae and react to the Queen Bee's orders accordingly. As if there is a transmission of thought embedded into the vibration itself. Some Bee's in the colony, workers for example, receive different instructions on the same ‘wave-length' as the Honey collectors or the Larvae guardians.
Each group receive their commands through a frequency of vibration sent out by the Queen Bee.
A ‘carrier wave'!
A healthy, active hive of Bees resonate at around 190 hz, it varies up to 250 hz when they are swarming or aggressive. The following site has fascinating information on Bee resonance.
Quote from PDF:
Simpson and Greenwood10 created an artificial sound of the queen bee piping, a sound used to prepare the hive for an immanent departure. Then they played the recording to other hives.
When the vibrations were applied to four hives containing very small colonies with unmated queens less than one week old, all four colonies swarmed, leaving no bees in their hives. Sixteen slightly larger colonies, also containing queens a few days old, were divided into two groups of eight. One group received vibrations and five of the colonies in it swarmed, each leaving a proportion of its bees in its hive. The other eight colonies did not receive vibrations and none of them swarmed.
Now, if this form of ‘hyper-communication' were applied to a human culture, you can begin to see why the Egyptians, Minoans, Sumerians and the Greek had a high regard in their cultural history for The Bee and its sociological success with nature.
Not only for their fascinating command of geometry, Hexagonal honeycombs, hive dimensions and such, but their union and coherence as a successful collective.
‘A unifying command point of panoramic intention and thought.'
What the pharaoh thinks and feels, is a ‘carrier-wave' transmission on 190 hz.
Absorbed and felt by the population into pure intention.
If the Bee's have survived successfully for millions of years, so closely connected with nature and sound, then it's a not a bad prototype to model a busy population upon.
But, only provided the Queen bee has the heart, soul and ethics to make it successful.
No wonder they locked the Kings Chamber off with 20 ton granite, colossal stone's for 2000 years, it could be a dangerous instrument in the wrong hands (or mind).