Music in the Sea of Key

By Brendan Fardy

The wind. The rain. The tide lashing gently upon the shore, flicking its lazy tongue out to lick the sandy shoals with lethargy and complacency. These were the sounds upon the shore that day. The sky was grey, clouded over and overcast. A vacant beach at the end of summer. Not even a single gull could be seen against the virtually motionless clouds, nor heard amongst the tranquil quiet of the background music.

Swish-swash. Swish-swash. Swish-swash. The tide was low and its melodic shore-lashing was steady and unflinching, but quite inauspicious. The breeze was somber and the rain a mere drizzle. Excitement was not to be found on the beach that day. Just another daily re-enactment of the beach’s ongoing boredom. Little would change until summer gave way to fall which would then fall further into the cold grips of winter, before springing back with some semblance of life as the days grew longer again, stretching back into the summer until June’s solstice returned again to mark the decline of the days’ durations. The solstice had come and gone this summer, and less light was to be found in early dawn and late dusk. Nature’s quiet choir was humming along softly to the tune of emptiness. But that was just above the sea, outside the doors of the great concert hall.

Beneath the sea the story was different. The same old song and dance were not, after all (as a lady-looking dude once put it), the same old song and dance, my friend. As descent crept downwards into the water’s depths, the cool water became further chilled. Surface translucency gave way to an opaque wall of dark blue as the seabed rose up to meet the darkness by the ocean floor. At a certain depth, no rays of light could penetrate the re- lentless blue. But cold as it was in much of the depths, hotspots littered the bottom of the ocean. Deep sea vents from hydrothermal fissures spewed water up into the sea so hot that it was only the terrific pressure of the ocean’s depths which allowed its liquid state to be maintained. Down in these depths was the indoor concert, the show for which priceless tickets would be issued to all visitors, had any been present. The denser the medium, the faster the travelling of the sound. Since density was an immensity at such depths, the sound was fast and the tempo of the music was hurried hastily through the water in all directions. Up above was the surface, where the outdoor concert was in full swing, or as full as the swing would get at that time. Nearly silent and void of energy, the tranquility of the sounds, or lack thereof, served as a lullaby of sorts, coaxing any willing listeners into the sea where the real music was being played. But there were no listeners that day. Yet still it cannot be questioned that the music under the sea that day was anything short of majestic. The Sea Herself sang and danced to the beat of Her own drum. She whistled and howled and bellowed and clapped, and all with complete disregard for anything or anyone. She was the Sea and She was the Life. Her vastness was immeasurable, her depths unfathomable. Brimming with life and seeping with soul, She embraced her existence and the harmony of her being. She was the Sea of Key and she made no apologies for her multidisciplinary approach to music that rendered genres and all other labels useless, placing them into a state of utter obsolescence.

The Lock Range surrounded her bounty, and great as she was, she was boxed in by these mountains. It hadn’t always been this way. She once reigned over the entirety of the globe, but for this brief moment in geologic history, continental and oceanic plates collided just right, such that a box canyon formed by the Locks marked Her boundary on Her outer edge. Even Her prolific girth was locked in by the Locks. But She was the Key and She had everything She needed. Her own body. Her own mind. Her own soul. Her own music. Music, in the Sea of Key.