30 Hertz Soul

30 Hertz Soul



Programme notes

‘30 Hertz Soul’ was part of a song cycle called The Hammerhead Arias that toured in 1999 with Anne La Berge and Aurelia Saxophone Quartet. It was very loosely based on an argument between the followers of Rameau and Rousseau in the 18th century called the Querelle des Bouffons, which was really an argument about the origin of music itself. Did it start with the human voice, with melody developing alongside language? Or did arise from harmony, coming from the Platonic vision of the harmony of the spheres and nature itself? I thought of arranging the songs so that they would alternate between the two sides of the argument. This song got a bit out of hand with Rameau’s idea of the bass line revealing the true harmonic structure of music spinning off into a modern pop obession with bass itself.


I know a boy
a young man with the luck of a fall guy
working for the clown at a deep fry
he went to the doctor, the doctor said “son,
there’s no doubt about it, you’re a feeble-brained one
you got a tune in your head but its M.O.R. lane
you gotta build up the muscles on your tympanic membrane”

cho: hey, beep beep
dig down deep to your 30 hertz soul
get a grip on it
its made to fit
30 hertz soul

he walks out of the office, he’s heated and vibed
eternally grateful to a doctor who prescribed
2 woofers the size of UFO’s
surgically attached to his ears, up his nose
pure bass mainline direct to his brain
now he’s a low-fi rudeboy with his finger on the gain

bass, the basis of experience
your radio is ‘castin the fishy interferience
without a hundred-procent double beefed-up bass
everywhere you dial you wind up in the wrong place
your tweeter is leaking, it’s dripping sentimental
don’t miss out on the missing fundamental
take a left on that tone control
wake up kid to your 30 hertz soul

I knew a girl
a young girl with the future of a fruit fly
couldn’t get invited to a drive-by
went to a shrink, he shook his head and said, “honey,
you can only fix that with a sack full of money
from your wonderbread, brain-dead, simon said clothes
with those shoes that say ‘loser’ and the 10¢ glitter toes
lucky for you, I got a cure that’s fantastic
but time’s up, baby, cash or plastic”

well, the very next day she won the lotto
hit her shrink over the head with a champagne bottle
his dying words to her were “darling, lemme confide:
you don’t need the cure, you need a brand new ride
with a custom-installed, wall-to-wall megasubsonic hi-i-i–fi”
now her head’s still showing that rent-a-brain glow
but her limo’s lined with a 30 hertz soul

hey, beep beep
dig down deep to your 30 hertz soul
get a grip on itits made to fit30 hertz soul, 30 hertz soulhey, beep beepdig down deep to your 30 hertz soulget your head outta that cloudand turn your life around30 hertz soul, 30 hertz soullow down dirty 30 hertz soul

© 1999 VOLSAP Music, Amsterdam