Beats of Seven
by Peter Orullian
Jimmy Nesbitt sat in the dark of a new moon on the Lincoln City beach and
No obnoxious birds.
No obnoxious lovers strolling.
Just Jimmy and his sound gear, capturing the roll of waves, the susurration of
water over sand, the ticking of air bubbles popping as the water retreated back
toward the ocean. It was the same sound he'd heard a hundred times before . . .
until he detected something more, buried deep in the white noise of waves.
He looked around, irritated, expecting to see someone stomping through the sand
with a portable stereo in one hand on their way to a midnight swim.
Even the occasional sweep of headlights had ceased, leaving the darkness
unbroken and tranquil.
He was alone.
Jimmy reached quickly for his frequency filter, dialing the luminous knobs to try
and isolate the pitch he thought he heard. His heart actually pounded in his chest
-- something music hadn't done for him in quite some time.
And it totally surprised him.
The romance -- if it had ever really been there -- had long gone out of this job.
Recording the ocean had been the only gig he could get once he quit session work
in Los Angeles and Nashville, where musicianship had been replaced by
packaging and sex appeal. If the market for Pacific Ocean Scapes -- the project
that would take him up the entire west coast -- weren't so lucrative, he could
never have endured the mindless sound-tracking of splashing water.
He narrowed in on the frequency, methodically muting levels where he could not
hear the strange sound through his headphones. The rumble of white caps turning
over on themselves fell away, the sizzle of water creeping up wet-packed sand
disappeared as well. He kept at it, eager to identify this new tone, something he
hadn't heard on any other beach south to San Diego.
After several more adjustments, his parametric equalizer began to spike only in the
+10 kilohertz zone.
Jimmy pressed the ear cups of his Sony Pro Studio reference phones tighter
against his head, sealing out further noise.
He gave a smile.