Pursuit of Trivia – Part 2: The Mercy Seat

Hydrothermal slosh in the plumbing of the Phlegraean Fields produces a characteristic long period, low frequency (0.4-1 Hz) microseismic tremor. Persistent higher frequency tremors (in the 5-15 Hz range) associated with other volcanic features are also present. An obvious question: do lunar (and lunar-solar) earth-tidal effects influence this seismicity? The work of Simona Petrosino and Stéphanie Dumont (and others) suggests that the answer is ‘Yes’.

Here’s what I want to do. To honor Hekate Trivia – in whom Selene (moon), Diana (woods), and Proserpine (underworld) are conjoined – and whose seismic footsteps were the terrifying signal that the katabasis in Aeneid Book VI should commence – I want to erect a golden throne in a cave near the ruined oracular complex of the Cumaean Sibyl, and install a network of Raspberry Boom infrasound monitors in the grove of Q. ilex sacred to Diana that still surrounds it.

Because these low-frequency tremors are inaudible (human audition is in the range of 20 Hz – 20,000 Hz), I think it makes sense – following the lead of recent projects like Hertz by Graeme Marlton and Juliet Robson – to either wire the throne with a transducer that will cause it to shake, face a large subwoofer onto it, or both. The idea is to monitor local microseismic infrasound, filter the data, extract the relevant amplitudes, use them to modulate sound waves at the lowest threshold of human audition, and push those through the subwoofer and/or transducer into flesh and bone. I’d like to be able to do this in real time and, ideally, find ways to isolate and emphasize gravitational arpeggios detected in the holy forest by robot fruit as one sits below in hypogeal darkness on an electrified throne quaking with moon music played on a super volcano.

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