The Song From Saturn

The-Song-From-Saturn-main-4-postby Howard Menger

Although by the fall of 1956 I had become accustomed to encoun­tering the unusual everywhere I turned, an old cabin in the woods, secluded and obscure, was the center of one of my most bizarre experi­ences.

As I stood there, hesitating to walk up to it, I knew it was the only building for miles around. And I knew something had drawn me there, because a few minutes previously, I had suddenly lost control of my car, and realized it was being driven for me by some higher in­telligence.

This new experience was indeed unique, and it opened to me a whole new world of creative expression—one I had no talent for, or thought I hadn’t. Considering the work of the space people, however, I should not have considered it unique, for I had found that continual contact with my friends from outer worlds have seemed to trigger in my con­sciousness many hidden talents and gifts of which I had been com­pletely unaware.

The car, whatever was controlling it, had led me off the main road, and I had ridden for miles through the countryside on little-used roads, not knowing just where I was. When the car came to a stop I looked off through the woods, and there to my left was the old cabin, dilapidated and apparently unused for years.

Whomever or whatever was in the cabin, I knew I had been brought there and that I must enter the old dwelling.

I walked nearer. Very low at first, and then louder, the strains of the most inspiring, soul-tingling music ever to fall upon my ears emanated from the cabin. I paused outside the door, stood there entranced, letting the music flow through me. I seemed to be absorbing the music into my entire body, and my heart almost beat in time to its pulsating rhythm.

The music seemed to soothe and excite me at the same time. Yet I found a bewilderment developing within me, something that disturbed me deeply. What was it? Then I knew the reason. Somehow the music was familiar, but only vaguely so. Had I heard it somewhere—on the radio, on a television show, in the movies? Certainly not this kind of music? Once I had stood suddenly in a great auditorium when an en­tire audience had risen to its feet as a great conductor, now passed on, waved his baton and brought wild crescendos thundering from the brass and percussion sections of the great orchestra. Under his superb direc­tion we heard sounds and emotions never before wrung from the heart of musicians. And some of us had wept.

But this music was not a wild crescendo of sounds, nor a heady emotionalism coaxed from strings. It was a simple melody, apparently played on one instrument.

I pushed timidly on the door, partly ajar. At my touch it swung open, and there, sitting at a piano-like instrument in the middle of the main room was a man, playing the unusual melody.

Little about the man appeared strange. He wore a rough woolen shirt, just as any camper might wear, and trousers tucked into heavy boots. He was ordinary enough, excepting, perhaps, for his long brown hair, which curled under and fell to his shoulders, reminding me of pic­tures of page boys. His skin was smooth and white, and his eyes, which I first saw when he looked at me and smiled, were hazel. His entire demeanor was one of serenity mixed with good humor.

My eyes went from the man to the surroundings. The floor of the rustic cabin was wood, partly covered by a rug. At one end was a huge fireplace, and at the other end I saw a series of instruments which I realized certainly didn’t originate on Earth. From the instruments my eyes went to the wall on which I saw a clock, but a most unusual time­piece. Instead of numbers I saw 12 fluorescent spheres; nor were there hands on the clock: instead I noticed a very bright light on the face of the clock where the hour hand should be. I glanced at my watch, which said 10 minutes to four, then back at the clock and noted the bright light appeared very near the fourth sphere. Where the minute hand should be I saw another light, of lesser intensity.

On the floor were more instruments, one of them a box-like instru­ment with a view screen, something like a portable television set. An­other instrument was shaped similar to a console set, with a coil-like aerial revolving on top of it.

Just then two blonde-headed men stepped from another room, as one of them greeted me, “Hi, Howard, we have been expecting you.” Then he introduced the other blonde man and told me both of them were from Venus.

“And our own private ‘Liberace’ here (as the pianist scowled at them, then grinned) is from Saturn.”

The Saturnian broke off playing with a good-natured, theatrical flourish on the keys, rose and extended his hand. I complimented him on his playing, and told him the music sounded familiar. Then I halted in the middle of a sentence, for I remembered where I had heard the melody. Why, it was the little tune I had so often hummed, and even tried to pick out, unsuccessfully, on the piano. I had never given the melody much thought.

“Sit down and play it, the melody,” he offered, gesturing toward the instrument, but I stammered the only thing I could play was a phono­graph. He put his hand on my shoulder and spoke reassuringly.

“This music you can play, Howard,” and he guided me gently to­ward the chair in front of the “piano.” I sat, protestingly.

“From this time on you will be able to play a piano whenever you are moved to do so, and not only this tune, but any melody you wish.”

I looked down at the keyboard. It was entirely different from a con­ventional piano keyboard. This one was much longer and contained many more keys, which were narrower and had strange symbols on them which I did not understand. The entire instrument was much lower and closer to the floor.

I almost automatically reached down to touch the keys, suddenly knowing which to strike to correspond with the sounds of the melody running through my mind. Although I had never been able to play be­fore, it all seemed natural and delightfully simple.

Although I could not master the subtle nuances I had heard in his playing, I believe I could have played it otherwise as perfectly as he, had my fingers not often struck two of the keys instead of the intended one, probably because of the narrowness.

As I played, the men looked at each other and nodded; then they applauded politely when I finished. I was thrilled and happy, because I knew I had suddenly found a beautiful, haunting melody that had always stirred my imagination, and found myself playing a musical instrument for the first time.

The Saturnian spoke. “You’re wondering why we brought you here for a musical exercise, and it probably seems foolish to you. But it isn’t. You’re going to play this melody on the piano, Howard, and thousands of people of Earth will hear it.”

I visited with them all that night, which we spent talking of many things which would be taking place in the months to follow. Early in the morning we parted, as one of the blonde men saw me to the door and jokingly dismissed me with, “Farewell, Maestro.”

It was still dark, but I started up the car knowing I would be shown the direction back to the main roads. So I just drove wherever my subconscious indicated, and in a very little while recognized a familiar highway. Once or twice I have tried to find the wooded area again when I have been in that section, but without success.

I couldn’t wait until I could find a friend’s house where there was a piano, where I suddenly walked to the instrument, sat down and played a popular song.

As all my friends would exclaim later, this particular one remarked, “But, Howard, you didn’t tell us you could play!”

I had been told that anyone hearing the music the Saturnian and my soul had taught me would get a feeling, or reach an awareness, which would act as a mental assist to release something from the sub­conscious. People hearing the theme would react in their conscious state with increased understanding and brotherly love toward one an­other.

Every musical note, they had explained, has its specific density and frequency which causes a sympathetic vibration, when created at the correct frequency and in certain combinations (witness a glass break­ing in the presence of a high-pitched musical note). This, of course, is an oversimplified example of what happens to the subconscious when certain music is heard—but its principle is similar; in short, sound causes a corresponding effect in one’s innermost mind.

For many months I played the music all over the country, as I noted it did have a noticeable effect upon those who heard it. I taped the music and sent it around to various study groups; but knowing that few people have access to tape recorders I finally was able to have a long-playing record of the music issued for the public.

The congenial president of Slate Enterprises, Newark, N.J., was so impressed by the music he suggested we produce the record, which we titled, very appropriately I thought, “Music From Another Planet,” now available on Slate Record No. 211.

In time I realized that whenever I sat down at the piano and allowed my fingers to stray, other music came through. This became as much a surprise to me as to my friends and relatives who had never heard me play before.*

*) For years I had tried to pick out melodies on the piano with little success.

This was but one of the gifts awakened in me by my brothers from outer space, to whom I am eternally grateful.

Excerpt from Outer Space To You

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