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SCP-3330

Item #: SCP-3330

Object Class: Euclid

Special Containment Procedures: A single unedited collection of SCP-3330 is to be kept in a paper medium and held in a storage locker at Site-59, currently constructed within SCP-2400. This decision was deemed appropriate due to the lack of apparent celestial bodies aside from the seemingly stationary sun located within the dimension outlined in its file. Doing so negates the effects of SCP-3330's cognitohazardous abilities. Furthermore, a proprietary Onsite Reality Event Protocol must be mandated. A system of Scranton Reality Anchors must be placed in every corner of SCP-3330's chamber, as well as four experimental Weak Force Lang-Scranton Stabilizers (WFLSS) in order to maintain a consistent Hume level at all times.

Media outlets, music databases and archives must be monitored and purged of all anomalous copies of SCP-3330. Replications, modified to remove anomalous effects and memetic hazards, are to be distributed to the public in lieu of the original. Historical records involving the composition and events surrounding performances of SCP-3330 are to be altered and replaced with an appropriate cover story.

Access to the instances in Foundation custody is restricted only to O5 clearance.

Description: SCP-3330 is the designation for the collective works of late composer and pianist John Milton Cage Jr. from the years of 1961 through 1978. These compositions include the Atlas Eclipticalis (1961–62), Etudes Australes (1974–75), Freeman Etudes (1977–90), and Etudes Boreales (1978). Upon the time of its initial recovery, only ██ recordings have ever been performed on any part of the collection and, due to the complexity of the pieces themselves, only █ have ever been recorded with the precision necessary to manifest SCP-3330's anomalous effects.

SCP-3330 instances are presented in a series of short songs called etudes. For example, Freeman Etudes consists of 32 individual parts.

Cage's style of play was well known as discordant at best. Experimental works involving randomness, striking, rubbing the body of the piano, and other oddities were considered his penchant. After 1960, however, John Cage's modus operandi became heavily dependent on complex astronomical charts, using imprints of the night sky to determine note placement. After the attempted live performance of Atlas Eclipticalus on ██/██/████ at the ███████████ Center for the Arts, Foundation agents were deployed and, during the subsequent investigation, it was determined that the use of these charts were the root of SCP-3330's anomalous properties.

SCP-3330's effects become apparent when an individual listens to any of these selected works performed from the start, within a 99% accuracy. Recordings and live plays must be carried out by one individual1 using both hands. Sound waves performed synchronously as described within the parameters of the sheet music have a minor reality-warping effect, the strength of which is amplified the longer the pieces are played without error.

While within the range of hearing SCP-3330, affected individuals aside from the performer experience an inexorable compulsion to face directly towards the origin of the sound. The reason for this is currently unknown, but it is believed to be a resultant effect of cognitohazardous glyphs created from the frequency of the sounds, essentially forcing the creation of an audience. Spectrographic analysis has revealed multiple instances of [DATA EXPUNGED] within the ambient noise of many recordings, which, upon visual contact, resulted in a minor █████████████ Reality Event and a total loss of █ personnel.

Subjects who survive witnessing an anomalous performance will unanimously describe the music as beautiful or poignant, and may attempt to expose themselves again if at all possible, despite any and all negative effects experienced while listening to the songs. They may also attempt to expose others to the anomalous songs if they are around.

Repeated or extended exposure can cause exceptional recall of the complexity of the melody, causing affected victims to hum or make noises in accordance to the songs' layouts. This has been shown to propagate the effects to a lesser degree. These effects will in turn intensify with the number of affected individuals participating. This is considered a memetic hazard and proper dampening headgear is advised while interacting with anyone exposed to SCP-3330.

A number of tests were performed to ascertain the exact effects of SCP-3330. Due to the extreme difficulty in performing the pieces, individuals were chosen based on prior experience in music theory and piano proficiency. Tests were performed in a sound-proofed containment chamber to minimize unwanted exposure to SCP-3330.

Testing logs to be constructed in the following format:
SPECIFIC WORK:
SUBJECTS:
DURATION PLAYED:
TEST RESULTS:
NOTES:

SPECIFIC WORK: Atlas Eclipticalus
SUBJECTS: One (1) D-Class Personnel, former concert pianist
DURATION PLAYED: 5:12/3:15:00
TEST RESULTS: Within thirty seconds of synchronous play, the area surrounding the D-Class began to dim, creating what appeared to be an inverted visual bloom. After about ninety seconds, the bloom faded into black smoke, concealing the performer. At exactly two minutes fifteen seconds into the test, the Hume rating of the surrounding containment area began to rise steadily at around .2 Hm/min. No other changes to local reality were detected. Upon the cessation of the test, assumed to be due to error, the smoke rapidly dissipated and the subject collapsed in apparent seizure, pronounced dead ██ minutes later.
NOTES: We probably shouldn't have used one of our best first. - Researcher Ling

SPECIFIC WORK: Atlas Eclipticalus
SUBJECTS: Two (2) D-Class Personnel, both proficient in piano, operating in tandem instead of a single two-handed performance.
DURATION PLAYED: 2:23/3:15:00
TEST RESULTS: No effect.
NOTES: It is aggravatingly difficult finding a single D-Class capable of performing this. - Researcher Ling

SPECIFIC WORK: Atlas Eclipticalus
SUBJECTS: One (1) D-Class, moderately proficient in piano
DURATION PLAYED: 2:03/3:15:00
TEST RESULTS: Blooming effect began at the thirty second mark, followed by the rapid conversion to smoke at ninety seconds in. Test concluded via error. Upon cessation, D-Class complained of moderate headache and experienced minor epistaxis. Full recovery was seen within two days.
NOTES: Confirms the correlation between duration played and intensity of effects. - Researcher Ling

SPECIFIC WORK: Freeman Etudes
SUBJECTS: One (1) D-Class, moderately proficient in piano
DURATION PLAYED: 10:45/2:47:15
TEST RESULTS: No changes were observed within the first thirty seconds of play. Soon after, a partially-incorporeal entity materialized on the top of the piano, sitting in what appeared to be a relaxed position. Entity, now referred to as SCP-3330-1, was docile and fully capable of telepathic speech. Therefore, the remainder of this performance is spent as an impromptu interview with Dr. Harkness. (See Interview Log 3330-1A). Upon cessation due to error, the entity turned towards the performer and [DATA EXPUNGED].
NOTES: [DATA EXPUNGED]. Freeman Etudes testing halted indefinitely. This is just too much. - Site-59 Director

SPECIFIC WORK: Etudes Borealis
SUBJECTS: One (1) D-Class, moderately proficient in piano, Two (2) D-Class, observing performance
DURATION PLAYED: 1:05/18:45
TEST RESULTS: After three seconds of synchronous play, the D-Class immediately faced the performer. At the fifteen second mark, D-Class in observation showed displays of glossolalia, speaking in unison in an unknown tongue. Upon cessation, all involved showed signs of confusion and reduced brain function. Amnestics were supplied and full recovery was established within a week.
NOTES: Post editing analysis shows the vocalizations bear remarkable resemblance to those of the Fifth Church. - Researcher Ling

SPECIFIC WORK: Etudes Borealis
SUBJECTS: One (1) D-Class, proficient in piano, Two (2) D-Class, observing performance
DURATION PLAYED: 14:11/18:45
TEST RESULTS: After three seconds of synchronous play, the D-Class again faced the performer. Fifteen seconds in, D-Class in observation showed marked glossolalia, speaking in unison. After the two minute mark, the Hume rating in the containment area began to rise at approximately .4 Hm/min. Dimensions of the containment chamber began to expand in all directions, this change going unnoticed by all involved aside from research staff. Despite the floor dropping out, subjects were not affected by this change. Vocalizations from observing D-Class appeared to increase in intensity until the five minute mark, during which the D-Class returned to silence. At this point, no walls, ceiling or floor could be seen through the observation window. Fifteen seconds after, the piano being used began to bleed from its seams, pooling onto an invisible floor. The act goes unseen by the performer. Upon cessation, all D-Class involved lost abstract conceptualization of self, collapsing onto the rapidly normalizing floor and becoming unresponsive to most stimuli.
NOTES: When we brought them out, they kept repeating "So close" - Researcher Ling

SPECIFIC WORK: Etudes Borealis
SUBJECTS: One (1) D-Class, proficient in piano, Two (2) D-Class, observing performance
DURATION PLAYED: 18:45/18:45
TEST RESULTS: Test proceeded identically as planned. As the performance continued, the piano bled heavily, masking the invisible floor. According to backup footage, Researcher Ling expressed a rising humming sound originating from the chamber beginning at around 18:15. Upon completion of the piece, the piano emitted a 145 dB screeching noise which caused all staff within four times the audible range of the chamber to exsanguinate via otorrhagia. Hume ratings in the chamber began to fluctuate rapidly as a corporeal figure in similar shape to SCP-3330-1 emerged from the pool of blood. Danger-level Hume changes caused an Onsite Reality Event, triggering alert systems to power up the WFLSS protocol2 as a means of normalizing Hume ratings within the chamber. The automated system was able to do so before SCP-3330-1 was able to escape, successfully recontaining the entity and causing it to dissipate.
NOTES: Borealis testing is halted indefinitely - Site-59 Director

SPECIFIC WORK: Etudes Australes
SUBJECTS: One (1) D-Class, former concert pianist
DURATION PLAYED: 0:00/2:49:33
TEST RESULTS: D-Class expressed difficulty reading sheet music provided. A non-anomalous copy was provided and proved to be legible. It is unknown why this has occurred. D-Class has the same problems when viewing any other of the affected works.
NOTES: Damnit, that's the last of our incarcerated concert pianists. - Dr. Harkness

SPECIFIC WORK: Etudes Australes
SUBJECTS: One (1) D-Class, moderately proficient at piano, one (1) D-Class observing the performance.
DURATION PLAYED: 10:13/2:49:33
TEST RESULTS: After two seconds of synchronous play, observing D-Class faced performer and remained motionless. During periods of silence throughout the performance, observing D-Class bled through most orifices on their body. No reaction to this was observed. At the ten minute mark, a number of hooded human figures materialized on the opposite end of the chamber, observing the performance. Test aborted thirteen seconds later via error. Upon cessation, hooded figures assault pianist, slicing off his fingers with a black knife before dematerializing. Observing D-Class dies from exsanguination shortly after.
NOTES: Enough. Australes testing is now halted at this time. - Site-59 Director

Cage's journal was recovered in his place of residence following his death in 1992. Despite some destruction and wear of the notes, many of the entries were still legible.

Another day, another moment of my life gone but for these damned compositions. I can't figure it out, at a precipice. I think I'm losing sight of my own interests in the music, the passion. The notes and the silences together in harmony. I reminisce to a point where I once avoided the egotistical nature of popular music, the repetition, the stagnancy. Not to mention a little horror of the void.

Yet, my pieces seem to be drifting toward the main, that rhythm of ego, hackneyed and useless. I have no feeling for this harmony. I remember when Schoenberg said that to make great compositions, you must have the harmony. He didn't think I had it in me. He said, 'You'll come to a wall you won't be able to get through.' So I said to him, 'I'll dedicate my life to beating my head against that wall.'

Yet where am I now? Maybe I will break and stay on this side forever. I think must look for harmony elsewhere. Not the harmony of the ego. Something else. The harmony of nature, perhaps?

The next thirty-four pages involve handwritten music notation, most of which have been crossed out or unfinished. The following page bears a sketch of a nautilus shell.

I think I've got it. It's in the math. The mathematics of nature, truly the greatest harmony. Intrinsic. Ever present. I will find my sound, and my comfort, among these numbers, like reveries, veins in the leaves around us. Branching off into infinity. A friend mentioned something about hexagrams, I must look into this further. Randomness… is comforting. To have purpose in this universe would be arduous.

I saw a shape today, some polyhedral thing. Got my head moving, slowly, achingly. I'm onto something, I think. Infinite things show true randomness too. Art can be created from nothing. Maybe it can be created from everything as well.

Fourteen pages of music notation, some abandoned. Several drawings of Platonic solids occupy the voids in the corners of the pages.

There is power in the numbers. It's hazy, but I'm getting there. It intrigues me. Surely something in the math, something in the shapes, perhaps? Those shapes… make up everything? This is the core of the universe, yes? This most basic of structures. It has to be what makes up the infinite nature of everything. That true chaos, with beautiful quiet and endlessness. Novel, forever.

But is this truly it? Is it the most intrinsic harmony? Solids are solids, but nature is unpredictable, flowing, eroding. After all, what are we but just entropy? We slowly unwind into our own randomness.

Maybe I am just cracking my skull against that impenetrable wall once more? It certainly feels like I am. Something is still missing.

I've composed a new piece, Music of Changes. I tried the randomness, and the math. What happens may come. I am saying nothing more on the subject. That is how poetry works.

Christian showed me the I Ching, it is a brilliant. At last, I'm making my own sound. Free from the bonds of the expected, the ordinary, yet still bound to something greater than ourselves, persistent through time, constant but ever-changing.

I had a friend make me a keepsake from one of those shapes I was researching. A pocket-sized dodecahedron. Feels right. Almost like it's always warm. ███████ made it, sanded it down, looks almost geometrically perfect. Almost.

A number of other recursive sketches are seen in the next six pages, with very little focus on compositions themselves. A few failed attempts at highly detailed fractal patterns are present, some resembling religious iconography, particularly ████████'s ████.

Silence is not acoustic. It is simply a change of mind.

But what lies between the gaps in the silence? Quieter silence? Is it like white noise, spaces filled in with recursion that extends forever yet nowhere. Going nowhere. Is that where I am going? Changes did nothing for me in the end. I felt close. So close. But not close enough

This aural experiment, this maddening labyrinth of passable cacophony. I feel more in tune with where I want to go, but I am too confused to know how to get there.

The backlash I've been receiving was expected. Unconventional does not imply a lack of talent. Still, it hurts a bit. It isn't futile. Only sleep for now.

[EXTRANEOUS ENTRIES REMOVED]

An odd thing happened to me today. A man I have never met approached me on the street and commended my work. I'm not new to having fans- even if they are few and far between at the moment. No, this fellow seemed different. Odd attire, but a comforting gaze. Green eyes.

He said something like 'I'm sure your music, like those of other great musicians, would continue to evolve towards what the composer wants most, not the audience'. His tone was odd and unreadable.

The next phrase rings out with purpose.

'You have the power to create great things. Your music will beckon the ears of the universe.'

It isn't my purpose to be the best. I have no purpose. I like it that way.

I expressed my frustrations at the lack of new ideas, new experiments. He laughed and said that 'When all is lost, look to the stars'. I looked away for a second and he was gone, like leaves in the breeze. That's okay, they usually don't ask for autographs.

Strange note, he had this pendant on his neck. I remember it quite well. It too was of a star, made of a glimmering green stone. Darker than the man's eyes, but much more captivating. I would guess it to be jade, probably more valuable than my career itself.

His presence put me in a funk. My head has been cloudy. Once the clouds clear, maybe I will take a look at the night sky. Can't hurt, right?

It's in the stars. It has to be. I spent a month pondering, researching into constellations, on the brink, I began to notice the connections. I am ecstatic. My excitement was not diminished despite my colleagues' inability to perceive patterns, hah!

I look at the night sky and all I see are infinite possibilities in infinite directions. As the world turns I see more and more. 'When all is lost, look to the stars'. It reverberates within me. Between those points of light lie vast silence. Points, like notes on a canvas, painted by an artist using sound alone.

I'll take a map of the night sky, derive notes from the placement of these stars. That'll do it. This atlas of the sky will lead me home.

The next four pages involve attempts at matching star systems with notes. Many are scratched out, but the last two pages have legible sheet notation.

I've done it. I've cracked the code, so to speak. The stars speak to me in a way I cannot form into words, and my notation flows without effort. I know what to write, when to write it. I hear the notes in my head, I don't even need to touch the piano. Everything has clicked into place.

I've barricaded myself in here aside from trips for food. I need to finish this. Thank you, atlas. I'll dedicate this composition to you.

The next eighty-six pages involve odd notations and sketches of constellations.

Atlas Eclipticalis is finished. I had dedicated parts of it to some friends, colleagues, and the stars themselves. Despite my efforts, my work was not well received, again and I haven't even heard back from ████ or ██████ ████████ with their usual constructive criticisms. I hope my oddities did not scare them off!

Interestingly, I ran into that strange fellow I had encountered last year on my way to the market. He applauded me on my work and said something or other that I didn't quite catch. I heard no words, but it probably had to do with purpose. I ignored it. My eyes kept being drawn to the glint of the stone on his neck. A perfect five points encased in deep, deep green. Staring at it made my head spin, so I thanked him and went on my way. His face was wry for a moment, or two, before he left my presence. That bothered me. It wasn't what bothered me the most though.

Those five points still puncture my brain.

[EXTRANEOUS ENTRIES REMOVED]

████ is dead. They said he was found cold at his piano. Cardiac arrest, they think. At least he died where he loved most. He was a good man.

They said he had my notes on the stand. Poor fellow. Probably took one look at my debauchery and keeled over.

Well, I'm still at it, ████. Sorry friend, my music must go on.

The next thirty-three pages involve more of the same notation, as well as what appears to be constellations that coincide to no known systems in our observable universe.

Years ago I said the notes of the stars flowed freely, like a river. That I never had to touch the piano because I felt an almost symbiotic relationship with my muse. It doesn't feel that way anymore. The notes surge through my brain, faster than I can catch sometimes. They come in like orders. I'm tired. I'm trying. I'm sorry.

Freeman Etudes?? Why on Earth would I name it that? Who is the free one here? What is your plan, for this, for me? No, I shouldn't ask questions. This is bigger than me. Bigger than everyone.

The next one hundred and twelve pages are comprised of complex notations and a series of cognitohazardous symbols. Exposure to these symbols cause a marked increase in comprehension of astronomy and fascination with related anomalous designations, most commonly SCP-2070, SCP-1548, SCP-████, and SCP-1425.

If any individual is exposed and begins to express classified knowledge or interest in celestial-based SCPs, they should be administered class-A amnestics and periodically checked for relapse via standard psychological evaluations.

You know my friend, the one that made me the dodecahedron? Turns out he was the fellow I met at the market. Or, rather, knew for years! Funny I didn't recognize his face. He's become a quieter fellow than I remember, but I'm sure our kinship is still re-ignitable. There are only coincidences in this world, never fates, and that is good. Made it all the more special.

It was confirmed today when he dropped by and gave me another wooden shape. It almost caught my eye more than the jade, but it wasn't until he left that I could actually take a good look at it.

It's perfect. Similar to mine, but with these lovely points protruding from where the pentagonal faces of the former lay. I think he called it stellated or something. It doesn't matter. The shape filled the space of my old and I felt something… Strange. Strange but good. Confident. I like the pentagon, five is a good number. Five.

Twenty pages of the notebook have been torn out here.

Borealis was more than just music. I can't beflrbelieve what a fool I've been. Thli The notes flow no more. My head is hollow. I thought I was making my own, but it was nflr never me. I was being fed. My plrPURPOSE. All I did was take a bunch of random dots and connect them. But I wasn't using the map, I was mki plr making the map. The music made the roads. And now it knows how to get here. All that is left is the tlei obr fl rei plr tlei myr. And itss all my flaut.

Interview 3330-1A

Interviewer: Dr. J. Harkness
Interviewee: SCP-3330-1

SCP-3330-1: I see you watching the show Doctor. Why not listen as well? The music suits you. It suits everyone.

Dr. Harkness: (Startled, out loud) What the fuck?!

SCP-3330-1: Relax, Doctor, I'm in here. Not out there. Join me in the music. The harmony, the harmony of the stars. Dead stars. You would not believe it.

Dr. Harkness: I don't understand.

SCP-3330-1: Oh, but you will. That puppet that put my thoughts into sound, he drew a map of rotted out stars. Those pathetic, celestial ghosts lead me right back here. Following them like a trail of burnt out lightbulbs or breadcrumbs or the blood that runs from an open wound. All while you sit here and mock my work, blaspheme it. Are you not perfect? Are you not like me? I am perfect. Your world is not, and it will die, Doctor. It will die in Fives. Now give me my maps.

Subject failed to keep synchronous play at this point and the interview was concluded.

page revision: 20, last edited: 31 May 2017 21:09
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