We'll start the show with "Sonic Mysteries," Wagner's classic love story "Tristan und Isolde" revealed. What's that famous "Tristan Chord" all about, anyway? Composer Danny Felsenfeld takes a look under the hood to reveal the power, the beauty and the "game" of the infamous Tristan Chord. Music writer John Rockwell helps illustrate how those few simple notes have changed the course of Western music and become part of the musical collective unconscious. This segment also features a Tristan Chord "Mashup," tracing the trajectory of the Chord from Wagner's opera all the way to the Alt-rock band, Radiohead.
And since we have music on the mind, we'll pair that story with a piece called "Radio Rorschach Test" by producer Aaron Henkin. In this puzzling piece, Henkin gets average folks to respond to sonic inkblots. Play along with us on Monday, Aug. 17 at 7 p.m. Central Time on KFAI, 90.3 FM Minneapolis. The show is also archived for two weeks after airing on the station's website.