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.