The popular Car Arm Alarm is a duplet of flat B’s that bend upwards. Within this short mechanical musical phrase, one can hear the ten thousand voices of nature crying out for an audience. Like the quick stridulation of an insect or the glissando of a bird, the Car Arm Alarm is followed by long rests that carry great moral weight. Like the clucks and bwoks of a chicken, it seems to speak in onomatopoeia (What’s it sayin?). Like the “klup, klup” of Mario’s fireball, or the “pew, pew” of a lazer gun, it travels on for great distances, bouncing off walls, and over hills.
Perhaps, this little phrase is man’s own “proprietorial call”, fashioned after the territorial songs of animals who’ve everything to lose. Drag over the noteheads below, from left to right, to listen to the Car Arm Alarm, or click on the image to view the Car Arm Alarm Waveform.
Each “chwup” begins on a flat B (about halfway between a B and a Bb, like the Grid Hum), and then bends upwards. The first tone doesn’t bend as high, and only reaches around a C, while the second goes to a D. The whole thing sounds like a whole tone interval (C to D) because of how quickly each note bends.
The Car Arm Alarm may have originally been inspired by bird calls, but in turn, it has inspired new bird calls of its own. Lyre birds and mockingbirds are known to imitate the Car Arm Alarm among other man-made sounds. It’s starting to get confusing out here in the jungle, as I often mistake the hum of a street light for a hive of bees, car alarms for the calls of birds, and hallucinate ringtones arpeggiating out from silent buttocks.
Hmm, maybe it should be Car Alarm Arm? Either way, three times fast is two too many fast.