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The Goldfish Controller

from by The David Nelligan Thing

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I'm in the control room. It sounds bizarre to the uninitiated, but from here I can control the movements of a particular goldfish.

Inside the control room, there are two main screens, one for each eye, with flashing lights and buttons underneath and further panels and displays built into the desk. Several are for motor control, some for waste expulsion, some for sensory organs. There is one for every bland inevitability of life.

My job is to keep the show going. I make the goldfish eat when food appears, excrete waste when necessary, extract oxygen using the respiratory systems. I don't even have to understand how gills work, it's all automated. But I can exert control sometimes, when all the automation gets too boring. I can swim to one side of the tank, then back to where I came from, past the old-fashioned diving suit leaking its bubbles to the surface.

I can focus the eyes on the human interactions beyond the tank and imagine what they are saying to each other. I hear them with their underwater, out-of-focus voices, their muffled low-end utterances. I can never really make out much of it. And it's not really relevant to my world.

I swim back to the diver. Sometimes I swim right into his stream of bubbles. A purple panel on the desk lights up and makes a peculiar sound. I quite enjoy it. It sounds musical to me. Swimming into the bubbles is just about the most exciting thing I get to do here.

There's another goldfish in the tank. I'm not sure it has anyone to control it. I think it's just a fish.


from Give Me A Sine, released June 19, 2015
Written, composed, arranged, produced, performed, conceived and executed by David Nelligan.



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The David Nelligan Thing Cork, Ireland

The David Nelligan Thing is a dynamic musical experiment. Thanks for checking it out. Listen loud!

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