One Note - Part I

Naia weighs in

“When we sit with images and sounds, rather than flee farther into our rational minds, the imagination quietly reawakens to the possibilities of wonder and awe.” - William O’ Daly

The first question they always ask is, “What did you do?”

The second is, “Who are you?”

And the third, the inevitable third, “Why you?”

The simple answers are, “Nothing, no one special, and not a clue.” But they don’t want to hear that. Like dozens before her, this uninvited newshound was hoping to get an exclusive - to ferret out an undiscovered clue - to trick me into telling her how we pulled it off. Because the truth was just too hard to accept.

Here’s the truth. I have no idea what combination of people, events, and songs triggered the One Note, but if I did I sure as hell wouldn’t tell a journo sporting a Jessica Rabbit avatar named Hot Tips.

After the third question, I called up my gestures menu, selected “Fold Arms” and “Scowl,” then waited for Hot Tips’s inevitable, “Fuck You!” and middle finger salute as she teleported away.

“Wow Naia, you sure told her, didn’t you?” Dizzy smirked from his seat atop the pile of old apple crates stacked to the left of the stage.

“Yeah you were so articulate,” Busker chimed in from the crate beside Diz. “Best interview yet.”

“Oh bite me!” I snapped back. “I’d like to see either of you do any better.” Today was already shaping up to be a royal PITA, and I’d only just logged in. “You know as well as I do that we didn’t have an interview scheduled.”

“Right,” Busk agreed. “Besides, we don’t do interviews anymore.”

“We’ve said all we have to say on the subject,” Dizzy added.

“Everything we know is posted on our website,”

“No, we don’t give private tours.”

“No, we don’t care to speculate on the causes, political ramifications, or spiritual implications of One Note.”

“Donations to the “Solve the One Note Mystery Fund” can be made on our Patreon page.”

“Any amount is gratefully accepted.”

“For all other inquiries, please contact our agent, Elvira Know-Nothing.”

Well done,” I said, cueing my eye roll and slow-clap. “I’m impressed.”

“You should be,” Busk said. “We’re impressive. What’s eating you anyway, Naia? You seem genuinely miffed.”

“I am,” I admitted, “but I’m not really sure why.”

“You shouldn’t let those reporters get to you,” Dizzy said, jumping off the crates and taking a seat beside me on the stage. Dizzy’s avatar looks like a cross between a smurf and a baby dragon with puffs of smoke curling out of his nostrils. The colors change from baby pink to gold to turquoise and magenta depending on his mood. You’d never guess he’s a neuroscientist in his first life, but it suits him.

“I know,” I agreed.

“Besides,” Busk added, “they’ve been great for business. I’m still stunned about that multi-stream deal. If good old DigiWriter hadn’t been there at the show and written that first-person account, we’d still be pinching pennies.”

I know, I know,” I agreed again. Everything my two partners were saying was true. Because One Note started with us (affecting only those attending the concert inworld or listening to one of our eight Livestream channels), it was assumed that we’d worked some kind of high tech wizardry or pulled off a massive media hoax.

To be fair, only those who didn’t experience One Note were calling it a hoax. The rest of us? Well the rest of us were gradually coming together like migratory birds returning to the place of their birth. For better or worse, that place was here on a tiny plot of virtual land, in a tiny virtual club created by three old friends who wanted to give out-of-work musicians a place to play and their fans a place to hear them. I understood why everyone felt compelled to be here, but that didn’t make it any easier.

If you live on a desert island without cell service, access to the web, other human beings, or newspapers, you can be forgiven for wondering who these bozos are, what a One Note is, and what could possibly have happened to cause such a fuss. An actual description of the experience will have to wait, however. I’m still too stunned and confused to write anything coherent. But I will. I promise I will, and I’ll try to get Dizzy and Busker to chime in too. In the meantime, I can set the stage.

As I said, my two friends (Dizzy and Busker) and I started a virtual club for musicians and their fans. This was right in the middle of the plague when it wasn’t safe to share air with anyone, so avatars and virtual spaces made a lot of sense. The club was popular because we featured performers with real talent and a commitment to people and the planet. No death metal, hardcore punk, or crack rock for us. Think James Taylor, Jason Mraz, and U2 with some Joni Mitchell and Nina Simone thrown in for good measure.

That day, the last musician - a young guy who goes by the name of Shucks - was just finishing his set with “Love Will Keep Us Alive,” by the Eagles. Members of the audience had pulled out lighters and were swaying in time to the melody when it happened. And nothing has been the same since.

Notes from a Pesky Reporter

Jena here. As one of the reporters (I do not have a Jessica Rabbit avatar) trying to make sense of this story, I confess to being more than a little skeptical and confused. On the one hand, things like this don’t happen in a rational, science-based world. On the other, too many people were affected to be able to just write it off as a fluke.

If you have any idea about what is going on (or simply want to scoff) write to me at

P.S. There will be no direct questions for you to ponder going forward as I am hoping that the story itself will keep you guessing and looking for answers as it unfolds. That said, any questions, feedback, or criptic critiques are welcome :-)

P.P.S.S. This is the last post in this series that will be entirely free to read. I will continue to publish reviews of concerts and musicians as time allows, but the One Note saga will only be available to paid subscribers. I hope you’ll understand. I have a strange addiction to eating and paying bills.


Copyright 2021 by Jena Ball. All Rights Reserved.