Two years ago I had some major surgery that required an MRI test. The two technicians at the hospital turned out to be German ex-pats. Prior to the test they asked me what music I would like to listen do during the 25 minute or so procedure (Only if you’ve had an MRI will you appreciate what follows).

I asked what the choices were. Most of them were pretty blah. I asked them if they had anything classical and the best they could come up with were Bach and Mozart. I asked if they had anything else. One of them looked at me and said they had a CD with something by Stockhausen, but neither had ever heard it and nobody had ever requested it.

Well, I suffered through it while confined in that little tube. It was the most hellacious experience I’ve ever had. Only after doing some research later did I discover that the inventor of the MRI machine had asked Stockhausen to write some music that would drown out the dreadful racket the machine made while it was doing its thing. As long as I live I’ll never forget that experience and I pray I never have to have another MRI.

~ Stockhausen fan in Southern California.

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