Tones of Calcium

Calcium-3 rsc

Calcium, the 20th element, is essential in the life of a cell. Calcium ions move in and out of the cytoplasm and act as a signal for metabolic processes. Bones, teeth, shells, limestone, dolomite, quick lime for cement, the formation of stalagmites and stalactites are all calcium-based materials.

 calcium metal

Calcium is also important for plants. Since calcium is generally in a non-soluble form it depends on microbes to digest it and make it available to plants. The microbes eat the minerals and send tentacles to the root ends. The plant shares life-giving sap with the microbes and the microbes share the minerals that they have processed. This is where the work of Masanobu Fukuoka, the author of “One Straw Revolution,” is pertinent as he shows a method of growing that does not cut the soil and therefore leaves all of the microorganisms intact and their symbiotic relationship with plants strong. It is from this relationship that plants increase their vitality and nutritional content. The animal kingdom therefore has a direct and concrete connection with the microbial world.

calcium flame test

Calcium burns with a brick red flame, reacts with water to form hydrogen gas and combines quickly with other substances. It is the 5th most abundant element on the earth and is not found in a pure form. It quickly reacts in air to form calcium oxide that has a white coating to the alkali metal. It is soft and can be cut with a knife, though, with difficulty.


Calcium has a great number of spectral lines. This time I made a 30 second recording of all of the tones together. I expected to hear a wild dissonance, yet instead the tones worked together. What a surprise.

The next soundscape is a two and a half minute recording that highlights some of the more consonant relationships between the tones of the colors with an improvisation.

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