Mystery

SOLVED. SORT OF. REALLY!

(I decided to maintain the focus on the first person who helped solve the mystery because it was cool as hell and resulted in a pretty clean recording, but a more conclusive solution follows)

After many many years of fruitless wandering, I finally have a very satisfying lead. A gentleman named Kirk dropped me a line using a burner Reddit account with an impossibly casual link to an mp3 that was… oh… just exactly the piece of music I have been haunted by since 1783.

He didn’t include any video and didn’t have too many additional details, but the facts check out and the sounds are on point so the prize has been CLAIMED.

If you have actual video or juicy addendum details, do not be shy. This is still a fairly serious preoccupation for me and we can work on something, but for now I just want you to sit back and immerse yourself in the unexpectedly funky sounds of someone who may or may not be Francois De Roubaix.

HUGE UPDATE 10/10/16

Someone commented on the video above but then seems to have pulled the comment and I don’t want to blow up a shy guy’s spot, so without any commentary, I present a clip of the actual video content with music and everything. It fits with my lingering suspicion that it accompanied some kind of mixometric / cutout shapes animation but I was more memory-dazzled by the stop motion fruit animation that comes immediately after, which I hadn’t thought about in 3 decades. Anyway, PLEASE ENJOY!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0gyCa61wBs&feature=youtu.be


 

Congratulations, you have found the page where I am documenting the actual white whale of my otherwise perfect bedrock of nostalgic recall. The ultimate Pinwheel (or maybe not) Musical Challenge!

READ THIS FIRST. PLEASE READ IT. I BEG YOU.

I am pretty good at Google. I don’t really need your help with very basic Googling. This is not a Google challenge. I appreciate all the people who have been eager to help, but now I’ve been at this for a while and I’m kind of tired of being polite when people send me the Pinwheel theme song as a suggestion. I mean… honestly man… I’m trying to be as nice as I can be, but do you truly imagine that I did not check the Pinwheel theme song??

If you read to the end, you can see a more or less up-to-date list of the things I have already ruled out. It’s definitely not anything you will find in a half hour of web searching. If this mystery is ever solved, it will be because the music rings a bell or you grew up in whatever country made the original animation or you worked for Nickelodeon in 1982 or something.

The Challenge!

This music has been stuck in my head since I was a kid. It is very vivid in my mind. It is so clear that I would bet a small amount of money that the main melody line is 100% accurate. The bassline and the little waltzy accent notes might be off, but the melody? Confidence is HIGH.

The Premise: This is the opening and/or closing theme to some kind of short segment that I believe would have been part of Pinwheel, Calliope, Today’s Special, Great Space Coaster, maybe even Turkey TV or some other budget educational / daytime children’s programming from the very early 1980’s (I’m thinking ’82 or ’83 tops).

In my mind’s ear, it is very gentle/ethereal in a Waltz of the Flowers vibe with no pop or rock elements that I can recall, but I am also pretty sure it adhered to that almost creepy freakout 70’s / 80’s PBS synthesizer production style like the main line is intended to sound like strings but is probably really unapologetically electronic.

I can also pretty clearly picture it fading out into an unrelated segment and I can also pretty clearly imagine that next segment being quiet and awkward the way a lot of the puppet segments of Pinwheel would be… like the actors got caught off guard.

For greater context, I would have been watching this as a child in upstate NY with cable TV at the time… and I watched a lot of TV so it really could have been just about anything.

The Prize!

If you can satisfactorily provide me with the context of this music either through YouTube or some other means, I will PayPal you ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS. That is not a joke. All your dreams are about to come true if you have this one completely unexpected piece of knowledge! One Hundred ACTUAL US DOLLARS to your PayPal account. The award will be entirely at my discretion and will only go to the first successful sleuth, but I swear to you I am a man of honor and solving this mystery will turn me into a seizing puddle of gratitude and satisfaction, so you will get your money.

If you think you have what it takes, PLEASE GET IN TOUCH.

What It Is Not:

Please if you want to embark on this journey, do not suggest any of the following. I’ve been over all of these, sometimes repeatedly. On the plus side, this is a pretty sweet list, so you might actually have a good time clicking around.

I will update this list with the rest of my exhaustive search later, but it shouldn’t matter because, as I said… this challenge requires you to remember the song yourself and have a recollection because GOOGLE IS DAMNATION.

HOT SUPPLEMENTAL CONTENT

This is where it gets dark and strange! I originally posted a really rough midi file of this music to a bunch of random message boards and Nickelodeon blogs back in the early 2000’s and nothing came of it so I let it drop. Then Reddit was born which seemed like a large enough clump of obsessives and varied experts that it was worth resurrecting and it was around that time I did some really wild random “pinwheel music” hail mary googling and discovered this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smuxE1v4CSk

I do not know this person in any capacity. I am friends with lots of people who are into following bizarre YouTube channels and one of them is familiar with this guy, but I have no connection whatsoever and he is DEFINITELY singing the exact same music.

Yeah but he probably just heard my midi file, right? I don’t think so! Because right around the 40 second mark, he does a little arpeggiated thing that I never included in any version, but it IS in the original music!

And it gets better because now YOU yes YOU can profit. He got really sweaty and desperate and offered a cash prize! (New content starts around 30 seconds in):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=avSMk3KPNSI

Listen, I cannot overstate how bizarre and blood-chilling it was to completely randomly stumble on these videos after many years of dead ends… and then someone responded to him by just sticking my original midi file up on YouTube!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_WELKv9TOw

Get off my shit, man!

So anyway, I will not prevent you from collecting on that cash prize as well. If you are the person that solves this mystery, I will keep it hush long enough for you to collect that $50 bringing your grand total up to ONE HUNDRED FIFTY DOLLARS. What will you do will all that money, Sherlock? Only one way to find out!!

Help me sleep again. Search your deep forgotten memories and get in touch.