The Engineer’s Crescendo

  • Linear Location

    In front of Morley Rollerdrome, Morley, Perth, Australia (31°54'11"S 115°53'57"E)


The music of the Tehachapi remains one of their greatest achievements. A Tehachapic composer had to the master of a many different skills. Not only did he or she have to create the tonal experience (what we might call the melody) as well as the arrangement and instrumentation, they all had to design the road upon which it would be performed. And, if they wanted to be sure it sounded just right, they tended to be heavily involved in its construction. One of the paradoxes of Tehachapi Music was that to stand by the side of the road was to receive a very incomplete experience–although they are believed to have had some sort of organ in their inner ear that to a large extent neutralized the Doppler effect (though the basic matter of volume remained an issue).  This marker gives a little feeling of the scale of their ambition.


Right in front of the Morley Rollerdrome in the Morley area of Perth, Australia.

Public Dedication

A simple ceremony for the hard workers on the installation.

The Story behind the Music

The part of the story installed here:


There was a time when this very spot stood 1376 wSeoths (about 2000 linear meters) higher than it does today and between you and the sea there would only have been a downward slope, surfaced with the smoothest Tehachapic asphalt, scored with the ridges and textures unique to Tehachapic music. At such a time, the Chief Engineer of the so-called Second Band of the Tehachapi stood poised at the summit, their flight from the Armies of the Rock after the rout almost over. And it was time to move.

At first, cacophony—but Tehachapic instrumentation being what it is, as all the wheeled vehicles began their descent, the caravan became an orchestra, each finding their grooves and tones in final performance. Even the ungainly rafts of asphalt, some of which would later sink, picking up speed, rumbled a rarely performed bass line before they skittered across the water to the oceanic rezhn of Kcyrguelyguo and their long, long journey to what became known as kNow Estrelliia.


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The Tehachapi