Magic Window

Revision as of 14:20, 31 May 2022 by Fredd-E (talk | contribs)
Magic Window
Running time 1:46
Appears on Geogaddi

"Magic Window" is track number 23 on the Geogaddi album. The song is one minute and forty-six seconds of pure silence.


  • Yes, despite persistent rumours to the contrary, it really is absolutely empty. It's easy enough for anyone who disagrees to check by ripping to WAV. And the vinyl version of the track ought to be a giveaway .... The 3xLP vinyl version of Geogaddi devotes the final side of vinyl to this track. There is no groove on that side, just a basic outline picture of a family: parents and two children. It's a bit similar to the plaque on the Pioneer space probe, an image that appeared briefly on an older version of the BoC website. Where the speed (33rpm or 45rmp) would usually appear, instead we have the cryptic "162.225 MHz". This is a frequency used by the military or coastguard [Robert Frost]. [Ken Stewart] also pointed out that it is a frequency used in the UK for (licensed) private mobile radion services, as listed here.
  • While "Magic Window" is a completely empty track, that is not to say that the title does not have some hidden significance. You might like to take a look at the entry for the topic "magic window" in this glossary, or search for some combination of "magic window" and the name (Thomas E.) "Bearden". It also brings the play time of the album up to 66'06" (maybe - see next).
  • As for that question of the total play-length of the album. Since it's been contested, [DC] decided to settle the question once and for all, in detail. Some players show 66'04", some (like mine) show 66'06". Rip all the tracks to WAV. Each track on a CD has a play time equal to a multiple of 1/75th of a second, call this a frame; each track is made of a whole number of frames.
    • The frames per track are: [1] 4427 [2] 24109 [3] 2822 [4] 16124 [5] 5645 [6] 27953 [7] 6160 [8] 24775 [9] 5788 [10] 19535 [11] 2646 [12] 19394 [13] 5367 [14] 31694 [15] 2039 [16] 17504 [17] 7554 [18] 5143 [19] 17662 [20] 6503 [21] 23568 [22] 12902 [23] 7986.
    • The total of frames is: 297300, which is exactly 3964 seconds, which is 66 minutes and FOUR seconds precisely. The variations may come about from some CD players rounding track times to the nearest second before adding. CD Audio standard reserves precisely 2 seconds worth of frames ahead of any actual audio data (users of Nero CD Burning software may be familiar with the inability to alter the 2 second "track pause" setting for the first track of any Audio CD, for instance), the discrepancy may depend on the ability of a CD Player to factor this segment into its computation of the total time.
    • The ISRC provided for the track on the Geogaddi CD is the string "GB1010011010," which is an invalid ISRC. The binary number 1010011010 is 666 decimal.
    • A curious footnote to all of this is that when you rip the album as WAV files, the total file size is about 666 MB (666.8MB) (thanks to [Jeremy Pulley] for pointing that out about the file size). This is a nice coincidence, but it comes naturally out of the maths: the total file size in MB of 66'04" of audio is: (4x44100x3964)/(1024x1024) = 666.86MB
    • Not counting WAV headers, which are negligible in size, and make no difference to the figures just given). [DC]
  • [Nick Potter] has pointed out some interesting things about this blank track, and the cryptic frequency: 150-160 KHz (not MHz) is among the ranges given for Bearden's "Magic Windows" (see [1], specifically, the bottom half of the listing, which mentions Bearden's book "Excalibur Briefing" - you'll find the discussion of magic window frequencies there). Another interesting possible reference is that "Magic Window" is the name of an American educational magazine for children - see [2] for more information. Since BoC often combine several meanings and references in their titles, it might be a reference to any of these.
  • It is of interest that the music70 website lists the track as "magic window fnord". Those familiar with "The Illuminatus! Trilogy" will recognize the reference. [Nick Potter] submitted the following observation: in the novel, "fnord" is a word that people in general have been trained not to see - instead, it merely induces a vague feeling of anxiety in the reader. The music70 listing may therefore have a slightly deeper meaning than being a simple reference to the novel; it may be a jokey suggestion that the track is indeed present, but that we have simply been programmed not to hear it.
  • It is also interesting to note the implications of people searching for signal in an empty track, that there can not, must not be a track without purpose- compare to House of Leaves, pp107-152.

Samples / Lyrics

  • The song is one minute and forty-six seconds of pure silence.


  • The Wham-O “Magic Window” toy was made between 1973 and 1979. Though the concept was simple, it could actually make very intricate patterns. In between two sheets of plastic, there were two or three different colors of sand-like material (“microdium crystals”) in different weights. Since the dark and light colors couldn’t really mix, and slid around at the whim of gravity, the crystals would flow into various patterns as you moved the toy around. A creative plaything for children, “Magic Window” is also a sensory experience for adults, representing a medium of creative interpretation. Individual interpretation and impressions make these swirling patterns emerge as oceans, mountains, flowers and limitless other scenes and patterns.[1]

Videos / Images


External Links