A Vision of St Michael in Sound

Synaesthesia, Cake and a Revelation

Ian Vince
9 min readJan 29, 2022

A chapel stands at the top of a hill
via Canva

White noise punched off-beat staccato bursts through a thundering, subsonic rumble. The void of its rhythm — the dark space left between the blinding white — was incessant, relentless and unforgiving as a funeral drum. A distant white dwarf collapsed in surround sound. A crack splintered, like a lightning bolt of stereo serration and fracture, left to right across a pane of glass. Delicate crystal droplets tumbled onto a soundscape as black as a bin liner. Sound sprung backwards and forwards without decay from wall to granite wall until there was only reverberation in the old chapel. Nuances hid and subtleties shivered; it was not their night after all.

“What the hell is going on?”, yelled a woman at the top of her lungs, as a squadron of Federation Starfighters destroyed the nearest planet.

Cake hadn’t woken to such a din in years. In her experience, sleeping by the bass bins always brought the risk of waking to the soundtrack of the apocalypse — she spent a whole summer sleeping in barns in the aftermath of raves as part of her sound-system lifestyle. She lived on the edge for years; but all of that seemed tame now that she was on the fringe of something really, really big.

But, in the sonic chaos of inter-galactic warfare, she was tipping over another edge entirely.

The figure behind the decks grinned a word into the heaving air as he saw her sit bolt upright on her mat and shout something back into the din.

Hyper-attentive and results-focussed in the way those woken up in the middle of an unexpected war almost always are, Cake leapt to her feet and ripped the kettle lead from the mixing board.

A strained squeak folded back into the speakers. The aural landscape concertinaed, collapsed and crumpled into a singularity of silence.

Barn Owl in Flight
Richard Hooper/Getty images licensed via Canva

An abandoned chapel stood on an eminence of the Cornish moor. A rough, steep track led up and widened slightly to meet the chapel’s tumbledown stone boundary wall.

Ian Vince

Quick precis: Author, writer, ghost, online DJ, hopeless optimist, lapsed cynic, curios and bric-a-brac. http://www.ianvince.co.uk