Photo Credit: The Flaming Lips
Photo Credit: The Flaming Lips

Listening The Day Away

January 25, 2022

Twenty-four hours. A large amount of time. Normally within that time, you could listen to a great amount of songs. However, what if there was a song that ran a full 24 hours in length? A song that long would require a rather adequate amount of patience to listen to. 

The Flaming Lips released the song 7 Skies H3 on Halloween of 2011, with the only physical copies being released via 13 actual human skulls with USB drives implanted in the skull. They created a website that would stream the song on a constant loop, and finally the song would be released in 2014 on vinyl, but as a reduced, 50 minute version, and limited to 7,500 copies worldwide. 

The song is about a man who comes home to find his love dead after hanging herself. The music represents what he goes through after finding her, and his feelings of pain and misery as he has to come to terms with her being gone, never able to see her again.

The lead singer, Wayne Coyne said (in an interview with MusicRadar), “The great thing is, whether conventional or not, there should be no restrictions on where your ideas can go. If you want to do something that’s different, you should be able to see it through.”

On December 11, 2021, at 9:10 P.M., I decided to embark on this musical trek, and after one four hour break, and accidentally falling asleep (though I did pause the music out of habit), I managed to complete this task on December 13, 2021, at 4:25 A.M. The whole time, I was documenting my thoughts and feelings in a journal, and now I present to you the explicit notes that I took while listening to this song. 

My name is Joshua Alexander Alphonse Goodin, and I went through this 24 hour journey for the experience and appreciation of music, as well as to take it off my bucket list.

Note, these notes started out in an odd format, but eventually found their way into a more cohesive and understandable format.

Section 1

  • Nervous about listening in one setting.
  • Will be a bit suffering, but I think I’m ready.
  • Opening guitar is very good at setting the mood.
  • Obscure background noises are very tonaly good.
  • Wayne’s voice: weak & shaky. Good for symbolizing pain in the main character’s mind.
  • Absolute grief.
  • “Can’t shut off my head”.
  • Beautiful synthesizer melody.
  • Sets up the mood for the whole thing.
  • Honestly very dark for good reason. Suicide is a painful topic to think about, let alone experience.
  • Nothing can perfectly capture what someone goes through in this scenario.
  • Only 6.5 minutes in, and it feels like it’s been 10 minutes. I’m in for the long haul.
  • Great use of imagery: “Frightened of the sunset, like a silent explosion happening at the end of the world… Every cloud makes a shape resembling your face.”
  • 10 minutes seems so long when it’s music
  • Scared for the rest of this, because I know this part is only a small fraction compared to the rest. 25 minutes compared to the next section’s 2.5 hours.
  • Will probably come back to this at different times in the song. “This” being these notes.



  • I know what’s coming next, and I doubt I’m ready for this at all.
  • I’ve started calculus homework, but this’ll only help for so long.



  • Here we go with Meepy Morp. 2.5 hours of this constant synth noise with miscellaneous noises underneath.
  • The noises have faded, “melody” has begun.
  • Though, I will say, this is some pretty melody. Though my standards of beauty may be different to others’.



  • I guess this would be more harmony than melody. No real melodic pattern other than chords.



  • I’m so immersed by the song that I keep thinking the kick drum in the background of the song is my sister in the other room walking.
  • I’ve gotten used to the synth loop at this point. The biggest “issue” is the occasional clashing of the distorted “melody” from earlier mention.



  • Ran out of calculus to do. Maybe I’ll work on the scholarship info.



  • Noticed a weird choir of sorts singing. Melody (actual melody) has been pretty present for a while now.



  • Past the 1 hour mark finally. Hard to believe it’s been that long. It’s funny, really. At 6 minutes, I thought it was 10 minutes. Then at an hour, I thought it was really only about 35 minutes. Time just feels different now.



  • I was wrong. The section lasted much less time than I thought. Now wind is just blowing.
  • I have no idea what to expect next… strings have begun. I’m waiting for the hi-hat.



  • Still oddly calm. Very peaceful. Very beautiful. Kinda like the oceanside… at night… in space.



  • I finished with my scholarship, and the music is still very calm and peaceful. I don’t know how much longer this will last, but I’m going to enjoy it while it does.



  • It’s gone all but silent now, with the really quiet strings underneath and the occasional swell of strings & choir. This feels like an interlude. The loud synth section being like him crying hysterically, and now he’s stopped and is sitting in the room with his dead wife hanging there.



  • Still in the same section. I’m going to start working on something that I’ve been working on for a while, so if I finish this song before that , there is something really wrong. I would give absolute full attention to the song right now, but Wayne Coyne himself said that you’re supposed to be doing stuff while listening to this. 



  • It is now 11:01 as I am writing this. So far, I am enjoying this. It’s like trying to summon Bloody Mary in elementary school, freaky when you’re first told about it, and you don’t want to do it, but then once it’s started, it’s not as bad as you thought.
  • I wouldn’t recommend anyone doing this, unless you really want to. This is just something that’s been on my bucket list ever since I found out about it.



  • The drums have started.
  • Every now and then, a high pitched noise will play, almost like a drill.
  • My thoughts behind this section is that he’s finally realized/fully grasped what happened and cannot believe it to be true.
  • This is the specific part why I’m listening to this at half volume rather than at full.



  • It is 11:10. This means I’ll be done around 9:10 tomorrow night, with no breaks. I may have to take a few, but only because of driving.



  • People began shouting in the background. Nothing intelligible, other than some counting.
  • Drums stopped for a moment of calm, but then picked back up.



  • Synthetic choir began around this mark.
  • Drums have gotten distorted.
  • Starting my side task.



  • Cannot tell if it’s because of it being late, but I’m groovin’ with this beat.
  • This will most definitely be completely different when I’m slap happy.



  • There have been no singing vocals for almost two hours now.



  • The screaming started again, though more brief… scratch that. It picked up right as I was writing that.



  • Second Pause



  • Hi-Hat began solo hits
  • Drums began loud again



  • Choir appears to pop in after every crash cymbal.
  • Well, almost every one.
  • The phaser bassline, which has been here ever since the start of this section, is still going strong.



  • Stopped again.



  • Hi-Hat solo again



  • More screaming



  • Song paused again, started right back up.
  • I’ve almost been in this section for an hour now.
  • Electronic noises can be heard.



  • Solo hi-hat is shorter.
  • Switching over to wired earbuds.
  • Switch is successful. Wireless are charging now.



  • Thoughts so far: nothing could prepare me for this much drummage.



  • Drill sounds have picked up in rate.



  • I swear I heard screams.
  • Ah yes, there they are.



  • Paused again.



  • I’ve decided to stop listing all the pauses.



  • Hi-Hat solo. I’ll still mention those.



  • Hi-Hat solo.
  • This section has begun to get horribly repetitive, but I think that’s the point. The absolute anguish this man is going through is unfathomable. The whole point is to make you feel how he feels. Also, it’s 12:24.



  • Short Hi-Hat solo



  • Music has taken a slight shift. I like it.



  • Short Hi-Hat solo.



  • The synth choir has been wavy for quite some time now.



  • Hi-Hat solo – Return of the drill noises.



  • Reprise of an earlier theme, only more vibrato



  • Now this is something new. The drums are soft and there’s a new dominant sound. Like a wheel of sorts.



  • Hi-Hat solo once more, but with the wheel sound slowed down.



  • 4 hour mark. Yeah, it feels like it’s been that . This section has been going on for so, so, so long. I just want it to stop. But I guess that’s the point, huh? I mean, what else would you want if you were wracked with grief and couldn’t shut off your thoughts?



  • I thought this would be the climax, but I guess I just have yet to learn. It’s always climatic before the pause.



  • Just flat out skipped the Hi-Hat solo and started the next “verse”.



  • I’ve stopped doing the thing I mentioned earlier, and have started looking for monologues for the upcoming auditions for the play.



  • This is something that sounds somewhat pleasant to the mind.



  • Count off, like it was going into a pause, into Hi-Hat solo. What does this mean? Hopefully, the end is in sight.



  • Oh my god it’s finally over. Oh my god. It’s stopped. The drums have stopped. I don’t think I’ve ever been happier to hear a guitar in my life.
  • Now there are wacky, wobbly, cannon fire effects bouncing between my ears, with some electronic garble-dee-goop playing. Occasional guitar chords.
  • I’m just happy I’m not listening to the drums anymore.



  • I would analyze the guitars, but I’m just so happy for the drums to be over. I guess that;s what this section is supposed to be. The recovery after the absolute warfare of the drums that lasted over two hours.



  • This is a part where I am once again thankful that I’m not listening to this with max volume. I doubt I would enjoy that guitar.
  • I just realized, that in order to fully grasp this feeling, you’ll have to listen to this too.



  • Rain has begun to fall… with a lightning strike.



  • Funky bass & conga rhythm going between the channels.



  • I’m still so happy to finally have music proper.
  • This guitar duet is really nice. The out of tune in the right ear adds such a nice contrast, as it’s repeating the left.



  • This section is so oddly hypnotic. With the constant groove of the rhythm section and the vibraphones and the guitars.



  • Honestly, this section can go on as long as it needs. Anything is better than the last section.



  • Words. The words are back! Yes! Vocals that aren’t screaming.
  • The vocals singing about seeing his lover in his dream, and he believed in everything in the dream, wishing it could be real, as he holds her.



  • Absolutely beautiful & melancholy lyrics. Bittersweet, even.
  • The repetition of the word “everything” holds such weight and heartache, that it fits absolutely perfectly.



  • At this point, it dawned on me that almost all the lyrics of this section are “Thought I saw/heard you… In a dream… I believe in… Everything…”



  • The out of time lyrics, I believe, may be a symbolization of how desperate the main character is getting with how much he misses his significant other.



  • I feel like this would be the Bargaining stage of grief, if this was about the stages of grief. The constant claim of believing everything brings to mind that he thinks he can still have his lover.



  • I think this part is over, as sad as it is.
  • Next part opens with guitar and falsetto singing in the back with some loud electronics. Also, it is now 3:00 A.M..



  • This guitar part reminds me of the beginning 



  • I enjoy the warped vinyl feel here. Oddly calming for otherwise disturbing notes.



  • The falsetto voice throughout this whole part is quite pretty, if I’m being honest.


6:01:45 (Slap Happy)

  • This seeming explosion of audio after a long time of melodramatic drones & guitar chords caught my attention. Not in an art way, but it just sounded really cool.



  • All the falling out of tune guitars could mean that he’s trying to go back to being happy, but just cannot, as shown by the major chords.



  • I’m just sitting here rocking back & forth to this pretty, pretty beat that could easily burst into flames at any given second.



  • This is what a run down man sounds like. You know, like a rundown restaurant, but only a person.



  • This psychedelic groove is so nice. So lovely. I wish I’d hear it more often than in this sitting. 
  • The synth sounded like an alarm, so I was like, “Someone turn that off!”
  • Now they sound like whiny toddlers.



  • The buildup that I just noticed is so fun!
  • The cymbal crashes a measure or two after I wrote this, were slightly.



  • I genuinely thought I was hearing Christmas elves.



  • This jam has been going on plenty long, and I love it.`



  • Without muttering a single word in this section, The Flaming Lips convey such confusion that it’d be more impressive to not… lost my train of thought.



  • The return of the beautiful falsetto.



  • I am super tired.



  • I forget that I have (illegible handwriting)



  • Good chord.



  • Cool effect been happening. Really groggy. It is now 4:00 AM.



  • Sounds like horses trampling, then another cool chord.



  • Just about fell asleep.



  • Felt like the guitar called to me, but started freaking out.
  • Doesn’t have an obvious chord at this point.



  • I’m tired



  • Not pertaining to the song, but I thought the skull looked like a person.



  • I think I read that this section will be the rest of the first part (first 12 hours, as YouTube has time limits) so commentary will slow down a bit.
  • Right now it’s just electronic screeches & guitar chords.



  • Like, really loud screeches.



  • Pretty sounding cymbal rolls/crashes at this part. I like effects like that.



  • Sounds a bit like an airhorn.



  • Guitar chord shreds. Absolutely going crazy.
  • Now they just let it ring out.
  • Sounds like a police siren now.



  • There is a man shouting in the background. It sounds like generic shouting of non-phonetic words.



  • Really cool spacy sounds. Like the inside of a spaceship.



  • To be honest, I didn’t think I would actually make it this far. At this point, it’s more so waiting for this to be over. The past couple hours of this section of the song has been fairly nice background noise while I do other things (other than sleep) So yeah. 9 hours down, 15 to go. I will do a break between the halfway point just so I don’t go fully insane. Honestly, this part of the journey has been the most interesting. I haven’t been mentally begging for the part to stop, despite it going on for what feels like ever. I mean, nothing new really ever happens in this part. They just have a background chord that is sometimes followed with a guitar riff. I think that I’ll get more excited with a new section in the next half, but as far as I can tell, it’s gonna be this psychedelic for a while.



  • They pulled out a vibrating object of some kind and held it to the microphone.



  • The music has sounded very video-game-esque for a while, but I don’t know when that is.



  • Well this is the first fully conscious thing I’ve done in… 6-7 hours? Feel much better now that the sun is up.



  • I can now say, without a doubt, that I still enjoy what I’m doing here. I just need a brief intermission before I start the second half.



  • As we get closer to the halfway point, I can notice the music is beginning to “calm down” in a sort. I mean that as, I listen to it, and it just feels calmer, ya know? Much more relaxed, much more comfortable. I guess listening to a section for 7 hours will do that, huh.



  • Something new. Sort of phasery, going between the channels. Best written description is “weaoh weaoh weaoh weaoh”



  • The “weaoh”’s have become more stuttered and are accompanied by electronic screeches.
  • Now I just heard a couple keyboard notes.



  • I think I did my math wrong. I get the feeling I have one more hour of this section.



  • The mid-way point. My god. What an experience this has been so far. It’s really hard to think I started this 12 hours ago, but at the same time, that’s also the most logical feeling of time I could put to how I’m feeling. I’ll take a break then come back…soon. The time is 9:07 right now, so that means I skipped about 3 minutes, and I know exactly when, but frankly, I need me a break.


Section 2



  • It is now 1:14. With no interruptions, I should be done at 1:14 this morning. So, fingers crossed. I only said that it would be “A” break, not a short one. Anyway, I should be good for no interruptions.
  • Still is the same as it was, with the faint synthy drone, sometimes silence, sometimes guitar. But now, there’s some more cymbal notes.



  • It picked up quite a bit here. The synth is becoming more dominant.
  • Nevermind. It has calmed down now.



  • The electronic screeches are back, though, I can now hear a drum beat in the background.
  • The pattern keeps repeating: Loud with electronic screeches back into a soft guitar chord, build to loud, repeat.



  • There has been a definite shift in tone. The pattern has not been the same for a while.
  • It mostly stayed a soft guitar part with building percussion at the end of each loop, but no true multi-instrument freakout.



  • Each cycle has started with cymbal rolls into the guitar chord, but recently the synth has been playing new things throughout the start.



  • Words are back.
  • Very somber, while also wishful. Almost kidlike, with the voice modulation causing a second voice to have the chipmunk effect, but still sounding like a child.



  • It sounds like he’s assuring himself that her love will always be with him, or vice versa.
  • Very friendly groove, almost warm & inviting of sorts.
  • Oh. A bird has just run into my window. Poor fella.



  • I noticed something very faintly in my right ear. It sounds like heavily distorted drums. I guess I have that to look forward to.



  • Even with this faint freakout, this is definitely one of the more calm sections.



  • If I didn’t know what was next, I would have fallen asleep. Well, there’s that, and that.



  • This part was so calming, I completely forgot I was doing this and almost drifted to sleep.



  • Another bird has hit my window. I feel sorrowful for him.



  • Just realized that I should describe this part. Lullaby-esque melody constantly going, with occasional synthesizer choir. “Singing” chords with great vibrato.



  • Genuinely, nothing has really changed in this part. Just some melody over & over with the chords popping in and out.



  • Yet another bird. I love those guys.



  • My pencil broke somehow. Got a new one.



  • Guitars began, Time for the next part.
  • Guitars are fairly out of tune, most likely on purpose.
  • I feel like I am not adequately knowledgeable to put this to a type of symbolism yet, if at all. Therein lies the issue. I’m trying to put meaning behind it all, but there’s no point in that, because it’s supposed to show the emotions and thoughts behind someone who has just lost one of (if not) the most important people in his life, by her own hands. And while you can never really recreate such feelings so that they can be understood by the masses, you sure can get close (in what I imagine would be close).



  • So far this has been a pretty cool groove with the strange synth solo going on in the left channel.
  • It feels almost like I’m floating along the stream of life.



  • Switched from bluetooth earbuds to lower quality, wired earbuds to let the others charge. The lower quality really does add to the chaotic noises that have begun happening.



  • I am thoroughly enjoying this psychedelic jam session that this turned into.
  • This really does feel like a sort of “calm before the storm,” what with its distorted electronics and such.



  • So many birds, hitting my window today.



  • There is a good buildup going on in the chords.
  • The jam keeps going, albeit with some louder cymbal crashes than before.



  • The cymbals have died down lots.
  • The guitar and keyboard are having a conversation back and forth with notes.



  • The drums have quieted down quite a bit.
  • The synth in the right ear (sounds like the first synth note played in the whole song) provides a cool sound.



  • The track is now being played in reverse, sans guitar and synth from the last bullet point.
  • Honestly, this is probably my favorite part of the whole 24 hours so far.



  • There’s been an organ-like solo happening for some time, but I’ve just been too encapsulated by it to write
  • Wireless earbuds are back in.



  • It sounds like the drums are constantly switching between forward and reverse, causing a cool sound effect.



  • I believe that is the sound of a woman moaning, be it pleasure or pain, I do not know.



  • The woman started moaning again. This is the last that I will mention of this.



  • Very nice change in groove, while still keeping a seamless jam session going.



  • Jam session is still going strong.
  • Very wavy synth effects, some sounding like the old ray gun toys that light up and move.



  • Jam session has mainly consisted of long valued synth notes with the steady beat for the past good while. A bunch of cymbal hits were just now thrown in.



  • The jam has added in some heavily distorted keyboard, or maybe that’s a guitar. Either way, I’m all for it.



  • Jam has ended. We’re left with rain and soft piano.
  • Sounds of a ticking clock can be heard soon after the rain starts a second time.



  • After being with this jam for some time now, I will say that it was grown on me.
  • The rhythm of the guitar and drums are very hypnotic once again.



  • A rather loud sound has begun on the right channel.



  • The new jam (mentioned previously) is still going full on.
  • With the occasional line of cymbal crashes.



  • Began to hear some things similar to the second part from many, many hours ago.



  • The jam has been quite laid back and pleasant to listen to.
  • The melody from the second part keeps popping up every now and again, which makes sense, because we are getting closer to the end, so why not remind listeners what they heard earlier?



  • Sounds like people slamming on the keyboard, but it still sounds good.
  • Keep hearing leitmotifs of earlier parts.



  • Jam stops, now only synth noises and beeps. Sounds like “weaap”.
  • Very faint drum pattern in the background.
  • Ad libbing distorted piano



  • Physically, I am prepared to listen to this for however long I need to. Mentally, on the other hand, it’s bringing me down. Like a total of 10 seconds of playing piano, drums, and synth, only to be met with “weaap” again and again is very upsetting.
  • Also, I swear that I can hear cicadas in the background.



  • It sounds like the pattern has finally stopped. It has been- nope. There’s the “weaap”.



  • The weaaps have stopped being led by silence, and instead have a constant drone underneath. This is nice, because I can have something to listen to between weaaps.
  • Also, there is a woman either gasping or making a “tcha” sound, I think both.



  • The constant background synth has stopped. It has been over an hour and nothing has changed at all.
  • Now it’s back to the: Pause… “weaap”.



  • I guess I’ve focused too much on the musicality of this to really ever think about the emotion this is supposed to put forth. I believe that this part is supposed to be a demonstration of the absolute numbness the character is going through, just like the second part. This part, he is most likely trying to move on and get out of the loop of trying to accept that she’s dead, but each “weaap” is his brain going back to square one, getting farther and farther, with new ideas each time, only to lead, once more, to “weaap”.



  • Oh boy. This part. Absolute chaos, which is what I think helps cement the idea I had in the previous part. The narrative I have is that after he spent so long trying to move on, he finally broke and is in a massive fit of rage, as he cannot do it. 



  • Talking with a friend about this section really helped me think about things. The best way to sum up the conversation is that art and music don’t really have a line where they cross, but rather, have a one-way mirror between them, where music and art can be seen from the same side, but only art can be seen from the other. Metaphors are not my strong suit, and my friend knows that.



  • Aside from the random boosts in volume, I think the screaming here adds so much to the feeling of madness and anger.



  • Angelic sustains followed by fades in & out very calm, honestly don’t remember when it shifted.



  • I genuinely could not be any more tired and excited for the grand finale.



  • The chords sound somewhat similar to the progression heard in the first part.



  • The chord progression has been constant, consistently the same, still reminding me of the first tune.



  • The first theme is brought back through the chords, more so than before, making the track move faster, with solstice guitar played over the top, sometimes noddinlign, sometimes giving a response to the chords.



  • The solo keeps going, and judging by the length left in the song, I imagine this will be this way for quite some time.



  • The solo keeps on, though I will say, it has grown on me quite a lot.



  • The guitar solo has faded away, and was fully replaced with chords. Seemingly guitar, but most likely synthesized.



  • Swells of notes appear, followed by what I assume is Wayne Coyne saying a word, or just making sounds with his mouth.



  • The swells have kept going.



  • The first theme is fully brought back, reprised if you will, with new words saying that the male character is needing to let go, but cannot. Compare this to the start, where he couldn’t shut his head off, rather than here, where he wants to, but he subconsciously cannot.



  • Well, finally…24 hours dedicated to music. One thousand, four hundred forty-four minutes. You can do the math for the seconds. Honestly, now that it’s over, I feel at ease. This gargantuan task is finally done. Now I sit in silence, left to reflect, left to accept that there is no more. The Flaming Lips were able to successfully construct such a powerful ending to such a beautiful journey, one that I’m proud to have gone on, but would not go on again. Like, I absolutely loved this experience and all it gave me in appreciation, and I will keep these feelings inside for such a long time, but I will not sit through 24 hours worth of music ever again. Theme wise, I feel as if it masterfully achieved what it wanted to tell, and more. The hours spent of sadness, to numbness, to pure rage, absolutely aided greatly any way you slice it. There were only two points where I could say that I didn’t entirely enjoy, but no part was completely unnecessary. Overall, I wouldn’t say that you need to listen to this, but if you have the time and want to just do it all, I say go for it, but be prepared.


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