I didn’t know Holy Hum until I received his email. “Appendix C” is 59 minutes and 44 seconds long and it’s one song. So how do you listen and understand why a musician would make a song that long? Honestly, I don’t think you can. There are so many beats and melodies that come and go, push and pull, and either make a lasting impact or get lost by the note after the one previous. The one thing I can say about “Appendix C” is that it comes in waves. You miss some of them the first time you hear the song, but if you come back you’ll likely notice them.
That’s the feeling that I got when listening. I’ve listened to the whole song from start to finish in the background and it quickly became a soundtrack to what I was doing at the time. Then I listened to small sections of it, at around ten minutes at a time, before taking a break. It’s obviously difficult to listen only to “Appendix C” because of the length. But the music is a mixture drone, ambient, and instrumental strings. Overall it’s calming.
You could create chapters in the song, but I think that cut the song up artificially. I guess it has to be appreciated in the form that Holy Hum released it as. If you enjoy drone and ambient music, this is a song that needs to be devoured. Somehow even though there are only tones fueling the tempo, it doesn’t get boring and you can hear smaller elements pop up and disappear.
Holy Hum’s “Appendix C” isn’t for people who like quick songs that make their point and then end, moving on to the next. It’s for people who want an audio experience that sits and wanders, sometimes finding a direction and sometimes simply enjoying the moment.