written by AUSTIN ZHANG (edited by KATERINA THEOCHAROUS)

“It’s beautiful. The timbre. The resonance. The endless qualities of musical experience that remain unexplored by the human ear!” 

As he speaks, Bobby Rygmi taps on different areas of his stomach with the refined skill of a master artisan, modestly demonstrating his groundbreaking innovation. A first-year medical student with a lifelong fascination with the human body, Lil’ Bobby, as he likes to be called, claims to have developed an entirely novel instrument that will “transform the way we think about sound.”

“It’s crazy no-one has ever thought of this before! Everyone must’ve tunnel-visioned on what was already there, they never even considered the natural capacity of the human body. Bodily Instrumentation™! It’s genius! With this, anyone can become a musician. Anyone at all.”

Bobby’s idea first came to him during a campus Clinical Skills session. “I’d just tried percussing someone’s liver, and was still musing over the pain in my finger when I overheard my tutor mention something about OSCEs. I wasn’t paying attention of course and had to ask her to repeat herself.”

Did you hear the change in frequency?[

“That was the moment… The rhetorical question I will remember for the rest of my days. A symphony of neural synapses all short-circuited in unison, then came together again to the beautiful image of a naked man rhythmically touching different parts of himself in perfect harmony with an orchestra of angels. And amongst this orchestra, slightly off the right, a trio of the handsomest of the heavenly beings, tapping themselves in time to the beat. Oh my, I’m becoming excited just imagining it.”

The more Bobby thought about the idea, the more it captivated him.  “Why stop at percussion? At last, playground fart noises have found their place in the adult world. We could build quartets of professional musicians, experts who’ve dedicated their lives to refining the clearest, most resonant notes of flatulence. Bodily beauty will take on an entirely new dimension. Society as a whole can only become more nuanced, more sophisticated. No doubt this music will become a cornerstone of tolerance and acceptance in our future.”

This dream is shortly becoming a reality, but the road to success has not been without pitfalls.  “I’ve already taken the pleasure of transcribing Beethoven’s Fifth for farts and burps, and booked the Opera House for a worldwide premiere… but I’ve had some trouble finding a supportive orchestra. Do you think Medsoc would be willing to help out?”

UNSW MMS was not able to be reached for comment. You can contact them at mmsunsw@gmail.com to voice your support for Lil’ Bobby’s cause.

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