Dana and Michael left Provincetown and returned to the cottage, where he immediately began to experiment with his twelve new Screw Shells.
He bought a high speed rotary drill and split tip titanium drill bits used for drilling through ceramic tile. Without these modern tools he never would have continued his experiments. Shells are just too hard to drill holes through, using a conventional carpenter’s drill. (It must have taken indigenous peoples a long time to drill holes through shells, without the benefit of electric drills and metal drill bits.)
Michael drilled five small holes through the shell, under where his finger tips touched the shell (while using the acorn cap whistle technique to resonate the air inside the shell). His finger tip pads naturally touched whorls 2, 3, 4, 6 and 8, counting from the shell opening (aperture). He heard the musical notes Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La, Ti and Do when he uncovered the pitch holes, in sequence, beginning from the pointy end (apex). The notes didn’t sound perfect to him, at this point in the experiments, but they were close.
It wasn’t until he straightened out the line of pitch holes, following the lengthwise axis line of the shell, that the musical notes became perfect. Further experiments with pitch hole size released the chromatic musical notes. He then discovered how to play the second half-octave of notes. Incredibly, the shell released an octave and a half of perfect diatonic and chromatic musical notes, all without the use of mathematical measurements or calculations of any sort.
There is a relationship between the logarithmic spiral shape of the Screw Shell, the straight line of five pitch holes (in whorls 2, 3, 4, 6, and 8 that follow the shell’s lengthwise axis line) and the diatonic scale of notes. Approximately sixty five million years before Michael drilled the five pitch holes, the shell contained the latent ability to release, what is known today as, the Western scale of musical notes.
The first song Michael learned to play on his new seashell flute was ‘Amazing Grace’. The second was ‘Take Me Out To The Ball Game’. And he wondered if other people would be able to play this new musical instrument.