To me it was kind of vague like a lot of the movie, but maybe it was. Who knows what kind of technology that they use? It isn't to say that the ship was alive even though I remember something about the derelict being grown or that it was a possibility but the one in Prometheus seems to be different. According to the blog Alien Explorations Giger thought that the derelict might have been grown.
Strange Shapes also writes about it
Your question about the flute-thing, maybe the Engineers have technology that is more advanced than what we have. It seems that it was for activating the ship which would be fascinating. Hopefully we will see more about the Engineers in some other alien-project, so they expand the franchise, so we won't get fighting against xenomorphs part 100 so to speak.
As Thoughts_Dreams had mentioned the Derelict had been Envisioned by HR Giger to be a Truly ALIEN Bio-Mechanical Ship that are GROWN and so YES it would seem that he FELT that the SHIP was LIVING!
But this was NEVER covered in the Franchise and so by the TIME we get to Prometheus we had Ridley Scott decide to go for a more Mechanical Aesthetic over Biological and so going with the Prequels then i would ASSUME the Juggernaught Ships are NOT really ALIVE/LIVING as per say.
Is the DERELICT ALIVE? thats a Different Matter it depends on a Conclusion, there is a AESTHETIC Difference... but Ridley Scott had said that the Derelict and Juggernaught are separated by Hundreds of Years and the ONE is in Pristine Condition while the other has WELL become a Rust Bucket so to Speak.
Regarding the FLUTE... it seems the Engineers Technology is Activated by things we cant comprehend and that the FLUTE could be similar to say your CAR KEY/FOB ( frequency operated button) where a Sequence of Specific Notes are required to ACTIVATE the Ships Navigation/Engines etc.
We can ONLY go and HOPE! I hope they dont ABANDON the Engineers but i also HOPE they dont just Portray them as in the COMICS ;)
R.I.P Sox 01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017
Sound is a form of energy that could have been used in ways unknown to humans.
Except Willy Wonka made it work here on Earth.
I see the flute as a kind of password device, since the Engineer wasn’t able to do much before he played his tune. Maybe not the most secure password in the universe, though, since it can be overheard. Perhaps that’s not important, and it’s just a mechanism to stop burglars from casually wreaking havoc. Of course, all that went to pot when the Juggernaut started randomly spitting out holographic recordings.
In William Gibson’s excellent novel Neuromancer, there is a scene where the protagonist has to unlock a terminal using a “word” stolen from the character Lady 3Jane Marie-France Tessier-Ashpool. The word is never stated, but the following obscure lines are said of the unlocking.
and his voice the cry of a bird
3Jane answering in song, three
notes, high and pure.
A true name.
I like to imagine that the “word” was in fact a simple tune.
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