Tag Archives: music

Rebirth

I tried to think of a pithier title and couldn’t come up with anything.

Rebirth

You can’t know what happens after you die. The piano feels screws loosening, feels a crowbar somewhere underneath. Wood cracks, splinters. It’ll be soon. They’ve already pried off its ivory keys.  At least it doesn’t hurt.

There’s a pling sound as its strings are cut, the last music it will ever play.

Consciousness fades.

* * *

“What a unique table!”

The table feels a hand run along its glossy surface.

“It looks like it was made from a grand piano top.”

Was I ever a piano? the table wonders. It can’t remember. Unfortunately, you can’t know what happened before you were born.

 

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How Much for the Tuba?

You can call this a second string Friday Fictioneers piece, not because it’s worse but because there was no way it was fitting into 100 words.

“How much for the tuba?” I asked.

The clerk told me.

I smiled and let nostalgia glaze my face like a Kristy Kreme donut. “You know, my mom used to play the tuba. She had lungs on her like a pair of steel bagpipes. Growing up ,I thought she could put her lips to an elephant’s trunk and blow him up like a balloon, just like in the cartoons. Once, I put a ball bearing into the bell of her tuba before a performance, just as a prank. She played that whole concert, keeping it hovering in there. It wasn’t until the final note that she launched it up and out. Knocked out the conductor cold.” I chuckled, in a subdued way. “She passed away last year.”

The clerk looked amused and sympathetic at the same time. “Sounds like quite the lady. You know, I don’t normally do this, but I think I can give you a 20% discount on it. For your mom’s sake.”

“Wow, thanks!” I said. “That means a lot to me. I’ll think of her when I play it.”

I paid and arranged for the delivery. Then I strolled outside and down to the next music store. One down, three to go for my brass quartet.

“How much for the trumpet?” I asked when I was inside.

The shopkeeper told me.

I nodded and looked far away. “You know, my old grandpappy used to play the trumpet . . .”


Sword Music – Friday Fictioneers

First of all, I was very happy to see my picture appear here.  I’m curious to see what others make of it. Secondly, I won’t be able to do that much this week, since I’m out of town on a business trip until Sunday. I’ll have Internet and will try to find time to read some.

Copyright David Stewart

Copyright David Stewart

Sword Music

The first note hovered in the air like an orb-weaver hanging from the horn of the moon.

More instruments joined, the energy rising like a waking predator. It ascended, a frenetic dervish, around the musicians, touching the forest of upraised swords. The edges kindled, maddened to fury by the throbbing cacophony of raw power.

The music ceased, except the first lingering, arachnid note. The hungry light of a thousand blades was quenched in their sheaths.

“We desire peace,” the king said, “but you see our weapons. Go tell your people.”

The ambassador wiped his brow. “There will be peace,” he said.


Music to Write by

Last week, my class was working on posters for International Education Week and I put on some music while they were working. I tried to find songs on Youtube that everyone might like or at least things that I liked. After a few songs, I put on Lana del Ray’s Summertime Sadness, which I really love. One of the students, a 20-year-old Venezuelan guy gave me a look, as in “Really? You like this?” I defended myself by teaching them the word eclectic as in “Shut up, I have eclectic tastes in music” and then changed songs.

The fact is, I do love a very wide range of songs that produce some sort of emotional response in me. After all, as a writer I’m trying to evoke an emotional response in the reader, so call it research.

I listen to music when I write since it fuels the creativity pumps deep inside my spirit. Here is a sampling of songs that I really love and that help me in my writing. I can’t guarantee you’ll like all of them and actually, I can pretty much guarantee you won’t like all of them, since what would the odds be of that? (I also like Nightcore-style music, so some of these songs are the Nightcore remix version).

Et Huomaa – Irina

L’autre – Mireille Mathieu

Fear of the Dark – Iron Maiden

Dust in the Wind – Kansas

Popcorn – Hot Butter

Blessed be Your Name – Matt Redman

Courtesy Call – Thousand Foot Krutch

Anima Libera – Emi

Back to Black – Amy Winehouse

Brother Louie – Modern Talking

Jai Ho – Slumdog Millionaire OST

Lady – Styx

Classical Gas – Vanessa Mae

Vampire Kiss (Nightcore version)

Helele – Velile & Safri Duo

Kernkraft 400 – Zombie Nation

Radioactive – Imagine Dragons

And for my friend Miles, who also loves this song:

Kyrie – Mr. Mister

Do you listen to music when you write? What kinds of music helps you write the most?


Beating Swords into Saxophones – Friday Fictioneers

Beating Swords into Saxophones

The Earth was snoozing peacefully—the sunny Sunday afternoon of history—when the aliens came to prod through what remained of human civilization, oohing and ahhing in incomprehension over our ruined cities and quaintly antique technology.

They found our weapon caches delightful. The casing of a Minuteman made a pleasant booming when hit with the butt of an M-16 and .50 bullets strung up on trip wire cable laughed and sang as they tinkled together in the wind.

Then one poked at a landmine, with explosive results. “Save that for the concert,” the leader said. “That’ll be the grand finale.”


Let me introduce to some friends of mine

Back before New Year’s, I did a blogging game, where I asked you to think of fictional characters and post them in the comments, starting with A, all the way to Z. We made it all the way to the end, eventually, thanks to one loyal fan, and I said that whoever got one for F, S, and Z would get featured in a future post. This one.

friends

Winner 1: Miles Rost (Music and Fiction)

As the blog name suggests, Miles writes fiction, inspired by music. Each story has a corresponding song and he often uses some of the lyrics in the story.

Some highlights:

Demolition Man is a madcap piece about a group of military misfits.

Hazy Shade of Winter is just fun, with lots of energy in it.

 

Winner 2: Sharmishtha Basu (Window to my Soul, Wing of Dreams, among others)

Sharmishtha has been blogging a lot longer than me and has 12 blogs, dealing with stories, poems, social issues and interesting facts. If you don’t know about Sharmishtha’s work yet, go check it out.

Some highlights:

Honeytrap: A Novel: This, along with its sequel, Kingmaker, are a chilling look into the plight of young Indian women and the depravity of some people who exploit them.

The Other World: Sharmishtha writes compelling serial stories. This is her current one.

 

Other Friends:

Since I’m writing this post anyway, I thought I would mention a couple other blogs as well. One is Dysfunctional Literacy. If you have never read Dysfunctional Literacy, definitely go check it out. Author Jimmy Norman writes about funny, interesting posts about literature, books, words, etc. and has great continuing stories. His current one, The Literary Girlfriend is top-notch.

The other blog I wanted to mention is called Two Small Feet and its first post was yesterday. It is owned by a real-life friend of mine, Carmelita, a world traveler who just arrived in Bhutan to live there. Go follow her and read about her adventures and life in a remote, mysterious country.


Broken Piano – Friday Fictioneers

Broken Piano

The casket was empty as far as I was concerned. I had come to pay my respects to my former teacher, the piano virtuoso Horace Thornhill, but as I approached, all I saw in the satin-lined box was a dead body.

I looked at the hands that had drawn exquisite aural elixirs from ivory vessels and the face that had worn an expression of such concentration and sublimity in the midst of his performances. They were empty—as cold and silent as a marble statue.

There was nothing more than a broken piano now; the music had flown far away.

 


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