Seymour a violinist and his lovely wife Eliza, an instrumentalist with an exceptional ability to play viola, imagine having their son Thomas raised as a virtuoso violin performer, even though it may be unlikely. The problem is that Thomas doesn't’t want to work on developing an exceptional technique. He simply enjoys playing drums with a group of rock musicians. Seymour and Eliza were recently devastated by some news about Thomas. An AUI became a subject of investigation by a police officer! In effect, Thomas is on probation and he will not be allowed to participate in a tour that was planned this spring.
On the last season tour, Thomas the drummer met Lynn the lyre player. She performed with such warmth and sensitivity he imagined her as an angel. Thomas couldn’t wait until Lynn would visit his place. She promised to come pretty soon. Alas, on her way to the plane, Lynn was approached by Wanda, a girl from her group (it was a fairly large group of musicians not always playing classical music). Wanda asked Lynn to take a violin with her. After arrival, somebody would take the case with the violin from Lynn and bring it to Carl who was famous as a violin conservator. Lynn, good as an angel said, “no problem.” However, there was a problem when she found herself interrogated by an officer and taken for the night into legal custody. She learned that the content of a violin case smelled interesting to a trained dog. There was nothing wrong with a violin case at that moment, but the dog was annoyed with the traces left there recently. Now both Lynn and her boyfriend Thomas (the drummer) are enjoying careful attention from some guys with official power.
Violinist Carl is famous as a violin conservator. He is one of the oldest orchestra members and remembers all the musicians and instruments that helped to achieve the current high status of the orchestra. His care about string instruments is priceless to his colleagues, and he cares a lot, so much that he suffers from a stress syndrome, complains because of a stomach ailment, and has some dietary restrictions. Carl’s diet constraints make his three friends, Frank, Bob, and Marcel, feel uneasy dismay. Frank, Bob, and Marcel are marvelous cooks in a well-attended restaurant and they want to please their friend. It’s a big challenge to show their flair within the requirements of his diet.
Lorenzo sings in a symphony orchestra and nobody can imagine a successful Messiah or St. Matthew Passion performance without him. His tenor voice has been celebrated throughout the world for decades. As a result of his long and triumphant career, Lorenzo’s residence is well known for its exquisiteness and his art collection is famous. Lorenzo loves to invite orchestra members for parties in his imposing dwelling. Last time however, a very unfortunate incident happened. A dog bit one of Lorenzo’s guests, a renowned and admired cello player Daniel. His hand will be of no use for several days, just before an important recital. The dog, Hoggie that belongs to a bodyguard named Shawn has always been kind and friendly. Shawn saved Lorenzo’s life a few years ago when Lorenzo was robbed. Shawn could not be seen without his dog Hoggie Hoggie became jealous of Daniel when a miniature chihuahua puppy that was brought by opera singer Dorothea grabbed Daniel’s attention. Daniel, a man of a fragile structure and easily upset by offensive actions, this time displayed his mild and gentle side that everybody found socially appealing. He did not complain at all but assigned a cellist, Philip, to be his substitute for the approaching the recital and a tour. This way he just made Philip frenzy from joy!
Three music critics, Monique, Miranda, and Michelle are considered illustrious guests at Lorenzo parties, both because of their beauty and their wit. Monique, Miranda, and Michelle are triplets and nobody knows which one (only one) is kind and how dangerous it is to chatter with other, unidentified sisters. The triplets ask to call each of them M.J. Once, after he read an unfavorable critique authored by M. J., Colin the oboist was so infuriated that he decided to sue the music critic for libel. He hired an agent, Michael, to discover whom was he going to sue. Michael fell in love with one of M.J., but he still did not know how to tell which of the sisters was the object of his desire. Colin stated in public that the sister who used to have the other two triplets keeping their incognito would commit a kind of an identity theft, but he still did not know who was behind this action.
Rob the pianist did not come to a party thrown by Lorenzo because his right hand was ailing him. He had practiced so hard before a Frederic Chopin international piano contest that he began to suffer terribly. It appeared he had developed carpal tunnel syndrome, but that did not stop him at all. With a lot of ice at hand he continued to prepare himself for the competition. He knew he was a strong candidate for a prize. We will see how successful he can be!
A violinist Louis used to tutor Thomas, the son of his colleagues, Seymour and Eliza. Alas, this is going to change. Last winter Louis skid off of a ski route on an icy slope and hit a tree. Two of his vertebrae were broken and nerves in his third and fourth fingers were damaged. His career as a violinist ended, so he desperately tried to find a way to stay in music. He discovered he had a gift for composing music. Thus, Louis enjoys the taste of success again. On top of that, he began political career starting as an environmentalist. Maybe we will see him running for governor one day. It wouldn’t be the first time to see a musician taking a political post. For example, brilliant pianist, Ignacy Paderewski served as a president of Poland.
When Louis was recovering in a hospital after the accident, he met Brian, a musician creating electronic music. Brian cooperated with neurologists as a consultant. Neuroscientists found that music involved many different areas distributed through the brain without any specialized center for music. With the help of Brian as a cognitive science specialist, they try to gain a firmer understanding how music is processed in the brain. With his newly discovered knack for composing music and a neophyte enthusiasm, he learns from Brian the arcane techniques of electronic music. He and Brian prepare an interactive composition as a submission for the international music competition “Ars Electronica” in Vienna, Austria.
Charles, the French horn player, won the first place in an international competition and all the orchestra members gathered in Lorenzo’s (the famous tenor) garden to celebrate the victory. The event made another French horn player, Arthur, sad and frustrated, as he felt himself ready for this award. After a while he could be seen heartily congratulating his colleague and rejoicing at the big party. A few days later, Arthur learned that he had won a big lottery prize and become rich. This was a big consolation to somebody who was so disappointed, and everybody thought Arthur would retire from the symphony orchestra and start traveling. Not Arthur! He continues practicing to prepare for next year’s competition. Moreover, he supports the orchestra financially by ordering posters and advertisements, and he also publicizes coming events in newspapers, on the radio, television, and Internet.
Everybody felt surprised and scandalized when it came to light that two instrumentalists, Austin (didgeridoo) and Archie (bassoon), play at the weddings and other family events in a nearby village. Ryan, who used to play violin in the orchestra and in his spare time play lute for money, involved Austin and Archie in playing this way. It’s not easy to find a symphony orchestra instrumentalist in such places. Moreover, they played in a group of instrumentalists you would not find in a symphony orchestra. There were Erica and Kate who played on a lyre, Christine who played a lute, and Forrest who played on a marimba. They all kept this secret for some time. It happened however, that Archie’s friend, a xylophonist Jeff decided to marry Gwen (bells) and asked his fellow musicians for a favor - to play at their wedding. Somebody noticed Austin and Archie among the entertainers and this started endless gossips and rumors. However, a grudge did not last for a long time. It came into view that Austin and Archie performed that way to collect money for a good purpose. There was a big theft in the neighborhood, and several kids lost their bicycles and bikes. Austin and Archie decided to give compensation to kids for a loss of their treasure. Now nobody in the orchestra lectures them anymore, everybody adds some coins and bills.
Adam the oboist has recently been covering his legs and arms by wearing slacks and long sleeve shirts in spite of warm weather. Wearing professional suit is not required at the orchestra rehearsals. It was a student, a music intern Gary, who peeped and gossiped about Adam that he was scratched and bruised all over his legs and arms. Everybody was curious but nobody knew the secret until Pearl (who used to play triangle) met a music lover Pedro after a concert. Pedro shares with Adam a common passion – extreme rides on bikes, a really challenging sports activity. Musicians Adam works with are thrilled and enthusiastic about a competition that is about to happen during the 4th of July events. Pearl and Pedro will come to cheer on Adam. Pedro, apart from being a music lover, is a great fan of a demolition Derby. He invited Adam to come to a stadium and watch the funny bone drivers.
Doran is not only a regular orchestra member but also a music teacher at the high school level. There is not too much time ascribed to music in a school curriculum, so Doran teaches classes in three schools. He assembled a big symphony orchestra in the Central High School. Everyday at 7 am Doran packs as many students as possible to his old vehicle, so there is much more people in his car than safety belts. This way he gathers students for a rehearsal and then takes them back to their schools at 8 am. You can see all local and state prizes the school orchestra won and the secrets the kids have to keep!
Just recently somebody told Tom about the event called a “Burning Man.” Every year at the time of the event people working in all professions become artists creating in all possible media. They gather on a desert to praise true artistic freedom, create collaborative art, play music, and experience that something special has happened. It goes well with doing such things as eating and drinking together at the same time and in the same place. Everybody brings their own skills and tools to share. Festivities end with a ceremony of burning a specially built colossal wooden sculpture that is many times human size. After the event participants clean the whole area so there is no trace left. Tom (percussion) wants to contribute with an installation that he called a “Burning Love.”
During this happening, broken old instruments and other wooden objects related
to the orchestra life will be put on fire, with a musical accompaniment composed
and performed by Tom.
himself will appear as a Statue of Liberty and will play a slit
Tom already owns a Statue of Liberty costume because, to earn
extra money, he wears it when he advertises a tax services office by waving
on the streets to passing-by cars. The symphony orchestra is not subsidized
enough to be able to help Tom
in arranging for a trip and a stay in the desert. Participants have to bring
water, food, and fuel supplies, and everything they need for their installations.
van is too small for this purpose. Maybe he will earn some money playing for
a short film festival that is scheduled just before the summertime.
Ken who works for the opera singers as a hairdresser and a make-up artist will perform in the opera “Carmen” as a traveler. He will ride a horse on a scene smuggling tobacco in a satchel. After the end of a theatrical season Ken wants to join Tom (the drummer) in his “Burning Man” venture. He does not play any instrument nor creates art but he thinks he would act perfect as the event announcer coming on his great Harley-Davidson. On the top of this, Norman, an opera performer, has also announced his wish to join Tom and Ken in this enterprise. With confidence, he made a deliberate decision to appear as an actor playing a drummer.
To help Tom (a drummer) to collect necessary funds for his trip to the desert, Ken the hairdresser contacts him with Seth and Jack who play musical saw, as well as Katherine who plays oud and Jonathan who plays saz. Together, they will play at various events, such as a fashion show they are invited to attend by Kathy, Jon, and Bert. Kathy an opera costume designer, three Jons - stage designers, and Bert who is well known for his improvisations on a jaw-harp are engrossed in preparing a fashion show. This additional job takes up their whole attention, as they want to make something special. They hope that Tom (drums), Seth with Jack (musical saws), Katherine (oud) and Jonathan (saz) will together create an extravaganza event by playing on their unusual instruments and they wish it will deserve attention and comment because of their wonderful, strange, or shocking input to the show.
Arlene had a misfortune to break her horn. Right before her retirement, she did not want to buy a new instrument. She just ineffectively tried to rent it from Graham, an instrument salesman. Anxious and worried Arlene was haunted by recurring nightmares. She envisioned herself as a ghostly skeleton playing Chinese horn. Even worse, she performed together with a skeleton that resembled her late husband Lonnie and played scary music on a fiddle. After several sleepless nights Arlene decided to seek some help from a psychotherapist Dave. Fortunately, Richard and Wayt who used to play horns at the opera stage gave Arlene one of their used horns, when no horn playing was a part of a musical score and libretto.
Rudolph a music historian is close to completing his doctoral dissertation in music. Everybody in the orchestra recognizes easily a quiet sound of his whirling wheelchair as he conducts an interview with everyone and builds his immense database. He listens how everyone talks about how the important figures influenced one’s artistic style. He looks for a pattern how musicians express their particular views and opinions. He draws some conclusions about the distinctive and identifiable styles in an artistic medium of music.
A double bass Kurt found out he was drafted. He experiences mixed and confusing emotions. First, he wants to play music. Also, his feelings about patriotic duties are
challenged by the fact that he has been wholeheartedly committed to a cause
of peace. He joined a non-violence movement and many times attended meetings
with Michael Moore and participated in anti-war manifestations. Kurt
was somehow consoled in this state of being reluctant by an appointment to the
A media man Duncan has been capable of being helpful for many purposes in the symphony orchestra. First of all he has been involved in construction of the orchestra web site and he is constantly updating the data. Duncan’s friend Debbie is a music collector and an avid photographer. She was eager to make some money by taking with her digital camera photographic portraits of all symphony orchestra members. Duncan included all these snapshots into his web site then linked them to the videotaped virtuoso performances of musicians.
Peter who plays flute has a keen interest in growing roses. He cultivates fragrant tea roses with creamy white to cherry-red petals. He is a real expert in growing award-winning varieties. Every day Peter spends long hours in his garden and, when it is time for a rehearsal or a concert, he appears with traces of soil under his nails. What makes things worse, his hands are tired and that acts upon his virtuosity.
Chris plays trumpet in the evenings but his mornings serve him for painting pictures. He rents a studio where, on a big easel, he creates big mixed media paintings by combining the electronic and traditional techniques. Of all fine art media, he loves most the oil painting technique. He likes to put a lot of paint on canvas. He spends most of his salary on painting materials. After a day of a struggle to deal with a challenge, Chris looks “artistic.” His colleagues were well accustomed to stains of paint on his pants and colorful rims around his nails, but these marks became an issue when Duncan a media man started to work on the advertisement and orchestra website. A noisy dispute arose between and Chris and Debbie who is a music collector, is also an avid photographer. Chris was making a fuss over his look and complained, “Don’t zoom at my hands, go away from me!’ Debbie said, “I can’t miss a chance to show such a character, don’t go away.” Finally, a portrait of Chris looked “correct” but a music video clip displayed everything Debbie wanted to show.
Conductor David is new here and does not know names of his musicians yet. He feels embarrassed when he is uncertain about names of people he already knows. His kids, Paul and Jessica, asked the media man Duncan to let them use an orchestra website with the artists’ photographs. With all these pictures, they designed a pop up book on a computer. Now David can connect names with faces of the musicians.
Jared, a tuba player is often late for the rehearsals. Sometimes it is because of the traffic and sometimes he misses the exit. To be honest, Jared is not so motivated to be on time because many musical compositions do not comprise tuba at all. Nevertheless, the orchestra conductor, David does not begin the rehearsal until everybody is present. Colleagues have enough waiting on Jared, so they are warning him that he would get an alarm clock as a retirement gift.
On his ways to the Philharmonic Hall John (who plays trumpet) was approached by a sculptor Bill (who is an avid sculptor and also plays saxophone) and asked to sit for him as a model for an outdoor sculpture to be placed in a city park. He said Chris a trumpeter encouraged him to meet John. John and Chris know each other very well because they are both fine artists. After some sessions Bill designed a sculpture that was a double image of John and Chris playing instruments. Alas, it was just the first of many troublesome steps that were necessary to get the statue done. First, it wasn’t easy to find a foundry that would complete a casting process at the accessible price Those deemed good in this profession were busy, working on the garden or cemetery monuments. At last, Bill was allowed by a foundry owner to make his sculpture by himself. First, he prepared molds of the desired shape -- stiff castings made from plaster of Paris and formed impressions of his statue by pressing the wet plaster over parts of a statue and letting it harden. Having molds ready, he made a cast, connected wax parts, put coats of silica over slurry, waiting five hours between each session. Pouring bronze (an alloy of copper and tin, with small amounts of aluminum or silicon) into a mold and leaving it to solidify so that it took on the shape of the mold. There was a lot of work with finishing and polishing and applying patina on the statue to give it the yellowish-brown sheen and the weathered patina of bronze. John, who complained that he looked like a trumpet player, and Chris were asked to help in this chore. Chris complained about his hands. John felt the process has not changed since at least XIV Century. They became even worse than after his painting sessions, so they looked awful at the philharmonic scene.
Orchestra musicians knew Timothy as an avid listener of classical music and a specialist in acoustics. Now they learn that Timothy is a chair of the organizing and planning committees for an international conference on acoustics. The conference will include several sections. Several panels will be scheduled to cover various topics. Architects and acousticians will discuss the sound quality on concert stages, in conference halls, and in movie theaters. Danny an acoustician will chair one of the panels. Also, individual presentations will relate to industry and pertain to problems with traffic-related noise on bridges and in public communication vehicles. Some musicians from the orchestra, including Donald the organ player and Hubert a famous composer, are invited to the committee that is working on instrumental acoustics. The trombonist Owen who works as a professor at the university music department will employ Gary, his other interns from the music department and some students from the art department to work for the conference. They will be paid to design flyers and posters about the Conference and to work on Conference proceedings. Unfortunately, there are many obstacles coming from some security measures (a buzzword used by the IT department to answer any complains). For example, the SPAM filters reject some group e-mails. A media man Duncan makes a conference website ready by combining various photographs, video and press clips into a visually appealing page design. He includes program content, data about a place where an event is held, weather and travel, along with information about some known and recognized participants. Duncan will be responsible for reporting and videotaping an event. He will be also co-working with people acting for newspapers and broadcasting companies. Debbie (who is an avid photographer and also an instrument collector) will take photos and shoot video clips during the sessions. A media man Duncan will design posters and programs. Three music critics, Monique, Miranda, and Michelle want very much to write about Conference subjects and imagine they would do it in the proceedings, articles, and interviews. However, it seems unlikely that one of the M.J. sisters would be officially appointed for a position of a Conference spokeswoman. The vocalists Edward the bass and Deborah the alto will perform at the special concert for the Conference participants. Lorenzo (tenor) will throw a special party for the Conference Organizing Committee members.
Writers of operetta librettos Alan and Henry decided to write a book on history of the light opera and operetta. They describe past theatrical productions, tell stories about their comic themes, and provide narrations about amusing spoken dialogues or some unexpected humorous events. They try hard to find a publishing company and convince a publisher to issue their work for distribution in printed or electronic form. Alan and Henry have just arranged for a teleconference with a publisher Angela who devotes her interest exclusively to a field of music. Surprisingly, just at the time of a teleconference there is a call from a local policeman who kindly asks Alan to remind his friends not to drink and drive. He also asks Alan to contribute to a fund supporting families of policemen who died in the course of duty. People from publishing houses are usually very busy and not really accessible. Alan and Henry must look for another publisher.
Umberto is considered a music keeper because he not only collects old and valuable instruments but also opens an instrument museum abroad. He makes a search on the Internet and finds out that one of the Orchestra musicians, violinist Amadeus owns a valued violin that had been used by several recognized soloists. Umberto sends several urgent messages to Amadeus and insists steadfastly he wants to acquire the instrument. Amadeus, an inspired artist and probably the best soloist in the orchestra, considers his much-loved instrument an important factor in his illustrious career. Amadeus knows of a passion that stunning Deborah, the vivacious alto has for luxurious jewels. Nevertheless it cannot change Amadeus’ devotion to his treasure instrument. Umberto, overwhelmed with anxiety to the point of losing hope, visits Amadeus. A local instrument renter Harold makes a cost estimate, assesses great value of the instrument and states a high price of it. Umberto also employs a violinist Carl, a famous violin conservator, pledging to cover his travel expenses to the coming violin competition. after convincing Amadeus to part with his violin. Moreover, he hires a music shopper Stuart paying him to do a job of for him incognito, with Umberto’s true identity as a violin buyer hidden for Amadeus. Unfortunately, Stuart is a dentist who buys and collects instrument as a hobby. Amadeus, his old patient, learns during his dental visit about the plot. It doesn’t help Umberto to achieve in actuality that he has hoped for.
Violist Eliza feels a desire to become the first and leading viola player in the orchestra. Since many years she assumes a distant position in an orchestra. As her only son Thomas grew-up she decided to work hard on her career by involving a great deal of effort. She works intensely but she feels unable to cope with the circumstances because of her weariness and lack of confidence. Her husband Seymour feels left alone without being cared for as before. He is so worried and distressed that he contacts Dave a psychotherapist who had won his reputation after he helped Arlene with her nightmares haunting her just before her retirement. Dave advised Eliza to record her practice playing and rehearsals so she may be later assured by her colleagues about her mastery. He has also recommended listening live music in a company of friends. Dave hopes to be invited.
Christian, the accountant working for the orchestra decides to organize a big fund-raiser. The idea is to attract patrons from the city, even not regular ones, who would give money or other support to the orchestra. To make this event interesting and exciting musicians are expected to wear color-coded bright clothes. Members representing each section of the orchestra will put on clothes of different color. Moreover, musicians are encouraged to play light music on unusual instruments and invite some folk instrumentalist from bands and groups playing popular music. Young musicians, especially a bassoonist Lawrence and a bass player Ronald are happy and enthusiastic about the pleasant event that is about to happen. They are even ready to behave in unusual and unexpected ways. Other musicians, the older ones, feel nervous and unable to relax. Kathy an opera costume designer works hard to totally change their outward appearance for this particular occasion. The hairdresser Ken is ready to arrange their hair by dying, clipping, and oiling it. The musicians can’t wait for a dress rehearsal. They look forward to hear Ezekiel the alphorn player, twin Balinese drummers Maya and Holly, as well as two banjo players Irene and Robin. Jons, stage designers exert physical and mental effort in order to make a philharmonic hall look festive by putting special decorations. They struggle to arrange furniture in a lobby and put unusual objects in windows so that they look attractive. Everybody is fairly sure that the event is going to be popular and to make a lot of money, so much so that the sheriff plans to send police forces to keep a place well guarded and safe. Indeed, all was quiet and the security forces ended up joining the audience. After all, it was the sheriff who contributed the most.
Every year Christian (the accountant) spends for new instruments a large part of money coming from the fund-raising events. Used pianos are sold at auctions and new computerized grand pianos arrive in cute, sturdy cardboard's. Big cardboard containers used for delivering pianos disappear mysteriously. One can see two individuals competing for the boxes, then making a deal about them. Moreover, nobody wants to explain why the boxes happens to be such a treasure. The janitors reveal secrets known to a very few people about what happens around trash bins when it is getting dark. Finally, mystery card boards have been identified in two places, when somebody perceived them at Chris and Bill studios.hris who plays trumpet uses card boards for shipping big mixed media paintings and assemblages, while a sculptor Bill needs card boards for constructing stiff boxes to produce castings made from plaster of Paris.
Some fund-raisers are more successful than other ones. A concert for cruise participants is intended to generate money to support the symphony orchestra. Many of the musicians decided to avoid ruining their concert instruments by playing surrounded by a great body of salt water. They borrowed inexpensive instruments from an instrument renter Harold. The luxury cruise ship was filled with celebrities and important persons. Everybody was attired into evening clothes. There were also a lot of various drinks, mostly alcoholic beverages. Everybody had a good time on board. Musicians, who played a mixture of classical and popular music, performed without their characteristic ardor, and a hard-to-please part of the audience did not cheer the ensemble. It happened because, as David the conductor said, the musicians were just playing to please the audience, not to please the hundred tough critics around them. After performing in an unusual environment, first in a splendid but stuffy first-class lounge and then on a promenade deck, many of the soloists complained they lost their voices, especially the soprano Dorothea who demanded an immediate doctor’s consultation. After the cruise all who previously had unhappy feeling of envy stated that this event was less noticeable than it truly was.
Admission prices to philharmonic concerts are going to be more expensive due to the raising costs of energy and heating. It makes the audience speak up. Some listeners declare they can stay in their winter coats to avoid costs of heating of the concert hall and lobby. Other listeners, such as Timothy, say they are ready to listen music from an iPod, on the web, CD Rom, radio or TV. An accountant Christian asks an advice the computer specialist Brian. Together, they search for solutions to bring about an improvement in the institution economy. They try to find ways to lower consumption of energy and services and avoid extravagant expenditure without raising the price for the tickets. Otherwise, they will have to stand up after everything the musicians play and clap vigorously to justify the whole 60 they spent on a ticket!
A clarinet player Ernestine joined the orchestra this year. She just bought a nice house and wants to remodel and decorate it accordingly. She employs an opera carpenter Joseph and stage designers Jons to work for her. Jons deal with this job thoughtfully and present their plan written down in a careful form. Glass panels of the entrance door will be etched to create a pattern of musical notes on the glass surface. Knobs of the kitchen cabinets will take on a shape of the bass keys. Trees and bushes in the garden will be trimmed in the Edward Scissorhand way in the shape of notes. What’s most important, music will flow from every corner, both inside and outside the house. Ernestine is not sure if she wants different music coming from every room or appliance. Maybe she prefers to listen up to her own practicing on a clarinet.
Colleagues used to call Dustin a Metronome. There is a story behind this nickname. Due to the budget cuts administrative personnel of the Philharmonic has been made smaller. Musicians have to serve in numerous committees. They consider committee meetings being a worrying duty; some call it even a waste of their time. Dustin never complains. He dutifully attends all the meetings. He is never late and never leaves a meeting room before the expected time. However, people noticed some peculiar way in which Dustin responds to the progression in a meeting agenda. He knocks his shoes repeatedly against floor, makes short rhythmical movements of his neck, and at the same time he takes notes diligently in a big notebook. Many times a chair of the meeting reacts to the pace indicated by Dustin’s movements and involuntary makes her speech quicker (and shorter) to great satisfaction of the committee members. One day Celia (Egyptian harp player) watched carefully Dustin’s behavior then suddenly made a comment on something she noticed, “Metronome is composing a new piece of music!” All eyes turned toward Dustin’s notebook only to find out that it was a staff on which the notes of music were written. Compositions created by Dustin were titled according to the meeting agenda items and his music was inspired with the thoughts of the speakers. Everybody was delighted except for the chair who was infuriated. After that Dustin came to a committee meeting carrying a laptop. Again, while taking notes from the meeting, he was making recurring movements with his head and producing rhythm by tapping. The chair guessed at once that Dustin installed software on his PowerBook allowing for writing scores and composing music. This time Dustin’s place in a committee was filled in by someone else.
Jon, one of the stage designers used to draw in his sketchbook all the time when he attended committee meetings. He has also has been writing something. Everybody was impressed with his attention and commitment. After some time it came into view that his serious consideration was focused on drawing caricatures of the speakers. He was also writing stories about each orchestra member. To defend himself and do not hurt anybody’s feelings, he explained that he was going to provide this material to Duncan who has been involved in construction of the orchestra website, to make the website more vivid and attractive.
Two cymbalists Dennis and Derek compete with each other. Each of them wears a tuxedo every day to look ready for a performance, even at the rehearsal. They say they feel like a surgeon working in an emergency room. Derek said once to Dustin, “One never knows when a substitute player can take the place of another.”
After a rehearsal an oboist Colin approached an acoustician Danny with a view to asking him for an advice. They went to the chiefs Frank, Bob, and Marcel’s place. Frank, Bob, and Marcel are marvelous cooks. After dinner was served, Colin began to talk about his seventeen-year-old daughter Andrea who will soon graduate from the High School. Andrea plays oboe in Doran’s symphony orchestra, but she wants to work as an architect and devote her skills exclusively to designing concert halls. Colin asked Danny whether it would be possible to open a special course of study where graduate students would focus on this particular field of study. Danny replied that it’s a perfect time to discuss this idea because of the approaching international conference on acoustics. Danny will organize panels where architects and acousticians will discuss the sound quality at the concert stages, in conference halls, and in movie theaters.
A music lover Pedro who also exercises extreme sports has always intrigued musicians. Pedro has a passion for extreme rides on bikes and is a great fan of a demolition Derby. He is present at every single concert given by the symphony orchestra and every Opera performance, always sitting on the same chair in the first row. He brings flowers and presents them to a certain musician, every time a different one. After that he quickly disappears. Nobody can understand his reason for his behaving that way. Music talkers Todd and Tina involve in a discussion about some motivations that might make people want to do some peculiar things. There are a lot of hypotheses – maybe he feels a true love for music, maybe he loves to be seen on a scene, maybe he was an accomplished musician some time ago, or he had one in his family? None of these suppositions seem true, as Pedro does not look like a sentimental person. The oboist Adam believes that Pedro is in love with a florist who sells ornamental plants in a nearby store.
For many years Herbert had been called a star of the Opera. After several weeks of fighting fever and suffering from a throat inflammation he found out he lost his powerful ability to bring forth successful performances because his baritone voice wasn’t pleasingly clear and vivid anymore. Herbert was respected for his talents and devotion, strong enthusiasm and commitment to arts. CDs with his recordings are still widely praised and sold in great numbers. His personal tragedy evoked in his colleagues feelings of sorrow and compassion. The Opera director showed sympathy for the suffering of Herbert including a desire to help him by finding a new position, this time relating to the administration of the Opera. From now on, Herbert works in an office adjoining the green room of the ballet section of the Opera. He feels displaced while he undergoes a change of status and passes from so intense activity to another, where he is quite unknown. He complains to his wife, Aida, an Egyptian who plays harp, that he feels annoyed by incessant sounds coming from the Nutcracker preparations done early in advance in order to be ready for the Christmas season. Aida buys him an iPod for Christmas. Now Herbert can listen his favorite arias while working on his new tasks. He is always seen with white cables hanging behind his ears.
At a meeting about budget cuts, financial shortages, and ways to cope with a falling attendance of an audience who had previously been regular goers to the Philharmonic, Samuel a photographer put forward an idea of increasing the interactive communication with the listeners. Some people feel bored when they watch musicians playing. Samuel announced a course of action that would allow the public for an eye contact with the musicians. His new idea was about projecting musical notes on a back wall of the concert hall behind the main floor and the balcony. “Musicians are busy with reading their scores and turning pages of copies of a musical composition,” he said. “While reading scores projected on a wall they will look like staring straight into the eyes of the listeners.” “That’s a great idea,” said Raymond a drummer, “It reminds me moving texts that float projected in the air. They translate the arias for the audience in some instances when vocalists sing in Italian or German. It is practiced at the Boetcher Theater in Denver” “It reminds me a movie Broadcast News,” said Nelson a piccolo, “where an anchorperson on a news program read rows of words projected above the cameramen.” “Different sections of instruments have different scores,” Samuel continued. “This setback may be solved by projecting notes for each section in a different wavelength of a color. Projections would overlap on the wall, but musicians would wear special glasses with filters that would allow the passage of their notes and block those for the other ones.” The orchestra members accepted this new venture and they came before the public to perform in their new fancy glasses. Few days later an article appeared in a science section of the local newspaper. It stated, to a great joy of the musicians, that music is danger to your eyes. Another article posed that playing in an orchestra on an illuminated scene affects performers’ sight, so they have to wear glasses prematurely.
Two violinists, Tina and Todd, talk incessantly during rehearsals, so they are often called the music talkers. David the conductor intends to separate them by assigning them other places. Both violinists are excellent in their abilities and technique and such a move would affect the integrity of the orchestra. David demands they have to do a 15 min lasting administrative work after every instance of talking, but it does not work. Every day the both instrumentalists spend a long time after hours, which affects their performance the next day. Tina and Todd are released and made free of this obligation. They feel relieved but it does not inhibit their need to talk. What can be done with this?
Margaret a harpist has dressed meticulously in always the same three national colors. The colors are always the same, but it is hard to predict the daily set for the blouse, the jacket and the skirt, respectively. At the national day celebration the stage designers Jons wanted to use her closing as decorative elements for the rehearsal. To a great surprise of the entire crew, she showed up dressed all black.
With cooperation of a virtual reality company. Dustin the Metronome created a virtual concert. Virtual musicians, a choir, and an orchestra perform in front of a real audience. Listeners can walk around the virtual musicians and watch closely the process of playing and singing, with their own fingers passing easily through the instruments and the bodies of musicians.
Julian is an avid collector of books related to music and an owner of a collection of several thousand volumes. He loves to talk about the books he likes the most for their beauty, interest, and value. Julian writes verses about music and the composers. He creates a memory book from his poems just making a lasting account of some worthy of note events.
After a fire in which Carl, a violin conservator, lost a large part of his house, his collection of musical instrument was destroyed or damaged by burning. Carl tries to reach an agreement with an insurance company through discussion and compromise. Negotiations last for two years and never ending meetings do not help to find the middle ground. Using a depreciation form, the insurance company finds the Carl’s old and favorite instrument that was made by sons of the Italian violin maker Antonio Stradivari worth very little because it is old!
Hugo and Hank are the only members of the orchestra who know how to play serpents. Hugo can also play many instruments coming from distant countries. Colleagues find it just exciting and unusual but particular quality and characteristic of music introduced from unfamiliar cultures takes up all Hugo’s attention and focus of interest. One may say, Hugo is influenced and controlled by emotion evoked by playing serpents. He is working toward his masters degree. He writes a thesis about serpents and some instruments belonging to the same family. According to Hugo, serpents deserve the recognition because of their qualities. He analyzes these instruments in comparison to western musical instruments. Writing a thesis, especially in a theme showing no signs of previous explorations, is a demanding task. Hugo devotes a lot of his time and energy to search, mostly online, for possible data. He learns how to use web resources as a basis for building his references and footnotes and to include information about the web pages and dates when he had visited them.
Paul and Jessica, children of a conductor David, designed a pop-up book on a computer using orchestra website with artists’ photographs. Little Jessica was playing on her Dad’s PowerBook with software allowing for writing scores and composing music. She created a composition that was random and chaotic but rhythmical, and saved it on David’s desktop. This file was accidentally sent for a competition and accepted by a jury. Submissions were sent as blind files and nobody knew it was a child play but not a serious music. Now jurors Aaron, Al, Jan, Kirk, and Todd have to defend their choice and resist the objections of three music critics, the triplets Monique, Miranda, and Michelle who call themselves M.J. They wrote a sarcastic article entitled “What is an artwork and what is not an artwork?” The question arose, whether or not art can be defined, and how. The jurors Aaron, Al, Jan, Kirk, and Todd reminded an opinion of an art critic Morris Weitz presented in his paper “The Role of Theory in Aesthetics” that artists and aestheticians failed to define the nature of art because there is no essence that would be common to all artworks and restricted only to artworks, so there is no property that would be intrinsic to all artworks. The jurors have also mentioned a statement written by Raymond Lauzzana and Denise Penrose in an "A 21st Century Manifesto,” “That which is made by humans is art. Everything that is not, is not. No natural things are art." Aaron, Al, Jan, Kirk, and Todd defended their selection of Jessica’s composition by arguing that a “blind jury” was aimed to choose an artwork on a basis of its quality and not other personal reasons.
Jessica, a daughter of a conductor David, has been included as a finalist of a competition for the best composition. The winners are: Hubert a famous composer who is working on instrumental acoustics, Louis who discovered he had a gift for composing music after he ended his career as a violinist due to a serious ski accident, and Leonard for composing a violin concerto No 3. Entrepreneur Darren, who sets up activities aimed at growth and profit, will organize an award ceremony. Darren will supervise the work of a crew, order advertisement broadcast on radio and television, and give instructions to the musicians, vocalists and other people involved in the ceremony. Darren is so busy and absorbed with his task that he does not part with his cell phone, even when he sleeps. He designs the whole ceremony taking the Olympic games as a model to be imitated. He will build a three-part platform for the winners. Winners will be dressed up to look like ancient heroes. He will also employ the carpenter Joseph and stage designers Jons to make stage props resembling an ancient amphitheater.
Chris plays trumpet in the evenings but his mornings serve him for painting. This Friday there will be an opening of his individual show at the City Center Art Gallery. In his Artistic Statement Chris informs the viewers that his artwork has been inspired by music. He asks his friends from the orchestra, a violinist Amadeus, a violist Eliza, a flutist Peter, a bassoonist Lawrence, and a bass player Ronald to improvise music at the opening reception in the Gallery. A difficult situation happened when the musician told Chris they couldn’t understand a theme of his art enough to compose music that would be good enough for this purpose. Nevertheless, the musicians’ performance and the reception were extremely successful. Even three tough music critics, Monique, Miranda, and Michelle, stated their favorable opinion in a local newspaper.
The City Center Art Gallery employs a caterer Alex to make a reception in the Gallery ready for an opening of Chris’ individual exhibition of his paintings. A violinist Amadeus, a violist Eliza, a flutist Peter, a bassoonist Lawrence, and a bass player Ronald will add to the splendor of this event with their improvisations. Because of a concert scheduled for the next night (Alex’s dear friend Chris will play trumpet), food at the reception needs to be made light. For this reason, Alex consults Fabian and Florian, experts on nutrition. Together, they work out a list of the dishes that are to be served at an opening reception. Their careful selection of servings adds to the success of Chris’ reception.
Simon (who plays bells) used to send lots of e-mails that are not official at all but are written in an incredibly formal way. Despite that, he is usually dressed in clothes of an informal, casual type and wears them in a nonchalant way. The Simon’s way of exchange with others is not in keeping with his attitude toward his workplace. His colleagues perceive this arrogant. They hint at a better choice of his style, and they try to indicate that in a tactful way. Nevertheless, Simon is hurt. He feels emotional pain and almost stops conversations with his colleagues. However, he does not change his style.
In the approaching concert, Carmen, the flamenco artists, will use castanets to the strongly rhythmic music that usually accompanies flamenco dancing. The Opera crew helps her to get ready for that performance. Ken who works for the opera singers as a hairdresser and a make-up artist has a disagreement with Jons, the stage designers on a controversial topic of a proper fashion that would comply with a Spanish style of Carmen’s performance. Jons want to emphasize a distinctive style that is characteristic of Carmen. Ken (who will soon join Tom the drummer and Norman an opera performer in their trip to the desert to attend the “Burning Man” venture) seeks some extravagant solutions. Opinions are strongly felt and firmly expressed by all those concerned. Carmen feels annoyed and confused. Fortunately, a costume designer Kathy arrives to deal with this problem. She makes fortunate decisions that make Carmen look exceptionally dazzling and radiant.
Christian, the accountant working for the Philharmonic has a strong ambition to fill the whole concert hall with audience. He seeks a solution in encouraging a wide range of prospective concert goers to attend performances on a regular basis. The institution distributes free tickets among members of other instrumental ensembles and groups of musicians. In response to this action a large group of rock musicians shows up at the symphony orchestra concert. After a short period of quiet listening they start to react vividly to every solo performance by cheering and expressing enjoyment. Bruno a body guard and the regular security crew cannot control the course of events so they call for help from firefighters. Kevin the drummer, Gene electric guitar and Sean the guitarist feel distressed and offended when they and their pals are denied the right to show their applause by using lighters. The firefighters invite them all for a night under the sky. They play and sing around a campfire.
Greg has never played glasses before. He used to be a timpani player. He lost his legs in combat shortly after he was drafted. During his long recovery, Greg searched through instruments carefully in order to find something suitable for his condition and deserving his interest. He chose glasses because he found them out of ordinary. In a hospital, he learned to tune and play a set of glasses. He found the sounds they produce subtle and pleasant to the senses. Musicians are trying to create many possibilities to include Greg into the concert programs.
Tony who loves to play recorder collects jewelry and keeps his treasures in a big silver bowl. On special occasions he brings to a rehearsal room a bowl full of necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and rings. From some time his jewels changed. They look like miniature sculptures. All musicians agree about their exceptional beauty and value. They learn that Tony is a talented jewelry designer who created these amazing pieces of art. They also learn that his art is scheduled for exhibition in an art gallery. A violinist Amadeus, a violist Eliza, a flutist Peter, a bassoonist Lawrence, and a bass player Ronald suggest playing at the opening reception as a favor for the artist. At the gallery they see something unexpected. A photographer Samuel used his digital camera to make photographs of all little jewels, transform and manipulate the images, and then he installed a photo projection on a wall the way that people looked very small compared to the jewels. Photographs of the installation with big jewels and tiny gallery visitors appeared in a newspaper. Some people laughed, others were angry.
A big group of instrumentalists play modern music composed in imitation of traditional music: Oscar (accordion), Melvin (cymbals), Lloyd (guitar), Leon (harmonica), Emil (gong), Calvin and Lucille (lyre), brothers Dominic (ocarina) and Devin (notched flute), Jake (pipes), Allen (recorder), Naomi (tam-tam), Harry (trumpeter), Lois and Moana (ukulele), Ryan (violin and lute), Rosalinda (zither), Zachary (tubular bells), and percussionist Jaime. Musicians travel a lot and perform in small towns and villages where they are expected to play folk music. When a group of instrumentalists struggled against disadvantages of a dirty road, they did not notice they were losing instruments, one by one, that had been amassed at the back of a truck. Musical instruments, some of them quite unusual, when scattered along a narrow dirty road, made quite a surrealistic landscape. Somebody following musicians tried to let them know about their loss but when they did not hear the signal, he videotaped the event. His tape became very useful for the musicians in their discussion of the accident with an insurance company. Moreover, Duncan a media man used it as a background for a music video.
Harvey (a violinist) keeps a memory book and is often engaged in adding new entries there. His colleagues Peter and Louis have no doubts that he pastes photos, pictures, and cuttings from the newspapers. When Harvey let them look at the content of his memory book, they found verses that Harvey wrote after performances to commit important events to his memory. Harvey wrote verses about his former girl friends in chronological order. Surprisingly, they could find names of most of the female orchestra members.
Eve and her husband Adam (who both play oboe) want their little daughter Jane to grow up as a great musician. They bring her to rehearsals and believe that by listening music Jane will develop absolute pitch. Jane plays her rattles and other musical toys thus interrupting and distracting musicians when they are busy preparing for a concert. Donald the organ player has also started to bring his six-year-old son, a little drummer Mark, as his wife departed to another town. David (the conductor) decides to pay Patrick (the one with a music box) in his free time to take care of Jane and Mark while their parents are rehearsing. To entertain the children, Patrick takes them many times for a drive.
A group of the non-violence movement advocates made an arrangement with the administrative director of the opera that all signs related to crime and violence have to be removed from all the performances. They have the same opinion about forbidding the use of spoken or written words such as a pistol or a bullet, even if it is a bullet from the palette formatting a written text. They demand that librettos have to be changed. In order to prevent the shooting from happening on a scene they decide to represent all violent scenes as the Destiny-determined events. From now on, a sound produced by a big thunder sheet will stand for divine intervention. Wilbur the thunder sheet player will be paid for contributing his skills to opera performances. Emil the gong player 9his friends like to call him Email, for his special way of communicating, even with a person next door) is deeply distressed by this decision. He believes that the sound of a gong is more appropriate that that produced by a thunder sheet, because it is more heavenly. To alleviate his frustration, the opera director keeps Emil occupied playing gong at the beginning and the end of each act. Emil believes that a sound of a gong is supremely delightful. Recently, Gavin, another player arrives with his gong that, according to him, sounds heavenly. The opera conductor decides to take advantage of both instrumentalists. He positions the gong players at the opposite sides of a scene and tells them to produce a double sound effect with their gongs by playing them one after another in a very short interval. He tells Gavin to stay by the entrance door behind the curtain to remain invisible to the viewers. He wants to make an illusion that it is one prolonged sound that fills all the space inside a theater. After each of recurrent sounds of gongs there is a period of silence.
Bert loves to play jaw harp and carries it with him everywhere. Musicians are sometimes annoyed with the sound he produces. They found a solution. To successfully deal with this difficulty, they buy Bert a chewing gum of the kind he likes the most.
Patrick used to sit in front of the Opera hall with his music box and collect small donations for his playing. He does the same in front of the Philharmonic. The administrative director of the opera finds it inappropriate because he is afraid that some influential patrons might disapprove it. He arranges with Frank, Bob, and Marcel, the cooks in a nearby restaurant a free meal for Patrick at the time when the performances begin and the patrons are approaching the Opera hall. Patrick eats his dinner with gusto then he returns to his place in front of the Opera just in time to collect money from people leaving the building after the performance. To bring an affair to an end, the director hires Patrick to clean up after the concerts. Patrick does his job well but he does not part with his music box.
Leonard the violinist wished to become a winner of a composition contest. While composing his violin concerto No 3 he discovered his belief in Muses by studying stories about these mythical beings and their influence on human performance. He was longing for having his personal Muse. In his dreamy and abstracted cogitations he named his Muse Agnes. Leonard has always been interested in astronomy, the study of celestial bodies, and astronautics. He studied books, searched the Internet, and often visited a NASA site to copy and print the satellite pictures of the Earth (he understood it was copyright free). Studies about spacecraft developed Leonard’s imagination in a specific way. During the competition, when he played his Violin Concerto No 3 in front of a jury, Leonard experienced a direct awareness of the presence of a Space Angel Agnes. He is convinced that he won the contest only because of his Muse and he feels grateful.
Stephanie a contralto, two baritones Hans and Heller (everybody calls him by his last name and nobody knows his first name) and Herbert, also a baritone, like to play poker for money. They are told to stop playing for money, so they have a good time playing for a tuxedo. The winner wears a tuxedo and looks stylish and graceful. Stephanie won a tuxedo but she did not enjoy the prize as much as her colleagues did. She looked funny in a tuxedo but she understood she had to wear it. Other musicians did not know that the Stephanie’s attire, so impressive in appearance, results from her success in a card game. Soon enough, you could see several female musicians wearing a tuxedo on a symphony stage.
Andrea, who plays oboe in Doran’s symphony orchestra, just graduated from a High School. Her father Colin invites Giovanni and Jeanne to play at the Andrea’s graduation party. Giovanni and Jeanne developed their own style of entertaining people. They often perform at private and official gatherings and participants always express great approval for their ability of amusing viewers and good quality of their performances. The secret of the Giovanni and Jeanne’s successes lies in a spectacular way they are playing. Even if their instruments, which are positive organs and buccina, are of relatively little size, they used to arrive in a van. A big size mirror, an easel, a table, and a special set of lamps are carried out from the van to a place at which the event happens. They appear attired in tulle and silk robes. While they play in front of a mirror placed on a toll easel, they look repeated by their own reflections, thus they seem existing in two distinct embodiments. They like to be jokingly called “a quartet.”
Lucas, Joe, and Oscar participate in an exchange program and go to a Distant Land. Lucas took his sax instrument and Oscar takes his accordion to play on a beach with a group of musicians from far away Joe takes her keyboard as she hopes it would help her to learn new tunes. She takes also a video camera to shoot various dances. Everything is not so simple and easy as they wish. The music is quite different and the dances need explanation to be fully understood. The female dancers perform each piece of music in a way that conveys particular ideas or emotions in their lives. Fortunately, Joe meets a hula dancer Waiaka. She gives Lucas, Joe, and Oscar many details about the way of replacing speech with a dance and reasons for using specific gestures and motions. Female dancers make distinctive movements with their hands thus telling stories that are further expressed by their dances. They also convey feelings resulting from the events they are telling about, such as the dangers coming from a hard exhausting work of their men when they go to sea to catch fish. After mutual discussion with Waiaka and clarification of concepts yet unknown, Lucas, Joe, and Oscar return home with a video production about their music and dance. After that they invite Waiaka and a group of musicians to present their art at their theater stage. They arrange for a performance by a hula dancer Waiaka with accompaniment of musicians from The Island. Entrepreneur Darren makes use of his experience coming from hosting a Japanese theatrical group. Last year Japanese actors played Noh, a form of Japanese drama using music, dance masks, and traditional costumes. Understanding a highly stylized way of expressing ideas and events by the Noh Theater actors was only possible when somebody translated what was said in a language of Noh theater into speech. A translator ascribed a particular meaning and significance to specific motions and face expressions. Darren arranges for same way of translation, so the audience may feel fully engaged and interested.
Dick a driver worked for the orchestra for 36 years driving various kinds of cars, a limo, a truck, and a coach depending on musicians’ needs. On his way home an accident put an end to Dick’s life. There was quite a rite held to make visible that he was much liked person. In a funeral ceremony, a long procession of mourners followed a body to its place of burial. The Orchestra director delivered eulogy at a funeral ceremony, and then speeches that praised Dick very highly followed his tribute. Everybody brought some objects related to Dick’s everyday life, a compass, some maps, and a radar detector. Pencils, road signs (just some toys meant for children or some keys and key chains) to put them into the casket. Dick loved woodworking, so both tools and some craft items ended up in his coffin.
was an artist. He was developing posters for any need or occasion and loved
to give them away to his friends. His work was internationally known and he
won many awards for his artwork. Gene
used recycled materials for his work. He often joked about using trash for his
art. His sense of humor, knowledge and sensitivity toward the details, rich
stories told about his past and his kindness made him a lot of friends. Most
of them used to meet annually to celebrate his birthday parties organized by
his wife. He enjoyed showing his new art during those parties.
His students celebrated his imaginative teaching style. His heart related problems forced him to retire. Six years later, Gene died of a sudden heart attack. A service in celebration of his life was scheduled after cremation has been completed. Some of his friends were wondering about the proper way of attending the ceremony, to find out, that it was a giant, party in his favorite hangout place, It all felt more like an art show opening. It almost was like he'd just stepped out to the other room. The visitors were signing the book and the urn: a simple wooden box, nicely crafted. On they way out they could pick up a poster made by Gene some years ago, for the very same place the celebration took place in.
In loving memory of Gene Hoffman
Edward, whose voice is known worldwide, has a hobby of collecting all sorts of various instruments when he travels; he visits antique stores and thrift stores to search for some interesting musical objects. Carl often helps him to mend and fix the instruments that are not in good shapes. Edward is concerned that the times of the opera might be over, as young people tend to seek other forms of entertainment. He does not play any music, but his passion is to construct a giant Noah's Ark and place the instruments instead of the animals there The ark will be a big panel with the openings for the instruments set in pairs. The problem is how to attach the instruments to the back of the panel. He hopes to get some help from Johns, the stage designers and from Joseph, the carpenter. He hopes it will become a stage design item in the future for the opera he plans to write and to perform for. Another problem that he needs help with is how to determine the instruments being males and those classified as females. This bothers him so much, that he decided to visit Dave, the psychologist and seek his advice in some way that would not make him look weird or funny. He seems very distracted to his colleagues. His mind wonders deep in the see searching for the right theme. At one of the parties, Duncan, the Media Man approaches him and asks him about the source of his concerns. Edward decides to open up and to discuss his ideas and concerns. Duncan's advice is simple: rather then creating an opera, he could create a video game, where all the sea creatures would be actively participating in the vivid under the sea scenario. He even offers his technical expertise and time to make it happen. This does not seem right for Edward. He decides to stick with the opera idea, but he wants to add some dances that involve sea creatures interacting with the instruments, and some dances with fans made out of seashells and even some instruments of the same origin. The opera will survive!
Danny is a very active man. He believes he's got lots of luck. He always tells his friend that the weather should behave and be adjusted to his plans. And, indeed, those who camp with him always enjoy the best weather possible. His voice sounds sometimes like an indoor voice or an outdoor one. No one really understands why, as it is not related to where is he calling from.
Bruno likes to read and learn. His job requires lots of waiting and traveling. He's been reading about semiotics, objects, images, icons, metaphors and iconic objects. Bruno found a special interest in the "pretenders" - objects which are represented in a shape that does not correspond with their function. Bruno collects them and uses them all around his house. Edward often brings him something from his frequent trips. Debbie tries to give him an estimate of the value for each object, but it is not about the money, he keeps telling her.
The Queen Amalita announced her visit and everyone in the city was aware of her deep interest in music. The Orchestra members had to face serious preparations. Director Gerlost held several conferences with Stage Designers JonsDesigner Kathy and his Accountant Adrian. Everyone agreed the performance should be held in a well-designed medieval scenario. All was medieval that night, including the dinner, prepared by the Opera Chiefs, Frank, Bob and Marcel. For that reason everyone was to wear armor or some battle related artifacts. Some musicians refused to play in a costume that was heavy and not really meant for performing music. Think of a battle as some sort of a performance, Gerlost kept saying. but only some volunteers agreed to it. Thus selecting the music that would involve just those instruments, matching the volunteers proved to be a challenge. Gerlost had to hire a composer to create music featuring selected group of musicians. It was hard to really like the music, but the Queen Amalita complemented the group for a truly contemporary evening. Quite abstract, added her Servant.
a glow. When he was leaving the room, it was like the feeling that the light
being suddenly turned off.in the room. He could do anything he wanted, he could
have anyone do whatever he wanted, but he never used his powers. After the rehearsals,
he was the first one to leave the room.
Gavin went to the store to buy some doors." I have two kinds of door, the salesperson said: one I love and the other one are garbage". I am sneezing, as I am allergic to work, he added. At that moment the phone interrupted.
Sometimes, it's hard to make a decision.
on Dry Street. It used to be a regular address, until city officials announced
the contest for making the city more entertaining. One of the winning project
involved automatic change of the name of the street to Wet Street when it was
raining. Everyone who'd like to send Danny a letter had to check the weather
forecast, so the letter would not come back as undelivered.
John and Chris played trumpets. They always were standing back to back while playing, as they believed the sound filled out the room better. This way the eye contact was not possible, so they had to develop another way of communication. They created a body code for each message one would like to signal. They knew each other so well that no eye contact was needed during the performance. They married twins on the same day and used to spend all time together. They even rented a condominium together.
Everything worked excellent except for one day when John saw something that Chris, who was facing the opposite direction, could not see.
That was a combination of musicians with talent and experience. This orchestra was available for various tasks and often presented quite unusual mixture of instruments. The goal was to be suitable for any task. The pride, the growth of the program put on before an audience, the group performance, and the impression conveyed by a manner of musicians and quality of uniforms, all worked together, unified as one perfect mechanism. However, with all scheduled to be flexible, even one member that was not showing up made the sound and the tune up altered. They kept practicing, waiting for a big adventure. Nothing happened.
Naomi liked to travel. She liked the planning part of it as much as the actual adventure. She used to stay in the Youth Hostels that made it easy to organize for her trips. Once, during her journey to exotic places, she discovered the natural sound of various objects when they were hit repeatedly. More than a sound itself, she meant an experience that lasted much longer and made the “after sound” or "after taste,” as she called it. The typical outcome of a beat was so meaningful to her that she went even further and started a research study involving playing in various places and in different conditions, from outdoors to indoors. She involved Danny the acoustician in her investigation, so he built some hanging panels that blocked or supported the sound transmission. This way Naomi came up with the topic of a thesis for her interdisciplinary Masters degree in music and acoustics.
He was available to anyone to support their career and aid in their development and growth. He knew it all, how to arrange for any promotion related task and advancement to a more senior job. Michael always felt it would be nice to have the skills and knowledge to perform and become famous. At the same time, he knew all about legal issues, so it always made him happy when someone asked him for a legal advice instead of handing over a problem to the orchestra’s lawyer. He was always feeling more comfortable being with non-performing people. Perhaps, he found them less self-centered, while the musicians were so engaged in music and instruments they played.
Agnes was an angel. She took spiritual care of all orchestra members. She was a muse, a source of inspiration, and a protective guardian to them all. Some of them knew about it and some believed in her. Agnes knew about the musicians’ strengths and weaknesses, but they could only talk to her in their dreams. They knew it. That is why some of them kept feeling asleep during the endless organizational meetings. Ukulele: Louis
Louis discovered ukulele when he was four years old. He got it from his uncle coming back from one of these exciting trips abroad he always bragged about. It came shiny, straight from a gift shop. Louis developed a habit of playing ukulele whenever the homework time approached. Despite of the falling GPA, Louis’ skills here were growing up so fast that the school assigned a special teacher to help him with his technique. He was the one who played at ceremonies, openings, or special occasions.
The stage was big and well lit, when needed. Joseph was working on a set of props, when Media Man Duncan suggested VR solutions. He wanted to develop a set of decorated background for an opera that not only would be virtual but would travel from the stage to the audience in a way that every patron would be able to manipulate and watch them from the outside and from the inside. There was no need for gloves or glasses anymore to interact with the floating props. The Duncan’s idea was inspired by Mark Chagall’s light-based sets for the Mozart’s Magic Flute created way back in time.
Joseph felt upset about the idea, as he has just sculpted some beautiful figures ready to be put into action. Luckily, Owen, who also worked to the university, arranged with the Computer Graphics Department to scan Joseph’s props and enter them into the 3D program. This way the exact virtual replicas were based on his own creations. Moreover, he had a power to save them for later, modified applications. Jurors: Aaron, Al, Jan, Kirk, and Todd The problem was with a non-linear judging. Nothing was set in stone. The jurors could never agree. That is why the opera needed so many of them. Each one had different criteria, believes, and preferences. Finally, they discovered a tactic to be fair. Each one was submitting their own judging based on one of the categories, respectively:The problem was with a non-linear judging. Nothing was set in stone. The five jurors could never agree. That is why the opera needed so many of them. Each one had different criteria, believes, and preferences. Finally, they discovered a tactic to be fair. Each one was submitting their own judging based on one of the categories, respectively:
1. Quality of Sound, Flow and Melody,
3. Technical Proficiency,
4. Interpretation and Vision, Innovation versus Tradition.
5. Tempo, Pitch and Volume, Variation,Psychotherapist Dave
Dave the psychotherapist Dave had his own personal problems, all sorts of them. His technique was to share them with all the troubled orchestra members. This way, as he discovered, not only he was getting the best set of advices, but also his clients became more open, confident, and relaxed when discussing their own issues.
family secrets were out when she danced. Each and every muscle was encoded with
a message and a story. Every pitch change triggered a reaction. That was sending
an open message that could be received differently by each viewer. Waiaka
developed her own system that could be called, body signs, which she knew, better
by now than anybody else. She loved dancing in the rain but it was not allowed
When she sang, she could spread the wings, so that the windowpanes could break. They called it special effects. Deborah was known for collecting jewelry, but never wore any; she had them embedded into each costume. This way, the audience could see it, but it was not in her way during her gesture-filled performances.
looking sad, unhappy, and under the weather, he was actually the happiest person
on the planet. He just met the most wonderful woman of his dreams. Her name
and she was sending him the best advices for his cases while he was deeply asleep.
It was hard for Ronald to see from behind the instrument while playing it. It is not that he would like to watch the audience, but it would be nice to see the score. He checked on the Internet and someone advised him to make an oversized copy of a musical composition. It was easy to copy and store an 11 x 17 size of a score. Now he needs a new music stand for holding an enlarged printed music that is being performed.
Archie was a darts player. He never missed; he was a precise, organized person. After winning some competitions he decided to stop playing darts as it was taking too much of his time. Archie saw a bassoon at the local pound shop when he was selling his equipment. It was beautifully crafted and shining with power. Archie was shy. But he’s got to have it, so he got it. The learning was easy for him, like learning anything, and he got really good in it. He started winning some competitions. Again!
The plummy music of the harp kept filling the entire house with its rich, resonant, and mellow sound. Celia wanted to play it by the water; it sounded even better there. The reflection of her that appeared in water while she was playing Egyptian harp was so peaceful that everybody wanted to take a photograph of her. Egyptian Harp:
Aida was always competing with Celia. In fact, that was not necessary as they usually played together in a big group. One day she started writing her own music for a duet they were both to play. That event shifted the roles.
Arthur loved the deep sound of his instrument. He also loved its form and shape, its colors and glossiness; he enjoyed the reflections. All the members of the orchestra waved on his instrument. This was causing some problems with his practicing, as he could not concentrate, with out all the reflections of the orchestra members present on his instrument. He decided to confront the psychotherapist Dave. Dave advised to ask the Media Man Duncan to take a big photo of the entire group and set it up in Arthur’s practice room. It helped a lot.
Sean loved "The Beatles" so much that his house was entirely covered with posters, nicely framed old records, and all of the stuff he could put his hands on. He taught at the middle school and discovered that his students are not really familiar with the group. That was calling for an action. Sean got together with the English literature teacher and asked her to introduce their lyrics to the students. That was not in the curriculum. Besides, she was more concerned about Shakespeare. She had a strong sense of following the guides and the rules. The Beetles sounded just like fun and less literary and historical to her. There was only one option left: an extracurricular activity on Friday night where the students were coming to dance, listen, read, and talk about the music and lyrics. The next semester it will become a club with three sponsors:, the English teacher, and the PE teacher.
Lloyd liked "The Rolling Stones". He always felt they were playing in the shadow of the Beatles. Lloyd had lots of discussions with Sean about the role of the Rock & Roll and the transitions the music went through. They had endless talks about the rhythm, dance, techniques, and the fame as a mystic element of uncertainty and surprise. Each of them developed their own technique and was growing in different way. They never wanted to play together though.
They both had a feel for weightlifting. Together, always together. They dressed alike and they sounded alike. They were twins, so it did not surprise anyone. They always were like the supporting columns for the visual representation of the orchestra.
Alan and Henry always worked together. They always worked in close collaboration with the composer. They had totally different believes and styles. Alan liked to look at the bright side of each issue, enjoyed it all and seemed always happy. Henry was Mr. Likable. He was often cynical with his opinions and was perceived as funny but in a nasty way. This worked perfect in their writings. They could establish a common ground for writing a libretto for an opera, operetta, oratorio, or musical. Their spoken passages and lyrics to the musical numbers triggered joy and drama, so expected from the audience. Alan was always romantic and looking for a happy ending. According to Henry, there were three types of writings: Comedy, when a guy can marry the girl at the end, Drama, when they do not marry at the end, and Tragedy, when one of them dies. That was it. Maybe, Alan’s bitter philosophy was caused by the fact that he was feeling unsatisfied. The composer of the musical score to an opera or operetta has been usually given the lion's share of credit for his work, and the libretto writer was only mentioned in a footnote. It frustrated Alan a lot as he always was searching for more romantic explanations on why things worked or did not worked out. Yet, they could agree on one thing: balance was what was working so well in their work.
Frank, Bob and Marcel were unusual, as they liked to share their recipes. They were putting them in the fortune cookies. Because of that, the recopies had to be short.
Frank’s for the Spaghetti was: Boil spaghetti and keep throwing single spago against the wall until it sticks.
Bob’s was “ Add lemon to anything”
Marcel’s was: “Add garlic to all you cook.”
He was almost invisible. Maybe because of his shyness, but it certainly was his personal business. It felt like there was a glass panel between him and other people. Many tried to wave hands in front of his eyes in order to "wake him up.” At some point, it all changed. Daniel became open and active. Although everyone was curious of the source of his change, no one dared to ask.
The room for the Choir rehearsals was big. It had a big sign "The Choir Room." It was used for rehearsals but also for meetings. One day there was a meeting of the entire choir group and they all sang the items on the Meeting Agenda.
Raymond used to play in a marching band before. The crowd, the confusion, all excitement was what it was all about. There was not so much involvement among the orchestra members, so he silkscreened people all over his drum.
Jo was assigned as a family piano teacher. The lessons felt lengthy and exhausting to her. She wanted to stop many times, but the family investment kept shining in the drawing room. She started collecting sounds. Many of them were drawn from nature, many were human-made, and they still would fit the category of taken from nature, but were actually produced by a hand. The moment she burned a CD-Rom with the whole collection, she realized the keyboard was doing all she wanted: mixing sounds. She did not have to tech it anymore, as it sounded like all the family members already knew how to play the keyboard.
Previously, Kevin used to drive a big "R" truck. From these times, he's got memories, stories and jokes that he often liked to share. He heard on the radio, so present during his road trips, about a new band "The Trackers" looking for new members with no prior training. He understood "The Truckers” and he got really excited. Kevin picked drums, as it was an instrument closest to his experience. Although he gave up his profession to join the band, he kept the habit of being constantly alert and to watch both sides and the back. There was a big grant project that was aimed to track the "learnability" and the way musicians that are new to the field can learn. The project was filling out all days for the whole year. It was more then a study, it was a real research. The whole band was divided into sections and musicians spent time with various teachers, they rehearsed together, and then took the tests. After that, they were asked to switch instruments, and again work with various teachers, rehearse together, and take the tests. It took them a year to know it all. They won a competition. This is how Kevin joined the Orchestra.
Christine was on her way to a performance, which was her big chance. She got trapped in the elevator. It was hard for her to concentrate. She did not see other people standing within her reach. She tried to make a phone call. She tried not to panic. Organizing her thoughts was the best tactic she could think of.
Suddenly all became calm, clear and visual. The whole composition she was to play suddenly became all she could think about. At that moment the rescue team showed up and she was free. She entered the back stage after the performance has already begun. She hesitated. The Announcer, who was aware of the situation, waited till the closest break and introduced her performance as a special section of the concert. All the thoughts, fear and anxiety had transferred into a beautiful flow of music. It was her best solo ever.
Lyre players: Erica, Kate, Lucille, Lynn, and Calvin
There were five lyre players in the Orchestra. They also played as a team – the same music played by each player with a small delay. They were a group performing at special occasions. During winter holidays celebrations they would sit under the falling snow and play folk songs. Java applet here
One day they were playing outside of the Courthouse on a beautiful snowy day. Suddenly, in the middle of the performance they were asked to leave. It was all pre-arranged and they have already been paid. The reason was unknown and it bothered them a lot. They went out to the nearest coffee shop to warm up and to exchange their own interpretations.
1. Erica – No doubt, it was racial.
2. Kate – the government does not like the Arts. The 1% tax going to the Arts annoys “them.”
3. Lucille – They want the Court to be noise-free zone.
4. Lynn – It’s all about religion.
5. Calvin – we all belong to the wrong party.
Actually, the city was planning a joyful art parade that would celebrate various ethnic groups and religions. They were all sitting on the way of the parade. Soon, they got a letter apologizing for a bad planning on the account of the city.
He was named Forrest. He liked his name a lot. It became a symbol for all he was doing. Gradually, he became obsessed with the relationship between one’s name and the profession, look, character or hobbies. He liked spending his weekends in the forest, driving his car, which even sounded in a similar way. His last name suggested marimba. It gave him some sort of fulfillment. People laughed from his theories, except for Dave, who suggested that one’s name is one of the first meaningful messages one recognizes as a child, thus it makes a person alerted to the concepts associated with these words. Forrest’s new hobby became to compare peoples’ names with all that made them be. He used to capture all the findings in a box that he carried with him all the time, but shared it only with Dave. Al least it is an inexpensive hobby, he kept saying.
There is a reason that the philharmonic halls have organs being part of the room.
They are like an embedded decoration, as they often are often not played during concerts, just being there.
There were times Donald was needed, there were times he was not, but it was okay, as he played a lot for his church. This was giving him a sense of fulfillment and enough time to play the instrument. Practice was extremely demanding and often difficult, as the sound was loud and spreading through the space, and it annoyed some people. Contrary to the lay-people opinions, he taught organs in the church and in the philharmonic hall as two different instruments and messages. “Artists are picky,” said one of his colleagues. Are we? - he asked himself - or is it just the message being determined by the purpose and the environment. The stained glass windows, for example, were making him play different, just by reflecting the light and changing the atmosphere. He thought of the concert halls, filled with woods, as cold, even though the temperature was much lower in the stone filled churches. Katherine was a moviegoer. Her favorite films were silent movies, when they had music played during the performance. She thought she was born too late. If she could choose, she’d love to play the piano in the silent movie era. Feeling not very appreciated, she often felt like an ugly duckling, only if the time could have been reversed.
Her attitude and luck had changed after her inspirational observation she captured during her rural vacations. A big vulture had attacked a chicken. The little bird was brave enough to fight, thus it was finally released from a beak of a big guy. It landed featherless, looking ugly, but got all the respect from the rest of the livestock members. The feathers grew back and the honor stayed with him. Always. Allen learned to play the recorder in kindergarten. He wanted to go to the Moon, to teach “Moonians” to play the recorder. He believed all the instruments you have to blow into would be moon related. The teacher asked him about other planets, but he was too busy mastering playing the recorder .Nelson wore thick and heavy glasses. He never had to look at the notes while playing. The stage light kept reflecting in his glasses, sometimes blinding the audience. To avoid that, he begun wearing sun glasses over his prescription glasses. It looked really good, when he was performing with his band. Jaime was the fastest in hand movement during her drum practices. It is not like it was a competition, or they would measure other percussion players, but it seemed all of them begun playing faster in her presence. She was the one who would shuffle cards during game filled evenings. She could not dance. She could not sing. She was too fast for that. She was only slow when she talked. They had to wait patiently till she’d finish a sentence. When she was in a room, everyone was beginning to talk slow. Tom worked as a building contractor before. He used to run one-person company. His business card stated President as a title. The name of his company was “Liberty Construction”. When he joined the Orchestra, he enjoyed wearing a costume reminding him of the old times. Debbie had knowledge in music and history. She wanted to document the changes in the music field. Collecting the instruments was part of the process. She was bringing instruments from her trips, and then she had Ken, Music Traveler bringing her one from each of his trips. The collection was big enough to fill out the entire museum and it kept growing. There were instruments characteristic of each and every place that was historically significant to the growth and presentation of music. Sometimes the cost of an instrument was close to nothing, sometimes it was a fortune. Debbie did not trust the Internet, just Ken. Besides the instruments, she had notes, books, and manuscripts. She developed her own hanging system, where the instruments were covering the entire wall space at her apartment. Tired of dusting, she ordered big plastic sheets to cover the collection and to create the transparent walls. She painted the walls black for better exposure. This is when the next-door apartment became available. Graham’s store was located close to the school district. It carried all sorts of instruments, notes, books, and souvenirs. They were also doing some small repairs, such as gluing a button to a violin or tuning a piano. They would make house visits, if needed. Graham was a major supplier for the Orchestra. He was hiring music students as his store associates, which was making the business more profitable and gave him an insight into the campus life and needs. One day another store opened, right across the street. A husband of the professor of music, who was a good friend of the Trombonist, ran it. From now on, Graham began hiring Graphic Design majors.
His job was like a PR: to inform, to connect, and to influence. He had a nice voice and a good presence, so he was the one who’d tell the audience what to expect. There was one problem though he was not aware of: Ken was moody. The state of his mind and his energy level affected the audience. Ken changed the perception of the audience of the presenters he was announcing. It was like reading a review or a critique prior to the performance. He was either lowering or raising the expectations of the audience. A renovated critic, who was a frequent guest at the philharmonic orchestra, wrote once a critique and focused on the effect of info on the audience perception. This is when they sent Ken to Dave, the psychotherapist. They worked together on making Ken conscious about his energy level.
Ken’s life was on the road. He did stayed no longer then a week in one place. His life’s mission was to propagate music door to door, spread the knowledge and make sure people play instruments. His goal was to make the music present in every household, every heart and mind. He believed that people who knew music, use music, and need music were becoming better people. They are not bored, they do not have time to fight, and they are slowly filled with a need of perfecting their skills. Also, he thought that music is a group activity, thus it reunite people. He always worked alone.
Kathy was a gamer. Her hobby was to make costumes. Her designs were based on characters in computer games. She was skilful in hands and the process of making was a part of the shaping of the actual product. She could never predict an outcome. She attended costume conferences and Anime conferences. It was gaining her lots of friends. At the conferences, people often wear their own creations. They played skits. There were workshops and sharing sessions. Kathy’swebsite was not only informative, but also fun. It had photos and movies showing her wearing her own costumes. This is where her real acting begun.
Florian and Fabian fulfilled all the needs of the Orchestra. They were ready for any occasion, or any difficult situation, such as a throat related problem of an opera singer. They were aware that knowledge was changing and it was hard to catch up. At first they kept saying, “Eat an apple with the skin, all the vitamins are there,” and then they reversed it to “ Eat only pealed apples, they have all the pesticides on their skin.” The food pyramid was to follow, even when it was totally inverted. Florian and Fabian said, “Hard to say when we harm people rather then helping them, if we keep following what is current in nutrition theory. The worst part is to prepare parties or goodies for the occasion: IS THERE ANY FOOD THAT NO ONE IS ALLERGIC TO?”
Shawn was always present with his dog, Hoggie, when they were needed. They used to come in together to any public place, as Hoggie qualified as a working dog. The dog liked only the people food. When Shawn was going to any food-selling place, Hoggie was not let in. He was ordering a sandwich and one for Hoggie as well, plus one drink. He was glad Hoggie was not a pit bull. He only looked fearful, which was enough for the job.
Gary studied Musics. All sorts of them. It should be called the Musics Department, as there were so many types of music. He was not sure which type he liked the most. All of them were his favorite. He studied hard, tried hard to learn everything he could, but he secretively envied those, who really knew.
It was his grand-grand mother’s washboard, quite heavily used up. It was stored in the old barn when he discovered it. It was right after the Cowboy Symposium he was dragged to by his friend. They were reading poetry, singing olde Cowboys’ songs and the newer once as well. They were playing music, the unusual one. Verbal saw some strange instruments. Then he remembered the washboard, which shortly become his instrument. Given all the hints by one of the performers, he grasped it quickly. He became THE BEST. His grand-grand mother had to watch over him.
Kaveriamma, Agata, Mabel and Odetta all loved the sea life and all the creatures. They had a cookbook, where all the sea creatures were drawn with a precision triggering imagination. The cookbook was used for setting up the choreography. They simply imagined how the particular sea creature would move. It lasted till one of them discovered a beautiful book filled with gorgeous photographs of the mushrooms.
Birol, Vinod and Javi loved going to the rock concerts. Not every one of them, especially those filled out with the lights, traveling lights. The lights were pulsating toward the rhythms of the music and were creating shadows that were even more powerful that the lights and music. Why do we like the lights so much? asked once Francisco. It must be the Stonehenge, which goes through daily time change for so many years, said Alberto.
There were so many drummers in the group, but they often had to go for a tour, playing for a group they also were a part of. Then all of them were needed. All of them. Sometimes there was a need for a drummer during the Orchestra performance, at it was happening when the drummers were on the road. Director Gerlost came up with a solution. He hired an actor to pretend playing drums. Norman was to do it really fast and spectacular, but instead of the actual instrument, he’d be bating the empty on the top drum. This way there would be no sound, but the impressive action. They had doubts. One day, they decided to make an experiment. They lowered ticket prices to those who’d be willing to fill out a survey. One of the questions was to list all the instruments played during the performance. The 93% of the responders listed drums. There were 3 responders.
Rosalinda saw a zither for the first time on an engraving on Edward Gore’s book. It inspired her to study the instrument. She always played in a gloomy way. That was her trademark.
Jeff arted to look at different poses of human bodies. He wanted to “freeze them” in time. The camera seemed to be a perfect choice, but Jeff was not feeling comfortable taking pictures of people. Then he brought a tripod and set the camera the way the professionalisms do. He was treated as a professional, so no one even looked at him when he was taking his pictures.
There were many cymbalists, but no one dared to play the instrument in a presence of Melvin. Their play was visual; it was bringing flowers to viewers’ minds, filling the air with sounds of falling leaves, lawns, lakes, forests, mountains, and all the beauty that nature could offer. It made all the listeners feel synaesthetic. After all, Respighi wrote music to three paintings by Sandro Boticelli, they used to say. When asked about his vacations, Melvin used to answer, “I was listening to the grass growing in my backyard.”
He was a legend in her heart. The sound of horn reminded her of him. It was not because of a great relationship, or deep feelings, it was all about the tenderness in his talks about simple objects.
Gavin liked Tums. Not because he had problems with his stomach, but he found them tasteful. Everyone was teasing him that he looked like his gong, sounded like his gong, and even had a sense of humor related to it. He followed Dostoyevsky’s idea to look for the topics from daily newspapers. Gavin was converting them into sounds.
Stuart liked to shop. He even had an appropriate sticker on his car and a special keychain. Buying instruments for the Orchestra was not easy. He had to go personally with the interested person and listen to all the demands and complains. Sometimes it was hard to take. He decided to open a restaurant called “Soundbite.” People would listen to the music and discuss it, while eating. Now he could shop as he pleased.
Owen was a good teacher. He often was saying "Teaching is constant waiting for something breathtaking" he was a great trombone player, too The movement of the instrument parts was mysterious to Owen. He often watched his grandfather play his trombone and admired the metal to fit so perfectly and to be able to alter the sound by shifting the positions of its parts. It felt magical. He loved the control over the brass and the interaction with the instrument and other instrumentalists. Owen liked to improvise. Once, he developed a project called “Two Directions for Two Trombones” to be played with his friend, also a trombone player. There was a skyline of the city. He photoshoped the image (this verb "to photoshop something) always thrilled him, as having an ancient power such as alchemy and sounded pogan to him) along with the transformed copy of it, that was flipped horizontally. Then they both played according to the outlines of the skyline.
Hans and Heller were both tall and skinny. They looked good standing straight side by side and singing together. They liked going to the park and singing while walking around the lake. They would not stop when someone would approach them, but they often had some animals following them. Dogs love singing.
Wanda was undecided. She could never make decisions without consulting someone first. The only thing she was sure about was the violin. She had a love for the sound played by her, but she was never able to achieve to hear it. She listened to master violinists; she listened to fiddlers, “roadside people,” and all these dynamic, vibrant players. She always felt correct in her playing, but she had always been longing for that particular sound she had never produced yet. It was like unfulfilled love, seen in the eyes of her imagination, filled with moisture, and the mixture of hope and regret.
During long parties held by his parents, Mark felt important. He always played with his sister Jane (Rattles) in the middle of the party (the kitchen). This was their strategic plan to grab attention and to mingle with the adults. Are you brothers or friends? the guest asked. Both, he replied.
They were playing in the open space, in the mountains, not far from the resort, but far enough to feel wild. It felt strange to be under the sky, right on the grass, between the trees. The audience brought blankets; baskets filled with food and goodies for the picnic, and nicely relaxed listened to this rare, experimental music. The sprinklers went off, right in the middle of this event.
He was named Forrest.
He liked his name a lot. It became a symbol for all he was doing. Gradually,
he became obsessed with the relationship between one’s name and the profession,
look, character or hobbies. He liked spending his weekends in the forest, driving
his car, which even sounded in a similar way.
Forrest's last name suggested marimba. It gave him some sort of fulfillment. People laughed from his theories, except for Dave, who suggested that one’s name is one of the first meaningful messages one recognizes as a child, thus it makes a person alerted to the concepts associated with these words. His new hobby became to compare peoples’ names with all that made them be. He used to hide a box with all his notes that he carried with him all the time, but shared it only with Dave. Al least it is an inexpensive hobby, he kept saying.
There is a reason that the philharmonic halls have organs being
part of the room.
They are like an embedded decoration, as they often are not played during concerts, just being there.
There were times Donald was needed, there were times he was not, but it was OK, as he played a lot for his church. This was giving him a sense of fulfillment and enough time to play the instrument. Practice was extremely demanding, as the sound was loud and spreading through the space. Contrary to the lay-people opinions, he taught organs in the church and in the philharmonic hall as two different instruments and messages. “Artists are picky,” said one of his colleagues. Are we? - he asked himself - or is it just the message being determined by the purpose and the environment. The stained glass windows, for example, were making him play different, just by reflecting the light and changing the atmosphere. He thought of the concert halls, filled with woods, as cold, even though the temperature was much lower in the stone filled churches.
Nelson wore thick and heavy glasses. He never had to look at the notes while playing. The stage light kept reflecting in his glasses, sometimes blinding the audience. To avoid that, he begun wearing sun glasses over his prescription glasses. It looked really good, when he was performing with his band.
Jaimie measured the fastest in hand movement during her drum practices. It is not like it was a competition, or they would measure other percussion players, but it seemed all of them begun playing faster in her presence. She was the one who would shuffle cards during game filled evenings. She could not dance. She could not sing. She was too fast for that. She was only slow when she talked. They had to wait patiently till she’d finish a sentence. When she was in a room, everyone was beginning to talk slow.
Tom worked as a building contractor before. He used to run one-person company. His business card stated President as a title. The name of his company was “Liberty Construction.” When he joined the Orchestra, he enjoyed wearing a costume reminding him of the old times.
liked to talk to people. Her mind was working faster than she could
speak, so often her stories would become lengthy and involved many characters.
Below is one of them:
She went to the dentist, who’s dog had chased a mailman, who was just about to deliver a letteo to Stephanie , who had hoped it would be a letter from the Director Gerlost, inviting her and telling about her new role in a performance for the Queen Amalita , who was just in town staying at the residence, the owners which have just left for a Music Fair, in which five percussionists,Jaimie ,Thomas, Raymond and Kevin were involved, as per invitation of their fan, who’s friend Kathy, had to visit Peter in order to consult on a new dress, which she saw on TV watched by David when they visited him without warning, because it was on their way to buy a new instrument for Tom , but Edward was passing by, and then they all knew his aunt was sick, so he had to bring her some medications from a pharmacy run by a mother of Mark , who …
Folk tales were always somewhat cruel, Lonnie thought. Maybe it was the roughness of the environment, the poor hygiene, the deaths, and constant war terror? Costumes, poses, gestures, all were becoming symbols, and then metaphors, that would further unify cultures and believes, he thought. The rhythm in dances is crucial. The same music can produce totally different elements and steps. He began experimenting matching a story to a dance, while using the same music. Thus, his body was conveying a message, a tale expressed with one character’s gestures. How to show cold, fear, happiness, or love, without a comfort of using facial expressions, he thought. He developed a series of dances based on his research done in a region stretched out along the Big River. He talked to old fiddlers and their family members to capture the music and hear the tales. This is how he began a new passion in a documentary filmmaking.
Irene was often asked to act in the eighteen-century plays. She knew how to look “appropriate.” No one could become “her” as well as she could. “Her” meant a XVIII century lady who knew how to hold her head and how to look*. She dad a great impact on her colleagues as most were affected by her manners. Even the clothing she wore looked stylish on her and only her. She collected books on styles of clothing and accessories and reviewed them frequently. One day the secret of her style broke out. Kathy, the costume designer was creating outfits especially for her, which in turn had a very strong influence on her posture, gestures, and the way she talked.
Maya and Holly grew up reading stories about Horsemen. Now these stories have different meaning and contexts, but a good book is still a good book. It can inspire kids to learn by playing. If they capture the whole picture, is another side of a story. There are all these sounds coming from covering mouth with a hand. That sort of behavior was playful then, but it is considered a hurtful stereotype now. They were not too surprised when real horsemen were not very happy to share their symbols that are so often recycled, for a special theatrical ballet performance. They had to invent their own symbols, probably inspired by the stories from their childhood. Their symbols involved people on horses, as seen from various perspectives.
Jake was born with no hearing ability, but with a great sense of rhythm. How to tell? He liked making sounds and they were all very rhythmical and beautiful. When he went to school he had a translator for most of his classes. Some classes had a complex knowledge embedded and then he got two translators. They both were kind, knowledgeable, and whenever one of hem was late, she’d excuse herself in a sign language, so all could see how sorry she was. Jake was making lots of mistakes in his written assignments. Once he explained to his teacher, “Well, this is my second language.” “I thought you were born here,” the teacher said. “Oh, yah, but my first language is a sign language,” replied Jake.
In this class, everything was precise. One project dealt with integration. Dominic and Devin were making clay instruments of animal shapes based on ancient secret knowledge. Ancient secrets were fascinating. Matter is just a neatly packaged repository of energy, Einstein once said. It was fun and a challenge to play those visual instruments.
They both worked to be teachers. They both wanted to have a classroom filled with scared, dependent children whose eyes and ears they would open. “We hold the keys to the future,” their sweatshirts said. They were teaching all classes together. One of them was a class “ART 57937: Methods of Teaching Art to the Elementary School Children in the Rural Environment and Surroundings in a Different Part of the World as Scheduled by the Principal with the Accordance to the Classroom Availability. ”They called this class, M O T A T T E S C I T R E S I D P O T W A S B T P W A T T C A.
Jane was little and her parents wanted to grab her interest in music early. They were inspired with a story about Frank Gehry who spent a lot of time with his grandmother. She used to go to a shop of a furniture maker on the corner of the street and ask for wooden scraps and leftovers. There were all sorts of wood, all odd shaped. They had various colors, smells, textures, and grains. Frank and his grandmother used to build cities on the kitchen floor using these odd scraps.
Hubert was ambitious. He kept saying after each meeting, “Do you think I impressed them?” Once he read in a “Art Heart City Journal" about a son of an owner of a plantation who, filled with a need to create art, put a giant pile of bananas in the Art Heart City. Pretty soon people made another pile – of the banana peals. Thus his art became interactive. Without interaction of quite accidental audience it would not be an interesting artistic installation. Hubert then wanted to create interactive music. He put his bagpipes on the street and started recording sounds resulting from stepping on them by people. Stuart, the orchestra’s Music Shopper had to buy him new bagpipes.
Seth worked for a wood shop before. He knew it all about wood, tools, and techniques. He could look at the wood grain for a second and tell exactly what kind of wood it was, how old, and what happened on its way. The tools were made of metal, so brutal and so precise. Seth had a hard time while walking by the library, to the parks, or to the central locations where the City placed sculptures made by local enthusiasts out of the 1% tax funds for the arts. On his way he could see “The Great Catch” – a life size figure of a boy who just caught a fish, or a realistic statue of a teacher reading a book for a group of children. If something happens to the planet, he thought, some beings capable of thinking would analyze the remains of our culture and they would find only these bronze sculptures.
Zachary found his part exciting but hard on the body. He had to stand for a long time, which caused a chronic pain in his legs. Theoretically, he could have a chair, but was not recommended. He wanted the Orchestra to look good, so he was standing up straight during whole performances. Dentists do it, people working at cash registers do it, so why not him. He wondered many times, why a person taking the money for his grocery has to stand all day long. There are stools that are high enough to allow for the eye contact during transactions. There was one thing beyond standing long that he had in common with dentists. They all worked with their arms up. Thus, apart the leg pain, he suffered from the pain in his arms. He often thought about his dog, using all four legs for walking or standing. That must have been comfortable. His worries stopped one day when he visited a large computer company. His colleague invited him on a tour over the huge facilities. He saw it all: computers being thrown on a running belt to check up on their durability, keyboards sprinkled with water, or monitors affected by adding filters. One room was especially intriguing to him. He saw it filled out with people moving strangely and vigorously on their chairs. It looked awkward, like an uncoordinated ballet. The question written on his face made his host to explain to him that those people were newly hired workers. Since they are going to spend eight hours every day, and sometimes even more, sitting on the computer, they better select a chair that feels really comfortable to them.
Greg always felt nervous. He thought it was caused by his shyness. That was not it, he was blocked whenever someone would speak to him. He always felt insecure and questioned all decisions or moves he made. That was unbearable and almost painful. He analyzed all his tasks he performed, was it sweeping a floor or making a phone call. He always felt it could have been done better. However, he did not considered himself a perfectionist. When he played, he thought about each and every contact with his instrument. Thus his play was subtle, cooling, and nicely ringing in the listeners’ ears. When he was going to parties, he felt secure and radiant. He was a lion when they let him talk about his instrument.
Pearl loved birds. The chirping, the look, the personality and the group mind, were always affecting her thinking. She admired the fact that they knew so much and could organize their collective life in a beautiful way, which allowed them to survive. Once she saw the “Winged Migration” and then “The March of Penguins.” She thought of the movies as being beautiful and cruel at the same time. She started learning more and more and take notes about her own birds. She let them fly and watched them coming back to the cage to play toys or look into the mirror. The triangle was a metaphor of an enclosed space, just like a cage. She always felt the birds inside her when she played her instrument.
Gwen married Graham, the Instrument Salesman. They both felt they looked alike. It all stared by her entering the music store to buy a present for her nephew. The bells hanging on the door caught her attention.She knew they were for alert/decoration purposes, but begged Graham to sell them to her, Not for her nephew, for herself. Graham gave them to her and told her all the trade secrets. He's been doing that ever since.
All three Winners
were standing on the podium ready to receive their trophies. They were scheduled
to play their winning compositions in front of the audience.
Suddenly the light went off.It became totally dark. Since they were supposed
to play their own compositions, Gerlost
asked them to play anyway, disregarding the circumstances. Some audience members
started using the lighters. They all improvised, instead of playing the scheduled
Emiliano knew all the lines for everyone, for every performance being produced. He was among the first people who joined the Orchestra. He felt like a walking library. He even started talking to people by quoting great lines in literature as a response to every question, situation, or event one would start talking about. Those, who did not know his profession, were impressed, those who knew, shortly got annoyed. Being there all the times, listening to lines spoken or sung many times, often in different timbre of voice, speed or emphasis made him willing to do something with his skills. He read someplace, that children are born with a perfect pitch, but after being exposed to the same words pronounced differently by parents and the family members, they loose this ability.
He begun feeling both lost and motivated to direct own productions. His vision was melted by his perfect memory. What he produced was considered a set of highlights from various performances. He was too perfect.
Tatsi's work was to make others work shine. Every element could always be presented better, if looked at in a perfect environment. A word, a sound, or even a whisper “looked” better in proper light. The light had a power of showing or hiding. She had unlimited amount of equipment, from guided lights to Virtual Reality cubic environment. She could choose her virtual background over the stage construction, or set some floating objects that would look like real. The stage designer preferred an “atom based solutions”.
The one prop they all agreed on to always be virtual was the gun. – no crimes in the record of the Orchestra.
Dube studied symbols. He tried to convey visual symbols to those sound related. His play was always a message, even when he was performing along the score of the composition. Once, he sent a long message in a Morse code. He spent hours composing the right signs and intervals that would still adhere to the overall climate of the composition. No one really noticed it, but the critique in a local newspaper emphasized the role of a gong player.
career started very late: she was seven. Her thoughtful mother was often talking
about her children, ”the time goes so fast, when my child turns three
it is too late for the serious ballet, at six too late for the competitive chess,
etc. Three ballerinas were expected to be unique, yet unified. Being unique
could be developed during the improvisation part of the practice routine. They
were asked to go with the music – to be unique as they sensed it.
Other then that, most of the rhythm had to be captured by all of them in the same fashion. They were the Prima Ballerinas. Usually there is One, but with the heavy schedule of the Ballet they had to do everything in three sets: one local, one for travel and one to substitute, so each performance is set in stone, no matter what!
Sibel came from far, far away. She knew languages, dances, plays, and her style was different. She could comply, blend, and become one of them, when needed. Always willing to do anything that was needed for the good of the group, she was often asked to dance during the performances of the Orchestra. The tickets sold better that way. She was visual, the audience kept saying. That was in her dancing: the viola’s sound asked her to slow down, the violin to be more vivid. She used the gong as a signal for her stretching position, only to allow her to be ready for the next dynamic move. She made it so dynamic that often was able to scare the audience. She could improvise, which all felt like an opposition to the regular drill of the Ballet; she called it creation.
Clara liked to dance with partners. She felt secure, supported, and important. She was a good friend to all her dancing partners. She was the one to call anytime for an advice, to borrow something, or just to talk. She’d throw some parties with all her dance partners invited, but not too many ballerinas. She was always invited to all the parties.
never knew why they were calling him a "Runner".
He never had to really rush and there were times where he had to wait and wait, till someone would need something done. To him there were serious naming problems. There is a waiter in a restaurant and patient in the hospital, but to be honest, the patient waits and the waiter has to be patient. He thought the world would be much nicer if proper words would be used. He’d see his own title as “Useful”. So many times he was helping someone in the house, without really going outside. When he was asked to go out, it always rained. He tried to remember his big black umbrella all the times, but when it failed, a newspaper was good enough for short distances. What will happen when the newspaper will become a piece of plastic that changes the pages electronically; would it give me a shock? How it will be called, probably in a non- consistent way, he thought. But the biggest problem he had with the suggestions given to him by the speller. His language was always rich with unusual words and quite sophisticated, so when he spell-checked it, he frankly suffered.
Dietel designed his own tokens to be given as a coat locator and a proof of ownership as well. Each one had a number and the corresponding message on the back. Messages were written to cheer up people standing in line to pick up their coats. Each one had a puzzle and the numeric answer was placed on the other side of the token, which also indicated the order by which the proper coat was to be found. The tokens were color coded for the children and for the adults, with different level of difficulty, set accordingly. They were ceramic with wooden rim, like an outline. They were very beautiful and they fit nicely in the hand. They often were disappearing for their beauty, so Dietel noticed that the coats started to pile as some people chose not to pick them up, just to keep the token. It did not bother him, as it was giving him more opportunities to create more tokens, develop better and more creative designs, and improve his kiln and firing skills. Soon he opened the used coat store. That put an end of his being at the bottom of the payroll.
Manik often worked in the darkness. Many people were coming late, after the performance had started, so he had to use his mighty flashlight to direct them to their seats. For this reason, he always missed the beginning of each performance. He started playing a game with his colleague to create his own versions of how the story would start. They created a blog called “Beginnings.”
Box Office Cashier Winston
There was never a line formed when he worked. Winston was fast, kind and efficient. Even when the “whole city” rushed to secure the tickets for the performance, he could handle it. Once he was selling tickets for an opera named in Latin “Quo Vadis.” The title was simply asking the human race where they were going. One he overheard the conversation:
Where are you going?
To the Opera
What are they playing?
What does it mean?
Where are you going?
To the opera.
What are they playing?
They say a sapper can only make a mistake once. Sola’s
skills were broad and extensive. And still were expanding, as a result of the
increasing demand for some unusual effects and the new non-violence policy,
which would restrict the usage of life threatening devices, such as guns or
Her favorite task was to do weather related effects. A thunderstorm, a tornado, or a typhoons were always noisy and spectacular, but the flood and fire were requiring special preparations. She had a special trick to accompany the rainbow. She used the sound effect for it, so the whole audience would sigh, when it was projected. The thunderstorm was too easy for her, besides she felt they’d use a gong to do it. Her trick was to shake the floor, so everybody could actually feel it. She mastered the effects for all the scenes. She could make a blast that looked like miles ago. Once there was historic train ride organized for the whole troop. The train went through a truly rough ride caused by the malfunctioning of the tracks. Luckily no one was hurt. Everyone congratulated Sola for creating such an exciting evening.|
It was not the case to have the animal to do the trick, but to become at ease in front of the crowd. Sometimes the prince would enter the stage on a horse, sometimes the dog was expected to bark when someone would knock on the door, but those animals had to be not just prepared, they needed to be raised in a certain way. It was not an easy task. Sometimes the audience knew the story so well, they’d expect certain breed to be presented, exactly how it was presented in a book. Some animals would be taken from a dog day care, from the people with a special persuasive power. One dog could do anything, as she belonged to the Psychology teacher, who’d take her every day to the classroom, to teach kids about reflexes. Sometimes they would rent the animals from the local ZOO, or a traveling Circus. Other times Haraut would bring own animals, somehow found or adopted:
Haraut lived on a farm, you know.
Ad Director Odgoo
She liked to write in codes. It was faster, more economic and she did not have to worry about the structure of the sentence. Her memo would look like this:
RUOK? RTFM& KISS. BYOB ASAP.
Everyone who worked with her had a file with all the explanations handy.
FYI, HI, BYOB, RSVP, ASAP, CC, CEO, RE, XXX, MYOB, 10K,OK, PS, NYPD, Y2K, 241,AM, PM, LA, NYC, THU, SUN, X-MAS, BTW, UN, DJ, B-DAY V-DAY, GPS, CFP, CC, BTW
GTRM - Going To Read Mail
HAND - Have A Nice Day
HHOK - Ha Ha Only Kidding
HTH - Hope This Helps
IAC - In Any Case
IAE - In Any Event
IC - I See
IDGI - I Don't Get It
IMCO - In My Considered Opinion
IMHO - In my humble opinion
IMNSHO - in My Not So Humble Opinion
IMO - In My Opinion
IMPE - In My Personal Experience
IMVHO - In My Very Humble Opinion
IOW - In Other Words
IRL - In Real Life
ISP - Internet Service Provider
IYKWIM - If You Know What I Mean
JIC - Just In Case
J/K - Just kidding
KISS - Keep It Simple Stupid
L8TR - Later
LOL - Laughing Out Loud
LTNS - Long Time No See
MorF - Male or Female, or person who asks that question
MTCW - My Two Cents Worth
NRN - No Reply Necessary
ONNA - Oh No, Not Again!
OTOH - On The Other Hand
OTTOMH - Off the top of my head
OIC - Oh I See
OTF - On The Floor
OLL - Online Love
PLS - Please
PU - That Stinks!
REHI - Hello Again (re-Hi!)
ROFL - Rolling On Floor Laughing
ROTF - Rolling On The Floor
ROTFL - Rolling On The Floor Laughing
RSN - Real Soon Now
RTDox - Read The Documentation/Directions
RTFM - Read The Frickin' Manual
RUOK - Are You OK?
SNAFU - Situation Normal; All Fouled Up
SO - Significant Other
SOL - Smiling Out Loud (or Sh*t Out of Luck)
TANSTAAFL - There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch
TAFN - That's All For Now
TEOTWAWKI - The End Of The World As We Know It
Marketing Director Ugma
Ugma was an inventor. The first important project he developed was a cell phone that in case of a personal attack would send a picture of the attacker to the police. The only thing the person had to do was to carry it hanging on the neck and to scream in case of the attack. (when being attacked) All those whose style controllers were placed on the surface of the phone, were happy as the settings used to be changed while the phone was in the pocket.
Since the camera was hanging on the person’s chest, cautious people were also wearing a mirror to see the prospective attacker approaching from the back.
Ugma developed a Good Virus. He designed it so it would organize the recipient’s desktop, or it would send really nice messages to everyone in the address book. The virus was encoded into the e-mail message, so the recipients were learning about the events without really noticing it. After a while they’d noticed the clean, well-organized desktop and a bunch of nice e-mails from people not too friendly toward them before. The investigation has begun. It made people angry. It was an invasion into their privacy. Ugma was forced to begin selling the product, so only those, who wanted it could use it. He set the price low, so soon, everyone possessed it.
B’s family was close and they talked a lot about daily events. It was very unusual but they seamed to have connected brains, or something like that, Gerlost said once during the interview.
Whatever one family would learn, everyone else would know.
They’d know all the trade secrets, the power besides numbers, the scripts for the operas, songs and lyrics and they all spoke various languages.
Malat (now Minyeva)
It was not that difficult, as they traveled together to perform in many countries:
Euskara, the Basque Provinces Alava.
the state of Uttar Pradesh (UP) and some adjoining area of Nepal
Portugal, Brazil, Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde, and East Timor,South America.
the Philippines, the Bicol Peninsula on the island of Luzon.
Spain, France, Andorra and Italy, and Spain, again.
the Old Russia
Netherlands, Flanders, Belgium.
the Ural mountains,North Europe, the Volga and Ural region, and Siberia and the Russian Far North.
Iran (formerly Persia) Afghanistan, Tajikistan and the Pamir Mountain region.
France Québec, Belgium, Switzerland, Haïti, French Guiana, Monaco, Africa, Southwest Asia and French Polynesia.
Germany, the European Union.
west coast of India, Republic of India, Gujarat borders with Rajasthan, Madhyapradesh, and Maharashtra; Pakistan
Northern Nigeria State of Hawai'i. Polynesia
Canada and Argentina
The Middle East
France, Italy, and Spain
Portugal, Brazil, Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde, and East Timorm, Since Brazil in South America.
India and Pakistan, Punjab
Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Northern Chile, Argentina, and Southern Colombia. Inca Empire.
Bengali, people of Sri Lanka, ancient north India.
Spain, Phillipines, many countries in Africa, Southern USA, Mexico and South America.
India in the Andhra, and Pradesh region, and in Malaysia.
The Turks were one of the many linguistic and ethnic groups within the Arabian countries, Persia, and Turkey.
Argentina, Canada, France, Israel, Mexico, Romania, and the U.S.
They often liked to sit together and sung in different languages. Each one would sing own part in a different language.
They kept being invited once a year to perform at the International Unification Holiday.