Sat, Jul 16th 2022 08:50
Edited on Sat, Jul 16th 2022 08:53
Quet ran their finger over the physical sheet of music that Ceylon had passed out, lingering over the bars where the notes and dynamic markings differed from the music that had twined through the space—
seeping through the text in the air in a manner that some would find soothing
—when their teacher had played it. Exactness, it seemed, did not matter as much in the music making process as she would have thought. He supposed that was what Officer Ceylon had meant by the experience being personal; no one else in the room appeared to be interpreting the song in the same way after all. She dropped her hand from the paper—
crisp, fresh off the press, littered with invisible fingerprints that spoke of high energy and the fizzy blurred glow of radioactivity
—to the keys of the piano they had seated themself at. The keys were well worn—
the echoes of past fingers scrawled across them skilled cursive stumbling scribbles oops, shit, damn, do it again, so close, got it!
—ivory keys smooth under his paper fingers. She found the keys that matched the ones on the sheet music, noting that one particular one was rewritten over and over, clearly going out of tune far more often than the others. He tapped the key and considered the note that wrote its way into the air. A little sharp, but not by much. They played the first few chords hesitantly, fingers stumbling over the unfamiliar positions, before pausing and looking over the melody; the singer's part. That was far more simple at least, he decided and played a few bars before they paused and tapped idly on the central C key without pressing it down.
Reconsider: Music varies from person to person. This is copying a copy, thus it isn't personal. Strike prior considerations and restart.
Yes, she realized, she could learn to play the song verbatim, and it would be acceptable, but that wasn't the point here, was it? Officer Ceylon didn't seem to think so, and given what the siren could do, Quet was inclined to listen if only to attempt to learn.
Officer Ceylon had told them to find their "core." The thought made Quet frown; as far as he knew, his people had a very obvious core. It was what they were created around and what brought them to life. She shivered at the idea that something like that would have so much of an effect on them, when under normal circumstances, such a thing hardly had any bearing on his life. He wasn't Ezekiel, and never would be, but if that was the core which Ceylon spoke of, then...
A loud clang from the piano crossed the air in a jagged bold, drawing Quet from her thoughts as all of her flowers shut from being startled. It took a moment, but they realized they had accidentally leaned too far on the keys while lost in the spiral of their thoughts. She leaned back and apologized with an awkward mumble, and tried to refocus on their task.
Perhaps... perhaps it wasn't so simple as that? The way Officer Ceylon spoke, a core wasn't something physical or tangible. If that was the case, then what exactly made Quet who she was? There was the physical core yes, but that was like a foundation. They tapped at a low D a couple times in thought. A bassline? She considered the thought for a long moment, before accepting it. A song was far more than its bassline, even if that was what held it together.
He reconsidered the sheet music in front of them, and drew out a pencil to start making changes with tight precise script. They made it a few lines in, then blinked their flowers open and shut considering it. Imperfect, they realized, but it would work. He didn't particularly need to play the music himself, since it looked the same being played as it did written, but she supposed that defeated the purpose in the end. With that thought, slim paper fingers struck the keys, letting a transposed, but simplified version flow into the room. The fact that it was slower was immediately obvious, as both a change in tone, but also because of the untrained fingers playing it. With a deeper undertone and somber tempo combined with the still bright melody, it gave off the energy of persevering despite the darkness of the world, though Quet's stumbling fingers sometimes muddled the tune.