4 minutes 58 seconds| The abandoned Sanzhi UFO houses of New Taipei, Taiwan were the inspiration behind this. (Mao in a space helmet made for a better graphic image, however.) The final theme, stated with full orchestra, has bombastic Asian flare, and might be at home blaring over loudspeakers in an Olympic Village.
There are several different types of musical talent: A few, like Mozart, compose music in their head, and hear several melodies playing simultaneously. Others, less exceptionally, sight read music or sing it from the score. These abilities require either perfect or relative pitch.
Some play music by ear, with either ease or difficulty. I am in this latter camp where, with practice, I got better at figuring out the structure of music by picking around on the piano and guitar. To achieve this, I could only claim relative relative pitch, which is a poor second cousin of relative pitch.
I experience less difficulty composing music, although my reach into this inscurtable sphere is imprecise, at best. Because I gave up playing the piano decades ago, I forfeited much (but not all) of my relative talents, although I was never very able at playing for an audience even when I possessed all of them.
Time stamp: 4/09/12
Novel-in-Progress, excerpt 4| This is a selection paragraphs of the concluding section of the introduction, where the runaway bridegroom has stumbled over a mountainside village:
Lifting the corner of the fated cloth, Lowell pondered the bear’s smooth face. It was even more human (cadaver-like) than he supposed. Its whitish glass eyes were open, though were unseeing. A tattered prairie bonnet was tied around its head, and matched the gingham dress it wore.
Abruptly one of the black greasy cables over the bed convulsed like a snake, striking the wall with a loud thump and leaving a mark. The metal cord under its sheath drew up to trigger a reflex, and then another. Yet it was with the struggling coordination of a puppet, one whose limbs were pierced with boreholes and string, that movement was affected. As these connectors tautened or loosened, the figure gained or lost rigidity, and appeared to assemble and dissemble itself out of a heap with each breath it stole from the onlooker, always employing the same physics, but never coming together the same way twice.
The light abutting its nightmarish aggregation took on an ominous brown shade: a hue matching the lining of blood-flushed eyelids clinched in horror. This could only be a contrivance of darkness, he believed, similar to occasions when, as a sleepless child, he lay in bed staring at drapery in moonlight. There he divined a bug crawling up the drawstring repeatedly, like a replaying strip of film. It was the sort of thing the primal brain supplied as an understanding where it reached for understanding, though the phenomenon cast doubt on the very enterprise of reality, where a bit of business did not reside ‘out there’ but in the perceiving—constructing—mind. Still, this was an instance where, irrefutable to cold logic, nothing was seen physically to advance on him, although a heartbeat (perhaps his own) closed in like fell footsteps.
Wisely Lowell retreated to a clearing, where nothing approaching him could be concealed in the moonlight.
Possibly he had strayed into uncompleted theme park, or, again, into a snare of misdirection. Perhaps these decoy monsters were meant to keep real monsters away from the dreams of children in the hamlet below. The theft of items (or the tolerance of theft) hinted at appeasement: Offerings given to a mountain spirit, and with the same unspoken begrudging as when a blind eye is turned on the disappearance of virgin daughters.
Gazing down the sloping terrain, and through parting branches of the boundary wood, Lowell doubted he would find flyers for missing persons taped to the bright street poles below. Something more insidious was at work here, which did not involve cauldrons of sulfur or unshackled demons, but death by a thousand whimsical paper cuts.
These bears of fairy tales would soon tire of their porridge and cake, and with only the stars at their backs, and world-weary momentum to propel them down the mountainside, the ending they heralded would be nothing so ostentatious where the improbability of the world was ostentatious enough. Tribulation was, to be sure, a monotonous business, and required a Patience God to disassemble what had been assembled; and by the same means break down each man respectively to rebuild him.
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