Author Topic: Music Amidst the Ashes - A Hope Cadenza (OPEN)  (Read 413 times)

Josette Wheeler

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Music Amidst the Ashes - A Hope Cadenza (OPEN)
« on: December 13, 2018, 11:21:43 PM »
"But this sorrow and rage will not inflame us to seek retribution; rather they will inflame our art. Our music will never again be quite the same. This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before."

- Leonard Bernstein

Amidst the ashes of the destroyed tents and donation bins of the Holiday Market within the Marketplace, and nearly every single evening leading up to Christmas, the soulful sound of a single cello could be heard playing busker style with a large box that read Donations Welcome set out next to the petite ballerina who was bundled up considerably well to ward off Winter's chill.

Senseless violence and deliberate cruelty were incomprehensible to her, so after the recent events that occurred in the city, Josette turned to the two sanctuaries that had provided her with the most hope and healing over the years--nature and music. After walking amidst the trees of the Southern Glen to clear her head, she decided to do something useful with the anger, pain and grief she felt. She went home to her apartment to claim her beloved cello and followed in the footsteps of Vedran Smailovic, the cellist who played amidst the ruins after the shelling of his home in Sarajevo, that killed 22 people and wounded more than 100 who were waiting in a bread line. Perhaps, like Smailovic, she hoped to contribute a bit of beauty and hope in the wake of such a tragedy, to show that the human spirit was stronger than those that would seek to break and destroy it, and that there are more things such as art and music that connects us rather than divides us.  

Other musicians were welcome to join her, any passersby could contribute whatever donation they could to those affected by the fires, no contribution is too small. Josette secretly hoped most for toys for the orphans, so they would not be disappointed come Christmas and made sure to place a few in the bin herself to get it started. The selections she played included the works of Bach, Saint-Saens and her forever favorite, Tchaikovsky, as well as various other Christmas Carols, though she would happily take requests if she knows the desired tune. Even if she'd be the only one playing every night, or if the box remained empty, maybe someone somewhere was listening--and the night would feel a little less cold and the world a little less cruel.

Josette's repertoire:

Nutcracker Medley

Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24

Silent Night

The Swan

J.S. Bach Cello Suite No.1

(Open to all that wish to post any contributions or character interactions here or wherever you feel the most comfortable writing and posting.)


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« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2018, 01:03:53 PM »
It was the destruction that had brought him to the marketplace and the music that made him stay.

The market had proved a convenient place for Lan to spend his days, a safe space to get out of the cold when he needed it, and people to talk to. He'd even managed to find a little bit of work setting up the various tents and stalls--many of which now sat in ruin.

He had been away when the attack had occurred. Normally he slept in the crash lounge but that night something had drawn him away. He'd sensed the rage of the fire well before he'd seen the thick plume of smoke.

Now he returned to the rubble, to the scatter of broken things to see how he could help. Yet for a while he found himself sitting on the sooty ground just listening to the woman play.

Unfortunately he had little to offer but his time and his attention.


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« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2018, 11:51:20 PM »
Say what you might about carnys...con artists...cheats...grifters...freaks...and you'd be correct.  But they also knew how to band together in the face of hardships.  Once Patch had found out about Josette's impromptu performances after the fires in the marketplace, he'd made it a point to light his own beneath those still at the carnival.  Too often it was an us against them mentality, a semi-confrontational existence between townies looking for entertainment and carnys looking to make a few bucks and get to the next meal.  But tonight wasn't one of those nights.

Perhaps it was fate that they'd been shut down recently and thus had the available man power for what Patch had planned.  A sharp whistle had quieted the troupe before the fixer laid out the plan.  When not a single contrarian voice was raised it was impossible for Patch not to swell with a bit of pride.  May Day was one of them and they'd do anything to help out the girl as she played her cello.  

Patch would turn the carnival out, opening the big rig trailers and off-loading bag after bag of flash...the carnival's best-looking prizes...for transport to the market.  Throwing stock, as they called it, to those in need had long been a superstitious tradition on the Midway and now one of their own needed their help.  Most nights high quality flash was just for display, the agent's games nearly impossible to win the biggest and best prizes but Josette's donation box would be stuffed full with quality merch and no garbage to speak of.  Even the digger was emptied, which had led to a hilarious slew of profanity laced insults at the crane game when it refused to give up its bounty.  There hadn't been a key for it in years...not that it mattered...the machine had been gaffed and gimmicked so many times that it was nigh unwinnable and so it never needed to be restocked.  In the end it'd been Sweeps with the steadiest of hands; the ole timer certainly enjoying his moment to shine as he paraded like a peacock past the likes of Boz, Mouse and Rooster with arms full of just clawed toys.

They'd headed to the marketplace in force, each carny coming up to set toys and plush down in the donations box until they filled it, the pile just growing out from there around the bundled-up ballerina.  The agents all brought their own flash from their own games while others either helped carry or brought their own like Tall Paul who was the carnival's glass bender.  Tall Paul could make the most beautiful figurines using nothing more than a glass rod and a propane torch and gently added them to the pile in their own little boxes after tipping his hat Josette's way.  

Patch would deliver his own bulk as well, the fixer pausing to supervise the line of carnys as well as a couple of tough yardies who were streetwise and been in a scrape or two he'd posted for a bit of added security.  A thermos of hot chocolate delivered to Josette to keep her warm between selections was also delivered.  The fixer even caught the giant of a man, Boz, dabbing at an eye with his bandana when listening to Josette play.  They were doing something good...inspired by Josette...and Patch knew what a difference it could make.  Growing up on the reservations he'd seen real poverty, seen his people desperately trying to survive on old traditions in a modern world.  Donations often made a huge difference whether it'd been supplies for the run-down school or food and toys for families and children.  The fixer knew what it was like to go without and knew they were doing their part to ensure others didn't as well.  Patch might live by the mantra of never giving a sucker a second chance, but even he and that jaded worldview had limits in the face of real charity and good service.