I eyed the empty mic and stool in a corner under the 20-foot-tall windows.
The hot nightspot was in an ancient, converted mill, as was the rest of the pedestrian-only street. My wife called the music usually heard there “folk for hipsters”. It had hosted nationally known acts.
The lone stool looked so vulnerable, sitting on its own. I walked over to it and offered a few words of comfort to the poor piece of furniture.
I sat, picked up my guitar and said, “I wrote a few songs. I hope you enjoy…”
Edvard had the sound in his head, but how was he to get it onto parchment? The Norwegian Hardanger fiddle had five resonant strings that gave a sparkle to every note, picking up the harmonics of the melody and amplifying it in a way to create an ethereal fairytale effect.
To ensure he had the sound just right, he invited a group of folk musicians to an early rehearsal of his incidental music for the folktale inspired play.
At the end, a stony-faced man turned to him and said, “It is pretty good, but perhaps a bit fast.”
A few comments – the instrument in the photo is a Norwegian Hardanger fiddle. Besides the inlays in the wood, you can see the difference between a violin with all of those tuning pegs – besides the four violin strings, there are four (as in this case) or five resonant strings.
Edvard Grieg was highly influenced by Norwegian folk music. He tried to recreate the sound of traditional instruments, including the Hardanger fiddle. This can really be seen in the incidental music he wrote for the play “Peer Gynt”.
Liszt was a champion of Grieg. One time when they met, Liszt sight played Grieg’s piano concerto, including an on-the-spot transcription of the full orchestra along with the solo piano part! Hint, no other pianist could sight read an orchestral score, and the piano solo on its own was difficult for most pianists. After the applause of Liszt’s small audience died down, Grieg suggested that he had played the first movement a little faster than it should have been…
OK, it took more words to explain the joke than to tell it ;)
Yes, the title is a play on that Rolling Stones song… And, yes, the MC is a famous cartoon character turned movie star, played by many people from Jack to Heath to Joaquin (another Jack?) (of course, everyone loves Cesar…)
Oswald stood at the window, stroking his strawberry blond beard as Eathwing gave the field report. A casual observer might think he wasn’t paying attention, but Eathwing knew that the king’s mind was taking it all in and planning the next move. Although known as a hot tempered man, Eathwing knew that this king was perhaps the greatest strategist of his generation. That was how he, starting as a thane of a small town, now had one of the largest kingdoms on the isles.
When the report was finished, Oswald swung around, eyes flashing under the flaming red eybrows.
“Gather the knights and let them know we ride at dawn with me at their head. We will join the siege of Domnall’s sea fortress. I feel it is about to fall and if I ride there, it will surely topple. That is the last defence on the sea route, so if it falls, Domnall the White will not be able to withstand our advance. We will have him yet!”
“A squad of Domnall’s best foot soldiers stand between us and our men on the siege.”
“Those pawns? My knights will wipe them out! We will taste victory!”
Eathwing nodded. “As you wish, sire.”
After talking to general of the king’s knights, Eathwing went down to the deepest dungeon, the one others called “The Wizards Coop”. Making sure nobody saw, we went into a secret side room. A giant chessboard was set up, a game in progress.
Eathwing waved his hand. The red king and one of the red knights lined up against a white castle and three white pawns.
He scanned the board. Yes, if they took out the pawns and the castle they’d have the white king in check, but could they force a checkmate?
It all depended on how Domnall moved his own men.
Oswald the Red may be on the right track, but this game of chess was not over quite yet.
This was written for the writephoto challenge that is hosted by KL Caley. The photo at the top was given by KL, as well as the key word, “Chess”. Hope you enjoyed :)