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Circle of Fifths
Topic Started: May 1 2012, 01:03 AM (1,420 Views)
BetaKnight
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In some cultures, what I do is considered normal.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
((Genie Banneman start))

Genie stretched her legs as far as she could, planting her foot on the upper tier, assuring herself of its placement before pushing off the lower seat and striding up a level. Her trumpet secure in her grasp, she quickly climbed the bleacher levels. Once or twice during her ascent, her balance waivered precariously as she surged upwards towards her goal. A quick pinwheel of her arms righted her, the momentary loss of control and inherent threat of tumbling caused her pulse to quicken. Bright laughter built up in her chest as she finally reached her goal, a spot at the midpoint of the seating structure.

Feeling like a queen surveying her kingdom, Genie slowly scanned the football field below her. There wasn’t anyone to complain. The PE classes were other places today, leaving her lunch period as the perfect time to work on her playing. Out here, she could be as obnoxiously loud as she wanted to be without worrying about any complaints. And with the song she was working on, the only way to play it was obnoxiously loud.

Taking a deep breath, she raised the trumpet to her lips and began to work through her warm-ups. A few circles of fourths transitioned into circles of fifths. Feeling more relaxed, she began the chromatic scales, slurring her notes without thinking. Come hell or high water, she was going to master this piece.

This was the part that always threw her. She knew the notes. She knew the song. It was just a matter of getting it up to speed without letting it fall apart. Feeling good and limber, Genie rolled her shoulders one more time before starting in on it again. Today was the day. She could feel it. Today was the day she would finally master The Green Hornet theme song.
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((David Cordell: Pregame Start))

That sound. That trumpet, man. He could hear it all the way from across campus. Well, that did it. He had to know what kind of mischief was up. He was pretty close to the sound as it was, so it'd only take him a couple minutes. Wasn't like he had class. His friends could do without him today; they probably wouldn't even notice he was gone.

Two or three minutes later, David made his way onto the bleachers, his sneakers clanking heavily on the metal.

Craning his neck upwards, towards the very top of the aluminum mountain he was beginning to climb, he could see a figure. Blond hair, pixie haircut (or whatever they called it; David wasn't very fashionable with these things) - had to be Genie Banneman.

Well, yeah, it wasn't just the hair. David recognized her. They were both in band, so she probably knew who he was, too. Only difference was that he played the flute and she played the trumpet. No big deal. Man, some of his best friends were trumpets. Like, he talked to brass instruments all the time. Pressed their buttons, oiled their valves, uh... He'd lost track of the joke somewhere there, but he found that he didn't really care.

He was in a good mood. He felt like it was going to be a good day.

"Yo!" He stuck his hand up in the air as some sort of greeting.
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tetsucabra
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(Megan Emerson continued from: A 3AM Practice Session)

For man, unlike any other thing organic or inorganic in the univ-

Bb, C, D, Eb, F-

Megan felt herself jump off of the metal bleachers of the football field, nearly dropping her sandwich firmly enclosed in her left hand and the thick Grapes of Wrath novel seated on her thighs.

She had thought today would be a perfect day to spend lunch in the athletic field. It was a moderately sunny day with only a few clouds to break up the cerulean sky, and Megan figured that it would be a good chance to enjoy her lunch break outside...or so she thought, until a cacophony of a trumpet's echo circled the field.

Slightly annoyed from the break in her concentration, Megan surveyed the bleachers for the origin of the trumpet. As the field was almost devoid of any life that particular day, it wasn't very hard. As soon as she turned her head towards the mid-section of the bleachers, she saw her.

It was that Genie girl from band who, almost on cue, unleashed another obnoxiously-loud scale run.

Megan looked back down at the book and bit her bottom lip as she decided on if she should talk to her or continue reading. Megan never talked to a lot of the brass players since the piano is seated away from that section, so it would be a great time to formally introduce herself. Plus, as much as she loved John Steinbeck, she read this novel twice in sophomore year, not to mention her lack of sleep that last night was still affecting her focus level.

Megan resealed her three-fourths of a sandwich into the Ziploc bag and threw it back into the brown bag, stuck her simple strip of paper in the book to mark her place and closed it, and rose out of her seat on the lower row of bleachers.

She grabbed her things and started to ascend when she noticed someone else was signaling to Genie through a hand raised in the air. It was another blonde kid from band (Megan thought he played flute and knew his name was David-something) that she never really spoke too. So hey, she could make two new friends today.

Megan finally reached the top tier of bleachers and approached with as casual a greeting as Megan could make out.

"Not bad; I'm sure everyone within five miles can hear you!" Megan let out a little chuckle to help ensure her friendly intentions as she took a seat next to Genie.
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Genie did a quick countdown for herself before launching into the complex and challenging Al Hirt masterpiece. Fingers flying, she could feel it all falling into place. It was coming together. She could feel it! A surge of excitement rushed through her, helping her keep her fingers nimble as they danced across her buttons.

A familiar voice called out to her, and involuntarily, her eyes darted in that direction. Her concentration waivered and she missed a note. Wincing, Genie tried to toss her head in acknowledgment of Dave. He would understand that she was being friendly but was just really into the song. Hopefully, he didn’t notice the mistake since he wasn’t a fellow brass or a percussionist. The Green Hornet theme song was a little outside of the norm for flutists since they tended to be a little more…delicate in their playing.

Struggling to get back into her groove, Genie flubbed the next breath and was struggling to maintain enough air. It was like the gods of music were laughing at her. Why was all this happening? The mistakes were just piling up!

Out of the corner of her eye, she could see Megan approaching. Closing her eyes, Genie fought to keep the song going. And this wasn’t even the challenging part yet. The solo was still coming. These were just the rills that lead up to the scream that came just before the insane bridge.

A sudden hitch in her ring finger as it momentarily caught brought it all to a crashing end. With an mortifying screech, the whole damn thing just fell apart. Genie let the trumpet fall from her lips with a disgusted sigh.

It was all there. For one brief second, it was all there, perfect in pitch and form. Now it was just a repulsive mess. The ghost of Al Hirt was looking down on her from trumpeter heaven, shaking his head in disappointment, she just knew it.

Genie opened her eyes just as Megan plopped down next to her. A whole stadium of bleachers to sit in, and the pianist chose to practically sit in her lap. Already cranky from her spectacular failure, Genie was not pleased at the invasion of her body space by someone she only nominally considered a part of the band. Dissolution of personal boundaries were a privilege extended to those who sweat, blistered, cried, and held each other up during those grueling summer practice sessions that led up to each new school year. They didn’t extend to just anyone. It was a part of the brotherhood of the M.B. Piano was not a part of the marching band. They didn’t know what it was to suffer for the craft. Because, yes, it must be so demanding to sit on your ass and wiggle your fingers without blowing, walking, and tracking everything else on the field while playing.

Megan’s comment was the icing on the cake. So everyone in five miles just heard her “not bad” playing, huh? Letting out an acerbic little laugh, Genie smirked at Megan while opening her spit valve in the limited space between the two girls. After the initial gush, a ropey strand of saliva oozed from the instrument. “Yeah, well. You know how it is. Find an isolated place to practice, might as well make the most of it and play for all your worth, right? If you’re not going to be loud, what’s the point?”

Turning to Dave, Genie nodded her head in proper greeting. “What up, light fingers? What brings you out here today?”
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Whoops.

As Genie's piece fell apart, David wondered if maybe he'd done something wrong. Distract a player from their craft? Heresy!

Eh, he'd have to deal with the consequences later. He stood a little self-consciously as she cleared her spit valve, offending hand in his pocket, just waiting for her to heave his comeuppance onto him. Divine justice. Challenge him to a duel to the death. No, that was a little ridiculous, but he hoped it wouldn't come down to that.

Yeah, he noticed Megan (piano player, right?), but he was a little preoccupied with his perceived faux pas, as it was. Genie's comments to her didn't help his state of mind.

That was probably why he wasn't expecting Genie to greet him as cordially as she did.

Light fingers? Right. Those pieces, with the blasted sixteenth note runs, up in the third octave, and you were supposed to play them quiet because the low brass needed balanc- that wasn't important right now. David cleared his throat, feeling more self-conscious by the minute.

"Not much." Nervous chuckle, though he managed a grin through it. "You, really. Heard you playing, so I thought I'd come and enjoy the music. Don't reckon I'll join in, 'less you have some sort of plan for that."
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Ouch. Megan certainly did not expect that much of a backfire from her plan. All she wanted to do was to try and talk to the trumpeter, but she was building up a barrier between them with that smirk and look of disdain directed at Megan; emptying out that nasty waterfall of sailva practically on Megan was just the topper. Megan's heart sank as she subconsciously scooted a few inches away from the falling spit, widening the gap even further.

She felt like a turtle wanting to withdraw into its shell.

Then again, maybe it was just bad timing; Genie was obviously focused on playing some sort of passage (which Megan could recognize somewhat - what was it from?), and it was when she entered Genie's field of vision that her playing broke down and collapsed into a mess of pitches. The heavy sigh that was let out before she sat down said it all; Megan would certainly feel the same if she was focused on perfecting a piece and some random girl drops in and tries to talk to her.

Megan attempted to speak when she saw that Genie was facing David and talking to him, completely ignoring her. She let out a disenheartened sigh and drooped her head down; so much for making new friends today.

But it was still too early to retreat; there was still hope in remedying the awkward first impression. Megan began to think about what to say next to cover up her faux pas, but all she could think about was the passage Genie was trying to play. What the hell was it?
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((Sorry about the delay. Promise not to be a lagger. XD ))

Megan sighing and cringing like a whipped dog made Genie roll her eyes. Such prima donnas and hot house flowers, those piano players. It would do them so much good to have to go through the marching band experience. Then every little thing wouldn’t upset them so. Besides, after all the time they’d spent in music class together, one would think that Megan would be accustomed to the mercurial temperaments of her fellow musicians. Whatever. It’s not like Megan could really help that she lacked the testicular fortitude of the mighty, mighty brass section. She supposed she should cut the other girl some slack.

Continuing her conversation with David, Genie absently tapped her fingers on the buttons of her trumpet. “Hey man, you know me. The more, the merrier. I was only playing with that Hirst piece, trying to get it up to proper speed. It’s one of those songs you need to go loud on to do it justice. Full throttle, fingers flying, and totally balls to the walls. I guess today just wasn’t my day for it.” She shrugged, a lopsided grin forming at the thought of pulling something together.

“But if you have your flute, we could find something to jam to. You don’t happen to know the theme to ‘The Legend of Zelda’, do you? Because that could be totally wicked to pull together.” Realization hit Genie as she remembered that Megan was there. “Or we could do it later. It’s not really fair to cut Megan out of the fun just because her instrument isn’t portable.”

Short of crashing the music room and hoping that no one was using it, there wasn’t much they could do with the three of them. Impromptu jam sessions were always so much easier when you didn’t play a several hundred pound instrument and weren’t overly sensitive. Genie flopped down onto the bleacher, cradling her trumpet. She squinted as the sun shone in her eyes.

Well, now what?
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A grin slid back onto David's face. Maybe today'd be a good day after all. It wasn't such a faux pas anyway, he guessed, at least from the way that Genie was talking his ear off.

"Yeah," he started, about to turn around and set down his backpack to search it for his flute. They could improvise, Zelda, whatever. He was alright at playing by ear. Besides, the trumpet would probably drown out his mistakes; he was fairly sure he could trust a brass instrument to do that, intentionally or not.

Or later. Right. Megan. Of course it wouldn't be right to exclude her like that. They could always haul out a keyboard or something, he supposed, but that might take more time than they had left in their lunchtime. David nodded, then set his backpack down anyway. The two girls were sitting, so he sat down too.

Now they just had to figure out what to do.

"Don't figure any of you know how to sing?" he offered. "Give choir a run for their money?"
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Hirt. Al friggin' Hirt.

The mention of his last name by Genie was the only clue Megan needed to remember. She was playing the Green Hornet theme, with all of its "Flight of the Bumblebee"-ness. Megan felt silly for not knowing it off-hand; her brother practically forced her to listen to Kill Bill's OST everyday for the week after he had first watched it last summer. If it wasn't at least engraved by this point, it would be quite depressing. But that didn't matter - Megan finally realized what the blonde trumpeter was vigourously (and obnoxiously) playing...and Megan caused her to cave in on herself. Maybe that was why she was being so rude to Megan - after all, anyone who messes up a trumpeter during his or her solo is pretty much dead to him or her, what with their egos and everything. Oops. At least David being there made it slightly less awkward than it could have been.

However, Megan might not have lost the battle just yet - the sudden mention of an impromptu jam session of Legend of Zelda's overworld theme? Her heart skipped a beat as she whipped her head towards Genie and David with overzealous eyes and a pleasant grin. She was down for a Legend of Zelda arrangement for trumpet, flute, and piano. But that's right - you can't exactly carry around a piano, and it would take too much time to grab a keyboard from the music room. Megan knew her signing voice wasn't exactly a gift from the angels, so allowing David and Genie to hear it would not exactly help her situation.

But today, Megan had a deus ex machina with her.

"One sec..." Megan trailed off as she rose, grabbed her backpack and carefully climbed over a few tiers of the bleachers before sitting back down, facing towards the higher levels as she let her feet dangle underneath the opening of the next tier. It wasn't exactly the most comfortable position, but at least these were the kind of bleachers with openings underneath.

Megan zipped open one of the pouches of her backpack and pulled out a black drawstring bag. She drew it open and pulled out what looked like black velvet wrapped around some sort of silver metal device. She looked up towards her two band mates who she knew were probably confused at what she was whipping out, so she let out a command. "Watch this! Oh, and David, go ahead and get your flute out; you'll see..."

She set down the bundle on top of the higher bleacher with the free end underneath. and with care, slowly rolled out the black mass, revealing a pattern of 61 piano keys imprented into the fabric with a control panel on the right-most end where various buttons were located along with a speaker at the top. Megan pressed the ON switch, turned the speaker to full volume, and pushed on one of the imprented C keys. A C note came out of the speaker without pause.

"Best $60 spent on Amazon," Megan said right as her fingers got to work playing a C Major scale by simply pressing the imprinted keys as if it were a real piano. She certainly felt a little silly, but situations like this were exactly the reason why she spent her hard-earned money for a roll up piano - it's not like she could just take her keyboard everywhere with her. Besides, this little life saver just looked way too cool to pass up when she first saw it on a Youtube video.

Blasting through a few warmup scales on the three octave electric "piano", Megan looked up towards the flutist and the trumpeter and asked with refrained excitement, "So, shall we begin?"
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Um, okay. Megan just pulled a piano out of her backpack.

Genie did not really know how to respond to that. That was pretty impressive. Completely weird but impressive. She briefly wondered what else Megan carried in there. “You know the arrangement for Zelda?” she asked as she studied the electronic contraption. “’Cause I only know the trumpet part.”

Genie looked at Dave and shrugged helplessly. Hopefully he knew his part of the arrangement. “I didn’t expect a jam session, let alone including a pianist. I had really only set out to jam on ‘The Green Hornet’.” Seeing Megan setting up to play, she licked her lips and raised the trumpet to her lips. Hopefully this didn’t turn into a big ball of suck.
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David shrugged back. The roll-up piano was pretty awesome, though he might have been impressed more by one of those large floor pianos that people played with their feet. But that was hardly a reasonable expectation, and Megan's piano keyboard thing was awesome enough as it was.

He rummaged in his backpack, took out his flute, putting it together as if he was putting together a musket. He didn't know his part of the arrangement. It was okay. He could fake it. He'd fake it like no other.

"Let's do it, then," he said, his lips resting on the mouthpiece.

They probably wouldn't be able to hear him anyway.
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((Okay, the thread appears to be dead. So I’m breaking post order.))

No music in an impromptu trio with a portable synthesizer standing in for the baby grand. This probably wouldn’t be the best rendition she’d ever played, but it might go down as one of the most interesting. As she raised her trumpet toward her lips, her cell phone vibrated in her pocket.

“Geeze, what now,” Genie groused as she lowered her instrument and fished her phone out with her free hand. With a careless gesture, she unlocked the screen and read the message. A moment later, she grimaced as she checked the time before shoving the phone back into her pocket.

“Sorry, guys. I gotta go. That was my brother, telling me to head to the office. He’ll be here in five to sign me out. I forgot I have a dentist appointment today.” Carefully stepping around Megan’s piano, she hopped down with a disgruntled sigh. With speed and great familiarity, Genie quickly broke down her trumpet and stored it in its case. A moment later, her backpack was slung across her shoulders.

“Later, guys,” she called out as she hurried down the bleachers and across the field. If she moved quickly, she would be able to meet Matthew in the office.

((Genie Banneman continued in How I Spent My Suspension))
Edited by BetaKnight, Jul 26 2012, 12:18 AM.
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David lowered the flute from his lips.

Saved by the dentist appointment, it looked like. Genie's dentist appointment. Well, as saved as he was going to get from having to make up a Legend of Zelda theme rendition on the flute, that was.

"See ya," he managed after Genie as she hurried down the bleachers.

He looked over at Megan, raised his eyebrows in an awkward grin. What now?

"I guess there isn't much sense hanging around here, then. I mean, uh, I guess we could do a duo, but..." David scratched his head, then shrugged. "I'm going to go eat lunch; it was nice seeing you and all, though."

With that, he started making his way down the bleachers as well, hauling the flute that he'd not bothered to put away and his backpack. It'd been an interesting experience. Interesting days were good enough for him, he guessed.

((David Cordell continued elsewhere...))
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[OOC: Totally sorry guys for disappearing out of nowhere like that. But it looks like you both finished the thread out anyway, so...]

"Yeah," Megan said to David, "see ya."

And with that, Megan was alone in the athletic field, with her portable piano and copy of Grapes of Wrath. "That was a bust..." She rolled up her unconventional piano in her backpack and sat down to finish her lunch, taking her time to think about what just happened before going back inside before afternoon classes began and resuming a normal boring day.

(Megan Emerson continued in A Tree Grows in Seattle)
Edited by tetsucabra, Dec 13 2012, 04:36 AM.
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