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Life on Mars?; Lunchtime, music rooms, open
Topic Started: Feb 5 2018, 09:48 PM (484 Views)
Yugikun
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It was a god awful small affair, to the girl with the mousy hair.

((Anna "Roxanne" Herbert, continued from Ferris Wheel on Fire))

And she hit the high chord on the piano - one of the few points in the introduction where the instrumental of the song was at the forefront. She then drew back, went lower on the piano as the hypothetical vocals made themselves the main part of the melody again. It was… pretty simple so far. Not exactly a cakewalk or anything, but still probably easier than all the other songs in her repertoire. Admittedly, it wasn't something that would challenge her skill, it wasn't exactly something she could really play for one of her assessments, but it was a fun enough distraction, she supposed. Something that she had fun playing. Admittedly, this arrangement of the song wasn't the best - combined the piano with the vocal melody like every other popular song arrangement did - but… she didn't know. It was fun enough to play. Worth her $3.50, at the very least.

So she brought the pitch of the song down, moved her hands to the left. Moved her body so that she made an accent when she pushed the chords in. They were soft, at first, but as they moved up on piano they became louder. The dynamic wasn't specified on the sheet, but Roxanne knew that the song was building up for the chorus, and considering whoever made this sheet seemed to be too lazy to mark it, it seemed she had to add it herself. She moved her body closer to the piano as she got closer to the chorus. Got ready for the explosion of noise that signified it, got ready, and...

"Ah, crap."

Completely fucked it up. Let her hand trip on the piano and hit the wrong note. That was… annoying. Meant that all the buildup had been ruined. Made it seem as if Roxanne couldn't even do the simplest song in her repertoire. It was a silly thought - she wasn't that good a sight reader, not good enough to be able to do a song on her first try - but the annoyance was still there, creating a cloud telling her that she couldn't do it, that she may as well quit and try another time.

Which she could ignore. All she needed to do to get it together was to practice more. It made perfect, after all, and perfection was a pretty good thing in Roxanne's eyes.

She put her hands to the centre of the piano, got ready to start playing it again. This song was… one of her favourites, personally - she'd found it pretty early when she was going through Bowie's discography and she supposed she took a liking to it straight away. Enough of one, at the very least, to buy - to try and play herself. Admittedly, again, she wished she had a better arrangement, but it was fine. She could take what she could get. There was better, of course - a book on Amazon that had a good arrangement of this song, from what she could tell - but she knew she wouldn't be able to get that delivered.

At least, not without her parents asking her why she was spending money on such things.

...Oh well. She supposed she just had to wait. Make do with what she had. Hope for that day where the time came that she'd actually be able to buy that book.

Right now, though, she had a song she needed to perfect. She placed her foot on the pedal. Got ready to play again.

Hopefully this time she wouldn't mess it up.
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Aura
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(Tony Acardi continued from Order Up!)

Tony wandered the halls with his lunch bag in hand. He didn't feel like eating in the cafeteria that day. He didn't feel like it most days, to be honest. That's why a good portion of his lunch period was usually spent wandering for a nice place to eat. The fields, the benches, hell, sometimes he would just lean against a wall outside the school and eat right there. It helped that he usually brought food like sandwiches or burritos for lunch, the kind of things that he could hold in his hand, so he didn't even really need a seat most of the time. He could eat anywhere. It was all about convenience. Well, that and tasting good.

He continued his search for a place to enjoy his precisely constructed roast beef and cheese, finding his way to the art block. He kept a consistent walking pace, but slowed when his ear caught the sound of piano music. It wasn't his favorite instrument or anything, but it sounded nice. It was pretty easy to figure out that the music was coming from the music room. For one, it was the obvious source for any music in the area, and second, he could hear it coming from the door to the room.

He thought on it for a moment. Would the music room have a place where he could sit and relax. He figured that it probably would, since there were a lot of instruments that people had to sit down to play. They probably wouldn't appreciate it if he got crumbs on anything, but he was a pretty neat eater, so he didn't consider that a downside as well. Plus, someone was playing piano, so it was basically lunch with a show.

Okay, so they weren't playing anymore. But that wasn't such a bad thing. At least he knew that lunch probably wouldn't get lonely. Seeing more upsides than downsides, Tony headed in. He sat on a bench near the door and opened his bag to retrieve his sandwich. He looked over to the girl at the piano and announced his appearance.

"Whatcha playin', Anne?"
Edited by Aura, Feb 6 2018, 09:49 PM.
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Yugikun
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And her foot came off as a guy she barely knew came into the room from behind her.

"Um, hi…"

The person behind her - the person she could barely see, she had to crick her neck if she wanted a good look at him - was someone she… vaguely knew, at the very least. Tony something. He wasn't really a guy Roxanne had interacted with too much - if anything, honestly, he was another one of the many people she knew more of than she actually properly knew. He was loud, apparently. Bad tempered. The kind of person that her parents would assume all teenagers were like. Roxanne - probably luckily - hadn't really had the fortune of dealing with him herself until now, but she supposed it would have had to happen at some point. Rule of fate, after all. Just had to keep things civil and ideally she made it out of here with a brand new acquaintance, or something like that.

The fact that he was one letter away from calling her by that name was honestly a fantastic start, but whatever, she supposed first impressions weren't that encompassing.

"Roxanne," she said, before motioning her head to the sheet music. "David Bowie. Life on Mars."

She paused, for a bit. It was probably best if she added a bit onto that. Just make it so it didn't seem as if she was acting dismissive.

"It's a song I like - printed the sheet music off a couple days ago. Not exactly the most difficult thing in the world, but Iunno, I feel like playing it anyway."
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"Roxanne. Gotcha." Tony accepted the correction as soon as it was issued. No need to make enemies around school, especially for tiny reasons like that. He was pretty sure he already had more than enough of those anyway.

He started the process of releasing his lunch from its saran-wrapped sheath as Roxanne explained her song. Now, Tony wasn't what one would call the musical type. He missed almost everything that was in the Top 40, and even some well-known contemporary acts would make him draw a blank. It simply wasn't his scene to know what was popular in the music world. But even to someone as virtually tone-deaf to the charts as him, David Bowie wasn't a name to be overlooked. Hell, the man was an icon. He was easy to remember, even if most of Tony's memory of him had been jarred by the announcement of his death around a year or so ago.

Probably best not to bring that part up, though. That could kill the mood real fast, pun not intended.

The crinkling of his sandwich wrapper ceased once the foodstuffs within had been successfully exposed, and he was able to continue speaking without that distraction.

"Bowie, huh? Cool shit." He accompanied his statement with a nod, sounding a bit impressed. "You tried it out yet?"
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Yugikun
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"Yeah, I did."

She turned her attention back to the piano for a second. Looked at how her hand had partially slid off the keys, looked at how her foot was essentially off the pedal. Seemed as if talking had relaxed her, gotten her out of the mood she played the piano with. That was… a little bit of a problem. Meant that it'd be hard to get back into the mood she played piano with, for either when Tony left or for when Tony inevitably asked Roxanne if she could play for him. The second bit was what Roxanne was particularly worried about. She, uh, hadn't really performed for anyone one-on-one before. Like, she'd done it for Mr. Faust and she'd done it for all her other music teachers but she hadn't done it for any of her friends, yet, and that seemed like something she should have done by now. A natural part of being a friend to them.

...She supposed, though, that it was just good that her likely first solo piano performance wasn't going to be for Alex. That would make her anxious, no doubt.

"Couple… seconds or minutes or so before you came in. Made it up to the first chorus before I messed up."

She paused. Turned her attention back to Tony.

"Song's a little harder than it looks. Not exactly sight-reading territory for me."
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Aura
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Ah, so he was interrupting her first time trying to learn the song. Well now he just felt like an asshole, barging in and breaking her concentration like that. Pretty insensitive now that he thought of it. He was on the verge of taking a bite of his sandwich , but he stopped himself with the realization that that probably wouldn't be the most polite move in the world either. Instead, he sat and listened to her talk about the song, sandwich standing upright in the hand that hovered just to the side of his face, the smell of meat and cheese still tempting him.

Life on Mars... that name still sounded familiar to him. Well, at least in some sort of roundabout way, as in he was pretty sure he had heard people talking about it at school or at the restaurant. However, there was an obvious downside to his lack of musical knowledge, and it was that he had no damn clue what song she was talking about. Seriously, he didn't even have a rhythm in his head to give him some sort of clue. It sort of made him question what he was even doing there again. He offered a shrug and an apologetic grin.

"Wish I could help, but I don't remember how the song goes. Not sure I ever heard it, really."
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Yugikun
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"Uh..:"

Roxanne was trying to think of a way to keep the conversation going but… there wasn't really a lot that she could say in response. One option was to just say that yeah, it wasn't one of his most well known songs (despite it… admittedly easily being one of his best) and that it was entirely okay if you just didn't know it, but it didn't feel as if saying that would go down entirely well with Tony. There was an absolute value in criticism and expressing it where it was needed - because, y'know, when someone was doing something badly it was for the best if they knew they were doing it badly - but there were… issues with expressing it when it was the wrong time to do so. She didn't really want to make him angry, she didn't really want to deal with that situation, so…

Honestly, other than that, there was only one way she could really respond.

...Man, this was going to be awkward.

"...It's a god-awful small affair…"
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Oh hey, Roxanne was singing now. She had a pretty nice voice, too. Tony could definitely listen to this for a while. Too bad he still didn't recognize the song. Could have been because of the difference in singer, though. He was pretty sure that a high school girl singing sounded pretty different from David Bowie.

He sat and listened, waiting to see if he would pick up on anything, taking a bite of his sandwich as he did so.

Yep. It was definitely still good.
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((Demetri Futscher continued))

Demetri's take on the scene nowadays was that the internet had helped unlock a new generation of talented indie artists... and spread the disease that was talent-less hacks. Dudes and chicks had been flailing and dancing in a small circle outside the gym building to some... fucking ugly sounding song, and was that supposed to be dance-able? Pointless barely comprehensible shouted lyrics, weird bird noises, and drums without any actual vibe or character? Artificial bullshit.

It had been mostly, like... hoodlum looking kids too. Rocking brand names like that meant any shit about their characters or personality. Guys looking like asses with their gay as fuck colorful shirts and hair, as if neon colors had ever been unironically good. Girls thinking that made them attractive, to plump up their cleavage wearing Guccipradachanel or whatever the fuck it even was. Good on them for all hooking up, keeping that shit out of the general gene pool.

Demetri, of course, was going to bounce away from that scene immediately. It wasn't even worth a backward glance.

He'd wandered into the art block, where he could scrub out his ears of the shitty ear parasite called rap music with the generic Muzak of student projects. That cheap acoustics suddenly became a more familiar tone, a more classic arrangement of tinkling piano notes that were very much real sounding. One of the nearby music rooms, door left open. Demetri nodded along, humming to himself. Shit, this was one of his Dad's faves.

"But her friend is nowhere to be seen,
now she walks through her sunken dream,"
He didn't play the piano, obviously, but he mimed a few probably incredibly wrong structured chords in the air in front of him. Respects due to all people who actually had the nerve to play real instruments.

He glanced in. Hot take: Roxy Herbert was alright. Just alright, not especially hot or nice or anything. Maybe a bit stick-up-the-ass, but she was dedicated to her craft. Nothing wrong with that shit, and Demetri occasionally got inspired to take his own work on his art and aesthetics more seriously when he'd see how good Roxanne was with her own shit, in the Music class they shared.

Not-so-hot take: Tony fuck-the-last-name could piss off. Who didn't hate this backstabbing asshole? Like, Demetri saw right through his 'trying to be nice and help the poor innocent downtrodden bullies' routine so hard, and everyone else did as well as far as Demetri knew or cared. Tony was nice because he was a quicksilver wuss, and he didn't practice any of his so called tolerance when it came down to it. Whatever.

Demetri ignored that dude, promptly.

At the section where the strings in Life On Mars would start to hit those thick bass swells, Demetri called out as he casually sauntered into the room. "Two minutes until lunch ends Rox, you might wanna call it!" Blatant troll, it was still fifteen minutes on the clock. Demetri shoved his hands protectively into the pockets of his beat up jeans. Just playing it cool. Hopefully Roxy would appreciate the friendliness and not blow a random gasket for whatever reason.
V7

V6 - Like you imagined when you... were young...
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Yugikun
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"...To the girl with the mousy hair..."

This was… admittedly a fairly new experience for Roxanne. She'd obviously sung before, she'd obviously played the piano before, but doing both at the same time was… unique. Weird. Definitely something she would have to get used to if this became a thing. As she played through — sung — the first few bars of the song, she could hear the issues with her performance were already. She was too loud. The grand piano was right in front of her and because of how loud the thing liked to be she was hearing her played notes as louder than they actually were and because of that she was overcorrecting her voice, making it louder so that she could actually hear it over the notes of the piano.

"...But her mommy is yelling no, and her daddy has told her to go..."

It wasn't too big of a problem, though. It was making her performance worse, yeah, but this was an easy problem to fix in the grand scheme of things, something she'd just need to keep in mind for the future.

"...But her friend is nowhere to be seen. Now she walks through her sunken dream…"

Of course, given that Tony was probably… as musically minded as a normal person was he probably wouldn't notice, but she didn't want to be rude. She could correct herself regardless.

"To the seat with the clearest view…"

She breathed. Got ready for the next part of the… fairly lacklustre bit of sheet music.

"And she's hooked to the silver screen..."

She brought the pitch of the song down, as a voice called out. She moved her hands to the left, moved her body so that she accented whenever she pushed the chords in. They were soft — she could easily hear the guy at first, even over her own singing — at first, but they became louder as they moved up. The guy (was he talking to her? did he not know that you didn't fucking interrupt someone when they were playing the piano?) was quickly drowned out if he was still speaking.

She moved her body closer to the piano as she got closer to the chorus. Got ready for the explosion of noise that signified its arrival.

This time, she wouldn't fuck it up.

"...As they ask her to focus on saaaaillllllorrrrssss! Fighting in the dance hall…"
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Tony just sort of sat back and let Roxanne go on with her song. The piano went pretty well with her voice, and she was pretty good at playing it too. He wondered if she was planning on going into music as a career. She was already using her free time on it and picked a solid artist as inspiration, so that was probably a good start if that was her plan. The piano was pretty loud though. So was Roxanne's singing, come to think of it. The music room must have had some crazy acoustics. He continued to enjoy the performance with his lunch.

That sense of calm came to a quick end when another voice popped in, announcing that there were only two minutes left until lunch was over. Fuck, had Tony really wasted that much time? Like it was working on instinct, he snapped forward and chomped a third of his sandwich in a single bite. While he was busy chewing the tasty yet cumbersome hunk of food, he pulled out his phone and checked the time to get a second opinion.

Wait, what the fuck? It was nowhere near the end of lunchtime! Tony let out an annoyed groan, muffled by she sheer amount of food he was in the process of devouring. Once he got a look at the guy who made thee announcement though, it made sense. It was that annoying troll Demetri. Yeah, it was true that Tony picked on him when he first rolled into Chattanooga. But they squashed that, or at least he thought he did, but the guy just couldn't leave well enough alone. Now Tony was back to disliking him because Demetri was, well, a dick.

Tony really wanted to give him a piece of his mind, but he didn't want to interrupt Roxanne's song. He did his best, which translated to making angry and confused-looking gestures at Demetri in an attempt to communicate the thought "Dick move, man!"
Edited by Aura, Apr 3 2018, 03:17 AM.
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She didn't even look up. Demetri dug that, yeah. He was vibing with the raw energy, the passion she was rocking with her body. Reminded Demetri of how his body twisted up and folded while he was hitting power chords and the amp was sizzling just right.

Meanwhile Tony was going all spastic jazz hands over there. What was he even doing besides trying to choke down a mouthful of sandwich like he was gargling locker room balls? Probably trying to shoo Demetri off or something. Tony trying to make a move on Roxy? Or maybe, just maybe, dude was an asshole? Demetri thought the logic worked out. Someone who abandoned a hard-earned friend for no good reason besides 'offensive jokes' or whatever Tony had even offered as his half-ass excuse equaled 'asshole'. That was how the math checked out.

Demetri flipped his middle finger out. Putting that particular message out there.

Otherwise, he was more paying attention to Roxy's rocking out. Looked like she was really hitting some kind of stride and it was pretty damn enthralling. He found himself a nice wall to plaster his ass against. He rested, and he listened, and he continued to give Tony a bit of evil eye.

Alright, friends told him his evil eye looked dumb because his eyes were too soft and tired-looking. Fuck 'em, he had the glare of a killer.
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Oh, this motherfucker.

Really? It was gonna be like that? Demetri was just gonna walk in here and make a stink, then act like he wasn't the one flinging shit for a laugh? That middle finger might as well have been his way of saying "Yeah, this is my fault, but I'm gonna blame you anyway because fuck if I'm gonna take responsibility for anything." Seriously, what an asshole. It was like whenever Tony started to feel kind of bad about not trying to hang out with him anymore, he had to show up and remind him why.

Tony returned Demetri's flipped bird with one of his own. He even waved it around a bit for emphasis. He kept on glaring while he chewed, the look in his eye getting his point across rather competently. He turned to bring his attention back to Roxanne's performance and away from the unwelcome douche in the room. He kept his finger up and directed at Demetri for a bit longer before putting it down.

He closed his eyes and took a moment to breathe. He wasn't looking for a fight. He just wanted to chill out and eat lunch, and he really didn't want that to be ruined.
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"Man, I'm sorry you're not getting any action, if you have to resort to fingering me."

Pretty gay line, but Demetri kind of liked it anyways. It was decent and sudden, kind of like... throwing a fast baseball or something, that was the way to metaphor-ize it.

Shit, Demetri had said it kind of loud. He'd talked over some of Roxy's chord work. Now he felt like an ass. That whole shrinking feeling where you're all small and asshole-sized or something, and then... yeah, Demetri was just going to put his two lips together and not move them again for a bit, and hope Roxy wasn't going to slow down or stop or turn at him or do her whole thing where she'd chew out someone for being a retard.

Like, it was fun to watch it, not to be on the receiving end of it.

Demetri glanced particularly at the floor. No particular reason, it was just interesting down there.
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Yugikun
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"Oh man! Look at those cavemen go…"

This was more uncharted territory. As the piece went into the chorus, as Roxanne began to play the part of the song she hadn't played before, her familiarity with the music on the page went down and the chances that she would mess it up again went up. As she did some of the chords—as she hit one of the chords wrong and made a sound she imagined she wasn't supposed to make goddamnit—she stopped singing. Closed her mouth and put her full focus on what she was supposed to be playing so that she could not mess up on a song that way easier than everything else she was playing right now, a song that she seriously needed to get to her standard quickly.

She kept playing. Pushed the song near to the end of its chorus. Got to the last bar, heard the vocals flourish in her head, and-

A voice.

Words.

Distracting-

And her hands hit the wrong place. Made the piano make a sound that went against everything the song was going for. Made pins of anger pierce through her arms as her head turned.

Looked.

Saw the non-Tony person in the room. Stared at him. He distracted her, and she really wanted to know what he had to say that was worth that.
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