– But luckily, I have the fully enraged sun to drive away the nightmare, here it is insidiously melting in the sunlight! – Gennardo thought, while his dreamy eyes were darting around looking for the holy notes. The ecstasy of the nightmare was still strong within, and the that which he remembered and the objects floating on the other side of consciousness were but sections suddenly illuminated by lightning, which would circle its movement after the blast, moving towards other, distant lands and new matter. All that he remembered was the taste of a gastronomical luxuriousness and a non-sweetened drink with aniseed grains.
– The manuscript, where is my manuscript…I mean…my notes… – his hands were shackled by rush, and his soul by longing to open those famous doors of Holy existence anew. True, at the same time that reality took control over the crazed shrieks of phantasms of dreams, with his outer eye he circled the basic shape of the rounded edges of the sheet music notebook which appeared as if it were bleeding under the sun, in radiances aflame.
– This must be the truth bleeding…or is it my blood…? – he realized that the blood traces were not an irritant vision, but was instead his forehead moist from the injury which occurred under the intransigent punch with a blunt object wielded by someone’s strong hand.
– Want a napkin? Or tea? – a well-known OverVoice boomed which bled tones of Seiler piano keys in finer nuances, insolently stepping on the left pedal and causing Gennardo an inexplicable disgust.
– Step away from my una corda, you wicked bastard! – but the Sufi kept on observing him with even more of a wicked calm, thus Gennardo took a step back from his callous reaction under the power of this gaze whose chill could possibly be rivaled by the tip of the iceberg floating along the North Atlantic…
– Have a hijab to cover your head, heal the wounds and learn some humility when you speak to your master, Jemila! – he all but shoved the shawl onto his head, leaving one end to dangle on the side somewhat more than the other, he pricked it into place with a hijab needle, and the longer bit of the shawl he wrapped around his three-day-old beard, then slapped him twice and said ‘it’s a hijab!’
– Master, this must be some sort of a joke, I am a man, I cannot be Jemila.
– You will be what I say you are until the moment I die!
– But, you are dead!
– No, you’re dead. But finish the Dhikr and you will resurrect, by the Turks one and all! But, I must give you some praise, I am very pleased with your work last night, Jemila. I just feel bad that you barely touched your rice pudding, you merely looked at yourself in the mirror and drank raki the whole night.
To this Gennardo leapt like a leopard in an attempt to escape, he threw himself at the glassy mirror surface in all his might when, under the tune of the cacophony that was the Sufi’s laughter and its own bursting into pieces, he squeezed the perky breasts cloaked under his aba.
– Good lord, the size of them…the mirror broke under their weight… Wait, I…I have…I have become a Muslim woman!
– The long sleeves of this black cloak will give a wider swing to both your creative hands. No more morning hanky-panky, my son, at least until the Dhikr is as clean as a whistle!
Gennardo/Jemila shivered, and his scrawny face went pale with fear as the room flowed in an ethereal rhythm. The spirit produced an unusual sound not unlike dull sobbing, tilting his head left and right until the red pupil of his incorporeal eye faded to the hue of snowdrift. Then the spirit floated around the room, while the newly-crafted Jemila lifted up her skirt with an unsure notion of a scabrous male hand, riddled with fear of the plausible wrath of the spirit, feeling up her crotch – when all of a sudden she came to a hurdle, namely Islamic tights with a Zebra pattern, and within them a lump not unlike a scroll or a stone slab.
– Touch yourself there again and you’re getting a monolith! – the enraged Spirit said.
– Where is it? You ethereal son of a bitch! I hope they burry you dead among the living! Give me back what I had before I ever had it – I am a man, a man and my main tool is ruined! May your unliving embodiment be ripped off into the dishonorable exile! – the moment he said this, the old man cast a hellish curs upon him with swift kung fu motions, the room was filled with noise, and the stone grew to weigh an amazing 170kg and shaped itself to a steep rock upon which Jemila was twitching like Sisyphus.
– By Omar, Allah cast his judgment upon you!
– Jesus damn you, sheik, may the tribes of Mozambique sew your everyday garb for eternity!
– Jemila, I will give you one…gelded…if that means a lick to you, until you finish that scribbling of yours. As supercilious as you are you will not even reach the pentatonic scale if I do not make you humbler than a Mycenaean tomb. The chiffons and light scarves from the Islamic boutique “Il Deserto” are what you will wear, as a humble apprentice in the master-art workshop of her Islamic master.
The spirit extended his incorporeal hand, then mumbled some incoherent magic words. The rock was gone, and Jemila flew into the air suddenly and inexplicably while heavy sheet music notebooks well on his aching head from the ceiling.
– Sit down and write, and I will play now, to relax you. And do not argue with Omer’s ancestor, Jemila, or the only tool you’ll have left is that pencil in your heavy, manly hand. – The spirit exploded, but also went soft for a moment. – and you are a pretty one, even like this… if I were a bit younger…and alive…
But Jemila exploded as well. Truly never an angrier woman had there been anywhere. Jumping over the table, he grabbed the Spirit by the throat so that the hot desert air scorched his hands, but the poor composer was not even aware of the flaming pain, because, truly, there never was a bigger tragedy since birth than the one now bursting out of his throat.
– Cagna arabo, dammi il mio cazzo, subito o non si vede una chiave di violino da me, in modo da scopare con il vostro turchi e con i loro cazzi, oh inferno. Non toccare il nostro cazzo italiano. chiaramente!
But the all-seeing ‘sheik’ paid his dues in turn.
– Che tipo di temperamento, che donna! Donna turca, senza dubbio. Prenditi cura del tuo mani, Dzemila. Tornerò il tuo cazzo di questa mattina, anche se sono rimasto molto soddisfatto con la sezione.
– Then it’s a deal.
– Yes… Al Zahra!
And he burst into laughter clad in horror while the turban on his head quivered from laughter.
– And be careful, my Al Zahra. Be careful with ALL of those keys, because all of this, as you can see, can get you to dangerous and rather unpleasant situations.
To this Gennardo Al Zahra pulled a revolver out of a drawer, placed it onto the table, opened up the notebook, lifted up his aba, gave good thought and said with a shrill voice:
– Oh…well look how good this is that I wrote… I just don’t remember when all of this happened exactly. But I don’t understand – he grabbed her hijab – this is a harmonic support written by an aesthetic ear, and just between you and me, mine is Salierian. Oh how tense these sixth chords are…
– You will be tenser than any sixth chords if you do not satisfy me with your next manuscript…
– Do not remind me. You semi-visible bastard!…Or these… excessive seventh chords. Though this little lady…erm, little lad did manage to one-off the sound which flows with most composers according to preset harmony rules and without departures in form, with some exceptions that again prove the rule.
– Did you already get so well acquainted with the Sufi philosophy, my sweet Ferda…
– Al Zahra!
– Sorry. By simply wearing the hijab you stepped into the way of Islam, Al-Zahra. You gave up the most precious of things by adopting the queer identity of unified religions – like the Emirates, are they not all united? And my goal is to unite all inter-sixth-chord-al countries of the world through the astral plane, ridding ourselves of the corpses of disunited churches – the dead stone slabs from which disgusting, moss-poisoned, despicable rocks grow! You’ve already passed phase one. And your award shall be, after all of the Sufi stages are complete, only 28365767 of them, I shall attach Big John to you, the greatest of cavemen achievements.A fresh, prehistoric specimen, a subject of confusion to the archeologists of Yale U for eleven thousand years!
Al-Zahra’s eyes lit up with glee.
– Uh uh uh … perhaps a Phrygian dominant scale would come in handy here – he stared at his manuscript dully – certainly, I will not change the rhythm of three sixteenth notes, I suppose I knew what I was doing. I think I will continue with the counterpoint which would be the F major!
The spirit sighed only to look at him angered.
– The subtext of the Sufi is a philosophy. Cyclical. Can you understand that, Little Horny Man?
– It might be, since it is both the Dervish and the Death, a cyclical piece.
Sufi’s eyelashes closed, after he rolled his eyes to the side quickly. He was ticked!
– Allahu Akbar! Every single tone must be a heartbeat in the service of Allah!
– I am not a Muslim woman!
– Do you want the Big John or the monastery, Al-Hazra!
– You are a false spirit. Turks are not Arabs!
– But they prey to Allah! Listen to your heart, Jemila. Boom boom. Boom-boom!
– Good, good! I know. Allah just came to me and told me that the secrets of the universe are hidden in the plagal cadence. – Al-Hazra looked at Sufi, filled with hope.
Annoyed, Sufi snapped his fingers and Al-Hazra fell into a philosophical dream.
I would love it if he could wake up somewhere smack in the middle of the Land of the Rising Sun, with the melancholy of a Greek who walked along Hierapolis or of a Turk clad in the Bursa silk.
– But the hell with Italy! The damn hill Monte Casino and Saint Benedict are to blame for this! The artists of Lombardy too! They didn’t want the great Rumi as part of their library and then? Who do we have? Donizetti, a bully who used a Roundel dagger to carve deep grooves in the torn bra of his wife oftentimes finding her in the arms of his own lover while his tears flowed hard and bitterly down his twisted face as he phoned in Tu che a dio spiregasti!, or that killer Gesualdo, an impressive madrigal singer and serial killer in his own home! Instead the Lombardos implemented the various Disciplinarum Libri, gardens of Milan, chest pains to stop the promising rhythm of the numbers which were studied by the first Italian composer, posing as Saint Augustine of Hippo, until he also, like that Gennardo, lived to see God bestow upon him the cadence which he has to create, and the Holy one tell him that it’s always worse to have the golden key as opposed to a wooden one.
He rubbed his sleepy eyes, ate the rice pudding from the table in absolute delight, disrobed up to his tights, gently rubbed his full breasts, removed the hijab and let loose the hair of gold, one would swear that he, as a woman, was visited by Aphrodite in his dreams.
He took his pencil to paper, thought of the Ivory Coast for reasons unknown, and started composing. He opted for the fragmental approach, with some episodes of repetition, but…
– It certainly would not be of harm if I put in minimal modulations, and make a few bars of chord mutations, and then a few for their reversals, uncompromisingly keeping track of the tonality within the heart similar to the guiding star floating in the heavens.
– But, only in the beginning. Dominant scale, you shall not escape me.
– That’s right, my son Gennardo – a potential cousin of the Canterville Ghost said. – I gave you your Joe back, it’s true that this wasn’t that particular cave, but even these Ancient Greek caves were good for something.
The composer-man calmly said:
– But, only after the subdominant chord takes it to the uncertainty of the closing act.
The manuscript, mute and untouched up until that point, shaped itself into a living melody performed with the skilled left hand of the Sufi at the keys which stretched from the bass to the right parallel with the notes of the bass section which maintained the characteristic untamed nature of the upper melody lines.
– Ehm, my son Gennardo, very good… Do not forget to write down the bass clef.
Gennardo looked at him pretentiously.
– I did not forget. By the way, Old Seethrough… why did you introduce yourself while glorifying the Turks, by Iraq?
– Not Iraq! – the Sufi jumped up as if burned, sighed and said excitedly – because of comfort. Turkey is closer to Italy. Geographically.
Gennardo, whose doors of unrivaled narcissism and power were flung open, decided upon some idle banter with the Evil spirit.
‘The old man is joshing with me. But I will be famous, I can see that. Oh lord, how talented I am!’
Sufi, not realizing what is happening in the thick head of his student who as is true to his nature leaned towards proclaiming himself as some sort of heroic ideal, shook his right hand, looked at Gennardo hopefully and with a smile which leaked like the Niagara falls down his incorporeal jaw with seethrough, at times pearly white teeth, he asked:
– And what about the left, my son?
Gennardo looked at little Joe with admiration, like Snow White’s stepmother queen in the magic mirror on the wall.
– Gennardo, my son… – but the ghost suddenly flared up – Now is not the time for this. Write, damn you, write! I do not have an eternity to waste! I have plans, ethereal life! I am not lazy!
– Slow down, pops. Music is a steep coast, and I would like some Riesling…
– No, no and no! – the apparition flew towards him and smacked him on the head with the kaval. – Write!
– You better write or I’ll…
Gennardo looked at him with a wicked smile on his tiny lips.
– I have stared into the eyes of Evil numerous times, especially in the La Scala. Here is the manuscript, you finish it yourself.
– You…you…un-castrated wrecking tramp! Step the hell away from MY table!
While Gennardo was observing him with significant surprise, the spirit charged towards the manuscript which was writing itself lead by the invisible, terrifying hand of the Divine:
– If Allah allowed you to rotate like a chord, he would not allow the holy Scripture of the Omayyad to continue in that direction.
And as his turban fell from his head, his hair caught fire and his entire body spoke, and the voice the same as bare iron was whipping the back “of all you mortal ingrate bastards, and oh my Dervish, you will not go to Greece, so help me and self-immolate me the great Allaaaaaah!”
– Master, your hair is on fire. True, I did not know how to finish this, oh me the humiliated Salieri, oh me, oh my personal anguish! Not even your holy Turkish power was of any help!
– Iranian, fool! – With a mighty motion of the shining hand the powerful Sufi rammed a clef down while wildly spinning towards the door, knowing he didn’t have a lot of time left.
– Oh Allah, now I know how Joan of Arc felt! The body is burning, it hurts, but it is dangerous not to finish it and leave with merry disdain the glory to that damn amateur Orpheus!
– A counter-rhythmic structure, Wop! Always of a temporary character, that’s what it must be. Then come the influences of…erm…I will have to fit the instrumental transpositions in a very, very specific manner in order to create ecstatic confusion which leads one to spiritual bliss. Do you follow, son?
– You mean, like bruises? – the Italian asked confusedly.
– Not contusions, Al-Zahra! Something within me got mixed up in my powers. You somehow woke up from a deep sleep.
– And what of these influences? – Gennardo asked terrified as the Master was spontaneously combusting. Not even the dark wind that burst into the room managed to put out the fire of his heart.
With a tired burned up hand he wrote the last few bars, while Gennardo was rolling on the floor engulfed in terror, howling:
– Call the fire brigade!
– The fireman does not help there, only the Fountain of Fire– the Iranian said and started singing.
‘Only when the school and the mosque and the minaret
Collapse, only then can the Dervish get together.
Until fealty turns to treachery, and treachery to trust,
Not a single human being can become
The part and the organ of truth.’
The doors opened with a horrific bang and the same humongous man from the hill, golden-haired and dark in gaze had upon sifting down Gennardo placed both hands on the table, lifting above it, and the entire castle akin to Vesuvius above Pompeii, mowing down a few chandeliers in the room with his athletic shoulders.
– Get it solved, Rumi. Give the pride of Music to Greece. In return Zeus will stop the storm at Athos and destroy the Greek fleet. By the Sun and the Moon, fire and water, Francis of Assisi can be stopped. It stands to reason that the crucified man will merely be a shell of the Roman plan when Persia rules the world. The Nietzschean God will not die, for He will never have existed. Ultimately, is Music not the most important of all? Let Persia wage wars, let Greece play its tunes…and the rest – here he looked at the Italian – let them curse that same Francis of Assisi and their Lombardos. Oh, by the myth, get it solved.
Rumi gave him a stern look and as the Greek Heracles laughed looking at his weak body, Rumi shrugged.
– The influences enable a powerful elaboration of the theme before its resolution – he looked at the Greek as his body was aflame – It is true that to Dionysus these resolutions were left too undefined considering we’re tackling tense chord sets…Yes, my son, everything can be resolved upon tension. And not just in them, but also in excessive and reduced chords while the doubly reduced tones can solvate on varying sequences. The Greek mind cannot comprehend this, but sending bad weather to the Persians, that it can. – Despite being all but charcoal at this point, he did not lose the passion to point his index finger at the Hellen.
– Your problem, Rumi, is that you are living in the past – there was a grin twixt the cheeks of the Greek.
– You see, Gennardo, my son. Your beloved La Scala collapsed the moment this was resolved. (A powerful blast in the distance.)
– You no longer need to worry about your reputation. And the Sufi is dancing with the stars. – Rumi said, whose body was already burned. He turned to dust and disappeared.
‘I do not care about not being famous THERE as long as there is nobody superior. Besides, the manuscript is here.’ The minute he thought this, he grabbed the Notes with all his might and squeezed it to his chest defying the Greek who towered over him, or rather the house itself.
– But why did you yourself not resolve all of this, Dervish? – Gennardo asked astutely.
– I wasn’t able to – the Giant shivered in anger.
– Those vain Greeks…but we have Donizetti and he will knife the lot of you! – Gennardo raised a fist in the air. – Our madmen do not originate in myth, they are born True!
The Greek, and it was Apollo, waved his hair amid which was interwoven the seed of magic and stopped the fire, he snatched with a breezy motion the notebook from Gennardo’s gnarled hands and made his way to the exit, tearing down everything in his path.
– See you later and have a good one – with the notes and the kaval, therefore, he went to the door in an attempt to close them with an even more deafening bang.
– Wait…wait… – the Italian rose from the floor. – You cannot take that. This was written by me, Jemila, Ferda, Qasim, Al-Zahra and Rumi. All you did was start the theme. We were the ladies that…erm…the men that finished the threepiece song. This is not yours.
With a calm expression on his face the giant turned, and the face in question took on the hue of deep mythical stability while he, with his tongue clean, with not a whiff of abruptness nor rudeness, replacing the dark flash in the eyes of the Furies with a glow of an unbearable sun, approached Gennardo and with a friendly handshake which crushed his right shoulder thus putting him in hellish anguish for life, and trying to offer him a handshake of truce rejected by the Italian, he said:
– “Dionysia” is a Greek record label whose manager is Aphrodite and which exists for nearly 10.000 years. Its primary field of interest is music copyright protection and it’s responsible largely to the European commission and the NFB champion’s league (not that we don’t have some powerful connections here as well). Orpheus, upon reading “The Trial”, decided to be a stickler and to only gather material while he’s keeping records. Dionysus already burned the “Dhikr” onto a disc in standard audio format, and I have long ago given the ID, filled in the form, in short – I beat you to it.And what were you thinking with Sufi music anyway, Salieri? You are not a Dervish. Neither am I. Only Rumi could perform all of this, and what are fools for? Still, I will tell you something that the old nostalgic fool didn’t.
Anyone can be a Dervish if he realizes that creation is a game, that the Dhikr itself was conceived by a non-Dervish as an experiment of the western musical thought. – Apollo scratched his head here. – The Dervish is he who bravely wrestles with tonal variety. What makes a piece colossal? Would this piece be as massive as my Hellenic hand had it not yearned for the definition of resolution? But, to you, as well as others who were not what HE was, and Lord knows where in Persia he is now looking for a new moron to protect the art from the Greeks – the cruel god of music laughed lovingly at this statement – the musical and life symbolism do not let up. Little Horny Man… – he moved onward to tap him on Sufi’s “Johnny” gift, to which a crushed Gennardo ran to the other side of the room and curled up in the corner.
He was squealing for a while in his misery, only to crawl, with that one shoulder crushed, to the phone pushing his body away from the floor with the left hand, to grab the headphone and, slightly repenting in his mind due to the sins of pride which did not go well with Christian mercy, and even a bit teary-eyed remembering the passion of his self-immolated Master, to dial an unidentified number, dragging his voice down the telephone cable, gruff and heavy, but mostly desperate which gave him additional strength to utter the decisive, Solomonic, unequivocal and rosy resolution:
– Attorney’s office, please.