I mentioned just yesterday that I’ve a bit of music in my novel A For Advanced–well, not actual music, but you know what I mean: it shows up here and there in the form of various songs that play here and there. That’s because I like music, certain kinds I should say, and the love of music has rubbed off on my characters. When Kerry says he gets his love of music from his father, he may as well say he’s getting it from me.
The first time there’s any music of note comes in The Keyboard Room scene, where Annie and Kerry visit Professor Ellison to check out all the musical device and discover the school has a ton of famous equipment that they’ve had “donated” to them over the years. They saw the old organs that were first used at the school, then they got into the more-or-less modern equipment. Which leads to this:
(All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, 2015 by Cassidy Frazee)
She didn’t expect what the professor did next. He looked Kerry up and down while he tapped his left index finger against the top of the organ. “Tell me—” He pointed at an instrument about three meters away. “Do you know what that is?”
Kerry answered right away. “Mellotron Mark IV.”
“And the one to the left?”
“That’s a Mellotron Mark II.”
“And you know that because . . ?”
Kerry took a few steps back from Professor Ellison. “The Mark IV has had that same sort of case for most of the time it’s been produced. The Mark II . . .” He look over his shoulder, then back. “Two manuals, side-by-side.”
“Correct.” Professor Ellison move slowly towards the instruments. “This Mark II is a bit famous: it originally belonged to the band King Crimson—” He powered up the machine. As soon it was ready, he began playing.
Kerry’s face broke into an enormous smile as the professor held the first chords, then progressed to the second set. “No. You’re kidding.”
Professor Ellison played another ten seconds before stopping. “Oh, yeah. It’s, uh, a gift to the school.”
Though the two males in the room knew this music, Annie certainly didn’t. “What was that you played?”
What the professor played was Watcher of the Skies, more precisely the intro:
The intro, which is played on the lowers cords of the Mark II, is so iconic that the Memotron system–which is a modern version of the Mellotron–as well as the modern Mellotrons, offer a “Watcher of the Skies sound package” so you can rock the same sound.
I should point out a bit of history: the Mellotron they’re playing is known as “The Black Bitch” because it was notoriously prone to breaking down, and apparently Tony Banks of Genesis was ready to set it on fire more than a few times–something that Rick Wakeman of Yes actually did to one of his. 1974 tech was not that best in the world.
After that Ellison plays another short piece:
That’s part of the keyboard bridge to Firth of Fifth, from Selling England by the Pound. Of course Kerry knows this right away–is it because I do? It helps that it’s one of my favorite songs.
And when Ellison talks Kerry into showing what he knows, they get into this song, Burning Rope:
They play about a minute of the intro, but I’ll give you a sneak peak of the next novel: this is Kerry’s performance piece for the 2013 Ostara Show. He won’t sing, but he’ll play the keyboard parts with a band that can be considered a “house band” of former students that comes in for these shows. Kerry even managed to get them to use two drummers . . .
The next day, when Annie is at Memory’s End speaking with Deanna, Kerry and Vicky are off flying so the latter can get a feel for what she thinks some of her “promising kids” can handle. As the tool around Selena’s Meadow, this goes down:
She snapped left when they reached the west side of the meadow and made for the Flight School. As she pulled even with the building Vicky didn’t slow, but rather headed into a long, slow left turn that skirted the south tree line. “Yo, Starbuck—”
“I’m gonna put on some tunes, but not so loud you can’t hear me. I’m coming around; watch and follow.”
Kerry saw the professor slow, then snap her broom around in a near one-eighty before waving him on. He pulled the nose of his broom around and chased her onto an path he’d never seen before. A few meters inside the tree line and it was obvious this wasn’t a path but an old, unimproved road. They maintained the same pace they’d set on the meadow course, but the big different here was no pylons, no gates—and there were trees a few meters away on both sides.
There was a rhythmic tapping in his ears as the music started. By the second bar he recognized the song: Zoo Station from U2’s Achtung Baby. He smiled while keeping his eyes on Professor Salomon, for he would have never guessed her to be a fan of this kind of music, but since he could see her head bobbing in time to the beat, he realized he’d guessed completely wrong.
Then she lifted the nose of her broom, put on a little speed, and left the road for the sky overhead.
And this played as they soared into the sky:
For me this was sort of a natural song to play as they flew around the school with Kerry getting a feel for his broom as he let the beat flow around him. Really, as they flew over The Diamond and then buzzed The Pentagram, shooting between the coven towers and the Great Hall, it’s way too easy to hear the song as a soundtrack to a never-made movie.
Then we come to the Samhain Dance, and there’s music galore played, only one song is ever mentioned: Kerry’s dedication to Annie. And while I’ve played it before, it’s never a bad thing to play Kate Bush’s Wuthering Heights:
A few days later is the Day of the Dead attack on the school, and while Kerry is in his room early in the morning, he’s listening to a little more Genesis: this time the instrumental pair Unquiet Slumbers for the Sleepers . . . and . . . In That Quiet Earth. There’s actually a bit of symmetry here going back to the previous song, since the song titles come from Chapter 34 of Wuthering Heights, and are the finals words of the story:
I sought, and soon discovered, the three headstones on the slope next the moor: the middle one grey, and half buried in the heath; Edgar Linton’s only harmonised by the turf and moss creeping up its foot; Heathcliff’s still bare.
I lingered round them, under that benign sky: watched the moths fluttering among the heath and harebells, listened to the soft wind breathing through the grass, and wondered how any one could ever imagine unquiet slumbers for the sleepers in that quiet earth.
So the song Kerry dedicated to Annie a few nights before related to finding each other, and then on a day that he almost dies–and eventually ends up killing someone–he’s listing to songs taken from a paragraph relating to the removal of evil through death. Ooh, spooky . . .
There are only two other songs in the novel, but these are probably the most personal for both the kids, because these are the only songs they sing. First up is Kerry’s Ostara 2012 performance that he did with Nadine, which he also dedicated to Annie. I’m speaking of the Osaka Sun Mix of Coldplay’s Lovers in Japan, with Kerry on tack piano and additional keyboard, and Nadine on keyboards, synth pad, and drum samplers:
And a month later we get this:
“Would you mind if I put on some music?”
“Not at all.” Kerry held his left hand over the remote on the nightstand next to him and levitated it to Annie. “Put on whatever you like.”
Annie plucked the remote out of the air and brought up the cable guide. She found a music channel and brought it up before levitating the remote to a spot next to the television. She stepped back as she listened to the song that was finishing. “Can I turn it up a little?”
Kerry nodded. “Go ahead.”
Annie waved at the television: the sound bar illuminated and went up five point. A new song began, and Annie bounced with joy. “Oh, I love this.” She moved into the open space between the bed and the bathroom and began dancing as she removed her bathrobe and set it on a nearby chair, humming and singing along with the tune the whole time.
As the song segued into the chorus Annie faced Kerry and sang along. “Hey I just met you/And this is crazy/But here’s my number/So call me maybe.” She performed a quick spin and pointed at him. “It’s hard to look/Right at you baby/But here’s my number/So call me maybe.” She laughed as she sprinted and leapt at the bad, turning in mid-air so that when she landed, she fell backwards against Kerry’s right side. She pushed herself straight back into the space between his right arm and torso and got comfortable. “Are you gonna call me?”
I think we know this song: the question is, will Kerry call?
Somehow I don’t see Annie letting all the other boys chase her, though–or Kerry not throwing death spells at them . . .
The very last song I know they played came from, once more, the album Wind and Wuthering, and was played as Annie and Kerry flew away from the school on their way to Pearl Hill State Park the day of Salem graduations. Though not mentioned by name, the song is the first track of the album, the song The Eleventh Earl of Mar:
And that’s it for our A Level tunes. Which means it’s time to look to the future . . .
For the next novel and the future I have songs jumping around in my head. There’s one scene in the next novel where this next song will fit in with a scene–I just have to figure out how to get it into the story. Trust me, I’ll get it in there. The song in question is–don’t laugh–The Rain, the Park, and Other Things, by the Cowsills:
Give me time, though: I’m certain I’ll get more songs into the B Mix as I go along . . .
Now, we already know what Kerry will play at Ostara 2013, but what about Ostara 2014? Oh, yeah: I’m already thinking about that–or I should say, I’ve been thinking about it for a long time, maybe three years. Where as the first time he played and sang, and the second time he played with a band but didn’t sing, in this performance he’ll sing but be backed up by the house band. And Annie will right there in the front row, sitting with Helena and Erywin, as this song is performed. Why have I thought about this scene so much? Because . . . wait, you thought I was going to tell you? Ah, hahahaha! I had you going for a moment.
Anyway, the song is Distant Sun, originally performed by Helena’s fellow Kiwis, Crowded House:
The last two songs that I know actually get played happen in the period I’ve called Annie and Kerry’s Euro Broom Tour. Actually, the first song comes during a period just before that tour starts, and happens with Kerry flying through the mountains early in the morning with just his broom, his computer, and his thoughts to keep him company. Oh, yeah, and Jesus and Mary Chain blasting out of his Foundation-modified computer speakers:
And the last comes as Annie and Kerry say their farewells, and as they fly away Kerry slams this into the system as they fly off away from the rising sun:
There you have it: some of the music which makes my world go ’round, and as I write the next novel I’ll probably have more music come into play. The thing I really need to work on is the Soundtrack of Annie’s Life, because she has some music in here soul as well, and there are a couple of scenes where she needs some of her own tunes to shine.
Maybe it’s time to hire a musical consultant.