Filed Under (Microfiction) by Tansy on 11-05-2013
John listened with the others, tense, for Adrienne’s arrival at the office every morning – listened closely to what she was humming. Their lives would go well that week if it was anything rock or blues or jazz or country; if, however, she sat down in her office with a Starbuck’s latte and a one-person rendition of “O,Fortuna” from the Carmina Burana, well … “Always know where the closest exit is,” Barbara had told him in a hushed and frightened tone that first day.
Filed Under (Microfiction) by Tansy on 08-11-2012
“So, Mom, Dad, I’m thinking of dropping out of school and being a musician and a singer. I’d like to front my own indie rock band. I don’t want to make you mad, but I suck at school and I’m good at music; I think I can make it big.” There was a long period of silence. At last, her father spoke: “No necromancy, then?” She sighed with relief. “I’ll do necromancy, too, Dad; I just want to mix it up with the music stuff!” Her mother visibly relaxed. “Oh, good; you had us worried there for a minute,” she said smiling.
Filed Under (Reaper Ratings) by Tansy on 22-07-2012
Formed in 2006 by Thomas Bergersen and Nick Phoenix, Two Steps From Hell sounds more like a band that would open for Marilyn Manson than a studio effort dedicated to making amped up background tunes for movie trailers. Thing is, when you’re good, you’re good. Two Steps has enjoyed incredible success in their chosen field, but the music was so thoroughly amazing that public demand for their CDs began to mount. In 201o, they released “Invincible” and, recently, its sequel “Archangel”. Far from the lead-guitar-and-chainsaw melodies you might expect, this is electronic operatic classical music – this is Cirque du Soleil gone to the dark side for the cookies they’ve been promised. For its unexpected magnificence, Two Steps From Hell’s “Archangel” gets a Reaper Rating of 4 (“Thrill Kill”).
Two Steps’ bi-line says it best: “Music makes you braver.”
Filed Under (Microfiction) by Tansy on 29-06-2012
When Vinzo Albi took the stage, several people laughed. One man grinned derisively to his friends and mimed an enormous gut with his hands. Albi raised the violin to his chin and began to play: the jarring sounds of being bullied, the broken squeaks of tears in a pillow, a bright note hiding the dark edge of anger, the meager comfort of music in the face of loss and loneliness – all there. The audience sobbed, then erupted in deafening applause. The mimer rushed to the stage, but Vinzo did not shake his hand. That guy was a total dick.
Filed Under (Microfiction) by Tansy on 23-06-2012
“So, how did you know you were a goner?” Syler asked Croft, who laughed. “Well, there was a slow build to crescendo, then it dropped right off to silence.” “It was right behind you?” “Exactly.” “And you?” Syler gestured over to Pike. “Nothing but silence,” he replied with a grin, “and then a loud WAH WAH WAH when it rushed me out of nowhere.” More laughter erupted. “What about you, Syler? Let’s hear it!” He smiled and raised his glass. “Almost at the front door when a child’s music box started playing upstairs.” They winced and raised their own glasses.
Filed Under (Reaper Ratings) by Tansy on 10-06-2012
When I was invited to contribute as a voice actor to Keith Spears’ “49N 15E”, I had no idea what a “numbers station” was. The answer is truly disconcerting: across the globe, shortwave frequencies play a repetitive message or tone or static pattern for their intended listener 24 hours per day – and they’ve been doing this since WWII. The idea that, in a remote Russian village, a lone microphone has sat in a room for over 70 years, picking up clicks and tones with a voice reading codes aloud is creepy enough; when you consider that there’s been one or more human handoffs in those duties since the Cold War, it’s even more foreboding. Spears has used these stations as a basis for an ambient soundtrack that is one part science and one part fiction. Creating an atmosphere of mystery with a healthy dollop of dread, “49N 15E” is unique, intelligent music that puts a chill groove or a back beat on your apocalyptic nightmares. I give this recording a Reaper Rating of 4 (Thrill Kill) for creating its own little bubble of fantasy and fear. Perfect for night driving, if you don’t mind your arm hairs standing up. “There was no one at the coordinates, only a lawn chair by the side of the road …”