Solo For Concert Grand
Kristine Kathryn Rusch
To hear “Solo for Concert Grand” is to reach into the corners of one woman’s mind. “Solo” was written to be played from memory in total darkness. The effect, then, is that of a lone voice, disturbing, dissonant and frightened. And the concert grand piano, an instrument so rarely used these days, adds an eerie alien quality. Toward the finale, the voice becomes smoother and stronger. The music ends on a triumphant note, which is a surprise when you know the piece’s history: The composer, Emily Trencheon, committed suicide not twenty-four hours after writing the last note.
Early Masters of the 21st Century
Scenes from a private video: A blur of blue and white. The camera slowly focuses on the interior of a shuttle decorated with the Academy of Universal Languages logo. Children sprawl in the plush blue seats. Their expressions shocked, desolate. Some lie close, but none of them touch. The camera finds one: a girl, her long brown hair brushing her budding breasts. A badge on her blouse reads “Trencheon.” Her fingers clutch at her pants, pull on the fabric, but the rest of her body is completely motionless. A man in a black business suit touches her shoulder and she recoils. He sets a thick, bound leather book beside her, speaks for a moment, then leaves. Hesitantly, she places her hand on the cover and runs her fingertip along the recessed lettering. Then she flips the book open. The camera zooms in on a page filled with musical notation, slowly pulling away until the girl is in the center of the frame. She peeks around her chair, then leans back. With a quick, vicious movement, she shoves the book onto the floor.