Saturday 27 June 2015

"Composition" by Ian Shine

After my girlfriend died, I set her to music. The flutes were her hair, blowing in the wind, and a Cor Anglais was her voice, all sad and pleading. The cello was her breathing, that dismal violin, and the bassoon her fearful farting, comic despite the circumstances. 
            I loved it when the orchestra got together to practise; all those musicians, doing something just for me. But I didn’t like it when they went off on other nights to play different things. I wouldn’t tell them, but I’d sit in the audience and watch them at it, being led by any old man waving a stick, and it disgusted me, to see them putting their lips around those other notes and then smiling and bowing afterwards.
            When I confronted them with the audio of those performances, they just stared at me blankly, as if it was normal to share yourself around like that. I made them snap the discs, but they wouldn’t promise when I asked them not to do it again, so I made them take their instruments and smash them to bits too.
            I recorded the confrontation and am now considered one of the foremost post-structuralist composers. People come from across to world to see my shows, and I have musicians queuing up to play with me, so they too can shatter a Stradivarius or introduce a Steinway to a new type of hammer. The strings are her hair, shed all over the floor, and the piano keys her teeth, broken beyond repair. I kick a hole in a drumskin and warn the audience not to listen to any composers but me. They think I’m a crank, but I’m not. I can use the venue’s ticketing system to find out if they’ve been to any other shows. I’ll set them to music if they’re not careful.


2024 Wigleaf Longlisting

Huge congratulations to Lisa Alletson whose 2024 FlashFlood piece, ' Translucent ' made the Wigleaf Top 50 longlist! You can read th...