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Schlacht in den Sternen STT2017

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posted on Jan, 26 2017 @ 11:57 AM

Schlacht In Den Sternen - For STT2017

Wolfgang opened his eyes. He had fallen asleep at his pianoforte. He had started on an idea the night before and composed late into the night. A grand requiem - he would double the brass, double the percussion - it would be brash, and loud. Just the thing for those prudes in Vienna.

His wild hair askew, he searched for his pen and ink pot as another idea occurred to him - a simple motif, repeated, developed over and over, it grows and changes. Yes, it should start small, he mused, like a seedling struggling up from the ground, then grows and grows to a towering oak! But it doesn't stop there...more, and more until a forest grows! He could see it all in his head, the notes splashing out onto the staves like sparks spilling from a censer.

He suddenly stopped.

That's not my piano, he thought. With growing alarm, he looked around the room; it was strange. Sparse, brightly lit, and the decor was strange. It looked like no house he had ever been in. He stared at the bookshelves lining the room, and his eyes landed on several large, gray books, clearly a set. Each had the same blue label with silver-gilded printing: The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, SECOND EDITION.

The books were beautiful and heavy. He pulled the first one off the shelf - A to Aristotle - and opened a random page. "Samuel Adler (born March 4, 1928) is an American composer and musician..." American? There are no American composers! They're barely even a nation!

He slammed the book shut, heart beating wildly. He looked down again, opening the book to the first page.

Oxford University Press; 2nd edition (January 29, 2004)
ISBN-10: 0195170679
ISBN-13: 978-0195170672

Replacing volume 1, he hesitantly reached for volume 17, "Monnet to Nirvana", when a voice came from behind him.

"Das ist vielleicht nicht klug, Herr Mozart." A tall man, gray just starting in his neat hair and carefully trimmed beard and mustache, entered the room. H wore a dark gray suit, white shirt, and pristine red necktie.

"Wer bist du? Was ist das für ein Ort?" demanded Wolfgang.

"Ich werde alle Ihre Fragen beantworten, Herr Mozart, ich verspreche es. Wenn Sie bitte, können wir auf Englisch sprechen? Mein Deutsch ist passierbar, aber ich bin nicht fließend."

"In English, then, yes, this is fine," the composer replied.

"Thank you, sir. I realize you must be quite confused. My name is Anton Jeffers Thomason, you are in my home." He pushed a button on a silvery panel on the wall. "Miss Kellering, would you please bring refreshments to the conservatory?"

To Wolfgang's astonishment, a voice came from the panel. "Right away, Mister Thomason."

"Who are you?" he asked again, shaking.

"I am...shall we say, a collector of stories. Extremely rare stories."

"And what story are you after, Herr Thomason?"

Anton smiled. "What are you working on right now, Herr Mozart? Any new, exciting ideas?" His eyes glittered. "I understand Die Entführung aus dem Serail was a smashing success."

"What do you know about me?"

"Hm. Quite a bit, but that would break the rules," he said.

"Rules, what rules?"

"The rules of the universe. You see, you are in America. Minneapolis, to be precise."

"I do not believe you. America only just won their independence."

"Oh, don't take my word for it, here," he walked to a window and threw open the curtains. The house was clearly on a hill or ridge, overlooking parks and a baseball field. Two unusual buildings - one sheathed in shining metal - framed the skyline of a large city, with buildings taller than he had ever seen. He looked left, down the hill and across a wide paved street where the land flattened out into a park of some kind. An absolutely gigantic spoon - he guessed at this distance it was over three hundred feet long - with an equally large cherry sitting on its bowl.

"The Spoonbridge and Cherry, it is called," Anton followed Wolfgang's eyes to the sculpture. "There is downtown Minneapolis, over there is the Target Stadium. There is the Basilica of St. Mary, and this metal-clad building is the Walker Art Center. You stand on Lowry Hill, overlooking the downtown area from the southwest."

Wolfgang watched Tesla Model S85 working its way up the street below. "What...what year is it, Herr Thomason?"

"Yes, I expected that, I suppose. The year is 2016, actually, and it is Saturday, July the 23rd. There will be fireworks this evening if you are interested - we may be able to see them from the balcony. Ah, here is Miss Kellering."

They conversed for a time about music and art over the silver tray of refreshments that Miss Kellering brought. Wolfgang had distinct ideas about voiceleading, harmony, and especially vocal performance. He demonstrated frequently on the giant Steinway in Anton's study, and even improvised a fugue on the spot to demonstrate the resolution of a particular cadence.

Anton's iPhone rang, to Wolfgang's surprise. He watched as Anton took the call, then hung up and slipped the phone into the breast pocket of his suit's jacket.

"This has been delightful, Herr Mozart. However, I fear I must take my leave. I will return shortly. In the meantime, please make yourself at home. I took the liberty of providing you with plenty of staff paper, pencils, and pens, if any musical thoughts occur to you here. I believe you will find the pens quite superior to those you are used to, however, if you are someone who makes many revisions, I suggest the pencils. You can use the eraser like so."

"Yes, thank you Herr Thomason. May I ask, what is this thing you hold?"

"Oh this?" Anton said, holding up the iPhone. "It is, well, a communication device. A machine, if you will. It contains information and has a connection to a...ah," he paused, seemingly quite uncertain.
"Yes, well, the Internet is not easily explained. Suffice it to say it is a device that can access vast amounts of information as well as communicate with other devices of its kind in remote areas. The scientific principles that make its functions possible are being discovered in your time, as a matter of fact. Perhaps you have heard of Benjamin Franklin?"

"Yes, the diplomat for the American colonists."

"Yes, I believe you just missed him in your time in Paris. All I will say is that one of his discoveries proves ultimately to be of critical importance to modern society. Now, I fear I really must go. I will be back shortly, Herr Mozart."
edit on 1-26-2017 by PrairieShepherd because: (no reason given)

edit on 1-26-2017 by PrairieShepherd because: Spelling!

posted on Jan, 26 2017 @ 11:58 AM

Wolfgang continued playing the piano - it was truly a wonderful instrument with a rich, warm tone and precise, quiet action - for some time. There was more music in this one room than he could possibly imagine, and printed so clearly he could sight-read it all easily. He pulled solos off the shelves and played pieces by people named Brahms, Liszt, and a very bizarre piece by someone named Bela Bartok. One - something called Moonlight Sonata, a gorgeous, pensive piece - was clearly written by a German - someone named Ludwig van Beethoven.

He had finished a festive piece by someone named Irving Berlin - perhaps another German - when a young man entered the room.

"He really did it. Dang dude, where did you get those digs?" The young man laughed. He looked like a younger, more irresponsible version of Anton, although not much younger than Wolfgang. He took an instant liking to the young man.

"Digs? What do you mean?"

"Yeah, you wouldn't know that. Nevermind, man, no worries."

"Yes. Do you have something to eat? I am quite hungry."

"Sure, I can get something for you, bro. What're you hungry for?"

"I'm sorry, I don't know what you mean? I am hungry, yes?"

The boy laughed. "Dude, like what kind of food? You know, Italian, Chinese, Mexican...?"

"Ah, I see."

"Hey," the boy said before Wolfgang could answer, "Have you ever had barbecue?"

"I do not know this 'barbecue'," Wolfgang replied.

"Oh do I have a treat for YOU. Come on, man, I'll drive."

"Drive? You are a coach driver?"

The boy laughed. "Something like that. Wow, are we gonna have a good time, dude! I'm Taylor, by the way."

"It is a pleasure, Taylor. Tell me, do you have an...ah...eye-phone?"

Taylor smiled and put an arm around the startled Wolfgang. They headed out of the room and down the spiral stairs.


They got out of Taylor's Humvee and headed toward the crowd milling around tents and pavilions. Wolfgang tried to take everything in - the cars, the people, storefronts - but then he could smell woodsmoke and cooking meat. His stomach rumbled and his mouth began to water.

"That smells wonderful!"

"Yeah, it's called RibFest," Taylor said with a smile. "Let's go get some!"

They wandered through the crowd to the nearest tent, and waited in line. It was only minutes later they were sitting at one of the many tables eating barbecued ribs from little paper trays, the sticky sauce covering their fingers and clinging to their lips. He gave the boy a smile and they continued to eat.

"This...what do you call it...'barbecue' delicious!"

"Yeah, they're pretty good aren't they? Did you try the mango-habanero? They're spicy but they're good."

"No, I must get some!" He dashed off, only to return a few minutes later with another tray and several more kinds of ribs. He was in the middle of his third when a voice cried out.

"Taylor Thomason!! Wassup!!"

"Hey bro," Taylor called, waving.

Wolfgang watched as another young man walked up, this one with sandy-blond hair and bright blue eyes, accompanied by three young women. Wolfgang wiped his hands and mouth hastily and stood up.

"Who's this dude," asked the blond boy.

"This is...ah...Wolfgang, he's from Germany."

"Austria, actually," Wolfgang corrected him.

"Yeah, that. He's...uh...a musician, and is visiting Minneapolis. For a...concert series at Orchestra Hall."

"Excellent, bro," said the blond boy to Wolfgang, raising his fist.

Wolfgang flinched. Was he was going to be hit?

"Oh, maybe you don't do that in Australia," said the blond boy. "Here, Taylor, show him..." and they bumped fists. "See? Fist bump!"

"Yes, I see now, like so?" He lifted his fist and touched his fist to Taylor's.

"Yeah, that's it!" Wolfgang smiled.

"Rock on, man. Hey, I'm Ryan, this is Stacy, Jen, and Shawna," the blond boy - Ryan - said, indicating each of the three young women in turn.

Wolfgang lifted each woman's hand and kissed it with a small bow.

"Dang man, I thought all they did down there was surf and stuff," Ryan said. "So Taylor, you excited about Rogue One? Not too much longer now, dude!"

"No doubt, can't wait."

"Was ist das, 'Rogue One'?"

"'Voss ist doss? What does that mean? I thought you Aussies spoke English!"

"I am sorry, ah, Was ist das, it is 'What is this?'"

"Gotcha! Rogue One, it's Star Wars, man! Haven't you heard of Star Wars? It's like a prequel to Episode IV," Ryan said. "Where ya been dude?"

"He hasn't really seen any of the movies," Taylor said, looking a little uncomfortable. "But actually, uh, we should..."

"Oh no you don't Taylor Thomason," said one of the women - Shawna, Wolfgang thought. "I know you. Don't you talk like you got to go. It's Saturday, I know you ain't got to be nowhere," she finished.

"Alright, alright, easy," Taylor held up a placating hand.

"Dude, know what we should do? Take him to Star Wars VII - I swear it's still playing at that little theater in Hopkins! Look, we catch the matinee then head back to my place and party. Parents went to the cabin this weekend!"

"Alright, yeah. You cool, Wolfy? Can I call ya Wolfy?"

"I am actually quite hot, Taylor. This sounds fun, though, yes! Can I ask, Taylor, is your middle name 'Dood'? What does this mean?"

Taylor smiled, shook his head slightly, then he and Ryan turned to go. Wolfgang offered his arms to Jen and Shawna, and Stacy took Jen's arm on the far side. They headed back out toward the parking lot.

"I love your hair," Jen said, giggling.

"You are hot, Wolfie!" said Shawna, with a smile.

edit on 1-26-2017 by PrairieShepherd because: Adding part 2

posted on Jan, 26 2017 @ 11:58 AM

Back at Ryan's place after the movie - his parents had a place on Lake Minnetonka - they hung out in the living room, the huge picture windows looking out over the bay. They had stopped for supplies after the movie, and Taylor made margaritas with the Don Julio and Grand Marnier they brought back, while Ryan and Stacy attempted to determine the size of each others' tonsils, or something like that. Wolfgang entertained the other two young ladies with stories about his time in Salzburg, before moving to Vienna.

"But zen zay closed the theater, and I had no more opportunity to write opera in Salzburg," Wolfgang said.

"You are really, really good," Jen, a lovely young woman with pale skin and bright red hair, said. "You must be a method actor, right? Salzburg, opera, the German accent - you must be playing Mozart, right?"

"No, dear Jen, I am Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart! How did you know?"

"It's OK, don't break character for me, I get it, I'm an actress and a model, I get it," she said with a sly wink. "I have all sorts of your stuff on my phone," she said brightly. She pulled up her iPhone and started playing different piano concertos.

Wolfgang's eyes got big. "Was ist das? I just wrote that last month! It is not even published yet!"

"Oh believe me, Wolfie, you wrote all sorts of stuff!"

"Do you listen to just my music?"

"Oh no, there's all sorts of stuff we listen to! Check it out!"

She pulled up videos by Justin Bieber, Rihanna (which had Wolfgang's eyes nearly popping out of their sockets), Beyonce (which had a similar effect), Adele, and P!nk. She had just pulled up Megan Trainor's "All About The Bass" when Taylor put in the DVD of Star Wars Episode IV.

Margaritas in hand, and chips and salsa on the table, they sat back to watch the movie in Ryan's parents' home theater complete with 7.1 Surround Sound, the TIE fighters and X-Wings screaming across the screen. Wolfgang was totally enraptured the entire movie. When Han Solo shot Darth Vader's TIE fighter at the end, he stood up abruptly and cheered, much to the dismay of Shawna, who was now wearing the remainder of her margarita.

The next morning, Wolfgang woke up with a splitting headache to a thunderous pounding on the door. Groggily, he raised his head off the pillow, looking down at Jen's red hair spilled out on the pillow next to him. He remembered something about a fourth margarita, a second and maybe even a third Star Wars movie, and some kind of"game" that Jen wanted to play with very small glasses of that liquor they made the margaritas with...his ears burned. Jen was very lovely.

No one else was moving, so he stumbled to the front door and opened it.

"Oh thank God!" Anton stood there, looking just as tidy as he had the day before. Today it was a black suit, a pale yellow shirt and a golden tie. "We need to get you back, pronto. Good God I hope we haven't screwed anything up too bad. Taylor!" He bellowed.

"Dad?" came a sleepy voice from the couch.

"Get yourself home when you sober up," he said disgustedly, taking in the empty margarita glasses, lemon and lime rinds, and salt. "I'm taking Wolfgang. Christ Almighty I can't believe this," he muttered. "Come on, Wolfgang, we have to go. Now."

Jen appeared at the top of the stairs wearing just a button down shirt. She ran down the stairs and planted a kiss right on Wolfgang's lips. "I'll miss you, Wolfie!"

"I vill never forget you, Jen. You are my Princess Leia, my dear," he replied, then turned and followed Anton out the door.

"He is so sweet," Jen said to no one in particular, a tear welling in her eye.


It was July, the last day of the 2016 Aquatennial, and Taylor Thomason, a recent graduate of the University of Minnesota School of Music, walked along Lake Nokomis with his friends Ryan, Jen, Stacy, and Shawna.

"Hey did you guys ever see that old movie 'Star Wars'?" Ryan asked.

"Oh my God, you are so lame. You know that's totally ripped off from an old opera, right? Schlacht in den Sternen," Taylor replied.

"What? That's, ah, 'Battle in the Stars', right? Who wrote that?" asked the red-haired Jen.

"W. A. Mozart. No one knows what the W or A stands for. He was just some Austrian child prodigy on the violin and in composition, but then disappeared for a while and never really did anything else except this one opera, which was a complete flop. It's really ridiculous, this kid gets this flaming sword and has to learn these spells and go destroy a whole planet. The Church was all over it and said it was satanic and everything, so they locked Mozart up until he died. It's a bunch of that monomyth stuff, right - you know, like Lord of the Rings or Narnia. Except where those are cool, the opera was totally banal cookie cutter stuff."

"Wow, I never knew any of that!" Jen said.

"Learned it in music history. Some good stuff in that class. We got to study all the giants of western music, especially the line of English composers from Purcell through Holst and even up to Copland."

Jen - who had been a theater major with a minor in vocal performance - nodded sagely, then said, "Wait, I thought Copland was American?"

He laughed. "Well, he was born here, but as soon as he showed any musical talent they shipped him off to where the real composers were."

"What, France? Russia?" They all laughed.

"Hey, you guys ever heard of Beethoven?"

"No, who is he?"

"He's this German composer who tried to do some really interesting stuff, but then he went deaf," Taylor said. "There were no decent German composers at the time, so he left music and became a shoemaker."

"Seriously dude, a deaf, German composer? What does his music sound like?!" They all got a good laugh at that.

"Alright, I'm out dudes. We've got a date tonight!" Ryan said, indicating his girlfriend Stacy.

"Where you goin'?"

"We're going to go see Galactica VII - you know, Disney bought the rights to the whole franchise. Check it out!" Ryan opened his hoodie open to show a Galactica flight deck insignia on his shirt. "We're cosplaying tonight!"

"No way!"

"Dude that is so cool!"

"Yeah, Stacy promised she'd show me her Number Six outfit," Ryan said with a mischievous grin. She smacked him, and they turned to go.
edit on 1-26-2017 by PrairieShepherd because: Adding part 3

edit on 1-26-2017 by PrairieShepherd because: Rechtschreibung!

posted on Jan, 26 2017 @ 12:09 PM
a reply to: PrairieShepherd

Good stuff man. You nailed the theme.

posted on Jan, 26 2017 @ 12:15 PM
a reply to: AugustusMasonicus

Thanks Augustus! That's good to hear. I nearly didn't even bother because I thought I couldn't pull it off. LOL

posted on Jan, 26 2017 @ 12:23 PM
a reply to: PrairieShepherd

I very much enjoyed it. Plus you included several things I like personally, Star Wars, Mozart and easy hot chicks.

posted on Jan, 26 2017 @ 12:43 PM
a reply to: AugustusMasonicus


posted on Jan, 26 2017 @ 01:30 PM
Familiar sounding words brought me here, will convert it into readable color and take a read

posted on Jan, 26 2017 @ 01:43 PM
a reply to: verschickter

Doh! Sorry about the color, verschickter. A word of warning - I do not actually know German, so I used a translator. No idea if the phrases I wanted are grammatically correct or are nonsensical.

posted on Jan, 26 2017 @ 02:02 PM
a reply to: PrairieShepherd
Fascinating, that you choose german, really

If this went the other way
we´d be chatting in german now. Language is such a fascinating thing.

posted on Jan, 26 2017 @ 02:31 PM
a reply to: verschickter

Well I seem to recall a story from Music History about Mozart wanting to write opera in German (Abduction from the Seraglio possibly?) because it was his native tongue. His employers in Salzburg objected because at the time opera was to be in Italian or French, and anything else (e. g. German, English) was considered essentially vulgar. This is why I used the German.
edit on 1-26-2017 by PrairieShepherd because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 26 2017 @ 03:43 PM
a reply to: PrairieShepherd

Awesome Tale Shep! I really liked this one!

And considering the time You had to pull it all together,
makes it even better!

posted on Jan, 26 2017 @ 11:55 PM
a reply to: PrairieShepherd

Nice one s/f

posted on Jan, 27 2017 @ 11:22 AM
Thanks Syx and JD!

Syx - your entry was some of the best writing of yours I've seen. Well done!

And JD - I always enjoy your writing too - nice twist at the end of it this time.

edit on 1-27-2017 by PrairieShepherd because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 27 2017 @ 12:14 AM
I really liked this

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