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MUSIC AGE

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Score I: Introduction

 


 

 

Léliana nervously waved her pen from the tip while her gaze was intensely fixed on a desperately white sheet. She patted her perfectly filed nails on the paper, sighing for the eighth time. She knew it was not urgent and Maryden would understand. But that was hardly something she appreciated. Either a colon or a dash here, rather than a period. To be stuck in front of such a problem. She had no patience; things had to be settled quickly and cleanly. So far she had done quite well.

 

She had always wanted to go to this university to follow this music course at a time or when”? few people believed in it. (Except Josephine, but it was Josephine after all.) The young woman had the same ambition as her some years ago. Finally, she decided to follow a different path. She was doing a Law degree. Apparently, it was the best she could do in order to help her family involved in some political business. But she did actually enjoy this. She was so brilliant, clever as anyone, she could negotiate anything she wanted just with the proper words and a smile. That’s was something Léliana was certain about.

 

Léliana was maybe more clever than her friend: she was really good and even won some prizes at scholarly rhetoric contests. She had something… persuasive. Joséphine suggested many times that she could be a brilliant politician - and she was more than happy to share classes with her best friend. She thought that Léliana could help people, the poor the left, but Léliana didn’t think this couldn’t change anything. She had more faith than trust in politics.

 

So, this why she decided to chose music over law. She was really passionate about this. She wanted to know everything, though she didn’t know why in the end. She had no definitive purpose; she just loved music.She envied Joséphine, who seemed to have the perfect life plan since the day they met.

 

“Léliana? A voice said above her red head. “Do you want to talk about your artistic project?”

The young woman looked up and saw Mayden right to her desk, staring at her with a soft smile.

 

“Well I-I didn’t came up with any idea better than “Thedas popular Bard Song covers number x”, Léliana ironically admitted, disappointment in her voice. It was the first time she was stuck  on a subject. This one was particularly important for her to enter master’s degree the next year.

 

“That’s surprising, coming for you, Maryden said. “But, not really, in a way. Creation has always been your weak point. You’re are a great singer, musician but…”

 

“I am aware of it,” Léliana nodded, twisting her fingers around the pen. “Perhaps you could help me? There may be a way forward”

“Indeed.”

Her professor ran a hand along her white neck, breathing softly.

“You want to work in music production, don’t you? You want to manage people, to be in charge.”

“Yes, exactly,” the younger woman confirmed.

“So why don’t to try to… really produce someone, or a band? Not in a professional way of course, because you’re not a producer, not yet. But, more like a coach? Like training for your future career! After all, it’s an artistic project you need to do. I think it fits perfectly.”

 

Léliana’s ashen eyes opened wide as if Maryden had said something crazy. It sounded like the plot of one of these popular teen-series where a group of friends create a music band to enter a music contest because of the: “this is our dream” and “together we are stronger” refrain. Pathetic.

 

“I don’t know.That’s a good idea, the committee appreciate originality from what I know.. But…”

“You think you can’t do it?” Maryden challenged.

The student remained silent.

She was pretty talented at teamwork - she was almost terrifying sometimes, looking for perfection every time, She could take this opportunity as a challenge. That was the most interesting, the most exciting. It was a long time since she’d had a challenge that matched her personal ambitions. Why choose the easy way? She could take an advantage by doing something she was not familiar with. That could give her some points.

Léliana gaze turned more determined.

 

“Maybe…Maybe I’ll think about it seriously.”

“I am glad to hear it.”

 

The idea was launched. Finally. Léliana left the amphitheatre, not merely reassured but with something to focus on. She didn’t really know where to start or how. She had some friends who were into music that she could ask. But they had their own projects, their own ambitions. Asking music students wasn’t the right solution, either. She grabbed her cell phone from her old leather handbag and quickly sent a message to her friend Joséphine, asking to meet her at the end of the day.

 

 

***

 

 

At the other end of the building, a phone vibrated under a stack of sheets.

 

“Joséphine, I think that’s your phone!” a male voice said.

The young woman turned on her heels and she approached the table, looking for it under the mess.

“Sorry Cullen, I was asking Rylen something. Ah, there it is!” The phone ( protected with a shiny and sophisticated silicone cover) was found.

 

The man, tall, amber eyes and blond locks covered by an ugly beanie, crossed his arm behind his neck and sighed. He stretched a little. That day had been long. The chair felt more sturdy than ever.

“Hurry up, we have to finish this for tomorrow, otherwise Mr Corin will give us more!”

“Calm down, it’s nearly done. “ she said whilst typing on the screen, which reflected on her large glasses.

 

More students were gathered around tables. The large room was dedicated to rest, studying, reading, or whatever  was too noisy for the library. Plus, they could eat or drink at their ease. The place was often noisy, but their student room was definitely too small for co-working. Cullen didn't know where he could still store his books and folders. It seemed to him that he had more and more books as the years went by. The joys of being a law student.

He  watched them patiently. His gaze went from table to table and suddenly froze on a silhouette sitting near the window. The daylight gently stroking his soft feature and silver h-

 

“Cullen? Are you listening?”

The young man blinked.

“Sorry, what did you say?”

 

Joséphine was gathering her documents and tried to get everything into his bag --, of course, she couldn’t.

“It’s time for literature class. Cassandra will kill us if we are late.”

The young man checked his watch under the sleeve of his loose and worn sweatshirt.

“Oh, yes, you’re right.”

He packed his stuff as quickly as possible. He couldn’t help but take a last one glance toward the window.

***

 

“Can I sit here? “

The young man took off his headphones  looked up, then cracked a smile.

“Since when do you ask that, Dorian?”

 

The man sat in front of his friend. He was well dressed, well combed, and had a perfectly shaped mustache. He looked like a man from some fragrance advert. This handsome and eccentric man was his closest friend.

“Admit it, I surprised you!” he said with a malicious smile.

“If you say so,” the other one answered. He pulled an annoying silver strand of hair from his face.

“What are you doing here alone, Fohen?” Dorian asked.

“The professor is sick, so I came here to draw a bit. But actually, I am just doodling.” He briefly watched the sketchbook under his elbow. A vague form of a dragon was visible on the page.

 “That’s not the the most quiet place for this,” the man noticed. “And last time you came here,” he tried to say, “there were those jerks that…”

“I know, but  I can’t hide for the rest of my life because I am a Dalish. Don’t forget, we are in Val Royeaux after all.”

“Yeah… can’t say it’s really better in my country,” Dorian admitted. He suddenly looked so desperate on his chair. “It’s so sunny outside, it's a crime to keep us locked up here!” he said with a falsely melodramatic attitude that makes his friend laugh.

“Shall we go?” he suggested.

“But where?”

“The weather is so delightful, and I’d like to take some photos for a class work. We are studying urban photography this month. That’s not what I do usually, but it’s interesting.”

 

Fohen raised his hands like he was surrendering.

“Okay, okay, I’m going with you. But only if we go to my current favorite’s.”

Dorian nodded.

“Which is?”

“Le Masque du Lion"

***

 

The two friends entered the cosy place. It was small, but warm, nice and clean. Plants were hanging on the walls and from the ceiling in glass jars. Some little windows  in the backward were made of vitrails stained glass.There was an old chimney (without any fire in it, considering the season).The furniture was vintage. Chairs and little sofas were covered with upholstery.The decoration was rough and sophisticated. Léliana really liked this place. It remained her an ancient apothecary or something like this. Joséphine appreciated it for the comments that the photo she just posted could get on her social media. Le Masque du Lion was a quite popular coffee shop.

They sat at their usual table and ordered some drinks and pastries.

“Now we are here, can you finally talk to me about this project?” The Antivan girl asked with excitement.

“For the moment there is no subject. There is a suggestion from the teacher and me having to deal with.”

“And of course as you don’t know where to start, you asked your best friend to help you,” Joséphine said proudly.

“Yeah, yeah, Josie.”

“So what is it about?”

“To be short,” Leliana said as she tossed her iced coffee with a straw, “ the plan is to create a music band then basically, make them popular on my own. As if I was their producer...”

 

Joséphine’s eyes were already sparkling with wonder. She swallowed the piece of carrot cake in her mouth then said with enthusiasm,

“That’s awesome, Leli! I am sure you can do it. And that’s a better idea than you arrangement of Thedas’ traditional hymns…”

 

Leliana gave her a dark gaze.

“Hm, I mean. That’s was a good idea but kinda old-fashioned?”

“I see… Well, where should we start?”

“Let me think…  I guess the most important thing is to find people for the band. Sometimes, friends create a music band because they share the same passion. But it will be more interesting if you try to gather different people with a special talent and then you create the band that way.”

“I don’t know, it sounds a bit like…”

“What a producer would do, Lélie.”The Antivan woman completed. “Of course you’re not forced to chose only people you don’t know. You could ask Cullen for your project. He plays the guitar really well, plus he can sing. I guess he took singing classes when he was in the Chantry. He also was in group and music club in Ferelden and Kirkwall.”

“I don’t know. He seems really overbooked these days. I don’t know if he can handle it. He looks distant and super low key, maybe shy.”

“Exactly! I think that can be really useful for him! It will be a good thing. Trust me!”

“Fine, just ask him.”

“Yes!” Joséphine exclaimed, clenching her fist. She wasn’t sure the blond man would accept that easily, but she was determined to convince him. “By the way, we should organize auditions to find our main singer, the face of the band.”

“Cullen won’t do the job?

“Nah, he doesn’t like being under the spotlight. I can convince him to help, but, not that much. I think we should try to give his chance to someone with a great voice!”

“Supposing that this person studies in Val-Royeaux,” the musician teased, then finished her drink in one go. “Fine, I’ll post a casting calling on the FB page of the uni right now, can you help me? You’re better with words than me.”

“Of course. We should make a poster and pin it in the hall.”

“Good idea.”

***

 

Messages

 

 

From: Dorian your number one friend

09/10 8:35 pm

                     OMG DID YOU SEE THIS?! o_o

 

    From: Fofo

09/10/8h37 pm

                                                                                          What??                         

From: Dorian your number one friend

09/10 8:39 pm

                    Check out the fb page of the college.

From: Fofo

09/10/8h42 pm

                                                                                         kay.                          

From: Fofo

 09/10/8h42 pm    

And?                              

From: Dorian your number one friend

09/10 8:44 pm

                   And what? You should totally participate you moron! XD

From: Fofo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           I am not a singer I didn’t take any class. It’s not “Thedas got Talent” Dorian. It’s for an artistic project.

 

From: Dorian your number one friend

09/10 8:48 pm

              They are not looking for music students specifically. Come on it could be fun,

              That could look good on your record!

                                                                     

From: Fofo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Let’s talk about this tomorrow ok? Thank you anyway.

 

From: Dorian your number one friend

09/10 8:55 pm

              Np! Can we choose your audition song together?

 

From: Fofo

09/10/8h58 pm

                                                                                           Fenedhis!                       

 

Point d’orgue