Here Comes The Music


adel_icon.gif elaine_icon.gif magnes_icon.gif quinn2_icon.gif sable_icon.gif

Scene Title Here Comes The Music
Synopsis Mad Muse attempts to put their heads together and start some recording some demos.
Date November 21, 2010

Village Renaissance: Recording Studio

Sometimes, there’s just nothing like the sweets sounds of music drowning out all thought in a room, leaving nothing but melodic tones and (hopefully) well chosen lyrics. And that’s exactly what hopefully is in store for today, at least if Robyn Quinn has anything to say about it. It’s been a hard weekend for getting everyone together, a bit of a struggle even – so far she’d only really succeeded in dragging Adel up with Sable to show her the basics of the studio. So it goes, sometimes!

But now, they had converged, for the full time as a complete unit. Quinn stands in Studio C, door propped open for the moment as she idly taps keys on her keyboards – two, set with the ends perpendicular to each other, one with a digital recorder attached to it, the other with a band new tenori-on mounted awkwardlyand in a highly jury rigged fashion on it’s far end. She wears a smile on her face, a brightness to it that counters her black jacket and gray pants.

“Alright,” she says after a moment, looking up at the others with a grin. “This is it, guys. The first time we get to see how we rock as a unit. Magnes, did I tell you about the big opportunity we have this week?”

"I don't think so." The not-so-cheerful Magnes answers with his Rickenbacker 4003 bass around his neck, and deadpool costume t-shirt with his blue jeans and black sneakers. He's tossed his jacket and backpack off somewhere, slowly strumming at his strings. "I enrolled into Columbia, by the way."
ORDER: It is now your pose.

Tense excitement is what Sable feels right now. Should all things go as she believes the universe intends, should her reading of the universe's intention be correct, this is zero hour. The moment of truth. Other idioms that mean the same thing: go time.

But it's not what she shows. Stonyfaced and remarkably quiet, the diminutive rocker stands at the ready, her black Rickenbacker slung across her shoulders, her ensemble assembled from classic components, including the hat that has, in its time, held a long succession of bills and coins, all paying, eventually, for her transit here, to this city, to this room, to this moment. The only noise she has been making for the past while has come not from her, but from her guitar, as she's meticulously tuned it.

Even after Quinn speaks, Sable doesn't. She just nods, once. All business..

Behind the shiny electric drum set, Adel impatiently twirls the sticks between her fingers like they're small batons and she's marching in a band rather than sitting behind a drum set. The anxiety is clear, perhaps the strong cause of such odd fidgetting. Singing isn't in the books for her today— or any day if she has a say in the matter, but she's more than ready to provide the beat for the music.

"Wow, really? I didn't know you… were planning to do that!" And she'd just seen him and he didn't mention it! Yet he mentioned his secret identity (or the reverse, technically).

"Good for you," Elaine pipes in at Magnes' mention of Columbia. "It's a good school." She would know, considering she was also taking classes there. But, for the most part, she stays quiet, a tiny smile still making through on her features. She's excited for the band, regardless of circumstances. Leaning against the wall, she's just watching.

"Columbia? Really?" Quinn actually seems a little impressed, her head tilting as she looks at Magnes. "Well, that's pretty awesome. I hope you'll still have time for us, then." Okay, maybe that's a bit snide, but she tries to hide it. Really well, or so she thinks. "BUt anyway! Here's the deal, Magnes. It's like I told them the other day - Some friends at Tartarus put in a good word for me with a guy named Reuben, and he wants me on his radio show to talk music an' other shit. But I can't, like… go empty handed, you know? I mean, I have a track or two of my stuff I could take, but I'd kinda like t' show off Mad Muse. So, if people can manage it, I'd like t' spend as much time here in the studio as we can getting Adel used t' the band an' getting at least rough cuts of a song or two down."

Quinn's fingers move over to the tenori-on, moving across it as it produces sound. "We have the one song kinda written. Still needs a proper frum part, an' some sorta bridge. I'm hoping we can take turns t'day working on another while some of us rerecord parts for the other? I also thought maybe we could record a cover. A lot less work, so suggestions on that would be grand." Turning to Adel, Quinn quirks an eyebrow. "I don't think I played that demo for you yet. I'll go set that up real quick." Moving out from behind the studio room, door still open so she can hear, QUinn steps outside and starts fiddling with a console.

"Don't worry, I'll have time for the band, I'd never let you guys down." Magnes smiles a bit weakly, just not quite seeming like himself today. While Quinn is going to fiddle with her console, he starts strumming a little faster. He seems intent to just play, but leaves it open for others to join. It's a very slow bass beat, and he's swaying from side to side. "You say you wander, your own land. But when I think about it I don't see how you can…"

His eyes close, and he sounds almost sad as he sings. Maybe he's just warming up? "You're aching, you're breaking, and I can see the pain in your eyes. Says everybody's changing, and I don't know why…" Of course, he'll have to stop by the time Quinn gets the demo going, but apparently he just felt like playing something.

"Don' let college getcha too bad," Sable warns, her own feelings about university and what it stands for being rather seriously ambivalent, "y'all should study up some music theory while yer at it, though. Don't go mistakin' it f'r music fact, 'course, but I don't mind a little bit 'f learnin' in that type regard." There something a little stern in Sable's demeanor as she opines. She casts a look at Elaine, cracks a very small smile, and wiggles the fingers on her frets in a 'hello there'.

Magnes' lapse in spontaneous composition gets an appraising eye and ear from Sable, who's nostril flare slightly, as if maybe she could smell the quality of what he's producing, along with everything else. "Hold ont' that boy," she tells him, "don't lose it, but don't go breakin' our focus, now. It's tight ship time, and I will land your ass in th' water if y' loose cannon on me, dig?" The nautical metaphors are a bit mixed, but at least she's aiming for a theme.

"Figure we gotta build up a bit from whatever drumline we c'n manage, now we don't gotta rely on no machine. Feel free, Starkey, t' improvise a little bit, do a few fills, if th' spirit moves y'. This sucker's almost locked down, I c'n feel it, but it needs that final touch, make it shine." The verbal dam seems to have broken.

"Will do, boss," Adel says with a smile, focusing her attention on said boss, and not seeming to be insulting in her use of the term. It's very nearly endearing. Nearly. The twirling as stopped as she tests out the sound of the electric a with a few testing sounds. The more she understands the set, the better she can improvise as requested.

Even as she test plays, she does seem to be looking at each of the women, and Magnes in turns. Just for a few moments at a time. Once she starts playing, she'll probably be too engrossed to do much of anything else. The new gal has a lot to figure out about the band dynamics, still, but she seems comfortable enough. More comfortable than she was that first meeting with Quinn, Sable and Elaine.

As soon as the demo stops, her testing sounds will silence, so that she can listen.

Elaine smiles at the wave from Sable, and she rests against the wall, scanning the four of them carefully. She watches Adel a bit, mostly since she's the newcomer, but everyone gets her scrutiny.

Quinn quirks an eye at Magnes' impromptu singing, not really making too much of it as she returns for to the console. "So, how does and original and a cover, and if we have time and energy, a second original sound? I mean, we kinda need t' get on this anyway. Not that we have a full band, there's no excuse for us t' just be sittin' around like we have been the last few months." Hitting a final button, she peers back in the dorr at Adel and smiles wide, pointing at her. "You, dear, are going t' be the catalyst that gets us going." She is, of course, assuming that Adel is going to be in the bad after her trial by fire audition, that's beside the point. "I dunno what t' do for a cover. If I had my choice, we'd dos omething seasonal, and since there's no good thanksgiving songs, that means Christmas. An' I doubt anyone else here wants to cover Last Christmas, so… maybe we cann get music t' one of Else's songs and do that."

"Father Christmas, by the Kinks… or one of Else's songs." Magnes shrugs, apparently good to go either way. He reaches into his pocket, holding up his iPod. "After the demo, I'll play it, but I'm sure Sable already knows it. But I always assume she's the Goddess of Rock." he grins to her, looking down at his guitar. He hasn't looked at or spoken to Elaine so far. Not that he's ignoring or being mean, but, it's worth noting!

Sable gives Quinn a very wary look at the mention of seasonal songs. The corners of her lips tug downwards, in an expression, rarely enough seen, that marks the presence of genuine snobbery on Sable's part. "Dunno 'bout Christmas songs," she says, though actually it sounds like maybe she does know about Christmas songs, and her feelings are pretty heavily stacked towards the negative. Magnes's suggestion causes Sable's lips to twist. She doesn't like to speak ill of the Kinks but…

"Ain't no gettin' 'way from th' fact that holiday type songs, 'nless they're written real clear 'n' true from some place y' go where yer facin' down th' season 'f so-called cheer, tend t' be, like, gimmicks," Sable says, expanding on the reasons for her doubt beyond a simple gut feeling, "can't say I much care f'r th' notion. There's 'bout one Christmas-type album I c'n halfway stand, 'n' it still is just a fuckin' novelty."

And lets get down to the real issue. Sable is not entirely comfortable matching her spotlight against the glowing star of Bethlahem. This is about their ascent to divinity, innit?

"I'm glad I could give you all a jump start— I'd hate it if you didn't take off. What I've heard, I think you deserve to be heard by more than a small group of people," Adel says, smiling a bit to herself, and to them, also— It's the mention of Christmas songs, and Sable's reaction that makes her laugh outloud, though. "I've never been a fan of Christmas, but we can make songs about anything— The Beatles had a song that was telling a bull dog to leave their kitten alone!" And if that isn't proof they can do anything…

Then again, they're not the Beatles. They probably couldn't get away with Leave My Kitten Alone.

"If you want to do a Christmas Song… What about White Christmas?" After the winter they had, probably not the best suggestion.

"I kinda agree with Sable a bit, just cause I you can crash and burn if you sound too… novelty." Elaine suggests, shutting her eyes as she leans against the wall. Oh, she's noticed Magnes isn't looking at her, but she's not about to bring it up. "If you're gonna cover something, maybe do something more recent… something that's not on the radio now, but is a few years old. People will rem

“See, I don’t agree!” Quinn replies enthusiastically. “It doesn’t have t’ be a gimmick, an’ it’s just a cover. I think it’d be a great way t’ get some local airplay with the season comin’ up an’ all that, you know? People love seasonal songs.” She shrugs, and falls silent for the demo to finish, not speaking again until it’s done. “An’ a recent song just looks like you’re riding someone’s coattails, you know? Well, depending on how mainstream it is. An’ magnes’ choice wasn’t that bad, actually.” Yes, she knows The Kinks too.

Pacing all the way back into the room and to her keyboards, Quinn plops back down in her seat and smiles. “We can worry about that later, though. Sable, you remember the guitar part to that song, right?” Of course she does, Quinn just has make sure. “So, my favourite way t’ get something written is to just play what we have an let the rest ofthe band build on it as we jam. If that works for everyone else… let’s get this party started.”

"I kind of agree with Sable in a way. I mean if we do get known for playing a Christmas song, people might try to pigeon hole us. We might get more exposure, but is it the exposure we want? If we're gonna sing a Christmas song, we should write a Christmas song, our way. Forget the gimmicks, forget playing to the expectations of Christmas cheer." Magnes suddenly strums, as if it's the beginning of a musical, and he's monologuing up to it. "It's the robot apocalypse, the world has been ravaged by Skynet. Santa's dead, and now it's the Elves' last stand. Elves vs. the Robots, because this is the last Christmas." Yeaahh… he's in a bit of a mood at the moment.

"Consider this Christmas stuff well 'n' truly tabled," Sable says, eyes cutting between Magnes and Quinn, "ain't no time f'r discussin' big picture type image stuff. 'N' Holy God, boy," this last is growled at, of course, the only boy present, "cool yer fuckin' jets 'n' get on task. We got a demo t' flesh out here."

As it happens yes, yes Sable remembers her guitar part. Muscle memory, augmented by a mind that is actually highly retentive of things she cares about, join forces as she replicates the riff, as well as it's progression, acting out her capacity rather than simply affirming that she has it. "Starkey, y'all start us off. Time t' shine, honey," Sable says, flashing a grin at Adel that is maybe just a little too toothy. The cheer there is, in fact, just a little Christmassy. Run through with stress and expectation.

When Sable speaks to her, Adel isn't quite paying attention, watching Magnes with raised eyebrows as she listens to his impromptu lyrics. Chuck full of geekiness, it still manages to have gained a startled look. It's the use of honey that finally draws her eyes away, "What? Oh, sorry. I'm still not used to…" Starkey isn't her real name, and is in fact fairly recent.

There's a brief pause, perhaps a drummers way of clearing their throat, and then she does as she was instructed and sets the beat. The opening is usually pretty easy, so she'd need more than a moment's distraction to mess this up.

There's a soft groan from Elaine as she puts her hand to her forehead. "Yeah, can you just move on to the real stuff, please?" She does nod a little bit, looking towards the drummer. She's ready for some real music. As Adel starts the drums, she relaxes, a grin spreading across her features. Now things would be working alright.

Quinn, of all people, gives a bit of a laugh at Magnes, shaking her head. “I think that might be a little bit out there for us, but you’re thinking. I like that!” She’s only half teasing, leaning back and settling a bit more into her seat. “Keep that energy going, man. Channel it into your bass! Make like your Scott Pilgrim, except good. I can even supply some special effects!”

She laughs a bit more, before falling qquiet and letting Adel take the lead. Her foot taps and her head bobs to the beat she has going, waiting a good minute or two before she adds in her keyboards, trying to reproduce the same melody she had created for the demo – it isn’t too hard, ut time has given her wayst to think of it, and there’s a few extra flourishes and some variations added to the mix as she plays this time, looking towards Magnes to add his bit.

"Sorry, just in a bad mindset for creativity." Magnes offers a weak smile to Sable, then starts strumming his bass a little faster than before, joining in after Quinn to find his place. He's not full of showmanship like most days, but his playing is as fine as ever.

"Boy," Sable says, as she starts a riff variation, thinks better of it, and reverts to her original riff, "don't get down on yerself. Yer fine, just gotta have focus. Yer on bass. The groove, the fuckin' blood pumping through the veins 'f this song. 'n' Starkey there's yer thumpin' heart, settin' the beat t' yer flow. Dig?"

And while Sable can talk and play at the same time, it does distract from experimental work. And right now, during the jam, she needs to try new things. She starts syncopating, adding a bit of the funk thinking about truly basstastic work, but retraces her steps rapidly. This is not a 'funky' song. The lyrics make that clear enough.

"Yer on verse, Quinngirl," Sable says, nodding at the virtuoso keyboardist, "Starkey, roll in, then cut everythin' but th' snare dum f'r the first verse. Wanna see how it sounds, with our heart beatin' low and quiet. Think it might fit real good."

Without a word to outloud, Adel follows the order, rolling in with some frill and style that comes from the toms, and then cutting down to the snare drum for the first verse. Simpler, it gives a rhytmatic beat, but it does have a good sound, setting a tone that does seem very much like a steady heart beating in a chest. Like one someone would hear if they laid their head down on the chest of their lover and listened.

She can follow instructions, at the very least.

“Don’t worry about it, Magnes, don’t have t’ be too creative. Just play what feels right!” Quinn says with a grin, even as her fingers move across keys – one hand on each keyboard. This time, though, she’s experimenting. As the riff loops, she reaches over to the tenori-on, striking a few buttons. A series aof sounds is produced she doesn’t feel entirely comfortable with, but the second pass creates a series that she things seems to augment the keyboard pretty well.

She’ll have to reset the device, though. It hurts to reach over that far! Smiling at Sable, then Adel, she taps her foot, quickly getting more and more into the whole thing. She doesn’t make a display of jumping around as she plays like some does, but she’s certainly not as still as most people are used to seeing her be while she plays. “This sounds great, guys!” She’s not ready to add vocals yet. That comes next.

Magnes isn't doing much experimenting, he's sticking mostly to the script, but he changes up a bit to compliment Adel's drumming more, closing his eyes to just hear the music. He briefly bites his bottom lip. He's visually suppressing with a subtly pained look on his face.

Sable's gaze flicks up at Magnes, drawn to his lack of improvisational flourish. Attention grabbed, the pain (however subtle) is unmistakable. A dark brow arches, and Sable takes a few steps towards Magnes. Breaking from the current riff, melodically variant, into a simply, more driving series of chords, she tips her guitar's face towards Magnes's amp, catching some of his sound and creating a dim clamor of feedback, a rougher edge. She drives some chords harder, timing building off of Magnes's, getting loud where he gets quiet, though louder than when he's loud. She cracks a smile, dipping her head to try and catch his eyes.

"We're havin' a conversation now, boy," Sable informs him, "talk on back t' me. I'm gonna try 'n' play y' in circles. You be tough, 'n' keep me on topic. Arright?"

While the guitarists speak to each other, Adel tries to find a medium of her own, adding in an extra beat here and there to give a sense of style and uniqness, as well as trying to compliment all the other instruments. A conversation of her own, though it almost seems as if she's listening more than speaking, playing with, more than playing off of. The band's personalities are still unknown, but on top of everything else, the young woman is very adaptive.

Elaine watches, her lips pressed together in a bit of a frown. She glances between Sable and Magnes, then shoots a glance towards Quinn. She glances back to Adel and her adaptivity, but she purses her lips still, then glances at the door.

The discussion between Magnes and Sable doesn’t escape Quinn either, but she’s not in a position to speak with Magnes – be it with words or music. She keeps a smile up, looking between everyone. “I think it’s chorus transition time, Sable. Then we’ll throw in teh vocals!” She continues to groove, looking at over at Magnes. It’s obvious enough something’s up, but she’s hoping he can work through ot.

Magnes tries to play against Sable's playing, leaning in when she mentions they're having a conversation. He whispers, not wanting everyone to be dragged into it, and completely unsure if she even knows yet or not. "Me and Elaine broke up."

Sable's frank look conveys, pretty clearly, that yes, she does know. That she has been informed. Sympathy to boys takes a very different form for Sable than sympathy for girls. She strums a few quick chords, then claps her hand over the fretboard, quieting her strings at once. Sable pivots on her heel. "I need a fuckin' smoke break," she informs Quinn, "I c'n grab us some coffee 'r somethin' while I'm out, though. Gonna snag me a bite 's well. That arright, Quinngirl?" she points at Adel, "Starkey. Doin' arright. I ain't hearin' God's own thunder from yer sticks, but I'm willin' t' wait 'n' see." She thumbs at the exit. "Magnes, y'all wanna give me a hand? Take a walk?"

This was something Elaine was expecting, to some degree. She lets out a slow breath, then gives a bit of a nod. "That's a good idea, take a break." She offers, her gaze going to Quinn and Adel, actually looking kind of apologetic.

Magnes sighs, removing his bass and sitting it against the wall, averting his eyes to the floor with a nod. "Let's go. And smoking can ruin your singing voice." he idly notes as he moves to simply slip through the door.

Sable sets down her own instrument and moseys after Magnes, replying gruffly. "That or it gives it a husky type sound th' ladies go wild f'r. Willin' t' take th' risk. Come on, boy, let's move it!" She glances over her shoulder one last time into the room, brow furrowed, rough and tumble demeanor giving way to a certain more honest concern. The sort of thing she can't easily show to men, though it's on Magnes' behalf. And then she's out, disappearing after Magnes into the hallway beyond.

Quinn grimaces at Magnes, giving a nod that says go on. She can’t help from letting out a long sigh once he’s gone, moving over to the studio door frame. Leaning against it, she looks back at Elaine, then over at Adel. “Sorry about that, Adel,” she states simply, before looking over at Elaine, giving her a don’t let it get to you look. “Well. We can jam until they get back. My violin’s up here for you, Elaine. The electric one. Oooor…..” She grins, leaning out and looking at the console.

“Or I can tell you guys that I just recorded this whole session, and we can play back the music and see how it sounds, and never let them be the wiser.”

Yeah, that seems like a good way to break that tension, for now.

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