It was one of those early spring days, when the birth of the new sun brings the warmest kind of light. I took my son Alan for a walk. He wanted to go to the Galaxy, our closest temple of capitalism. My child is the worst consumer ever, still obsessed with this massive shopping mall due to multitude of fountains one can find there — Alan’s beloved phenomena. I believe that he perceives them in a very special way, seeing all the tiny water drops in the same time — the torrent of unfiltered stimuli caressing his brain.
There was a tunnel on our way. Weird underpass below the main city arteria, still retaining this unique ugliness conceived in shortages of the former communist supply chain. We started our descent into this dark place. Alan enjoyed jumping down each step like if he was a small spring. And in this very moment I recalled my recent dream — I had dreamed of being in Budapest, wandering the streets filled with Art Nouveau architecture. Underneath the clearest blue sky and ornamental facades of limestone pleasing me with warmth of solar energy they reflect. And then, unexpectedly, everything became dark. I realized that the sun was eclipsed by the moon.
Suddenly, while going down the stairs, I heard the music. Vibrating sounds of the violin. I thought immediately that it must had been this young men who I often see playing here, almost like if he was working as full-time street musician. He sounded like self-trained, basically unskilled, but he was making up with his perseverance. If it was him, he had made remarkable progress indeed.
But it was not this youngster. The one who played was an older man in a strange yellow coat. He looked a bit little like a wanderer, but the classy one. He was producing sounds piercing and drilling my brain, clear and of beautiful tone. The melody did not matter much, maybe he was even improvising. But there was this inexplicable coherence in every detail of his performance. His instrument was old, fatigued, still looking precious.
I took a coin and gave it to Alan asking him to give it to this gentleman. We came closer. A social situation which was new to my son, and it took him some time until he finally put the coin next to other ones in the instrument’s case in front of the man. And the man stopped playing. He looked me in the eyes and said “thank you” and then poured slurred torrent of words out of him. I could not understand much. I caught only “schizophrenia” and “it’s the only thing I can do”.
Alan was not interested in the whole situation. He was pulling me further in the direction he was obsessed with. The man shook my hand firmly and we walked away. These strange but beautiful sounds emerged again from the tunel behind us. I tried to convince Alan to stay and listen more, but he was inexorable.
We started climbing another stairs towards the sun. The building of our destination, the galactic temple of consumption, was emerging in front of us. Huge tears were running down my cheeks, these tiny water drops, which, when in abundance, make a fountain. It must had been viola. The sound was too low-pitched, too deep and strong for a violin. Magnificent instrument.
The generative graphic on top of this post is actually an animation reacting to the sound. It emerges from the eclipsed sun feeding on the entropy provided by Paganini’s Caprice 24. Here you can experience this visual with music.