Harmonic Happiness

Baroque Music and the Ornate Cadence Conductor — A planksip Möbius.

Baroque Music and the Ornate Cadence Conductor

Sophia, whose fingers had the rare ability to flit over piano keys with a vivacity that could give the Energizer Bunny a run for its money, was having a crisis. Not the 'oh dear, I've run out of avocados' kind of crisis, but a full-blown existential meltdown. Each glissando and arpeggio that flew from her Baldwin was less a well-crafted melody and more a Morse code S.O.S., begging the universe for a lifeline.

Music is the refuge of souls ulcerated by happiness.
— Emil Cioran (1911-1995)

The quote was framed above her piano, chosen in a moment of melodramatic whimsy after a particularly grueling recital that had been heralded as 'transcendently sublime' by people who used such words without a trace of irony. It was supposed to be profound, but as Sophia played yet another baroque masterpiece with the kind of flair that would have made Bach raise an eyebrow, she couldn't help but wonder if Emil Cioran had been onto something. Was it possible to be too happy, so much so that each 'Bravo!' felt like a tiny papercut on her soul?

She played on, the notes a cascade of sonic glitter, pondering this 'ulceration' by joy. If happiness was a cake, Sophia's had been iced with too thick a layer of fondant, smothered under the weight of expectation and too many curtain calls.

Meanwhile, Alexander, a man whose idea of cultural appreciation was drinking expensive whiskey while watching reruns of 'Ancient Aliens', stumbled into the concert hall. He wasn't there for the music; he was there to be seen. Each clap, louder than the last, wasn't so much applause as it was a high-five to himself for being so darn cultured.

We may pass violets looking for roses. We may pass contentment looking for victory.
— Bernard Williams (1929-2003)

This quote was emblazoned on a plaque in his office, next to his 'Employee of the Year' award—himself, five years running. But as Sophia's music washed over him, he found himself contemplating the violets of life. Could it be that his victories were just weeds masquerading as roses?

As the final chords rang out and the audience erupted, Alexander didn't stand to applaud. He sat there, struck by a sudden and alarming thought—was it possible he'd been too busy winning at life to enjoy it?

Sophia, meanwhile, took her bows with the air of someone who had just performed surgery rather than a piano concerto. As the crowd filtered out, still buzzing, she noticed Alexander—the lone sitter, his expression one of someone who'd just learned his autobiography had been ghostwritten by a rival.

They locked eyes. In that moment, a sarcastic smile played on her lips, and she could almost hear the universe's punchline. As the curtain fell, and with it the façade of their respective contentments, they both realized that perhaps life's greatest symphony lay in the spaces between notes, the silent beats where the real music played—a place where violets and roses both had their parts in the whimsical garden of existence.

Baroque Music and the Ornate Cadence Conductor — A planksip Möbius.

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