Storytelling prog. metal

Act II - Quest

Act II

In different timelines and far-distant places, three travelers are ready to embark on the voyage of their lifetimes. The antithetical merge of dread together with excitement pervades the spirits of the three travelers during their departure from home.

New York, JFK airport, September 1995. The ambitious young pianist is already seated on the plane direct to Moscow. Watching out of the aircraft window, he keeps thinking about the long and intense hug of just one hour before with his fiancé. While his academy mates and young students are enthusiastically laughing and toasting their adventure, bitter thoughts and worries do not cease to crowd Peter’s mind. After all, he will be far from home for such a long Time: six months… probably more. But on this long maiden voyage towards the unknown, the determination of Peter is strong: the whole world will finally know his talent.

Meanwhile, the bright neuro-digital physicist Aeon has just checked and synchronized his unique and phantasmagoric spaceship. Cyberspace, year 3015. An indescribable euphoria overcomes any fear or uncertainty, for Aeon is the first man ever travelling through concrete Time. Maximum power to the engines. The ship is ready to sail and infringe the digiwalls of Time and space.

City of Santa Maria (Colombia), spring 1532. Many years have passed from the spread of the first rumors about a legendary lost city of gold and eternal youth. The resolute Riodorado has an idea about where Fuenteterna must be located and he is firmly determined to find it. The sailboat is loaded; his crew is in ferment. The Time has come to set sails towards the unknown.

Sail towards the Unknown

[Aeon, the Time traveler]:      
Let’s go!!
[Riodorado, the conquistador]:
Entre susto y miedo, exitación y alientos
Olor a mar picado y brisa del viento
Velas desplegadas hacia el desconocido
Por gana de Dios y del Rey, soy el elegido

Vamos compañeros, brindamos por la suerte
¡Indios elegid! ¿La cruz o la muerte?
El único objetivo, bajo Dios que nos gobierna
La mítica ciudad perdida, nuestra Fuenteterna

[Aeon,
the Time traveler]:
Atoms & quarks, flashes & sparks
Quittin’ the cyberhomespace
Time th@ remolds, space th@ unfolds
The timeline I’m gonna retrace

Croakin’ & pokin’, the ship’s gonna strokin’
Thru a 1.000.000 lightyears I’ll incise
Tracin’, chasin’, dominatin’
A god among men will arise


[Peter Light]:


[Mr. Shadow]:
Time has come for my departure
Here I start my lifetime adventure
Go! In search of what I want
In search of what I want
[Peter Light]:
Time has come for me to sail
It’s my chance to thrive or fail
Flow! In search of what I want

[Peter Light & Mr. Shadow]:
Sail towards the unknown
[Riodorado, the conquistador]:
Gaviotas en copla, Pampero que sopla
Aquí se hace dulce el mar
Tierra, amarantos, lluvia y espanto
Por lo que aquí vamos a encontrar

El ruido vuelve en calma, helechos se despliegan
Alientos que se cortan, un resplandor nos ciega
Dormida y dorada es la virgen sempiterna
La mítica ciudad perdida, nuestra Fuenteterna


[Aeon, the Time traveler]:
 
Glow of flashes & sparks
A quantum, a leap off the tide
Blow, a shot in the dark
Last digiwall’s gonna collide

The marvel surreal excited by fear
To change now what is gone
Just disbelievin’, cyberceivin’
Here I draw up a nu sign, a nu past, a nu dawn


[Peter Light]:


[Mr. Shadow]:
Time has come for my departure
Here I start my lifetime adventure
Go! In search of what I want
In search of what I want

[Peter Light]:
 
Time has come for me to sail
It’s my chance to thrive or fail
Flow! In search of what I want

[Peter Light & Mr. Shadow]:
Sail towards the unknown
[Aeon, the Time traveler]:
 
Atoms & quarks, flashes & sparks
Quittin’ the cyberhomespace
Time th@ remolds, space th@ unfolds
The timeline I’m gonna retrace

Croakin’ & pokin’, the ship’s gonna strokin’
Thru a 1.000.000 lightyears I’ll incise
Tracin’, chasin’, dominatin’
A god among men will arise

Glow of flashes & sparks
A quantum, a leap off the tide
Blow, a shot in the dark
Last digiwall’s gonna collide

The marvel surreal excited by fear
To change now what is gone
Just disbelievin’, cyberceivin’
Here I draw up a nu sign, a nu past, a nu dawn


[Riodorado, the conquistador]:
 
No me lo puedo creer...
Hemos al fin ganado la perpetuidad
Antes del anochecer...
Cargamos el velero y volvemos atrás

No me lo puedo creer...
Aciaga tempestad nos hace naufragar
Todo lo que puedo ver...
Mis esperanzas junto al oro hundiéndose

The daring conquistador has learned the hard way that vainglory does not pay. Sometimes, ambition may lead humans to be eager, reckless, impulsive… and to lose it all in the end. Desperately clinging to a ramshackle plank of wood, while floating on rippling waves in the middle of nowhere, Riodorado impotently beholds his caravel in flames, which is helplessly sinking into the raging ocean. His men keep shouting and crying, pervaded by panic and terror. The wildfire that is covering the deck is unstoppable, even while Uranus and Poseidon feast with the boat and swallow it, starting from the mainmast and contemporary from the keel. Each single crate full of gold is slowly sinking with the caravel: it is the same gold worth for risking life, kill and die. But this does not seem to matter anymore to the avid Riodorado, who now stares at the frightening panorama with wide open empty eyes, powerlessly watching all his fortunes turning into smoking wrecks, dying beauty, sinking hope.

Prague (Czech Republic), end of November 1995. The golden pocket watch strikes 2.00 o’clock am in a poky hotel room at the seventh floor of an opulent eighteen-century building. Instead of enjoying some well-deserved rest after a twelve hours working day, professor Light is sitting at a battered wooden desk, writing a postcard to Diana. The room is slightly lit only by the dim light of a bedside lamp, as not to disturb Peter’s academy fellow, Daniel, who is peacefully sleeping besides his double bass. Exhausted and caught by melancholy, Peter keeps thinking about the love of his life, who at the moment is at the other side of the globe, and he mulls over the happenings of the last three months, since he left his home country. The very day after their arrival in Moscow, at the beginning of September, Peter and his colleagues were accommodated at the Grand Soviet Hotel, located just ten minutes walking distance from the БОЛЬШÓЙ ТеаТР (Bolshoi Theater), the theater in which they had to work for the whole following month. Preparations for Peter’s masterpiece, A Melody through Time and Space, were long and difficult to manage, due to the extent and industriousness of the project. In fact, A Melody through Time and Space is a six-hours opera divided into eight acts, to be split up on two evenings, which is performed once a week for three consecutive weekends. As he was the official director, Peter had to arrange not only the very performance, but also every detail concerning the costumes of the actors, the space management on the stage, the gestural art and proxemics of each singer, the scenic design and a thousand other things. After more than a month of hard work, Peter thought they were not yet ready to perform in front of a considerable foreign audience… and eventually he was right. The very first show of the academy was crowded, but their performance turned out disappointing, faltering and very imprecise. The overwhelming anxiety among the musicians, and most of all among the singers, played a huge role in feeding the flaws and the mistakes, a few of them considerably perceivable also by a non-expert ear. And the outcome of the following two shows in Moscow proved even more disappointing, because of an undeniable lack of spectators. Despite Peter was aware they were the main responsible for such a failure, he ascribed part of the guilt to the music agency, for lack of good advertising, scarce technical and financial support, and most of all too much expectative; vice versa, the agency fully blamed Peter and his mates. The adventure in St. Petersburg was even worse: the quality of their performance seemed to improve show after show, but the response of the audience decreased each Time, to the point that Peter felt the duty of personally distribute some flyers and advertising brochures in the roads of the town. But just when things seem to go wrong, it always happens something worse. The big disaster occurred in Berlin during their second show in town. Nearby the end of the seventh act, during a scene in which the public should be involved by suspense, it happened that one of the main actors on stage got entangled in his long costume and he stumbled, falling down on the floor. What was originally thought of as a tragic passage, turned into a funny scene that moved the audience to laughs rather than tears. That night, the opera was somehow performed to the end, but the consequences were serious. Peter’s pride was deeply harmed: the humiliated professor felt such a crushing shame, because the masterpiece in which he had put his whole heart and soul got the reputation of a sort of funny operetta. Two days after that incident, in fact, a local magazine dealing with art and music published an article titled Eine amerikanische komische Tragödie (“An American funny tragedy”), reporting everything that occurred at the theater. Despite his inner frustration, Peter had to face the biting blames of his Russian agents, who were determined to cancel all the shows and definitively stop the contract. Eventually, after skipping the third show in Berlin and moving to the next city, Prague, the music agency decided, together with the New England Piano Academy, to take a break of two weeks in order to reorganize themselves and carefully take a decision for the future. When everybody arrived in Prague, the agency stated its will to carry on the contract, hence giving the American crew another chance. Now, in the small poky hotel room at 2.00 o’clock am, Peter wonders if all the passion, determination and hard work, not only of the last three months but of his entire life, have been somehow worthwhile. The enthusiasm he had when he left his home country now seems so far away and almost forgotten. Feeling completely lost and faltering, in this moment the dejected musician desires nothing but to stay with his sweet Diana in the small chalet that he proudly calls “home”. The ticking pocket watch left on the desk reminds Peter that his aspired success is still so far away, while Time relentlessly keeps turning on. What he has sought for a lifetime is now slowly slipping through his hands like sand… and he is running out of Time, in a yell of hesitation.

Yell of Hesitation

[Peter Light]:
       
Worn, crushed,
Alone at night
Stop rushed,
Perpetual Time


[Khronos]:
Fluxa et transitoria vita est
Haesitatio
Tempus fugit, nihil permanet
Contradictio

[Captain Hook]:
“Tick tock”, run away!!
Feeding my repulsion
A ticking coming from my heart
Breathe to breathe, live to age and die!

“Tick tock”, try to escape!!
Life’s a contradiction
Heartbeats from a distant clock
Breathe to breathe, live to age and die!

Live to age and die… Ah, ah, ah!!

Alone… Alone…


[Peter Light]:
 
Quit, give in, escape
Or keep on running?
I see the light at the end of the tunnel

Seize each single day,
But Time keeps turning!
The light is there but still…

It is too far away
Still too far away
I’m running out of Time


[Peter Light]: 
       
Overwhelmed, insecure
I am so unsure

Vacillate, hesitate,
Clinging to my faith

I’m overcome by my fears
Scared by the flow of the years


[Captain Hook]:
“Tick tock” run away!!
It rips my mind
Trapped in this ticking dial, watching outside

“Tick-tock” try to escape!!
Raped by Time
Alone in the dark of this restless twisted night

[Peter Light]:
There’s a fear growing strong within
Me against what I wanna be one day
That makes me hesitate

It’s the fear of losing all
The constant dread of growing old alone
Bemused and far from home

There’s a fear growing strong within
Me against what I wanna be one day
That makes me hesitate

It’s the fear of losing all
The constant dread of growing old alone
Bemused and far from home

Alone…

[Captain Hook]:
Alone… Alone…

[Peter Light]:
 
Quit, give in, escape
Or keep on running?
I see the light at the end of the tunnel

Seize each single day,
But Time keeps turning!
The light is there but still…

It is too far away
Still too far away

[Peter Light & Mr. Shadow]:
 
I’m running out of Time
Hook suddenly wakes up all sweaty, still shivering and shaking, completely overwhelmed by confusion and anxiety. Just outside Queenstown, New Zealand, December 1937. Late at night, within a shabby shack in the middle of nowhere, the restless Captain keeps walking back and forth, while he mutters ad whispers to himself words that do not have a real meaning. He has just had another eerie and sinister nightmare: he was imprisoned within the crystal of a huge ticking dial and helplessly watched himself as a 7 year-old boy on the other side of the glass, who was being battered and abused by a familiar man on his forties. Even though there are no clocks in the Captain’s shack, Hook still hears that far-distant unstoppable “tick tock”, which keeps pounding louder than his shaken heart and pierces through his disturbed mind.

Bavarian Alps, Christmas 1995. A joyful optimistic atmosphere now surrounds the young musicians of the New England Piano Academy, who are all gathered in a picturesque mountain restaurant to celebrate the holy day. All the tensions and bitterness of the last four working months finally appear lighter and almost alleviated. A sincere and relaxed smile arises on Peter’s face. It is just so bizarre how life may reveal itself so unpredictable, changing completely the mood of humans from dusk to dawn. From an artistic and technical point of view, the three shows of the Academy in Prague were professional and flawless. It took Time, but finally the crew is really able to perform Peter’s masterpiece as it should be performed. Professor Light is proud of them. Even if the response of the audience is still quite unsatisfying, for the first Time Peter and his mates are optimistic about the upcoming shows.

After the short Christmas break, the day before New Year’s Eve, the Munich showdown comes for the academy. Peter is firmly determined to play himself out at the Münchner Nationaltheater, in what is supposed to be one of the most important shows of their European tour. The turnout of interested public proves to be quite scarce, as to occupy only one third of the total seats; anyway, when the majestic performance is brought to the end, the audience roars with a thunderous and ceaseless applause. That same starlit night, right when Peter is contentedly leaving the dressing room of the theater to come back and have a rest at the hotel, he bumps into a 50 year-old well-dressed man, who holds a copy of the program of A Melody through Time and Space in his right hand, and a business card. It definitely seems that the strange man has been waiting for Peter for quite a long Time; he stops the musician and ask him to exchange a small talk. He then introduces himself as Hans Faust, manager and CEO of Das Flüstern der Kunst, a very well renowned “agency for promotion and management of art, music and culture”, with its headquarter in Frankfurt. Surprised, but little distrustful, Peter carries on the conversation, intrigued to make a point out of it. Eventually, Mr. Faust reveals that it is the second Time he sees the New England Piano Academy performing on stage; the first one was in Berlin, during their premiere show in that town. Taking the young professor by suspense, in a slow but good English, Hans continues his explanation stating that he already noticed a great artistic inclination in Peter’s crew that Time in Berlin. He opines that the opera is very talented and original, for sure. But tonight, in Munich, they have been breathtaking, making definitely worthwhile his coming from Frankfurt. Still incredulous and quite bemused, Petr hesitates for a while. But just before he can mutter a word, Mr. Faust anticipates the young musician and makes him an intriguing offer.
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