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Old February 15, 2012, 12:24 PM   #1
Anabelle Leonard
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Lyre [Snowden-Montague] A Little Bit of Wax Goes a Long Way (Completed)




Morning, 4th Brightening of Ponutis
Season of Winter, PF XIX



The light of the suns slowly crept up over the horizon and spread out over the rooftops, shattering all pretense of the dark and chasing it away. The glow immediately started melting the sparkling frost which had glaced the city during the darkening and the warmth breathed life back in between forever-frozen statuettes and crafted archways. While the slumbering were slowly awakening, others were already up and about in their daily business; the fisherman was already on his boat, servants had already ran their first couple of errands, and even up in the Grand District various early-bird nobles and politicians were starting their brightening.

In the middle of the district, at the Snowden-Montague School for Accomplished Young Ladies, a golden-haired figure in pastel colors vanished in through the front doors. She made her way through the lobby and gave a curt nod of her head to the woman sitting there. Mirian Snobworthy looked up from her paperwork, wearing the usual grey clothes with her hair tied back into a bun.

"Serale, Lady Anabelle. You are just on time for your lesson. You will find Madame Brahmsaf awaits you in room 201." The young woman lifted herself from her seat and made a polite curtsey to the younger girl. Anabelle always found it refreshing that the secretary of the school was so incredibly non-distracting. There was just something perfectly appropriate in it, which always made her smile when she was greeted by the young woman. Since there was no need to delve into further pleasantries with Mirian, Anabelle simply returned the gesture with a tiny dip of her own and offered the woman a courteous smile. "Serale, Madame Snobworthy. Thank you. By your leave, I shall proceed there right away."

The young Lady Anabelle removed her fur-lined cloak, folded it neatly over her arm, and made for the door behind which were a flight of stairs. She hoisted the brim of her gown delicately and in a ladylike fashion as she maneuvered up each step, ending in a hallway of doors lit by sconces along the walls. Room number 201 was not hard to find and she gave two quick raps on the dark-wooden portal.

"Entrer!" A female voice sounded from behind the door and Anabelle was not slow to react to the invitation.

She opened the door, took a step inside and canted her head lightly as she took in the sights that met her. The room was warm and small, but quite vacant of furniture as though it had been purposefully stripped down. No tapestries or portraits decorated the walls, though there were airy, translucent curtains on each of the three large windows, allowing the room to be aptly brightened by the light from outside. There was a lit fireplace surrounded by two chairs and a modest table, upon which several items were laid out.

Anabelle did not have time to distinguish the details of what precisely was on the table as the possessor of the female voice, a generously plump lady with gorgeous, long black hair and a fine gown of emerald green and gold hues, stepped up to greet her. "AhOOC: Oh, Google Translate, how I love thee!, vous devez être la jeune Dame Anabelle Leonard. Je suis Madame Ethel Brahmsaf, tuteur saisonnière de la cordes Célestes."

Anabelle's slender eyebrows rose slightly as her green eyes locked on the Jaedaxienne-speaking madame. Now this was an unforeseen and slightly uncomfortable situation. She had not had the chance to learn the intricate language as of yet, having focused on Charismean and Ancient Aelyrian through her schooling, but it would certainly not be polite to interrupt the madame as she spoke. Thus Anabelle let her finish before she curtseyed with a bow of her head and an apologetic expression on her features. "I'm terribly sorry, Madame Brahmsaf, and I hope you can forgive me. It would appear that my Jaedaxienne has been measured and found wanting this morning."

"Oh, not to worry, young Lazy. Oui will continuu like ziz! Ce n'est pas problème. Come, come. Let me take ziz for yuu." The older woman, likely somewhere in her fifties, ushered Anabelle's cloak out of her hands and made her way toward the fireplace, gesturing gingerly to one of the chairs. "'ave a seat, s'il vous plaît. We will begin ven ze water boils."


Anabelle suddenly realized that there were no instruments in sight within the room; especially perplexing was this, as she was supposed to be there to learn how to play the harp...
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Posting: Sorry! RL is being horrible right now. I will be back start of May.


Last edited by Anabelle Leonard; March 15, 2012 at 06:05 AM. Reason: Closing thread.
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Old February 15, 2012, 10:46 PM   #2
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"Yuu wonder where ze music will come from, ma petite? Oui can not 'ave ze music vitout ze 'ands being in good order first. Comprenez-vous?"
The older woman seemed to be able to read the girl like an open book, something that was rare in Anabelle's (albeit limited) experience. She was so used to putting on that appropriate mask, living on a stage and melting into a perfect blend with everybody else. It was a necessary thing, at times, and there was only one person with whom her natural charade was difficult to keep up. Giovanni. But she hadn't seen him in the longest of times until very recently and she had nearly perfected the theatrics of this ballet-like facade – at least for one as young as she.

Anabelle let a small smile tug at the edges of her lips as she cast a sincere glance toward Madame Brahmsaf, nodding her confession to the woman as she walked over to the chair the madame tutor had indicated for her, adjusted the mass of her skirts, and sat down straight with a curve in her back. "You are correct, Madame Brahmsaf, the thought regarding the lack of an instrument had crossed my mind."

The older woman unabashedly looked Anabelle over from top to toe, a critical expression on her lightly wrinkled face. In truth, the older woman didn't look much phased by the grains of time; a few small lines near her mouth and the evidence of much laughter sitting at the outer corners of her eyes, but that was about it. Her skin and her complexion was something to admire considering her age. The young Lady Menves Leonard kept this all to herself, of course, for age and appearances was not something immediately appropriate to discuss on this first day of meeting.

"Oui, oui, yuu have ze perfect composition – ze arc in ze back is paramount for ze mastery of ze cordes. Let me see ze 'ands, s'il vous plaît?" It wasn't so much a request, for the woman had already moved close to clasp Anabelle's hands as she spoke. The delicate things were turned this way and that, studied up close and afar, and she even took the liberty of lightly pinching Anabelle's fingertips, gently twisting each finger in turn whilst examining the entire ordeal up close. Anabelle tilted her head curiously at the procedure. This was certainly different and nothing of what she had expected. Her expectations had been something along the lines of having a large instrument provided upon which she had to display some manner of grace in order to create the divine music for which it was so famed. Oh, how wrong she had been.

"Ziz might 'urt a little bit, Lady Anabelle. But I am zertain yuu will be better for it, oui?" Hurt? What? Anabelle blinked her verdant eyes a couple of times in rapid succession, confused at the absurd comment coming from Madame Brahmsaf as the older lady released Anabelle's hands and went to the fire, taking the pot down from above the burning embers and setting it down on the stone plate in front of the fireplace. What would hurt, exactly? This indication of pain did not sit well with the young lady, she had come there – and paid – to learn, not to be subjected to ... what ever this woman was going to do next.
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Of whom you speak -- to whom you speak, and how -- and when -- and where."


Posting: Sorry! RL is being horrible right now. I will be back start of May.


Last edited by Anabelle Leonard; February 16, 2012 at 08:42 AM.
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Old February 16, 2012, 10:09 PM   #3
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Madame Brahmsaf examined Lady Anabelle's face and returned a frown, followed by a quick shake of her head. She then took a bowl from the table filled with tools and miscellaneous paraphernalia, brought it over to the pot, and poured the thick, steamy liquid from therein. Satisfied, she turned back to Anabelle and smiled. It was an expression of calm reassurance, one which reinforced the trust a student has to her mistress, and banished the need for caution and any trace of fear that may have sprung up into a young maiden's mind.

"Ah, Lazy Anabelle, we will get to ze music soon eneuf. Ziz comes en premier. Adjust le sleeves like ziz." The good Madame Brahmsaf gestured to her sleeves, moving as though to usher the fabric up a bit upon the arm. Lady Anabelle glanced down to her arms, taken a bit by surprise (which was not a first this early morning in the company of Ethel Brahmsaf), but she complied and let her fingertips do the work of adjusting the fabric of both her outer sleeve and the inner sleeve below it. She wasn't used to "pulling up her sleeves" in such a manner, so it took a few moments before she found a way to keep her grace intact at the same time.

"Vous are not a talkatif lazy, Mademoiselle Anabelle."

"You must forgive me, Madame Brahmsaf, curiosity has numbed my tongue, it would seem. I usually speak much more than thus."

"Oui? Très bien! We shell get along just'e fine, young lazy. Zough wiz'e knowledge of ze 'arp, vous 'av ze potentiel to convey much more zan votre tongue or voice. Ze cordes Célestes – 'eavenly strings – is a zing d'une grande beauté."

There was a small smile at the edges of Anabelle's lips as she listened to the heavily accented and partially Jaedaxienne-speaking madame. She found the dialect a thing of intrigue and mystery, and the language was one she would surely like to learn some day. But now, now it was time for --

"We begin wiz a 'ot wax 'and bath. It will relax and soften ze skin, leafing it tendzer and smooth. Nevur forget zat zough vous 'av ze divine beauté zat vous 'av been blessed with, ze eye of an audience will watch all o'vous. And especially with ziz instrument, ze delicacy of les mains – ze 'ands – est très, très important!"

A wax bath of the hands, now that didn't sound so utterly terrible. In fact, it sounded like a rather pleasant experience, unless the wax was burning hot that was. Lady Anabelle sat at the edge of her seat and the anticipation grew into her verdant eyes with which she watched the woman she so had misunderstood. Madame Brahmsaf stirred the liquid in the bowl with a small wooden stick, coating it with a thin layer of wax in the process. The movement caused the faint film of slowly drying wax to break and release a mild whiff of vanilla.

With a few gentle movements and motions, a brief comment here and there, Anabelle was soon sitting with one hand embraced in the saucy bowl. She had to admit that the warmth of the wax was quite intense when her entire hand was submerged into it, but it wasn't so bad as to cause any actual harm to her flesh. Her petite hand was fully covered up to her delicate wrist bone, at which point Madame Brahmsaf guided the hand up by her elbow and forearm, only to dip it back down again. She repeated this process ten times in the full attention of Lady Anabelle, who was thoroughly curious about the treatment.

"Now for ze next step, Mademoiselle Anabelle. Ze wax will dry upon ze 'ands and we will 'rap zem in towels. Ziz will keep ze 'eat inside longer. We will remove ze towels until ze 'ands are no longer warm." It only took the madame a few moments to have Anabelle's hands all wrapped up in soft fabrics, and the young lady tucked her arms neatly into her lap - with an extra towel beneath to protect the precious gown.

"This is a very curious process, Madame Brahmsaf. Will it work?" Anabelle's voice was one of youth and curiosity, as though some magic trick was being performed and she the only witness as it unravelled. A secret meant to be garnered by few, but it's results by many.

"Of course ze treatment will work! And it gives us better nimbleness in our 'ands – our graceful tools, young Lazy Anabelle. Now wait 'ere. I shall go 'ave ze strings brought in."

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Of whom you speak -- to whom you speak, and how -- and when -- and where."


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Old February 19, 2012, 12:24 AM   #4
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And so the young Lady Anabelle Menves Leonard found herself sitting alone in a naked room, in front of a warm fireplace, with both her hands clad in hot wax-gloves with towels wrapped all around up to her forearms. In the silence that followed, she turned her verdant eyes to the dancing flames and shadows of the fire, its embers having clung to the spark of life and reignited once more. It was quite beautiful to watch, she found, as she had little else to turn her attention to this very moment. Each flame swaying, leaping and drifting, changing size from tall to short, bouncing off of the fireplace's stone walls, and licking the dry wood upon which it was restricted.

Her hands were still warm within the confinements of wax and fabric when Madame Brahmsaf returned not long after, with two servants in tow. The two were carrying a large and quite heavy-looking piece of equipment, covered by a length of beautifully embroidered silk, and a carved stool was brought in as well, settled beside the veiled piece which Anabelle deducted must finally be the harp she had intended to learn.

"Now we must get vous out of ze wax. C'est starting to feel 'ard upon ze soft 'and, no?" Madame Brahmsaf was suddenly in front of her, towels removed post-haste. Anabelle looked upon her wax-covered hands and found that it looked like her hands had been carved from smooth, shiny marble (though perhaps not white marble stone, it was close enough in all appearances). Madame Brahmsaf started peeling the former liquid from the young lady's nimble fingers, slowly removing it as so not to cause any damage in the event that it had become stuck anywhere. The substance fell away easily enough and she explained that wax getting stuck was not something that commonly happened, but one could never be too careful with one's "mains".

"Oh my Goodness, they feel so refreshed, so smooth!" Anabelle exclaimed as she gently ran her fingertips along the top and palm of the opposite hand. Her eyes were scanning the results closely in the firelight, looking down in unabashed amazement.

"Oui, zey do, do zey not? Ziz treatment must be done every two darkenings before zleeping, tu up'old ze flavor of ze beauté zat vill develop by ziz method. But come, we examine ze strings et la forme magnifique de l'instrument." Anabelle did not have to be asked twice at the prospect of finally getting her (formerly delicate, now delicately-fabulous) fingers on the strings of the harp. She was eager, this much was certain, but since Madame Brahmsaf was no madwoman after all and truly appeared to be a master at her art, Anabelle found her patience reinforced.
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Of whom you speak -- to whom you speak, and how -- and when -- and where."


Posting: Sorry! RL is being horrible right now. I will be back start of May.


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Old February 20, 2012, 06:23 PM   #5
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The elderly woman had gestured the two servants to leave and was manoeuvring over toward the veiled harp. She patted the heavy stool which sat before the instrument and indicated for Anabelle to come sit. "Vous 'ave played ze 'arp before, as I understand it?"

"Yes, Madame Brahmsaf. As a child, I had a small harp, the kind that sits in one's lap, but it fell out of interest and thus into disrepair. It was a flimsy thing and I did not have the patience at the time." The young lady, still feeling at the fresh and supple skin of her newly waxed hands, rose from her seat by the fire to join Madame Brahmsaf. She took a few light steps across, adjusting her gown accordingly, and gracefully took the vacant seat whilst her forest green eyes searched the contours of the fabric that covered the harp before her.

"Ah, but splendid, ziz means vous 'ave some manner of knowledge of ze instrument already." Madam Brahmsaf gave a nod of approval and grasped the embroidered fabric with both hands. As she gave it a light tug, the textile came running down like a flood of water to rest on the floor at the harp's foot. It was a thing of sheer beauty and Anabelle had to purse her lips so as to prevent her mouth from falling open in astonishment. Completely covered by a thin golden layer, the harp was far more grandiose than she had imagined it would be – she had seen harps before, naturally, but this one was something to behold.

"It is simply marvellous, Madame Brahmsaf. Is this your personal piece? It looks far to grand for it to merely be seen by a simple student's eyes... and not that of a grand audience." Anabelle reached her hand to touch the gilded wood and she let her digits run gently down along the frame as she admired it. She had only had a lap harp as a child, similar in shape, but much smaller in size, and her interest in it had waned. As she entered her teens, she had always felt remorse for not continuing learning it, so as she completed Schola, she had decided to pick it up again.

"Oui, 'tis mine. Perhaps one day it will again be played before ze Royal Court, but for now it 'elps tutor fine ladies such as ze Lazy Anabelle. Now, legs turned ziz way wiz one running beneath ze frame. Many girls sit wiz ze frame between zeir legs – such vulgar composition! -- Ah, parfait! And wiz ze frame gently against ze shoulder, like so." The woman gingerly helped settle the harp properly at Anabelle's frame, making sure that the young lady was correctly seated and poised. Anabelle on her side, did as she was instructed, then let her fingertips rest along the inside of the framework as she awaited the next directions.

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Of whom you speak -- to whom you speak, and how -- and when -- and where."


Posting: Sorry! RL is being horrible right now. I will be back start of May.

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Old February 20, 2012, 11:11 PM   #6
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"As vous know, ze red strings are ze C's an' ze bleu strings are ze F's. Zere are zizz an' a 'alf octaves on ziz particulear 'arp. Vous take ze right 'and as such an'ze left 'and for ze bass, like so." The older woman's dark hair fell this way and that as she placed Anabelle's hands where they should be upon the instrument. Anabelle nodded slightly with a knowing look on her face – this wasn't so different from the harp she had tinkered with as a child after all. Just much, much bigger. She imagined this would be similar to what it would be like embracing a lover; her arms wrapped tenderly and lovingly around his restful form as she kissed his shoulder and held him close. A brief blush came to her cheeks, but she quickly reeled herself in and focused once more, before the Madame Brahmsaf could detect such indecent thoughts upon her.

"Ze challenge is in using both 'ands at ze same time, but vous already 'ave some experience, it should not be too 'ard for vous, mm? Playing ze instrument is quite straightforward, vous shall zee and very rarely will one make anything but pleasant sounds. Once ze basic hand positions are mastered, we will start playing." Madame Brahmsaf began pointing out the various strings, where the various octaves ran and how to identify them. She also gave a brief description of the pedals, but insisted that they were to be learned later on.

When Anabelle let her tender digits run along the strings for the first time, she knew this was the sound she would like to master one day. It was astonishingly beautiful. Perhaps it was enhanced by the craftsmanship of the incredible gilded harp, but each note floated so perfectly in harmony with the next – and she wasn't even playing a real melody yet. "I no longer wonder why the harp is called the heavenly strings, Madame Brahmsaf. I can hardly wait until I can play among the stars."

"Oh child, with practice comes ze perfection of all zings. Vous should know ziz. Now for today, we look at ze fingers and ze delicate poise zey will settle in upon ze strings. Ze sound is created wiz ze tips of ze tumb and ze first trois fingeurs of ze 'and. Ze little finger is often too short to be of use. Try it."

Anabelle adjusted her fingers accordingly, settling the tip of each digit to each of the strings Madame Brahmsaf indicated to her. As expected, she found that the little finger really had no room (or length, as it were) to play along. Though she was reminded that it could come in handy in certain melodies and works, though rarely. "And the strings are always arranged in a rising scale on large harps such as this one?"

"Oui, zey are. Now, imagine ze tumb is number one, ze index finger is number two, et ze middle finger number trois, etcetera. Play after me – one, two, three, two, one, two, one, three..." Madame Brahmsaf paused and allowed Anabelle to follow suit, repeating the tones by the numbers lent to her fingers. When she completed the cycle, Madame Brahmsaf continued with a more complex one, gesturing for Anabelle to go one octave higher on the harp, but keeping the same fingers on the same strings, but one octave higher.

Such they continued into the early afternoon, until finally the Anabelle had gotten a good grasp on the octaves of the harp. Madame Brahmsaf gently helped stabilize the harp upon the floor as Lady Anabelle arose from the stool and softly rolled her shoulders. It had been a heavy instrument to have resting thereupon after all. "Wonderful, simply wonderful! Next session, vous must arrive with 'ands already ready for ze lesson, mm? We will zen focus on ze left 'and and ze bass. Agreed?"

"Perfect, Madame Brahmsaf. Thank you, it has been a pleasure to learn from you today." Anabelle gave a polite curtsy to Madame Brahmsaf, who returned the gesture in a polite and appropriate fashion. Picking up her cloak and making her way out the door, with kind goodbyes, Anabelle felt the exited tingle in her fingertips – or perhaps it was merely the light strain of having plucked upon metal strings for several candlemarks... one thing was absolutely certain, she couldn't wait to do it again.

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Of whom you speak -- to whom you speak, and how -- and when -- and where."


Posting: Sorry! RL is being horrible right now. I will be back start of May.


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Old March 1, 2012, 11:30 AM   #7
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Early Afternoon, 5th Brightening of Ponutis
Season of Winter, PF XIX


Returning to pick on where they left off the previous brightening, Anabelle was thrilled to find that there were not one, but two harps sitting in the lesson hall when she arrived. Strings upon strings would be double the beautiful sound of the instrument, she gathered quietly as she sat to wait in a chair by the fireplace. The fire was lit as evidence that Madame Brahmsaf was not far and would likely be joining her shortly. She found the Madame a pleasant lady and even though she sometimes had trouble understanding the heavy accent she often spoke in, she never had any problems understanding intentions and the older woman's mood. Madame Brahmsaf, to Anabelle, seemed one of these people who were constantly happy and without a care, aside from their fingers and hands.

It wasn't long before Anabelle heard footfalls approach from the hallway and the door was opened. In stepped Madame Brahmsaf in a flaming red gown with intricate and heavy embroidery. Anabelle rose from her seat, her eyes widening a touch at such a bold and daring display of fashions, though she found herself accepting at the fact that the Madame was, after all, an artist. "Bonjour, Lazy Anabelle! Avez-vous eu une nuit tranquille? Are we rested eneuf to continue ze lesson today?" The older woman brushed her hand to her side and dipped into a curtsey before gliding across the floor toward the duo of instruments.

"Serale, Madame Brahmsaf. We are well rested, ready and eager to continue." Who needed chit-chat on a day like this? Anabelle's lips tugged into a small smile as she returned the greeting with one of her own and maneuvered over toward the harps. With the brief gesture of one delicate hand, Madame Brahmsaf indicated the one harp for Anabelle, then moved to sit at the other. In an instant, the air was filled with dreamy notes and flowing music. Anabelle sat down slowly and with great care, afraid to disturb the wonderful sound with any rushing movements which would cause the fabric of her gown to noisily interrupt.





Her eyes rested on her tutor's hands, inspecting the movements they made as her head was filled with the trickling melody that escaped the harp. Each finger tapped gently on each string as they caressed the instrument in such a delicate manner. This was the type of skill Anabelle wished to reach and an accomplishment she would aim for. By the Gods, it was so beautiful, it drew her in completely.

Madame Brahmsaf had stopped playing for a few moments when the last echoes of the sweet music died between the walls of the room and the new curtains that had come up on the wall since the day before. The older woman was looking over toward her pupil and taking note of the blissful smile evident on her face. Where others of the nobility may not have let honesty shine from every pore, Anabelle was incapable of keeping up any veil of better-than-thou in presence of such astounding sounds. Her face had the simple truth of amazement written all over it, her soft, green eyes wide and full of unabashed wonder.

"That was magnificent..."

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Of whom you speak -- to whom you speak, and how -- and when -- and where."


Posting: Sorry! RL is being horrible right now. I will be back start of May.


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Old March 1, 2012, 11:17 PM   #8
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Madame Brahmsaf returned the smile with one of her own, the faint traces of crow's feet at the outer edges of her eyes as she nodded and straightened her position against the large instrument. Anabelle followed suit and made herself ready to start practicing by pulling the instrument to her, and resting her legs in the manner which the Madame had explained, her tutor inspecting Anabelle's movements carefully with a teacher's critical eye.

"Bon! Now listen very carefully, I shell say ziz only once. We 'ave talked about ze positioning of ze 'arp and 'ow it may make ze player look like un 'arlot if not done right. But a'ze same time, Lazy Anabelle, it is très important zat vous become one wi' ze instrument! I recommend to 'old it as if embracing an old loveur, dive deep into ze music and become as one wiz it and ze zound."

It wasn't the first time with Madame Brahmsaf where Anabelle wished herself invisible, behind a curtain, beneath the floorboards, or simply in any other location. She could feel the warmth rise up into her face, her cheeks burning and quite likely matching her bold tutor's gown in hue this very moment. Quite truthfully, she wasn't used to this manner of talk from anyone. Certainly, her group of girlfriends often talked of members of the opposite sex in various manners, but this kind of unveiled imagery was not the extent at which they would share their thoughts. The young lady averted her gaze to the side with a small, embarassed smile, finding herself rather speechless to the entire suggestion.

"Oh, ma petite Dame, there is nothing to be embarassed about! It is something to think on when vous 'ave reached a certain point, oui? Now relax, we start with ze left 'and and ze bass today." With that, she gestured with her left hand and indicated the various strings accordingly. Anabelle lifted her attention back to the flamboyant woman, shaking the previous imagery from her mind, and focused on the lesson at hand.

"'ere is ze strings vous are going to use ze most during ze first few months. Thumb on zis one, index finger on ziz one, middle generally wander along zeeze two, and finally ze ring finger will control zeeze strings. Vous notice ze bass more often zann not run slower zann ze melody itself. Ziz is normal."

Anabelle brought her left hand up and followed the movements of Madame Brahmsaf, letting her fingers wander across the indicated strings, her eyes flickering from the Madame's harp and back to her own. The bass strings, she found, were thicker and more robust than the rest of them, and it took some effort on some of them to sound them properly and create the correct, full note, but it didn't take long before she managed. "It is interesting, Madame Brahmsaf, that if I tap it just a little, it has a completely different sound than if I do it like this."

The young lady pulled the string rather firmly, creating a deep and resonating note which rang between the walls of the room. It wasn't an awful sound (it could easily have been, should the player pull the strings too hard), but one with the depth of a veteran captain's voice. She smiled a little to herself, realizing how each note could resemble personas with such ease, this one in a heartbeat bringing her father to mind. Madame Brahmsaf was quick to agree. She soon started showing her pupil how each string was different in width and length, how they were tightened from top to bottom, and how the musician's way of tapping an individual string could also affect the sound it would make. Anabelle payed close attention throughout, nodding and listening carefully to the explanations that were given.

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Old March 2, 2012, 09:36 AM   #9
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Madame Brahmsaf shifted her noisy, bright red gown and rose from her seat to come stand by Anabelle so as to better guide her through the task at hand. "Now zat vous 'ave ze basics, it is time to learn ze first melody. Ze music I played before will do fine, oui?"

Blinking green eyes rapidly, Anabelle glanced up at her tutor with obvious confusion. She pulled her hand back and held the palm up as though begging for an explanation. In order not to offend by questioning the Madame's expertise, she phrased the question delicately. "The good Madame wants me to play the music from before? Even though I have not played anything on this type of harp yet?"

The older woman smiled a knowing smile and nodded once or twice. "Ah, but vous 'ave not tried yet. It is not so complex and we will practice one 'and at a time. Melody first, bass later. Does ziz sound good to the Lazy Anabelle?"

"I will do my best." Anabelle reminded herself to trust Madame Brahmsaf and stop doubting her own talent. She frowned inwardly at the fact that she had reacted with such instant denial of ability and she decided not to do so again. Beside her, Madame Brahmsaf was sorting through the various arrangements and music sheets while briefly lecturing on how one should always learn the melody without blindly following the written notes.

"It is better to learn from the eye and mind. Arrangements are better used later on, when already 'aving a good grasp of ze music. Now then, let's begin. Ze melody starts like ziz." Madame Brahmsaf slowly gestured at each string while Anabelle strummed them each in turn. The music that emitted from the instrument was indeed the melody from before, albeit without bass, correct rhythm or flow. None the less, Anabelle was very pleased when after a few tries, she could manage the first passage of the song all by herself.

With enough practice, from memory, the music would come. And practice she did - candlemark upon candlemark passed in the afternoon as the young lady strummed the first passage of the melody, in which she eventually managed to recreate both the rhythm and the flow. Now all that she lacked was the bass.

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Old March 6, 2012, 01:12 PM   #10
Anabelle Leonard
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How difficult could it really be to add the other hand into the loop. While the melody and rhythm of the main hand were not perfect yet, this would come in time. Madame Brahmsaf had decreed that now was the moment to add the bass into the mix. Lady Anabelle paused in the play and drew her hand back to gently rub at her fingertips with her other hand. It had been candlemarks since she had started and she was beginning to feel it into the very marrow of her slender fingers. But she knew that hard work now would pay off later and pushed the discomfort out of mind.

"Bon! Now ze bass is what gives ze melody its richnez. Ze pilleur upon which it dépend, Lazy Anabelle. It wandeurs with ze lighter notes, like a guardian knight! Now, let us forget ze melody for ze moment and focus. Like so, follow my lead!" Once more Madame Brahmsaf began to gesture, swinging a hand in the air as one would when conducting an orchestra. Like a long-sleeved and brightly red pendulum, her beat was precise and without question, and with her other hand she pointed to each string in turn.

Anabelle was given little time to respond -- the Madame was her usual enthusiastic self, making it difficult to interrupt with comments. She knew what to do next and was silently appreciating that they had moved on to the other hand, giving the tender one a rest. Perhaps the bass would be faster and easier to learn. Settling her right hand onto the frame of the harp, she drew the digits of her left up to the strings and began following each and every indication given by her tutor. "Ze last tone in ze sequence must come faster than so, Lazy Anabelle. Again!"

And again it went, the young lady's digits strumming each thick string in turn as they were indicated by the Madame. Once she had learned the basic sequence of the first passage, she could again practice rhythm and the strength of her pull on the strings. The fierce and upright pendulum, Madame Brahmsaf, kept rotating her arm and indicating the speed in which the bass should flow.

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Old March 6, 2012, 02:06 PM   #11
Anabelle Leonard
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This was not good. Not good at all. The delicate fingertips of her left hand were feeling raw already and it had barely been a full candlemark. Granted the bass was much easier to grasp compared to the melody, but the strings were thicker and rougher than their lighter counterparts, making her digits scream with an angry red hue. In the building agony, Anabelle saw no other solution than to bluntly stop and draw her hands into her lap, examining the flesh which were only moments from crying crimson.

"Kind Madame, forgive me, but it seems the ache has forced me to interrupt our session." The young lady let her meadow green eyes lift up to regard the older woman with a near-pleading expression. It was quite clear that there would be no more practice into the late candlemarks. It was time to end the day's lesson.

Madame Brahmsaf frowned with the signature crow's feet appearing near her eyes, this time not from a grin. With crimson textile swooshing, in an instant she was cradling Anabelle's hands in her own, examining them. "Oh, ma dame précieuse! Ne désespérez pas! Ze lesson is at an end for ze brightening. Ziz darkening, take care to treat vous mains wiz ointment and warmth. Ze skin will feel better tomorrow."

Even though the class had ended abruptly and in pain, Lady Anabelle was satisfied with the progression she had made this brightening. Somewhere beyond the ache and stinging pulse in her fingertips, she knew it would not be long before she would overcome it and be able to reunite the melody with its guardian knight.

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Of whom you speak -- to whom you speak, and how -- and when -- and where."


Posting: Sorry! RL is being horrible right now. I will be back start of May.

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Old March 12, 2012, 02:59 PM   #12
Jarradium
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+2 xp in ze harp is approved!
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