Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Musical touch

A boy meets an alien dissident escaped to Earth -- a pilgrim yearning to make music of his own, outside the strictures of a tradition-bound culture. In Skoag society, songs are the domain of religious figures: music must only be played in sanctioned ceremonies and composition is reserved for priests. The dissidents, moved by the blessings of music, believe such holiness should expressed at all times.

From "A Touch of Lavender" by Megan Lindholm:
"mostly we'd talk and laugh. His laugh reminded me of a giant grasshopper chirring. Once he told me that Skoags had never laughed before they came to Earth, but the idea of a special sound made just to show happiness was so wonderful that now it was the first thing that all exiles were allowed to do. 
Each Skoag got to make up his own kind of laugh. He said it like it was some big favor for them. Then he told me that my laugh was one of the best ones he'd ever heard. That first day, when he'd heard my laugh in the street, he'd known that anyone who could create so marvelous a sound had to be very special indeed. 
And then he laughed my own laugh for me to hear, and that set me laughing; and we laughed together for about ten minutes, in harmony, like a new kind of song."

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