An In-Game Performance

Because inspiration sometimes comes oddly…

Leaning up against the bar and listening, watching, like his angel had told him before she took him up into the heavens.

Drink in hand, draining away slowly, savoring each sip just a little bit longer to keep a quiet peace inside.

But then the piano starts playing, and he knows this tune, this old standard of bygone days that still speaks in strains to ears not born since long after the composer died into the dust, man.

Synth plugs into amp, a toggle is flipped, and the mellow sound of a rubber-mouthpieced tenor sax swells up under the piano strokes, letting the keys lead and ringing along with them in a harmony bluer than the seas below, than the skies that they had left behind, cleaner than the corridors had ever been.

And the solo, when it comes, because it comes, steps carefully around where the keys part, and if it’s a mulligan, it’s one people are glad to have taken.

It’s a classic look.
Photo by Mikhail Nilov on

A quick couple of toggles, a perfect shift down to Eb from Bb, rubber becomes steel, and a nasty, guttural funk backbeat joins throbbing ivories and sopranino echoics, punching up counterpoint in visceral pulses, buzzsaws humming in short bursts behind.

Let them look and listen and wonder what else is there.

Eyes close, body rocks, and all creation falls away.

Lyrics shift and call for something further afield, and the progression of music follows along, swing to bop to funk and further forward.

A second key under the left thumb is pressed, and the music drops an octave, slapping bass with sawtooth wave from mimicry of well-cut cane punctuating in three-octave jumps and sudden falls protesting words, going low to accent the high and going high to fill the silences between.

Bliss, man. Who can know such joy as this?

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