Music of Wind and Water
(OOC To find the hall in Pravus Ward, look for the Garden of Silken Delights, then head MoS to the Mother of Sighs and look for Hydro Hall.)
June 15, 2021, 8 p.m.
Arx - Ward of House Pravus - Mother of Sighs - Hydro Hall
Comments and Log
6 First Legion Centurions arrives, following Patrizio.
Caelan, a seductive and haughty apprentice Whisper arrives, following Amanita.
Welcome to Hydro Hall, a new fully enclosed concert space. The concert is taking place in the afternoon, like a matinee, and some sunlight is filtering in through the strategic spots in the ceiling, making the room bright enough to see clearly while directing the majority of the sunlight up to the stage. The rounded stage at the front of the hall contains two things: Nina herself, who is leading this event, and a great big instrument of pipes that crawls up the back wall in a highly dramatic fashion. Nina is dressed in an elaborate ballgown in waves of blue and white, with her hair tied up and out of the way. A few ushers from the Bards College stand aside near the back, but they're hands-off for the most part. The seating arrangement is fairly open, with no real division between commoner and noble seating in this particular establishment.
Rylan, a distracted scholar, Captain Bryon Gethrys, 2 Seliki Pikemen arrive, following Scythia.
There is an impression that while Patrizio might not be the greatest patron of the arts, he can certainly appreciate some of the finer things in life. More to the point, he'd especially not miss this, something novel and different within the city, even if he is continuing to drag along that entourage of his, and make them accompany him to the various things he chooses to see about the city. Though to look at them, they're looking quite intrigued themselves, even as he briefly dips his head respectfully to Nina, and moves over towards the seating where he can have a good view of the performance about to occur.
Patrizio has joined the Cupridium Side Seating.
Amanita slowly enters, alone and unassuming - of course her eyes are drawn to Nina when she spots the other woman, giving her a familiar but brief smile. She bows to Patrizio and stands off to the side of things, simply watching the performance for now.
Cassiopeia steps into the Hydro Hall, eyes wide and long legs moving in easy and confident strides. As she walks, feathers bounce and rustle vigorously about her. There is a look of unfamiliarity with the place, as many others might experience during its opening, but given the size and the set-up she seems convinced she is in the right spot. Not one to care much for entrances, she glances about curiously, in hopes she might find someone she's familiar with. Soft footsteps, don't seem to make any noise on the stone floor, which might echo in such a vast room. Wearing an easy small smile, it lingers as she catches sight of the stage and Nina on it.
Cesare drifts in with the afternoon breeze, though he himself is dressed all in the colors of twilight today, black, silvers, opalescent purples and blues, his hair a mass of loose ringlets cascading down his back, particularly curly today after the saltwater dunking it received the previous evening. His dark eyes light up with intrigue as he spots the majestic and mysterious instrument, and he approaches the stage first to get a better look at it, assessing it with not only the gaze of an experienced musician but the curiosity of someone with an interest in innovation. He slants a smile toward Nina, a flash of teeth all the more dazzling for how brief it is, and then turns back to find a seat, spotting Cassiopeia as he does and moving to approach her, arms open to offer an embrace and a soft murmur of greeting.
Nina has joined the The Great Hydraulus.
In crimson seasilk and gold, Scythia enters, each step graceful and just-so placed. Her pretty features may be somewhat drawn and pale, but cosmetics have been used to lessen that effect on her. She enters and steps off to the side to find a seat, her amber-flecked dark eyes settled on the ground in front of her at the very moment.
Scythia has joined the Cupridium Side Seating.
"Greetings and salutations to everyone," says the voice of the woman on the stage. "For those who do not know me, my name is Nina Autumndale, the Glass Butterfly of House Pravus and a Mockingbird of the Bard's College. It's my distinct pleasure to present to you this new concert hall, which has been constructed for one specific purpose." Nina gestures behind her, to the Hydraulus which takes up a great deal of space in the back of the room. "With the generous sponsorship of House Pravus--" here an ackowledgement of Patrizio who was an early contributor, "- advice from Nightingale Gianna and others at the Bard's College, and the support of the Crafter's Guild, particularly the metalwork and support of Archlector Felix, we have brought to life this grand instrument. It uses a series of valves and aqueducts to create a sound from water and wind." Nina gives a curtsey, her big skirts very wide and voluminous.
"It does take a lot of practice to learn this instrument, but lessons will be available. You should also look forward to the opening of the new Suspires Academy, which is another project that I am sponsoring. I will warn you that this instrument is quite loud, and a single voice, even one that is trained, may not carry once I begin playing. But if we all join together in a hymn, our voices might carry to the Gods themselves. I will teach you one today a capella, the lyrics of which were provided by an author who wanted to give them to the Gods as an offering. From there, I will play a few verses showcasing the power of this new organ and the sounds it can produce!" Nina gives another curtsey and moves to the front of the stage. Then she clears her throat. An accompanyst comes up behind her - one of her usuals, producing a flute to allow her to begin her starting note. The note blasts forward, and Nina begins to sing openly toward the hall. It's a test of the acoustics, but they do seem mighty.
As Cufre enters, her gaze lifts up to the skylight, taking in the feature that sets this room partially in partially out with a bit of awe. Mindful that others are filtering into the performance, she sets her attention on finding a place to sit. She chooses one on the high side of the amphitheatre. Once settled, the true examination of her surroundings begins.
Cassiopeia's azure blues settle on Cesare, the advantages of being tall, it's easy to spot people at a distance. Bare arms open to welcome and return the embrace, she leans in to murmur something in return, before she offers him her hand and looks towards the seating, nodding slowly, but seems to leave it to Cesare to select the right spot.
Cesare has joined the Cupridium Side Seating.
Patrizio dips his head once more in turn to Nina when she's acknowledging the house, but there's a very warm and easy smile that's found him as well, the tip of his head as he's watching and listening, and considering the matter of the sound that's being discussed. His chest swells as he draws breath with that acoustic test, and once more, the jade eyes dart towards the instrument, as if very much wondering what they're about to experience indeed.
Cassiopeia has joined the Cupridium Side Seating.
Never let it be said that Cesare doesn't love a bit of audience participation, particularly where singing is involved. He settles into a seat with the radiant Cassiopeia next to him, and turns his gaze toward Nina as she begins to speak, and then sits up a bit straighter as she sings. Very probably he's already imagining a number of compositions that could involve the Hydraulus, although they haven't yet heard its sound, only Nina's radiant voice.
Watching other guests arrive, Cesare and Cassiopeia catch Amanita's eye. She is careful to take everyone in -- particularly their outfits, jewelry, fine tastes -- and she looks as though she might make her way over toward the couple as Cesare starts singing. Instead she finds a seat, not wanting to interrupt the grand performance.
Amanita has joined the Cupridium Side Seating.
All eyes are on Nina, and Cassiopeia focuses her attention on the woman who graces the stage. There is much to take in, whether it's the woman's gown or how she graces the stage, her words and the interesting instrument she speaks about. It's enough to rapture the young woman and she waits in anticipation for the night to unfold.
The Wheel turns on! Around we go!
Our lives and deaths roll on.
The stars are born, the stars burn up
And one day they'll be gone.
Oh cycles come and cycles pass
And we're all caught between!
And only in the rarest glimpse
Can hints of Truth be seen
Can hints of Truth be seen
Creation happens, many times
Each time but for our sake.
The only way to break the chain?
Each Dreamer must awake!
Awakened from good dreams or bad
The Soul is freed both ways
And waking seems the only way
To halt the march of days--
To halt the 'march of days-'
One Note was spoken to the stars,
to their first flames ignite.
One Song expressed within our Souls
Which Sing, Forever - Bright.
In quiet, earnest wonderment,
You'll watch the Song unfold.
In harmony, your soul will sing:
soft notes of burnished gold.
Eternity awaits the Heart
that's not content with less.
And Minds that hear that Timeless Hymn
Can Ever, only, Bless
Can Ever, only, Bless
Nina then gives a bow and turns to the organ, sitting down upon it and spraying skirts behind her. She puts her fingers, and feet, upon the keys, and begins playing, creating a sound that vibrates the walls and cupridium pipes. The first tones from the organ are long and drawn, and serve to showcase its resonant power and the way it synchronizes and harmonizes with itself. The playing starts out slow with long held notes before moving into something a bit more cheerful and bright. From there, a small chorus of bells along the side from the ushers standing by adds an additional sound of cupridium into the harmony.
"Mmm," Amanita intones quietly, watching Nina with admiration. She folds her hands together atop the table and nods along with the tune, smiling at the chorus of bells when ushers add them in.
Her visual sweep of the Hall set aside, at least for now, Cufre's attention is on the stage once the music begins in earnest. Oh, she'd joined the bit of clapping for the contributors and for the reveal of the instrument, but she doesn't give indication that she appreciates how impressive this Hydraulus truly is. She does, however, get swept up in the song from the moment the lyrics strike her ear.
Cesare listens to the lyrics with an expression of curiosity that isn't exactly benign. More like a magpie or a crow which has spotted something shiny and intriguing. Still - the sound of the Hydraulus, intense enough to vibrate the sternum of all present in its lowest and most resonant notes, is enough to knock him out of his eruditely questioning mood and into the role of basking in the immense sound as it fills up the cavernous room, echoing off the walls of the chamber back onto itself.
Cassiopeia has left the Cupridium Side Seating.
Eddard arrives moderately late after the doors open to allow the people inside. The man finds the Hydro Hall simply enchanting, and thats where his attention goes before he keeps moving to find seating. He will mill about for awhile before splitting off towards Cufre to join her to listen to the music.
Amanita is overheard praising Nina: A true performer!
Eddard is overheard praising Nina.
Amanita has left the Cupridium Side Seating.
Eddard has joined the Iron Side Seating.
Nina checks charm and performance at hard. Critical Success! Nina is spectacularly successful.
Cufre has joined the Iron Side Seating.
Amanita is flagged by a messenger which has her standing, moving to take the messenger outside. Before she goes, she smiles to Cassiopeia. "You are Lady Cassiopeia, yes? I am Amanita Whisper. I live with your sister. I had hoped to get to know you a bit better, but duty calls."
Cufre is overheard praising Nina.
Nina begins to play shorter bursts, and moves her fingers faster over keys and across levers. There's something complex about driving this instrument, which is also like a machine, but she must have worked with it enough before opening to have a few songs down pat... possibly with more to learn here after.
The songs' happy tones move with the bells and continue to peal out toward the gods.
There is a pause, as Nina stands up, turns her skirts, and gives one bow. Then she sits at the organ again, and plays something a bit different.
It starts out with unusual dissonant sounds. Tritones, other noises that haven't been played in such a place perhaps ever before.
She seems to be on a roll with it, however, not missing a note, happy to have hands guided by the gods on this piece. It gets loud enough to ripple through the chamber, mixing with the air in the hall perfectly as summer heat is blown away by the powerful winds.
Then she takes a small break... stands up, and bows again. This time, her hair is slightly in disarray, her dress just a bit askew, but the aeterna gloves stay clean.
Cassiopeia glances over at Amanita when she approaches her and asks her name, a quick nod before a smile erupts when the woman introduces herself and the connection she has. "I'd love that," she murmurs to Amanita with both sincerity and excitement to meet the woman, but it is contained as she announces her intention to leave. "Soon," she whispers to her, so not to let her voice carry.
Caelan, a seductive and haughty apprentice Whisper leaves, following Amanita.
Patrizio listens at rapt attention when Nina's working the device, when the music peals out through the space. Even, indeed, his centurions are settled quietly for the moment in their places, as if duty's forgotten to listen to the music being performed from the unusual instrument, listening to how it carries on the summer breeze. It's when there's that second break that the prince is applauding, briefly rising from his place to show his appreciation for the performance.
Cufre's applauds as each piece ends, taking her cue from those around her as to when those endings actually happen.
Briar, a quiet young woman, 6 First Legion Centurions arrive, following Sebastian.
Wherever Cesare is, it's probably not quite here and now. He's entirely swept up in the music. Certainly he applauds at the appropriate times, but the expression on his face is a bit blank, a bit absent, and he's not really looking anywhere in particular. The music seems to have just stolen all of his brain cells at once, and left an empty, albeit very pretty, shell behind.
Cassiopeia claps after each song on precisely on cue, hearing the applause around her, but she is lost in thought. The benefits of a song, is all the places it might take you, along with it. Her features soften, the music evoking a series of emotions, but a sadness finds its way into her eyes, perhaps it was always there. Seated with her attention directly on the stage, fingers fidget with the soft feathers of her skirt as she continues to watch the performance.
Standing now in front of the organ, Nina gives a bow as she completes her second played piece of the night. She already looks a bit tired from working the valves and keys but seems to have bright eyes. The hallway is still brightly lit and the sound from the organ could be heard from quite far away.
"We will now have an intermission and reception, for those that wish to examine the instrument, or try it out for themselves. Please feel free to walk through the hallway. Wine and sparkling wine has been provided for those who want to partake and mingle. The Butterfly Lounge is also open tonight!"
Nina takes a breath, adjusts her hair and skirts, and then, as promised a few trays of drinks are brought about, with cold water for those who are not imbibing alcohol.
Gianna doesn't step inside until the song is over and people start to mingle. Then she's striding in with a swish of orange honeysilk, a honey diamond glinting on her finger. She lingers at the entrance for a few heartbeats before glancing around in an effort to find Nina.
Everything is fine with the world, because Sebastian Pravus is late to an event. He stops, just in the entrance -- forcing the half-dozen guard behind him to stop, abruptly -- while the Artist of Pravus is distracted, /captivated/, by the sight of the hall in the afternoon light, and by the sounds of the close of Nina's song. His gaze finds the organ, traveling down its length, and finally to the woman in front of it, just in time to exhale as she finishes up her peace. He claps enthusiastically, making a beeline for the hostess. "I'm afraid I only caught the last, but... it sounded better than I even imagined, Nina. Beautiful," he enthuses, as he bends to kiss her cheek in greeting.
A rise from his place, if only to get a glass of wine - Patrizio's not quite the kind to dare actually to /touch/ the machine or try to play it, but he an definitely appreciate the intricacies of the device when he's been listening to it so long. Hearing Sebastian does draw his attention around and he smiles all the more, shaking his head... but that's the most that he's going to say about the tardiness. No, indeed, it's a good excuse for him to sip and just admire the magnificent instrument from his spot.
Cufre and Eddard are standing together in the seating area, but the man is quick enough to lift a hand to wave at Gianna's arrival. He won't call her over there, she does seem on a mission. "Its lovely, isn't it? Wind and water? It seems like something that you don't get to install just anywhere."
Nina walks up toward Eddard, getting herself a glass of sparkling white if just to quench her own throat. "Yes. I had to make sure I was close enough to an area with water and a bridge. We have water flowing from the ducts to the north. I was inspired by my work with fountains which you can see in the Lounge... and a few other places, but mostly there. And it was the suggestion of Princess Sorrel I believe to look into cupridium for many of the pipes, as they make the nicest sound."
Scythia lifts up to her feet, hands folded before herself as she moves to mechanically take a glass of whatever is nearest and closest.
Gianna inclines her head to Eddard and Cufre; then she's heading their way, because that's where Nina is. "I listened outside before coming in," Gianna informs Nina. "I didn't want to interrupt. It's marvelous. I'd like to have a turn at it at some point. This is beautiful - you ought to be proud. Quite the achievement."
It doesn't take long at all for Sebastian to find a glass of wine: not when he's amongst Pravus servants. Soon enough he has a glass of red and, leaving Nina to circulate, moves to join Patrizio next to the organ, clasping his cousin on the shoulder briefly in greeting. "Not going to try, Pat? I'm tempted... but I don't want to ruin the beautiful mood Nina's created."
With a glance to Cassiopeia, Cesare rises as the performance comes to an end, offering her a hand up as well. "Drink?" he inquires, although that shiny magpie gaze is still on the organ, and there's really little doubt that he's at least going to go look at it it more closely, if not try to fiddle with it a bit. Keyed instruments aren't his strong suit, but who wouldn't relish an opportunity?
"I leave the artistry to the artists." Patrizio playfully lifts his wineglass to Sebastian at the asking, before he's sipping, and his jade eyes turn back in Nina's direction. "Perhaps if I had some tutelage at some point, but no, I'd prefer not to ruin the moment with my fumbling at it." And then there's a gesture about with the half-emptied glass. "I think there are others here who'd be more suitable for paying homage to the wonder with putting it to use."
"Yes, a drink would be lovely," she murmurs to Cesare, following his gaze to the instrument. "Drinks and a closer look?," she suggests, though her own interest seems to be at a far, she encourages him to get closer. "How fascinating, I've never seen anything quite like it," she adds in quiet afterthought.
Scythia has left the Cupridium Side Seating.
Rylan, a distracted scholar, Captain Bryon Gethrys, 2 Seliki Pikemen leave, following Scythia.
"It's all right," Nina says, looking at Patrizio and raising her glass. "Of course I'm going to be offering the possibility of lessons. We can also have other performances here at this hall," she says to Gianna. "I'd like to put together a choir, loud enough to make a joyful noise to accompany this work."
"So it makes music out of water?" Cufre asks of Nina. "But... how?" As Gianna approaches and speaks toNina, Cufre withdraws, letting her questions remain unanswered for now and a more informed conversation to take hold while she seeks out a drink.
Aha! Eddard is suddenly the center of attention and it....illuminates the man. He'll dip a quick bow forward towards Nina at her approach, then another towards Gianna. "Princess Sorrel would have the most insight to offer into the matter. I'm Lord Eddard Clement, and this fine craftswoman is Cufre Harrow." A quick smile towards Gianna though, "And Nightingale Gianna. I haven't seen you in quite awhile. Since needs had driven me from Arx into Duskshire Keep. Administrative purposes."
Merek makes a way into the place and looks about, before he will find a place to settle in and relax while watching.
"Doable. Though perhaps a sizeable choir," Gianna tells Nina. "Considering the volume." She considers a flute of something to drink as a server passes by, but opts not to. Turning to Eddard, she inclines her head. "It has, hasn't it? I feel like it's been years. That's not possible, though, is it?" She casts a curious gaze toward the magnificent organ. "...I need to play that."
Cesare manages to snag two glasses of wine from a passing servant almost without removing his gaze from the Hydraulus, and passes one adeptly to Cassiopeia. "It's a marvel of engineering," he confirms, following the pipes up and down, bending closer to examine the keys and apparatus. A glance over his shoulder and he says, "It would be rude to try playing it while people are trying to talk, though. Perhaps after the intermission." He gives a warm chuckle and adds, "I'm not excellent at keyed instruments. Most of what I play is stringed."
"True. Ah, are you planning to learn?" Sebastian seems both surprised and delighted by that possibility, following Patrizio's glance to Nina as his smile deepens. "I can't wait to hear it," he says, of the Choir, his gaze going to Cesare and Cassiopeia aas they near to examine the organ. "Good evening. It's a marvel, isn't it?" he's watching Cesare's examination of the instrument with as much interest as the organ itself.
Nina takes a step aside, and gestures to Gianna. "By all means, take your time and inspect the organ. After all it was partially with your sponsorship that I was able to come this far with such an ambitious project. And with your skills I know you would be a natural." She nods to Eddard as he introduces himself. "A pleasure to meet you as well! Glad you came to see it." She looks at Cufre, holding her glass carefully. "A series of pumps beneath the base which use water to create pressure from air. The water actually falls into the device and pours toward the sea."
"I would be very much inclined to actually take such lessons if they were offered." Patrizio's cheeks find some colour, but there's the nod to both Nina and Sebastian when it's mentioned and... a good natured shrug. "I can't be a soldier my entire life. Someone, somewhere along the line, has said to me that a prince ought to be well-rounded, and I've been woeful about my attention to the arts. And I'd shudder at the idea of my trying to do a visual art." And that's when he quaffs a little more of the wine, and quiets himself down about the matter of /singing/, even as he's turning his attention towards Cesare's declaration about stringed instruments and the like, enjoying others' appreciation.
Cassiopeia deft fingers clutch the stem of the glass, before she brings it to her lips and takes a small sip. Her eyes trace the pipes of the instrument that she examines with Cesare, a slender blonde brow perking with interest. "The sound is so powerful, I am quite sure I could feel it in my toes," she confesses. "It's really quite remarkable," she murmurs and nods at Cesare's decision to wait until after intermission. "I imagine it would be an experience to play such a thing...," she trails off as she hears a voice directed in her general direction. Cassiopeia doesn't recognize Sebastian but she is quick to assess his appearance, and she tries to curtsy one-handed with a skirt made of feathers. It almost works. A polite smile is offered to him in greeting and she nods, other hand cradling the wine glass. "Truly a marvel," she agrees with Sebastian's assessment, looking back at the instrument in all its glory, a shine of appreciation in her eyes.
Cesare flashes a smile to Cassiopeia, a hand lighting on her shoulder for a moment with a little squeeze. "I felt it right here," he says, tapping at his chest. "Just under the breastbone. I imagine that's part of what they mean when they say music is soulful. That particular vibration." He turns to dip a bow to Sebastian. "Prince Sebastian Pravus - this is Lady Cassiopeia Vaevici, if you haven't had the pleasure of meeting. A truly enchanting creature I've been only too blessed to spend time with in recent weeks as she acclimates to the city."
"So. You've created a brand new instrument that'll be near impossible to imitate for quite a few years. I must applaud this. I'll have to come all the way into the Pravus Ward to hear it." Eddard shrugs just a touch at Gianna's words. "Probably only 2 years or so. Being in the backwater of the Oathlands makes time stretch but it wasn't more than two winters. I was surprised that there was enough duty to drag me out of the Bard's College. They made me carry a sword and things."
Nina's description of the instrument's workings has Cufre looking to it with newfound interest. "So, it's an instrument that can only work near the sea? Arx's only?" She lifts her wine glass, but adds, "What happens when the weather turns cold?" before drinking.
Gianna inclines her head to Sebastian, since he's near, and Patrizio as well since he's right by Sebastian. To the former, she says, "Good evening. Please extend my greetings to your wife as well." The self-styled Nightingale considers the organ again. "Ugh, swords," she murmurs to Eddard with a vague sort of sympathy. But, hearing Cufre, now she has a question for Nina, too. "Is there fresh water in the pumps, or saltwater? Will there be salt buildup in the pipes?" Okay. Two questions.
"Those who wish private lessons should feel free to ask me any time. Or... come in and practice. There's just the one, but the hall is new and a bit out of the way for some so I am sure that there will be opportunities." Nina grins at Gianna in particular. There's a good question from Cufre, and she considers it. "The pipes won't freeze, because the water is flowing. But I imagine... it WILL change the timbre of the notes to some degree. That would be very interesting to hear." To Gianna, she adds, "Fortunately, the water from the ducts is all fresh. It does spill to seawater at the bottom. I hope that doesn't become an issue but if it does, maybe it will also add to the art in a way."
Sebastian tips his head back towards Cassiopeia, a fleeting kind of recognition in the artist's expression, but he waits until Cesare's introduction before he smiles brilliantly. "Of course. We've corresponded, though never met in person. I'm pleased you've come to Arx," he tells the woman. "The tales of your work in the Saffron are inspiring, my lady. Do you both know my cousin, Prince Patrizio?" he nods towards the man beside him. "I really rather like the notion, Pat. And you couldn't find a better teacher than Mistress Nina." Gianna's greeting earns a measured lift of his glass, and an effortless smile. "Whisper Gianna," he greets. "Of course. She's keeping busy in Setarco with our son, but I'll let her know you asked after her."
Patrizio doesn't, in the slightest, look offended at Gianna's comment about swords, but offers up a patient smile. "They might not be the most lovely of instruments, but they are what keep us free at times," he points out, with the patient grace of his position. And a smile, even, when he's introduced to Cassiopeia by Sebastian, sketching a bow to her as well. "A pleasure to make your acquaintance, my lady. I hope you're finding the city well - I know how daunting it was, when I first arrived from Setarco nearly two years ago."
And a smile for Sebastian as well. "I think that it'd serve me well, and at the very least, should keep me busy and out of trouble... though speaking of trouble, and at another moment, we ought talk about things I am hearing. But not tonight." He gently clasps his cousin on the shoulder, and a smile finds him once more.
Gianna turns to Patrizio, tilting her head to the side. "Of course," she says, her tone gentle. "Just some are better suited to carry them than others. We can't all be good at swording. That doesn't mean it's not appreciated."
Nina's response draws a lift of surprise from Cufre's eyebrows. "So we could hear these same songs months from now and they'd sound different? And this is...a good thing?" Her voice lilts with skepticism.
A swell of a blush forms on her cheeks, rosy hue blooming with the introduction that Cesare gives her. A soft smile of appreciation is given to him, before she turns her attention to the man she is introduced to. "I am glad to put a face to the name, your highness," she offers graciously to Sebastian, before turning to look at Patrizio with little recognition. "It's a remarkable place, like no other I've been to. I suppose like none I shall see. Unique in its own way. I adjust a little with each day," she offers in response. Fingers hold the stem of the glass, sipping it from time to time, but mostly it's there as a prop to facilitate mingling.
"Of course," Cesare interjects to the conversation between Nina and Cufre. "Performances are singular, that's part of their beauty. Even our vocal chords are never quite the same from night to night." He smiles to Nina. "Pardon me for interrupting, Mockingbird. But what a pleasure your performance was. Do you know, I took inspiration from your performance at the Rhythm of the World festival recently? I practically set some feet on fire at a party."
"Don't you think so?" Nina asks Cufre. "Honestly... perhaps it was Prince Sebstian who taught me the lesson that art is not always designed to be ... permanent. Art, and music, can be like the wind and the water. Changing as they pass through the world. That's the lesson of the instrument." Nina's eyes look bright at Cesare. "Thank you! I love the classic dances the most."
"Give yourself time. And buy a warm wardrobe before the winter - I know that's something I hated when I didn't think about when I arrived." Patrizio's gentle advice to Cassiopeia is delivered with a warm smile when he's contemplating the matter of it being remarkable. And Gianna, too, gets a warm smile. "I agree with this. We've all our talents, and as I've said often, it's a /good/ thing that more aren't acquainted with the military arts. Someday, hopefully, few enough will need to be."
And that skepticism is warmed to a smile of greeting as Cesare approaches, explains. "Then how do musicians ever sleep? When there's always something more to do, new to do, different to do?" This is asked of both Cesare and Nina. "How don't you always feel there is something out there you are missing?"
"Oh, I very much do!" Cesare replies. "I'm always striving for the next thing. I sing a new composition and almost immediately start looking for the next one." He turns aside to Nina, sipping at his wine glass. "I'm not sure if you feel the same way, Nina? But I always have, since I started writing songs. Before that, even; ever since I started learning songs, thinking about how I could improve my performances."
"That," Sebastian tacts onto the heels of Patrizio's advice to Cassiopeia, "Or do what we Pravus do -- head back to the warm south for the winter, unless you draw the short straw of staying in the city... and then never leave the Estates," he gives a laugh, like it's a joke, though anyone who knows Sebastian knows he practically disappears for winters in Arx. "But, if you're adjusting, no better company than that of a Whisper to do so," with a nod towards Cesare, eyes bright as he regards the Whisper. He hears Nina mention his name, and gives her a surprised look, like he didn't know that, lifting his glass in a silent toast to the woman before he drinks deeply.
"Always something to strive for," Gianna tells Cufre. Now she does rescue a flute of wine from some passing server. "I suppose setting and circumstances are always different, too. Taking changes into consideration is part of a successful performance. Adapting."
"Me too," Nina says, with her eyes aglow. "When I'm not singing, I'm sewing, when I'm not sewing, I'm dancing, and all of those things work together. But I can't be the best at everything at once without perhaps another lifetime of experience." Her glass now empty, she hands it off to an attendant in passing. "I will be playing a final piece, and then we can all retire, to the lounge if you like more libations of course, or where-ever the night may take you all. Thank you so much for coming." She looks at Gianna. "I'm always so inspired by the works of art we can create together."
The mention of winter has the young woman's bare shoulders tensing noticeably. "I fear winter most of all," she murmurs with some jest in her voice, but a tinge of serious concern. The advice is well received, both from Patrizio and Sebastian. "I feel as though I should experience it just once, but I may regret such foolish ideas soon enough," she murmurs. At the mention of good company, her eyes drift to Cesare and they shine with appreciation. "I am lucky to have made good friends, since I've arrived. I am certain I'd still be tripping over everything, if not for that," she murmurs, openly expressing her gratitude for such lucky circumstances. Her attention drifts back to the group at large, content to be part of something, to sip her wine quietly as she takes it all in.
"Ah, now that feeling...that I understand. Always looking for the next thing. Even looking back to look forward. It's how I feel when I'm designing my jewelry," Cufre says to Cesare. To Gianna she says, "And that's a difference, I think. Maybe, just because all I really have to do is keep my shop going. I don't know how much I need to adjust or adapt to do that. I just do what I want and let it work itself out. There are pieces that just sit there for years, maybe beautiful to no one but me." She shrugs before taking a sip of wine.
"If it makes matters any better, we /do/ have warm pools at the Estate here in the city. And I learned quickly where else to find such things about Arx." Patrizio's willing, clearly, to poke fun at himself about the mater of winter, but there's a slight shake of his head as he's looking to Sebastian. "I'm hoping not to draw the short straw this year, but I would understand if I'm asked to remain behind. It simply begs excuse perhaps then for me to invest in some warm clothing, to deal with a /third/ coming of the abyssal winter." And a shake of his head, before his jade eyes turn back to the instrument that's been shown this evening, and he lets a breath slide free. "On the other hand, lessons might well help to keep one's mind off the winter while it lingers.
"We don't sleep." Eddard retorts towards Cufre with a grin. "Or we do during the day, when everyone else is running about. The darkness beckons us to creating. Or the cheering of women in inns and taverns." A quick nod towards Patrizio and the like. "I'd prefer to be riding Tycho into battle than wielding a sword. We were in tunnels though, can't fit a reindeer with full antlers in one of them."
"Pieces like that find who they're meant to find eventually," Cesare says confidently to Cufre. "Perhaps I'll come and stop by your shop sometime soon. I do like unusual designs. Ah - Cesare Whisper, by the by, since I believe I neglected to introduce myself." He exchanges an empty wineglass for a full one.
Clowder of nine 1-year old cats, Shekies, Capt'n Waddles the small cock with a bell arrive, following Zakhar.
"It's always interesting to see how talents combine," Gianna tells Nina. "Evaristo's upcoming play, for example." She has a sip of wine, tilts her head to the side as she considers Cufre. "Never adapting or adjusting?" she asks. "What about when there's a new material to work with? When people are seeking out something with rubies - you don't see what you might provide while the trend is in fashion?"
"You might well, but like you say... it is an experience, and a learning," Sebastian agrees with Cassiopeia with ease. Patrizio's musing on winter earns a surprised look, and then a laugh. "I think you just volunteered, cousin," he says with a slow laugh. "Though if you're after clothing, I can't help but recommend Nina's work highly enough."
"They've become less unusual lately," Cufre confesses to Cesare. "Which means I've started to sell more jewelry lately than I have in years. But I do keep some of the more...different? pieces in the display cases. Harrowed Grounds is the shop. I'm Cufre. Harrow. Nice to meet you." She smiles to Gianna, even as a hint of color rises in her cheeks. "I don't often get customers asking for things like that," she admits, "with us being in the Lowers and all. I've never worked with rubies, though I've tried making glass look like them." She takes another sip of wine and looks around. "Oh, is another song starting soon?"
Nina starts to drift back toward the stage, picking her skirts up as she climbs toward the front of the hall. She takes one more bow, brushes her hair aside, and then sits to perform one last piece to show off the capabilities of the organ. This is a straightforward piece that lacks all the energy and drama of the showstopper sort, but provides for a nice processional and a good capper to the showcase for those who wish to sit and listen. It's not too hard to follow her hands as she finds chords on the keys, and the sound fills the hall as the afternoon starts to become evening, and the light in the hall changes to the glow of sunset.
Gianna pauses with her wine glass halfway to her lips. The tiniest furrow appears on her brow as Cufre explains. She blinks a few times. "That was... hmn. I apologize. I'm out of touch, apparently. Harrowed Grounds, yes?" She seems... quieter, somehow. "I'll be sure to stop by."
The old man doesn't appear to give a rat's ass to if he's late or whatever fashionably late is to mean. A clowder of cats follows him, a couple give a small sniff to the air and make as direct of path to Nina as possible, while the others scamper off to find something to hide under or climb. A black and white marbled cat saunters in behind the clowder, with a small rooster riding its back. Zakhar gives a small pause to look around those gathered before pulling out a thinly rolled leaf.
Patrizio frowns darkly at Sebastian when there's a suggestion that he'd volunteered, and there's a resolute shake of his head. "No. Gods, no. I spent the last two here, and while I might be inclined to be here early and late in the season, not in the heart of it. Not with snow on the streets again - that's been /awful/." And for once, it's clear that he's not joking about the matter even as there's the suggestion of such things. Though Eddard gets a dip of his head at the comment as well about swords, and the faintest return of his own smile, even if but a shadow of the prior grin that graced his features.
And then he falls silent as Nina starts to play once more.
"All right, fine. Ty, you and me. Straw drawing. Soon," Sebastian tells Patrizio. "We'll leave it up to des-- to chance," he corrects himself, hastily. And then he's shifting back to make way for Nina, his grace tracing the woman as she steps back up to claim a position in front of the organ. As before, he goes silent, distracted by the music -- entranced, almost -- a hushed, focused attention given.
Cufre's nod in response to Gianna conveniently brings her lips closer to her glass of wine, and the blush that has gone from a hint to full-tilt is cast downward momentarily. She excuses herself in a whisper to head back to where she'd been sitting as the last piece swells into the space.
Zakhar has joined the Cupridium Side Seating.
A smile of confirmation, marks the sound advice on winter. Then, Cassiopeia is content to fade into the background, watching everyone mingle, her eyes soften at the sight of it. The experience of it all. A sadness grows in the depths of her eyes but she tries to blink it away. Sipping wine from time to time, what smiles and nods she offers are warm, enthused, but she flinches, ever so slightly. Somewhere in the conversation, something catches her attention and she takes a sip of wine. It's easy to slip back into the music, and she does, turning her attention to Nina, and watching her fingers play across the instrument, eyes following them, wine being sipped. Appreciating the entirety of it.
Gianna sets her glass aside and stands where she is to listen. She worries at the ring on her finger, turning and tugging it.
Zakhar manages to find two glasses of something, downing one and dropping it upon another moving try before snagging another then with both refreshed glasses slides into a place to sit and rest for a moment, throwing a glare at the cats and the direction in which they disappeared off to. Only then turning to listen to the music.
Cesare settles in next to Cassiopeia again, watching the performance with rapt eyes, although this time it's possible he's less focused on the music itself and more on how Nina manages the keys and pedals of the instrument. It must be quite a workout for her, as small as she is and as grand in scale the beast of a music-making machine is. There's admiration in his gaze, and a sort of determination this time.
Nina stands again, and gives another bow. The hall has gotten dimmer, but not so dim that no one can see, and lamps lit by the exits now lead the way.
Nina gives one last bow, and then sweeps hair away from her eyes. "Thank you all once again for your support!"
It's at the end of the latest piece that, once more, Patrizio bursts into applause, a not-so-careful dance of that glass still in his hand, long since emptied, as he's audibly showing appreciation for the gift of music.
Cufre's applause for the final piece lingers rides longer than before, an appreciation for the showcase as a whole.
Cufre is overheard praising Nina.
Zakhar is overheard praising Nina.
Gianna is overheard praising Nina: A new instrument and a perfect showcase for it. A true accomplishment.
Gianna is overheard praising Suspires.
Cassiopeia is overheard praising Nina: It was an evening of music and beauty. An accomplishment and contribution to culture.
Zakhar has left the Cupridium Side Seating.
Sebastian is overheard praising Nina: A exemplary performer.
Cesare is overheard praising Nina: A marvel of engineering and music, a true accomplishment and a grand performer!
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