a tale of the Twilight Continuum
Humans think they love music.
They will tell you about which musicians transformed the world with music, or how a particular music emphasizes one spiritual aspect or another. If Human religion was to be any baseline, no religion had ever transformed us like music did our hosts, the Corvans.
For them, music is speech, sweeping song, organic light, thumping vibration, a complex philosophy and an all-encompassing epistemology. Born with a four lobed brain, they were able to mix sound, color and bio-luminescence in a way we were only able to do with the most sophisticated of computers.
Born underwater, looking vaguely like the best-possible merger of squid and octopus, they have multiple cavities and bladders to move air around. This made each Corvan a living symphony. Any single entity is capable of a range of thousands of sounds, with the capacity of organizing and sounding eight to ten notes simultaneously.
As refugees to the Toranor system, Humans offered our cultural libraries or what was left of them and our music, which was uniquely ours, as part of our payment for our rescue from our failed Earth.
The Corvans musical masters learned most of the human lexicon of music in a year and considered our most accomplished musicians little more than children in the arts of music.
Until we started making instruments. Corvans had no musical instruments in their native environments.
As Humanity settled on the Botani homeworld in the Toranor system, we began to hanker for the things of our lost Earth and eventually began to make musical instruments. Having nothing but memories, pictures, and the occasional scribbled schematic, we were forced to reinvent our world, one instrument, one piano key, one cello string at a time.
Since few instruments had survived our rapid exit of Earth, we were forced to ask our hosts how we could make something from native materials. The Botani, a tree-like organic computer spanning their planet’s equator allowed their symbiotic partners to help us find what we needed to make new instruments.
The amphibious Corvan musicians would visit frequently coming out of the river whenever we tested our instruments. They were unfailingly polite as we tuned, tested and began reinventing ourselves under these alien suns, with new neighbors, on a world not our own.
The Botani would make us welcome at night and after a few days of listening to us play, altered their leaves and shaped the wind making soft musical notes, subtle at first, but as the winds increased, the tempo changed, the cracking of their bark became percussion which wove itself into the wind-swept whistles, the rustle of leaves, shakers, and their symbiotic partners drummed on various cavities making percussive sounds which echoed and moved randomly around us, slowly woven into a shuddering rhythm.
They learned to do this watching us practice. Untaught.
Eventually, the Corvans came upon us as we played with the Botani and their symbiotes and with nary a pause joined us in awe of the sounds of instruments playing together. Our tiny band of thirty instruments seemed small to us but their fascination and participation heartened the rusty Human musicians and spurred them to continue. The Corvans surrounded the pianist, an older man who was fond of improvisational jazz and played sweetly in sync.
Three aliens species with nothing in common, found each other through music. One group, born to it, another barely able to make music without tools and a third who incredible computation abilities never understood the joy of making music until they did it with us.
The pianist, now surrounded by the Corvans who had all but marveled at the instrument requested a desire to learn. Within hours he had taught them to play. Their perfect-pitched squeals of delight filled the glade.
They spent the next month wondering how many keys their pianos designs should have since they had six arms…
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