The Twenty-seventh Leaf

Iona has told me of the Queen’s poor health.  This must be why the King is so distressed.  I have not even seen the Queen in many months/I had thought she was visiting the cont. I have nothing to give the King.  Poems, stories and song have no power to undo the evil of a spell, or the whims of a familiar.  Even Iona does not seem herself, as if she too has been afflicted.  The Bishop has now been seen several times in the castle.  Why does this man of God fill me with such a sense of dread? I begin to wonder if my stirrings are pure fantasy with no purpose for anyone, least of all myself. I want to touch the world but cannot even understand my own mind. Perhaps John’s song is simply another type of spell and I too have been afflicted by an ancient. Should I flee this phantasm or pursue it into battle, a battle I have no idea how to wage? If only I had the courage of my dreams.


Why does Sorren care so deeply about this Queen, and that she be absent, or sick? The state of the Queen has affected those around her as a moth is drawn to a flame, or the vultures to the scent of death, and this is to be expected most likely. But for Sorren to feel such dread over the presence of the Bishop is significant. The Queen is beautiful . . .not unlike the eyes of my own mother as my memory tells me. I remember her eyes, they were hazel, the color of the grey willow in autumn, so common, so ordinary, a hedge weed . . .and yet so beautiful.
— M

As these leaves continue I come to believe that Sorren is very much a mystic, and that he may still hold true to some of his pagan ancestry. I know that even after Christ was brought to the British Isles, vestiges of earlier paganism remained and were kept alive in practice and in the writing of folklore and have never truly vanished. This is one of the things that attracted me most about the Isle of Man. Sorren served a Christian King, and his entire life would have been connected and interrelated to the Christianity of the King, but that does not mean that Sorren would have forgotten, or turned his back on the rich folklore of his homeland, for he is constantly concerned with spirits and ghosts and devils and other supernatural phenomenon; he is superstitious, paranoid, and frightful, but he is honest and he is loyal.

I must admit that part of Sorren’s personality has rubbed off on me already, and I find myself awake, long into the night, reading leaves, working on my curating notes, and trying to put into music the strange, melancholic and ethereal thoughts of a man long since turned to dust. And how does one write music that is both poignant and ethereal where the music tries to convey a brief moment, a fleeting, transient impression? I knew that I could never do this with ordinary musical instruments, for the vocabulary was not written in musical notation, but was instead, just a distant thought that was struggling to be remembered. Like poetry which takes the shape of strict, traditional forms, music also is tied to such forms generally derived from the chromatic and the diatonic scale. This did not interest me. I wanted something different, something that was ethereal and undefined. I wanted something that could take any form the listener imagined, and so I knew that much of the music of these leaves would be ambient and atonal, just like the imagination of Sorren. For what is music? A single sound, a single tone is not music; music is a relationship of tones either melodically or harmoniously associated; music is extracted from chaos. Sorren has experienced this chaos.