Holy shit! This story! It is extremely worth your time and attention.
(not that this is my birthday; that happened ages ago. i just failed to share the goat a friend shared with me in honor of my Nativity back when she did so. i’m remedying that error now.)
It’s a valid question.
From the artist:
“Music printed on the butt of one of the tortured souls in the 15th Century Hieronymus Bosch painting “The Garden of Earthly Delights” , Played on (What else?) Lute, Harp, and Hurdy-Gurdy by James Spalink. The melody is based on the transcription by Amelia Hamrick. The intro and outro employ the “Devil’s Interval”, and the last couple of measures are conjecture on my part. You could say that I just “pulled them out of my”-well, you know…..”
BONUS: Here’s a fun little tool for exploring Bosch’s triptych in excruciatingly high-rez detail from the comfort of your uncomfortable office chair!
… but is actually sorta fun and worth it, ultimately. Recommended way to use 11 minutes you’ll never get back, no matter how long you sit in that Lay-Z-Boy of yours.
… but just a reminder to my American readers: We already live in this reality. This country isn’t just full of guns; it’s full of ammunition. If you have access to even a single bullet, you are $10 and a trip to the hardware store from making a wonderfully lethal weapon: unserialized, untraceable, highly concealable, nearly foolproof. You won’t be doing any civil massacres with a hardware-store slam gun, but you can mostly definitely kill the guy standing in front of you with little effort.
The reason no one will shoot you today is because no one feels like shooting you today.
I listen to music basically whenever I write, often as a simple practical matter (I have a wife, a barky-bary-bark, two school-age kids at home, and a house that backs up to an apartment parking lot). What I’m listening to during a given period often seeps into what I’m writing. I listened to Steely Dan’s “Fire in the Hole” every morning while working on the middle section of this novel—both the longest and darkest (“Where There is Nothing, There is God”—itself a title stolen from William Butler Yeats.) At some point, I’d gotten the notion in my head that the narrator of the song was a waiter/actor, which is why the protagonist is a waiter/actor. Looking at the lyrics now, I have no idea where I got that impression. (I’m told Fagen—who co-wrote the song—said in an interview that it was about dodging the draft during the Vietnam War, which makes a lot more sense than my interpretation of the song.) Doesn’t really matter; it was always the piano that caught my mind. It’s the piano, more than the words, that seeped into that story.