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Ballade

From the late 1990s and early 2000s, Robby Todino tried to use the Internet to connect with people in an attempt to deal with disruptive memories from his childhood. To accomplish this--in the period before online social networks--he obtained spam email lists and mailed out thousands of requests. His hope: that those who had the missing parts to his time machine would sympathize and respond. This is what I think happened to Robby and his time machine.

The music was finished on 24 Oct 2013.

Below are the lyrics, the score (in Finale's MUS format), MIDI files, and MP3s from the score. Use the Finale Reader to view the scores (download my copy if you don't want to register).

  1. The Ineffable [ score | MIDI | MP3 from MIDI ]

    I'll be fine, I'll be.
    I'll be fine, I'll be.
    I'll be fine, I'll be.
    I'll be fine, I'll be.
    I'll be fine, I'll be.
    I'll be fine, I'll be fine.

    I'll be fine, I'll be.
    I'll be fine, I'll be.
    I'll be fine, I'll be.
    I'll be fine, I'll be.
    I'll be fine, I'll be.
    I'll be fine, I'll be fine.

    I'll be fine, I'll be.
    I'll be fine, I'll be.

  2. ... was it a truth that I should have believed? [ score | MIDI | MP3 from MIDI ]

    I hope someday that I can figure it out.
    A little lost but it's the best I can do.
    Some days I doubt that there's a chance I'll ever find my way home.

    That damn device I need to take back my life.
    That lonely moment when she poisoned our home.
    When people read this will they help me build my time machine?

    I send my message through the signals to the cities.
    I watch responses from the agents out to get me.
    Do you have it?
    I'll be waiting.
    I'll be waiting.

    I tell the people but my story is rejected.
    A rare reminder that some truths go undetected.
    Put the light out.
    Put the light out.

    I hope someday that I can figure it out.
    A little lost but it's the best I can do.
    I'd send for help but there's none, is there?

  3. ... a clear discrepancy between intent and practice ... [ score | MIDI | MP3 from MIDI ]

    Booked a flight to Paris
    Where I hope to see
    A message from the ether left where I'll be.

    Saw those kids after landing.
    If they can save the world then maybe I can save myself.

    I leave the airport and know the passage I need to enter.
    Like an echo that's reversing, I remember.
    To the alley,
    Through the doorway.

    I see the others all together who'd been divided.
    We had the puzzle but the pieces weren't decided.
    From the ages,
    Down the mountain.

    I put the light out and see the future within the darkness.
    The tiles revealing an ancient message there before us.
    We knew we'd made it.
    No more waiting.
    Put the light out.

    It's my last chance.
    It's my last chance.

  4. ... I hope that there's a dark hole in the sky for me someday ... [ score | MIDI | MP3 from MIDI ]

    Far below the lowered lights, the lowered eyes, I see it clear.
    I see my past before it passed into today.
    Quick and clear this damned device unsets the threads, I see it near.
    The others see it too: the sparks that charge away.

    In the sky I think I see a black hole that glows for me someday.

    There's a stillness in the room, a silent guide as we arrive.
    We crowd the hallowed ground where ancient plans were drawn.
    Palled and pale and then we see a silent flash, the dragon's tail,
    An extra-spectral light expressed and then we're gone.

    In the sky I think I see a black hole that glows for me today.

  5. ... a mountain up close is no longer a mountain ... [ score | MIDI | MP3 from MIDI ]

    (instrumental)

  6. The Calculus [ score | MIDI | MP3 from MIDI ]

    I can't recall how I changed to an ordinary life.
    Sort the pages from this history that's been calculated.
    If you ever felt like somebody else,
    Somewhere safe,
    Not today,
    Follow me.

    That damn device, was it there? Was I lying in a dream?
    Try to document those mysteries I've seen, complicated.
    If you ever felt like somebody else,
    Find your place,
    Live that life,
    You'll be fine.