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October in the Chair

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posted on 2024-04-03, 05:21 authored by Melody EotvosMelody Eotvos

Based on Neil Gaiman’s short story October in the Chair, this work parallels the whimsical

yet dark undertones of what is essentially a Graveyard story. This particular tale personifies

each month of the year into a group of twelve people who are having their monthly meeting

around a campfire. The current month is Octobers to lead. After settling in and asking if

anyone has a story to tell (which no one does, that hasn’t been told before or is substantial

enough to tell fully), October begins to tell his. I won’t recall it all for you here, but a very

brief and cruel summary would be that a young boy, named “The Runt”, runs away from his

family who treats him poorly. He meets a ghost in a graveyard and decides that he’d prefer

to die and stay with the ghost (who played with him kindly all afternoon) than return to his

family. Sad? Yes. However the way it is told and the setting portrayed by the months has

an unmistakable playfulness full of animated conversation and characters. This composition

focuses mostly on those characters, leaving a centered ‘serious’ section of the music for the

dark reality of “The Runt’s” situation. It doesn’t last long though as the momentum picks up

again into the final moments of the piece. Another interesting consequence of this work

was my recent aural saturation of lullabies and music set heavily in major tonalities, due to

the birth of my son and my daily efforts to get him to sleep with calming ‘classic’ baby

music. Unaware of how much I’d absorbed of those pretty little tunes, the writing of this

work once again revealed my susceptibility to what I listen to!

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