Lyra the Cosmic Space Pirate Queen

The silver pirate flagship rushed through space to intercept the hapless prey that had sailed through the stars for ten thousand years. A cloud of ice blew away, like ocean foam, in front of the massive pirate spaceship as it cut through spacetime.

The pirate flagship’s silver hull rippled and foamed and coursed like a living thing or perhaps like a living ocean made of quicksilver, constantly adjusting to the variables in local spacetime geometry, blocking off debris and other collision threats, quickly heating back to the ambient outer space temperature of 2.7K after being cooled down to almost absolute zero to perform the phase space jumps that had got it here.

The prey was an ancient ramjet launched from a Lost World ten thousand years ago. It was massive, spanning two miles from bow to aft. Yet the pirate flagship Night Wing dwarfed it, making the ramjet look tiny compared to the flagship’s majestic thirty miles of quicksilver hull.

On the command deck of Night Wing stood its captain, the commander in chief of a vast pirate crew, one of the most feared pirates in the galaxies, the terror of known space and beyond. The pirate captain stood on the bridge, legs wide, arms folded, watching at the massive display screen as the little ship, marked by a red dotted circle on her Augmented Reality layer, grew larger on the display as the flagship approached it.

She wore a crimson knee length flowing jacket that moved in the still air of the command deck like it was blowing in the wind. Attached to her shoulders was a long, smooth, gold-embroidered red cape that also flowed, probably powered by some microscopic robots, if not even nanites. Her large eyes glittered in otherworldly hues of gold and the deepest of blue due to the visual augmentations she had had installed over the millennia.

In her eyes there was a twinkle of pure joy. The joy of expectation, of the hunt. A wide grin grew on her face as the pirates approached their hapless prey, now almost within boarding distance.

By now the target ship was aware of the presence of the hulking pirate vessel, the ancient ramjet’s crew engaged in speculation of whether the newcomer was friend or foe. In forty five minutes all speculation would have come to a conclusion. In three hours, the last remnants of an entire civilization that had lasted for more than ten thousand years would be eradicated.

For now, however, the pirates had work to do.

“Good job, boys,” Lyra, the Cosmic Space Pirate Queen, said to her crew, smiling widely. “Let’s go get ’em.”

Music Only Comes Alive When Shared

Writing music just for oneself feels like an empty business. I do not quite clearly understand why, though.

I spent some ten years of my life working as a professional musician. I released several hundred tracks on albums, on television, in commercials and multimedia, to audiences ranging from a few hundred to several millions. For the last seven or so years, I have, however, focused most of my time on research. While I now write music as something like a well-developed hobby, why do I still bother to release it to the general audience?

I have wondered at this urge to share music for pretty much my entire adult life. When I was younger, I would drag all friends and family to listen to every new tune I wrote. In my professional career, I got the satisfaction from releasing music. And now, I have this blog. But why?

Despite the ideal of artistic independence, I believe when people write music, they don’t do it just for the kick they get out of it – even if that is, for most of us, the beginning of getting into music. It is, indeed, a very rare breed of musician that would never play her music to anybody else. Even those few who refuse to play their tracks usually turn out to be meek because they are scared of the chance of bad criticism. Can there really even exist a musician who would not want their music to be heard (and loved) by somebody else?

I wonder whether music is actually a form of communication, where the listener is just as important as the maker. Or whether music is a kind of a relationship between a listener and a maker that does not even come to existence before sharing. No, but really: I still do not have the faintest idea. Maybe you do?

It’s almost as if it’s easier to figure out how neurons communicate with one another, or how the unconscious mind works than to understand why music won’t let itself remain unheard. But whatever the reason, and whether or not I will ever discover it, I am pretty sure of one thing.

Music only comes alive when shared.