Cleaning the Cushions

Harper Hall - Performance Hall
A huge vaulted room expands before an ornate wooden stage. Strings of thin neon red lights line two walkways down the stadium steps on either side of the center section of seats.
High-backed chairs form semi-circle arcs before the stage in several consecutive rows: totally wooden at the top, progressing to cushioned seats at middle, to very comfortable recliner type chairs towards the bottom, all done in dark mahogany finished skybroom and Harper blue velvet fabric.
Intricate slate-gray marble work outlines the stage as if it's a frame. Curving and winding vines give way to images of harps and theatre masks along the bottom, vaulting up to protruding titans that seem to hold the stage up on either side, to a Celtic inspired braid across the top, ending in an endless knot in the center.
Heavy Harper blue curtains, edged in silver cording, are drawn back to reveal the stage, made of finely varnished wood slats that seem to shine like a mirror. They give the illusion that there are two sets of performers on stage.

It's a cool summer at Harper Hall, and the performance hall is being tidied up for the next concert. Cushions are being repaired, washed, turned and replace on the chairs, the floor is being swept, the marble polished, curtains cleaned, the works. Master Tionasi is here, helping pull up all the cushions off of the chairs for their washing, piling them onto wheeled carts.

With a bit of time in the day between lessons what better to do than get to know the hall that little bit more. That being what Zorya is up to when the blonde finds herself slipping through the doors into the performance hall. One of the many places she has yet to explore the sheer extravagance of the large room causes her to catch her breath before she manages to spot the master. "I'm sorry… I can.." the teenager starts, motioning towards the doors behind her. Is it okay that she's here?

Tionasi glances up and over, grinning, "Zorya, right? Come on over here and help us pile these on. Some of the strings are very tight." The strings tying the cushions to the chair backs have become knotted and swollen with all the humid and then dry spells at the Hall. One cart full, it's pushed down to the washrooms by an apprentice, who gives Zorya a look of warning as he passes. Tionasi pulls up an empty cart, deftly and quickly tossing cushions onto it.

Zorya nods, "That's right." she replies, returning a questioning glance to the apprentice with the cart as they pass. "Master Ti-…Tionasi?" Oh, there are so many new face to remember! But she manages to find the name she thinks is right, questioning herself even as she speaks it, as she draws nearer where the man stands. "I suppose I could.."

Tionasi grins, "Of course you could," the woman says briskly, "Why don't you start on that row while I go around this one?" The rows are one behind the other, running in the semicircle around the front of the stage. "So, Zorya, how are you finding the Hall so far? Is it to your liking? You're from Shipton, are you not?"

Zorya moves towards the indicated row after giving a slight nod. "Its alright," she agrees, bending to work her fingers at loosening one of the knots. "Just.. different." Though at the mention of her home the girl stops, blinking as she glances over her shoulder towards the woman, "Yes Ma'am.." How did she..? Well its probably part of their job isn't it.

Tionasi smiles knowingly at the girl, "It's our business, dear. And I saw your file. I like to know a bit about my student's backgrounds before they begin any of my courses. How did you find your first harp course?"

Zorya nods again, falling back to the knot. "Oh…" Of course its their business. She knew that. "It was … well it was alot to know." Pause. "But I really did like it. I never realized the harpers know so much about,.. well so much." The last few days have been rather overwhelming for the girl.

Tionasi grins, "It is indeed. I happen to love playing the harp, but it's not for everyone. And yet, being Harpers…everyone needs to have at least a basic skill with that instrument. Do you have any idea what instrument might be your true voice?" Of course she focuses on music, but being a Harper is so much more than that.

The next question receives a shake of her head. "Not yet," Zorya replies, slowly working the knot in the string loose, nails clicking together as her fingers slip from the fabric. "I mean, besides singing and that, there's so many of them. I wouldn't know where to start. I think when I find it though I'll know." she continues.

Tionasi nods, "Of course you will. So you're looking to take on a music speciality?" She smiles, because, well, that's her specialty, and who doesn't like to see their knowledge passed on? "You sing, then? That's delightful. My voice is passable, but nothing to write home about."

Zorya sends a smile over her shoulder as the knot slips free, "Oh, I'm sure you're much better than me." She must be, right? Tionasi is a master after all and she's just… well she just started. "I do love it though," for all she knows she could be terribly off key and sound good only to herself. "Singing and dancing." Clear by the way its said that they're two of her favorite things.

Tionasi grins, "Not necessarily. It's all about playing to your strengths. Right now I'm better at playing the harp than you, but you might already have talent well beyond my vocal abilities. That's the fun thing about the Harpers - you never know what amazing talents your apprentices will walk through the door with. It's just a matter of finding them and nurturing them. So if you enjoy voice, then we'll see that most of your focus is on vocal training." She nods, "And dancing, yes."

"I suppose.." Zorya nods in agreement. "Not everyone is good at everything." The girl pauses for a moment, "Master Tionasi, … do you think I'd make a good harper?" she asks uncertainly, biting her lip as soon as the words make it past her lips. She should have said that aloud.

Tionasi pauses in her work to smile over at the girl, "I just met you, dear. I think the question you should be asking is do /you/ think you'd make a good Harper."
Time slows for a bit. Saving database
Dump complete.

"I guess I'm still just a little nervous about being here is all." Zorya comments in return, focusing her attention back on removing the cushions from the chairs. A moment passes and the girl speaks up again, "So, you teach harp, is there anything else?"

Tionasi smiles in understanding, "It happens to everyone. Give yourself some time to settle in before you start making decisions." She nods, "I also teach composition, and violin. Plus I can stand in for just about any other class if I'm needed, but I'm not an expert."

Zorya nods again, "Time," she repeats. Yes, but that doesn't help her uncertainty now. But then they all say that, give yourself time to settle so it must be so. "I'm sure I'll know in time." she agrees, "I like how it sounds, the violin that is. I mean the harp too, but there's so many strings I'd be afraid I'd get my fingers tangled in them." she continues with a smile.

Tionasi grins, "You will," she says with confidence, finishing her row and tossing the last cushion onto the nearly full cart. "But then you won't. Like everything, all it takes is practice." She rubs the small of her back briefly, before stepping towards the curtains. "Now, how do you think we can best get these clean?"

Zorya blinks over towards the curtains as she adds the cushion in hand to the pile already in the cart. "I haven't the foggiest." she replies, "We'd never have anythin that big to clean back at Shipton."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License