Music And Magic
IC date:
OOC date: 06/02/13
Location: Town Square
PCs: Refrain Hawthorn

A bustling town square! Hey look, a neat fountain!

The bustling town square holds a handful of buildings surrounding an important-looking fountain. At the center of the fountain is a statue of an adventurous looking filly shading her eyes with one hoof and gazing importantly into the distance. On her bronzed flank is a scroll and compass, and around her neck hangs a pair of binoculars.

Holes set equidistant around the pedestal spout water into the horseshoe-shaped pool around her. The water is littered with bitcoins, but it seems the pool is not just for wishing; everypony is permitted to wade in and cool off during the summers, too.

There is a plaque here. Use +view plaque to see it.

Spring has sprung! The grass is green, the flowers are blooming and the air has a fresh, loamy scent.

It is a beautiful afternoon in Horseshoe Harbor! Sea birds squawk and flutter, the smell of the sea is noticeable but not overpowering, and the fountain bubbles happily - and, sitting in front of it, a new pony shamelessly busks.

A small hat is set on the ground, and his horn glows a brilliant red - and the air around him is filled with happy, upbeat music. There's strings, some woodwinds, and a vey prominent drum section in his music, though Refrain is careful to keep the volume down. A few golden bits gleam in the hat, gifts from random passerby - but the unicorn appears to be enjoying the bright spring afternoon, and all but ignoring the coins for now.

Hawthorn is just coming back from the local sweet shop, a cheap piece of rock candy sticking out of his muzzle. He's headed for a bench, but he stops as he hears the music. He pauses, frowning around his candy. He glances at his bench, then shrugs and starts to hunt for the source of the pretty music, the frown fading into a vague sort of smile. He pushes through the passersby as best as he can, then sits down in front of the other unicorn, tilting his head to the side as he listens, sucking quietly on his candy.

Refrain smiles at the younger pony, his music lilting and hanging in the air around them both. Another gold bit is added to the hat by a passing earth pony, who gets a grateful nod from the musician. Dark blue eyes assess Hawthorn. "Hello." There's a hint of an accent to his voice, though it's hard to place from just that one word.

Hawthorn blinks, looking around as he's addressed. He points at himself, then beams happily. He pulls the candy out, then says, "Hi!" He pauses, blinks again, then adds, "I'm Hawthorn! That was real pretty music you made, Mister." He looks on the verge of asking another question, but he swallows it, nomming on the candy once again. He tilts his head to the side again, wondering if he'll get to hear more music.

Refrain is still playing the music, his horn still alight. It seems he can talk, at least a little bit, while using magic - not that unusual, really - but the song does gradually wind to a conclusion. A few other listeners drop bits in the hat, and wander off. "Thank you! It's a piece I learned from the composer in the Conservatory!" His accent is definitely Manehattanite, although not so thick as to make him hard to understand.

Hawthorn flicks an ear lightly as the music winds to a close. "Um. Conservatory?" he asks curiously. "And… um…" He shakes his head—that'd be a rude question. "Nevermind. So… um… Are you new around here?" he asks. "You don't sound like the other people here, I mean. Um. Sorry if that was rude." He scuffs a hoof lightly.

Refrain nods. "Yeah, I'm from Manehattan. Studied at the Manehattan Conservatory for the Performing Arts!" He tilts his head at the averted question, and smiles a bit at the follow-up. "Yep! Heard this was a trade hub, so I thought there'd be lots of interesting music to hear here." He looks around, and shrugs. "I seem to be one of the only ones out busking, though. What about you? Are you from the area?"

Hawthorn ooohs. "I've never been to Manehattan. Is it nice? Do you miss it?" He ums. "What's busking? Do you mean playing music? I've heard some other ponies out playing music before. I think I heard some over by the docks the other day." He scuffs a hoof. "Me? No. I was heading to Canterlot with my parents, but we got separated on the way here, but we made a plan if that happened, so I hadda come here and wait for them, so… um… Here I am."

Refrain nods at the questions. "It's all right. Bit too noisy for me - I like it out here a lot better." The busking question gets another nod. "Yep! Specifically, sitting outside and playing my music. I have a bit of an advantage, since I don't need instruments." He tilts his head at the explanation. "Canterlot, huh? Going to visit? I've never been to Canterlot - but I hear it's gorgeous."

Hawthorn blushes a little bit. "Well… um… Actually, my dad wanted me to go to school in Canterlot. We were headed there so I could take the entrance exams, but then we got separated." He looks up towards the sun to get an idea of what time is. "I hope they get here soon, or there won't be enough time to get to Canterlot before the exams." He smiles. "I haven't ever been before, either. In fact, this is the first time I've ever left home! It's really exciting." He flicks his tail lightly. "Is that your magic? I-I mean, is that what lets you play music without any instruments?"

Refrain ahhhs, comprehension plain on his face. "That's pretty nifty!" He tips the hat into one of his saddlebags, emptying it out. "I never really had any talent for spells, outside of the ones I use for music. And yes, that's my magic - I can mimic any instrument I've ever heard." He indicates his cutie mark with a hoof. "So what's your magic?"

Hawthorn tilts his head to the side to peek at the indicated cutie mark. He ooohs excitedly and nods, then blushes a little bit. "Well, dad says it's really special, but I dunno… Um… I can make… like… 'lusions?" He looks up to ensure he got the word right. "Fake pictures and stuff. It's fun! I just got my cutie mark last year." He points at his flank.

Refrain tilts his head and looks at it, nodding approvingly. "Illusions, maybe? Sounds like a pretty nifty talent! We had some illusionists studying at the Conservatory - pretty nice bunch. They made some interesting spells for some of the dual performances, too - but if you're going to study in Canterlot, you're probably going to end up head and shoulders above most of them in terms of power." That's not strictly speaking true, but how would Refrain know that?

Hawthorn beams happily. "Thank you!" He ooohs a bit, and blushes. "Well, maybe. I dunno. Dad says it's real important I get into a good school." He looks distracted for a moment, thinking about his parents, then turns back with a smile. "I hope so, anyway! It's fun, using magic. I can't really do anything real special yet, but… um…" He giggles a little bit, then closes his eyes, scrunching up his face in concentration. His horn flashes, then lights up, a pretty, pale red colour, then with a pop there's a brightly coloured butterfly flapping around the colt's head.

Refrain watches, fascinated. "Wow…that's pretty cool! I'd ask how you did it, but I don't think I'd be able to figure it out even if I did." He shrugs, smiling and watching the buttefly some more. "You should practice maintaining the illusions, though - that's the big thing that a lot of young unicorns don't realize. Complex illusions are cool, but using magic can really wear you out if you don't get in shape for it." He smiles wryly. "As I found out my first day in the Conservatory orchestra."

Hawthorn giggles, peeking up at the butterfly. It vanishes with another little pop as his horn goes out. He grins bashfully, then meeps and nods, going wide-eyed as he gets lectured about magic. He nods energetically. "Okay!" He looks up where the unicorn used to be, thinking about it for a moment. Then he blinks. "What happened your first day?" he asks, eagerly. He blushes a little bit, scuffing his hooves. "Sorry… It's just I really like hearing about magic, you know?"

Refrain chuckles. "It's fine! It's actually a pretty funny story, though I was mortified at the time." He clears his throat. "I was about your age, actually - I'd gotten my cutie mark a year or so earlier, and my father had gotten me into the Conservatory. My specific magic convinced the directors to let me try out for the full Orchestra, so I was there at my first real concert. I hadn't worked on my endurance at all, though, so we're sweeping down into the grand finale of Marezart's Symphony No. 8 - the bit with the dramatic brass and strings - and I, playing the entire brass section by myself, pass out in the orchestra pit. Apparently I just went from upright and casting to crumpled in a ball on the floor before the director even realized what was happening."

Hawthorn perks his ears up, listening to the story with a big grin. His candy is long finished, but he nibbles on the stick while he listens. He starts to interrupt a couple of times, but catches himself before he says anything. "Wow," he says, then blushes. "I promise I'll work on my endurance," he says, mostly to his hooves. Which he scuffs. "I guess it musta been pretty embarrassing," he says. "Um. What's a Marezart?" he asks, peeking up, looking mildly embarrassed himself.

Refrain laughs at the memory, and nods. "Good plan. If you overcast, you don't just pass out - you can also suffer a temporary burnout." He flicks an ear at the question. "Marezart? A composer from a few centuries ago. An earth pony, I believe, who wrote quite a lot of the traditional classical music. Personally, I favor Neighthoven - another composer - but there's just something about pegasus classical music that appeals to me."

Hawthorn eeps. "B-burnout?" he asks, looking nervous. He tries to look up at his own horn. He ums and ohs. "I never got a chance to listen to much music back home." He tilts his head, listening to the discussion of composers. "There was a pony who could play fiddle, and another who played the banjo, but that's about it. I dunno that they ever played anything real famous." He pauses and considers. "Um. C-could I hear something? I mean, by one of those composers? If that'd be okay? Please?" He gives big, round, foal eyes. Q.Q

Refrain nods. "Burnout. Don't worry, it'll only be temporary - if it happens at all. You won't be able to use magic at all for a day or two, but after that you'll be back to normal." He grins a very wide, cheerful grin at the request. "I'd be delighted to." He closes his eyes, draws in a deep breath, and exhales slowly, before opening them. His horn starts to glow, and the sound of soft wind instruments and quiet strings emanates from around him. The piece starts off slow, gentle - almost pastoral.

Hawthorn ohs. He reaches up to tap his horn nervously, before squeaking softly. He beams happily as he gets grinned at, and bounces on his hooves lightly before he settles down. He blinks as the music starts, immediately settling down. He sits back down, smiling as he listens. He ooohs a little bit, settling down further, laying down in front of the older unicorn, looking up as he goes quiet and listens.

Refrain tosses his mane absent-mindedly as the music picks up, the red glow growing a bit brighter. The tempo of the winds and strings increases, and the key shifts from minor into major as the brass joins in - quietly at first, but swelling in a triumphant manner. The entire piece sounds like the kind of thing played at victory celebrations, or over an army as they march home in triumph. Percussion comes in along with the brass, enhancing the military feel of it.

Hawthorn mimics the mane-tossing, perhaps unconsciously. He shifts a little bit, still grinning. He oohs quietly as the music picks up, one ear flicking lightly. He blinks a bit, sitting up straighter at the triumphant base. He taps a hoof in time (more or less) with the percussion. He grins even more, going wide eyed at the expansive music. He looks all excited.

Refrain brings the piece to it's crashing crescendo, waves of sound pouring off of him and filling the air around. The triumphant sound swells, the brass and percussion thunderous and underlaid by the piping of the winds and the sawing of the strings - and then the piece concludes, not even echoes ringing off of the surrounding buildings.

Hawthorn eeps and nearly jumps at the crescendo, grinning even wider. He cheers and applauds happily when the song ends. "That was amazing!" he says, still beaming brightly. "Wow! Thank you!" He flicks an ear, looking around, as if amazed that some vestige of the song isn't still hanging around. "So… what's that song called?" he asks. He grins again. "It was really great!" he repeats, bouncing to his hooves.

Refrain smiles - and looks a bit surprised as the few passerby who stopped to listen start to stomp their hooves in equine applause as well. Once the applause dies down a bit, dark blue eyes focus on the questioner. "It's called Praise the Sun. It's a song about Princess Celestia, and her role in bringing a war to a peaceful end." He stands, and his horn glows again as he lifts his saddlebags onto his back, and puts the rather worn hat on his head. "And now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go grab something to eat - I'm starved."

Hawthorn looks just as surprised to see the passersby as the other unicorn does. He oohs a bit. "It's very pretty," he says, still grinning. He ohs and looks a little crestfallen when Refrain mentions leaving, but quickly perks up again. "Okay! It was really nice to meet you! I hope to see you around again, maybe?" He bounces on his hooves again, then waves. "Take care!" He scarpers off to his bench, climbing up onto it to begin his (slightly belated) ritual of pony watching.

Refrain waves, and strolls off, humming to himself as he goes. Before too long, the brown unicorn vanishes around a corner, and the day spins on.