"Composition" by Ian Shine
After my girlfriend died, I set her to music. The flutes were her hair, blowing in the wind, and a Cor Anglais was her voice, all sad and pleading. The cello was her breathing, that dismal violin, and the bassoon her fearful farting, comic despite the circumstances.
I loved it when the orchestra got together to practise; all those musicians, doing something just for me. But I didn’t like it when they went off on other nights to play different things. I wouldn’t tell them, but I’d sit in the audience and watch them at it, being led by any old man waving a stick, and it disgusted me, to see them putting their lips around those other notes and then smiling and bowing afterwards.
When I confronted them with the audio of those performances, they just stared at me blankly, as if it was normal to share yourself around like that. I made them snap the discs, but they wouldn’t promise when I asked them not to do it again, so I made them take their instruments and smash them to bits too.
I recorded the confrontation and am now considered one of the foremost post-structuralist composers. People come from across to world to see my shows, and I have musicians queuing up to play with me, so they too can shatter a Stradivarius or introduce a Steinway to a new type of hammer. The strings are her hair, shed all over the floor, and the piano keys her teeth, broken beyond repair. I kick a hole in a drumskin and warn the audience not to listen to any composers but me. They think I’m a crank, but I’m not. I can use the venue’s ticketing system to find out if they’ve been to any other shows. I’ll set them to music if they’re not careful.