Robyn Hoodie, the Virgin Diary - Chapter 6: Let There Be Music!

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Chapter 6: Let There Be Music!

Teenager with a fancy weapon wearing a hoodie

According to my sister, it has been said that you can impress the members of any gender with music, so she would like to form a band. (Can the responsible person who said that please come forward and explain why they did?). Our parents gave mixed reactions, because we haven't yet decided what kind of music we were planning to make, especially since we both don't play an instrument yet. After much deliberation and extensive research, I decided to go try the Pibgorn or Welsh hornpipe. (I pressed the 'random page' button on Wikipedia until I got to an instrument, discounting the Chinese spheres I came across as a torture instrument). When I told her about the hornpipe, Robyn noted that if it really was an idioglottic reedpipe, it might have four letters too many. We'll see what she'll come up with before we can deliver any repartee to that. First I have to get my hands on one or make one from scratch (which seems to be acceptable for this sort of instrument). The playing bit can be made out of bone or wood, usually elder, just like the reed. There is no clear evidence that the cow's horn needs to be of Welsh descent to be a Welsh Pibgorn, so any horn will do. I might write 'Croeso Y Cymru' on it in sharpie, just to be sure.

With the help of the other Girl Geeks, Robyn had concocted the No-string electric bass-harp. Joan was responsible for the grounded steel bodice needed to play it, because the instrument was loosely based on the principles of the Tesla coil, using electric discharges to generate the tones. Given the inherent volume of such an instrument, I decided that I could bypass the process of actually tuning my hornpipe, once I made it. Maybe we could join forces and have my instrument control hers? That's a thought for later. Maybe not. Could be a liability issue there. Come to think of it, maybe I'll ask Joan for some protection for me as well.

I first found out about Robyn's instrument because all the lights in my room flickered and faded. Apart from that, there was the ear-splitting noise of course, the strong smell of ozone and bits of plaster dropping from the ceiling afterwards. My suspicions about energy procurement were confirmed when looked outside and saw Mary's grinning head peer out of a small worker's tent perched on the sidewalk, two fat cables running from our front door. At least they tried not to ruin our parents with the electricity bill.

A new meaning for Power chords

Armed with a hacksaw and a small red LED bicycle light duct-taped to my forehead (so as not to attract attention), I went out to try and find an elder tree. Our garden only had trees of the younger persuasion. Luckily I brought my phone, so I could check what an elder tree actually looks like. It turns out that our neighbours across the street have one in their front yard, right next to a very bright street light. This issue was solved by an expertly judged kick against the lamppost, turning it off. When I approached the elder tree, the smell of the berries distinctly reminded me of my dad, for some obscure reason. Selecting a branch with the right thickness, I started sawing. This was easier said than done. Apparently, live wood has a pretty high resistance against being cut by a blade made for metal, only producing zooming sounds but leading nowhere. Plan B consisted of brute force, planting both feet at the stem and putting my weight on the branch. This worked. Sort of. With a mighty crack, the branch fell down, taking me with it. It was halfway down to the ground that I remembered our neighbours across the street owned a dog, which chose that moment to start barking loudly. Despite this distraction, I didn't fail to hit the ground. Luckily for me, the barking dog was going berserk inside the house, so I ran off with the branch, trailing leaves. Then, halfway down the street, I remembered the saw still leaning against the tree. After hiding the branch by means of smacking it into the ground in our own yard, as an impromptu sapling, I nonchalantly sauntered past the tree again, picking up the saw in one smooth move, to find out that saw blades made for metal did cut skin after all. Sucking my fingers, I eventually managed to move all incriminating evidence to the backside of our house. Or so I thought.

Looking out the next morning, a trail of dark purple berries could be seen, leading from the tree and running right to our house. Let's hope no one else notices.

Part of my construction problem was solved when I walked past the joke shop after school, seeing an ornate Viking helmet on display. There were my horns or horn-ishes. I wondered if I could still switch to the Norse Hornpipe but voted against it, because I already had my elder branch. I went in and bought the helmet. It was quite expensive, but I didn't feel like buying and butchering live cows for the sake of Art. When I entered our street, I just saw the garbage truck leave. Looking in horror, I saw how my hard-won elder branch was being expertly crushed inside it and realised that it was an odd week and they came to collect the garden waste today.


Time to get on with a plan C and Bambi-eye and Pretty-please!!! my sister into letting me use her 3D printer for the instrument body instead. Maybe I could come up with a dual-horned design that left the Viking helmet intact?

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