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A Story Inspired by Medusa’s Sister and a Piece of Unplayable Piano Music
To gorgonise. An old English word based on Greek. Means to have a paralysing effect on someone.
Taken to the extreme, as I always do. Evryali is a music piece for solo piano that cannot physically be played, composed by Iannis Xenakis in 1973. That means the piano player has to choose which notes to play and which not to, resulting in a performance that transcends form and function. Evryali is also a Gorgon, (Yes, Medusa’s sister.) Noted for her petrifying gaze of course, but also for her bellowing cries. Contrary to Medusa who was a mortal that was cursed, Evryali was immortal.
The first time I met her I thought my heart had stopped.
That’s simply because it had.
I was a plain old workhand on the Paros estates. She came to the island to spend her summer days, bathing in the sun and taunting the males.
Miss Evryali was famous, you see. A pianist of the finest calibre. She had performed in Opera houses in New Yorks and Italies and Moscows.
That was no laughing matter, you see. Not that there ever was any laughter inside these walls. Oh, we sometimes laughed, the staff. In secret, amongst us, about the master’s eccentricities and something funny we might have read. But it was all done in hiding.
A dour mist fell upon the estate whenever one of the masters was around, either he or the lady. No children, of course, they never wanted children. It was the new thing among the rich and the famous, to go against social structure and neither marry not get pregnant, no matter how many years a couple might stick together and no matter how indistinguishable their relationship might be from marriage itself.
It was the posh thing, you see. Being barren and thin. Thin and perfect. Perfect and famous. Famous and rich. Rich and desired.