Life

Exodus

  Chun Ri was in a daze, unable to do anything serious except sleeping on his head with sweet dreams.
  Every morning when I wake up, the first thing I do is reach out and touch the mobile phone by the bedside. Unsurprisingly, the news has made another day of melancholy for me. The two crabapple trees downstairs bloomed and withered earlier than in previous years, as if they were robbed by spring rain overnight, and the pink paint was shaken off the ground. What I have are wild thoughts that cannot be shaken off, which are not beneficial to the peace and tranquility of the world, let alone the heart, liver, spleen and lungs, so I have to do something to divert my attention.
  Adorno, a German, once said: “After Auschwitz, writing poetry is cruel.” In this spring, which has turned gray due to the epidemic, he did not write a single line of poetry, but conspired with his friends to do something even more unreasonable—— — write songs.
  After two months of sharpening, a song called “Uncommon” was finally finished. The title of the song was specially changed by the songwriter “Country Headphones”. The original name was “Ideal Horse”, which is more like a vulgar prose title. I said that the reform is good, the song is for ordinary people to listen to, and the name has to be neat, transparent, and straight to the heart. In the face of the dark world, rhetorical tricks are also cruel.
  Knowing nothing about music theory, the enviable musical cells are lucky to grow in other people’s bodies. Pop music has been heard since I was a child, and my ears are busy enjoying it, but my mind is very free. There is one thing I have never thought about, how those melodies that are melodious and melodious, invisible and intangible, so invisible, came out of other people’s minds out of thin air, and were outlined by some words so palpable and charming What about appearance?
  Taiwanese composer Li Zongsheng once spent ten years giving shape to a melody. This melody first came to his ears on a summer day in 2003, but it was not released until 2013 under the name “The Hill”. Ten years is such a wide gap, the world is ups and downs, people become old little by little in the tempering of the years, words and melodies are not in a hurry, they live in a person’s head and slowly ferment and form, they are waiting for a common The fateful meeting was completed at the perfect time.
  ”After crossing the hills, I found no one was waiting; chattering endlessly, the sadness of not being with me…” The impression is that in the spring of 2015, after interviewing at a dusty construction site in the countryside of Zhuji, on the way back to Hangzhou, I was tired. I had to lie on the back seat, looking around in panic, this song floated out of the car stereo unexpectedly, like a bolt of lightning, hitting every bone in my body. I was twenty-five years old that year, and in theory, I was far from old enough to listen to Li Zongsheng.
  Remember someone said that music is the language of God. Then, the composer is the messenger sent by God to the world.
  Many years ago, my friend Changyou gave himself the nickname “Country Headphones”. He believed that he was born as one of the messengers of the gods. This virtual headset may be the tool for him to secretly communicate with the mystery. Think about it, for at least ten years, God has not sent him any news. Once, his relationship with God was so close, and his communication was so frequent, day and night.
  I have witnessed it with my own eyes, in our middle school days when we were studying hard. There is a blue leather notebook in his drawer, which is filled with, besides the provocative words of youth, there are also pages of music scores that are more obscure than mathematical formulas. God is not merciful, I can’t read music when I’m young, and if the seven numbers representing musical notes are reversed and combined, my tongue will tie up. Chang is different. He was born with the gift of not only being able to read scores, but also translating the melodies he hummed casually into scores. In college, with more free time, he taught himself composition, arrangement, harmony and post-production, and created dozens of songs of various styles, including campus folk songs, rock, and RAP, and so on.
  During those years, Changyou held his proud neck high, mastered the eighteen martial arts of music without a teacher, and read the “God’s decree” to us day and night.
  However, just as no one can explain how MH370 disappeared, I can’t explain to you why his musical inspiration evaporated overnight after graduating from university. For nearly a decade after that, he didn’t write another song. The god that belonged to him hid in Yun Shen’s unknown place without saying hello.
  Over the years, I have told everyone that Changyou has contributed his peak musical talent to me. Two of the most important moments in my life – my marriage and the birth of my son – have had his music in person. One is “Happy Marriage” and the other is “Let’s Go”. The style of the song is not fancy, but it catches people because of the sincere friendship. I played this song to my son for the first time when he was seven or eight years old. He widened his eyes, raised his pointed ears, and stroked this cheerful song over and over again, surprised that he was written into the song as soon as he came into the world. Where can a child’s surprise be hidden? For him, the appearance of this song is like an unexpected addition of glory, which made him hold his head high in school for a long time…
  Chang You is braver than me, and in the reality of living in poverty, he dared to do it twice. Be someone else’s father. He embraced two lovely children, a boy and a girl, so naturally he didn’t have time to hug the guitar. In the past ten years, he has bought three guitars, all of which are of the Yamaha brand. The way he holds the guitar with open arms is like hugging his soul mate. Over the years, of course he also hugged the guitar when he was holding the child, but he was a little distracted, and the chords he swept out were all other people’s chords. Every year when we get together in my hometown during the Spring Festival, I can’t help but encourage him: Changyou, write, write more songs, don’t waste your talent. You can make an album and be a singer! There was a mysterious smile on the corner of his mouth, saying that the time had not yet come, and the fire was not yet ready.
  Believe me, he was not in such a tactful tone back then. More than ten years have passed, and I always remember it for him. In the dormitory of Nankang Middle School early in the morning in 2007, the big guy was woken up by “Huo Yuanjia” on the radio. After waking up, Changyou came to the standing mirror in the corner, first habitually brushed a lock of bangs on his forehead, and then proudly announced to everyone: Give me ten years and promise to surpass him! It’s a pity that fifteen years later, that fabulous “he” has not been surpassed by anyone even if he is lazy enough to be in semi-retirement.
  Time has given Chang You too much humility, and at the same time stripped him of his once-valuable sharpness.
  I still took the trouble to encourage him to write songs whenever I got the chance. Although, I also fished for three days and posted on the net for two days, and I didn’t do a few lines of graffiti in a year. I said don’t wait, tomorrow will be tomorrow, just now, you compose the music, I will write the lyrics, to stir up some movement in this stagnant life. How could I have imagined that this time he was evasive on the surface, but he actually kept his secret behind the scenes, and sent a humming demo in less than ten days. After listening to it a few times, I feel that it looks good. The chorus is especially touching. Behind the passionate melody, there is a sense of desolation of the ups and downs of the world. I said yes, so let’s write about the feelings of people in middle age. He immediately gave me a high-five and said that the idea coincided with that, and the inspiration for the song came out of nowhere when he was washing himself in the bathroom and looking in the mirror early in the morning.
  In the mirror, his hairline is a little higher than yesterday, and there are no bangs on his forehead for him to flirt with. A few months ago, on a whim, he bought a wig online, trying to regain some of the confidence and arrogance of his youth. Back then, he had a handsome face, a straight and thin bridge of nose, and a puff of black and light hair on his head. He was not considered a “school grass”, but a “class grass” was always qualified. If there is anything to criticize about his image, it is that his back is not straight enough, and because he is too tall and thin, he always looks like an ear of rice in the autumn harvest when he walks, with a part of his shoulders drooping forward. When he appeared in front of me in a wig and took a selfie, I rubbed my eyelids, thinking I was hallucinating.

  The wig stayed on top of his thirty-three-year-old head for only a moment before he pulled it off. Although the wig revived the youthful look on his face to a certain extent, it added more spiritual emptiness and shame to him virtually. He threw away the wig, straightened up and walked out of the house.
  In fact, compared with Changyou, Suiyue obviously prefers to display finely carved art on my face. Let me tell you this, even if you scratch my armpit in various ways, I still have to endure it. When I smile, my whole face immediately falls apart. Friends who haven’t seen each other for a few months, when they saw my recent photos, they sighed and said: The vicissitudes of life are like you. The so-called vicissitudes are not accidental, but mostly because of my tireless cooperation in the carving of time. For example, I insist on competing with owls at one or two o’clock in the morning every day, such as eliminating at least one pack of cigarettes a day; for example, the grass in my spiritual private plot is withered and leaves are yellow, and I always stick my head out to care about the growth of other people’s rice and vegetables…
  Unlike Changyou, my ears lack the nourishment of chords, and there is always the sound of wind blowing mountains and tsunamis for no reason. The sound of the wind is sharp and breaks through layers of fragile defenses without obstacles. . I saw a writer in the circle of friends saying that he lost the motivation to write, and motivation is difficult to build. It’s like this, the collapse of the soul structure is like broken glass all over the place, which is difficult to reassemble.
  In the DEMO sent by Changyou, I drew the space according to the beat that night, gearing up for a cross-border cameo appearance by Vincent Fang. When I tried the water for the first time, I obviously overestimated my level and status. Those blank spaces were like deep pits. I didn’t know which words were enough to fill them. I sat buried in front of my computer for two hours that night, typing the next line, sighing, and deleting it. After repeated many times, I finally lost my patience, closed the computer and fell into a deep sleep.
  This shelving lasted for nearly a month. Changyou couldn’t stand it anymore, he used the lyrics from Jay Chou’s “Terraces” to urge me in the group, saying that he will release his next album when I finish writing the lyrics. Then we took advantage of the trend to discuss the art of writing lyrics. There are specializations in the art. Although writing lyrics and poetry belong to the category of language creation, the paths are different. “Terraces” is an environmental theme, exuding a strong flavor of Taiwan’s hometown. The lyrics and music were written by Jay Chou, and he was also nominated for the best lyricist of the Golden Melody Award that year. It seems that his talent is not limited to grabbing melodies from the void. The differences between Changyou and I appeared on Jay Chou’s early song “Split”. “Raindrops passed by from both sides/cut me in two spirits”, Jay was only in his early twenties that year. Divide, look at the word, and think that the music and the words are the soul and the flesh, which must be tightly locked together like gears.
  I can’t dress a popular piece of music with solemn and magnificent clothes, and the uncommon and remote words are also against the original intention of the song’s dissemination. All I can do is tailor the clothes. Following the rhythm and beat of the melody, the ups and downs and setbacks of emotions, I looked at myself surrounded by skin and flesh, and also at the strangers on the street and on the road. Their faces were expressionless, and there were waves in their hearts; they were nameless No surname, living only in the cries of a few people; they disappeared as they walked; they were like a gust of wind blowing across the wild hillside, never existed…
  I remembered that this spring, in an ancient mountain village called Xuling, I met a middle-aged woman who was single and widowed. She claimed to be from Beijing, but deliberately omitted her earlier birthplace. She wears rough clothes and a rough bun, stripped of the exquisite makeup cultivated in the deep palace of the capital, and stripped of the regional attributes of her accent. She renounced her accent, and she also renounced her origin. Two years ago, she sold her house in Beijing, dressed in plain clothes and went south, passing by the mountain village Wu Zixu passed by 2,500 years ago, and rented an old house to settle down. She didn’t leave, she said that a person will die here alone. She refurbished the long-abandoned house and started a B&B. Her homestay is very inconspicuous, few people come here a year, and there is no TV installed in the house. The world on the TV makes her hate it, and the strange and decadent small mountain village makes her always vigilant. You can’t really know someone, she said coldly. Modern humans have long been torn apart. She raised a large golden retriever as a guard at night, and it was tied to the pillar at the door. The golden retriever is very docile and does not bark, or it is tired of barking. The moment I approached and stroked it, its fat body suddenly collapsed, turning into a pool of golden liquid on the ground, and looked at me sobbing for no reason. Women have long been used to loneliness, but golden retrievers have not. The loneliness of a woman shone with a deadly cold light, which frightened the golden retriever and made me faintly tremble. I didn’t want to talk to the woman any more, and drove away from the lonely mountain village surrounded by layers of rapeseed flowers to the direction of the city…
  I returned to Changyou’s music. There is some sadness in the melody, some bewilderment, some tragic, and in the end they are all like streams rampaging in the mountains and gullies, merging into the calm and calm river. Going away, traveling far, dying in a foreign land, the backs of generations of lonely running are as old as new; dusk, birds, horses, frost, these immortal images, through them, you and me of the new and new humans, tears once again torrent. “That’s it, Changyou, I have limited talent, and I can’t write anything more appropriate.” He asked me if the Nanshan in my poem was the Nanshan of Nankang? I said no, it belonged to Tao Yuanming and Zhang Zao, and it also stands in the heart of every mortal. We see it from afar, we go to it, we climb it, we go through a long life of suffering and we are buried there alone.
  People rely on clothes and horses rely on saddles. Changyou said that his current knowledge of music theory is too shallow, so he should hire a professional master to do it. The two poor people secretly raised fifteen hundred yuan without telling their wives, and found a music production company in Sichuan on Taobao. Arranger Kun Mu asked us to provide reference repertoire, and Changyou’s “Ordinary Road” and “Broad Sea and Sky”, etc., I don’t think it fits well. Later, I had a flash of inspiration, and I remembered that I was driving out of the city last spring, and I heard a song called “Exodus” by chance. More than ten years ago, I bought a “Bible”, but I only read the first few chapters, and I didn’t have time to explore the story behind it in the future. But this does not prevent me from feeling its magnificent and tragic narrative with my ears, and imagining a vast Egyptian desert with yellow dust flying in the sound of horseshoes, which covers the green and humid mountains of southern China in front of my eyes. That trip out of the city was imagined by me as a heroic expedition. The four wheels turned into squatting horseshoes, and the clanging trumpet was permeated with endless sorrow, opening up a long road for me.
  It was later learned that, in addition to the trumpet version, “Exodus” also has a piano version played by Croatian pianist Maxim. It must be God’s gift of food that made Maxim grow ten smooth fingers. They landed on the black and white keys, and the keys immediately gave out a groan like the sound of nature. The rhythm sometimes strayed like a cat, and sometimes the cheetah flew wildly. When the big beads and small beads fell on the jade plate, my heart was already sweating profusely. Friends who are familiar with him should understand it instantly. I am talking about another classic masterpiece of his – “Croatian Rhapsody”. I don’t believe that anyone’s ears can resist the temptation of this piano piece; similarly, I don’t believe that when the piano sounds are dancing wildly, you can restrain your urge to point your ten fingers in the air.
  Under Maxim’s fatal temptation, I took out my savings of 13,000 yuan and bought my first piano in the summer of 2017. The brand is Yamaha, and I immediately fell in love with it at the second-hand piano market in the north of Hangzhou. According to the boss, it is nearly fifty years old, and its original price was about RMB 150,000. The piano is coated with wax and then covered with a layer of film. The body of the piano is black and shiny, and it is completely impossible to see that it has such a long life. The boss is very honest, honest and not deceitful, in fact, for me, a layman, I will nod and believe what he says. The boss also introduced that the blood flowing in its body is Japanese, and it just came here on a giant ship across the ocean a week ago. I imagine that it spent the first half of its sensual and brilliant life in a certain family in the island country. From the 1970s to the present, it has accompanied the musical enlightenment and growth of two generations, and perhaps it has created a pianist. It can be seen. The boss said that I was thinking too much. Pianos are very common in Japan. Almost every household has them. It is not exclusive to musicians. It is likely to be a lonely ordinary piece of furniture in the first half of its life, sitting in the corner to eat dust. The migration of fate is so wonderful, even in the face of the cold water poured on me by the boss, I still stubbornly retained all the good imaginations about this piano in the first half of its life, and hired a car to transport it home. After placing it in the cramped bedroom, I stroked every inch of its skin with slightly trembling hands, and said to it in my heart, old man, leave the glory of the rest of your life to me in a foreign country to continue writing .

  Today, five years later, I should feel ashamed and sincerely apologize to this piano. Yes, I broke my promise. Facts have proved that the second half of its life was unfortunate, and the new owner it thought could entrust the rest of its life was actually a complete fake piano fan. His instant enthusiasm came in a flood of ferocity, and due to the lack of continuous rainfall supply, the water level receded very quickly. This process was so short that it took less than three months. It is undeniable that during that time he really sat on the cold bench of the piano with his heart, and a pair of clumsy fingers searched back and forth on the eighty-eight black and white keys, but he couldn’t find the trick to really enter. Of course, it can’t be “Croatian Rhapsody” and “Exodus”. Before climbing these two peaks, he had to find a few small hills to practice his hands. He chose “The Longest Movie” by Jay Chou, a song that has run through his entire youth and deeply influenced him. According to the score found on the Internet, he pressed (yes, it was pressed, not played) to play a note, and then pressed the next one. He pressed every next note correctly. Well, when he tried to play coherently When it was played, the song was interpreted as the most hip-moving and most embarrassing piano version in history. He felt discouraged, and his discouragement was not an emotional transition but an ending. Yes, there is no dramatic reversal and progression, and there is no follow-up, which is the end of the play. Like an overblown balloon, it was punctured by a needle. His frantic pursuit of piano playing like a scourge stopped at this point.
  Later Changyou asked me very puzzled: Since I don’t play it, why didn’t I sell it?
  I said: Let it go, just looking at it is also a kind of artistic enjoyment.
  He said nothing more. I know, this answer is unassailable.
  However, it is still a great regret, for me and for this old man. For five years, maybe longer, neither “Croatian Rhapsody” nor “Exodus” will flow from its keys. I don’t know how long it will live in its fifties. I don’t even know if it is still alive today, covered in debris all over. I only know that letting my ten fingers learn to dance on the keyboard is more difficult, dangerous and unpredictable than the way the Hebrews left Egypt in a mighty way.
  That’s it, Exodus. I agree with Chang. However, when the arranger Kun Mu asked me which version to refer to, I still hesitated. I said, listen to it all. Kun Mu asked again, do you want orchestral feeling? This is pure music, doesn’t it match the tune? Can the stringed music create an atmospheric feeling? A series of questions confuse us. I said timidly, we are laymen, and the songs we make are not so grand, just as a reference. He said, OK, I understand.
  He did get it. Three days later, he sent samples, and we knew it as soon as the prelude sounded, right. Orchestral strings, pianos, electric guitars, drums, and other musical instruments that we can’t hear, he has stewed them all in one pot. He stewed out the majestic feeling we imagined with his two focused and skillful hands. However, after listening to it several times, we felt guilty again. Obviously, the lyrics and music of this song came from the hands of two humble amateurs. It is skinny and weak, and its timid eyes are open in the face of the crowd. How can it be worthy of such exquisite and gorgeous clothes?
  After several revisions and psychological tug-of-war, under the secret control of vanity, we finally accepted the dress calmly.
  This is the first musical work that Changyou and I have produced with great enthusiasm since our acquaintance when we were young. To put it bluntly, it is our “child” carefully conceived. Before she is about to go on a long journey, we have no reason not to prepare the most beautiful and exquisite dowry for her in advance.
  While we were deliberating and revising the arrangement, Changyou’s wife called me. She said, Baoguang, please persuade Chang to do it, he is already in a daze, these days, day and night, playing a song over and over again, my daughter Mengmeng and I are almost sick of hearing it.
  Of course she knew about our partnership spending “huge sums” of money to arrange music. Maybe because of my presence on the phone, she didn’t obviously “raise trouble” to Chang You beside her immediately. But I still sniffed out her faint worries about the daily necessities of the family of four from the handset of the mobile phone, which is very real and natural.
  ”Extraordinary”. Then it might as well be understood as an “Exodus” in a distressed daily life that Changyou and I deliberately planned, or in other words, it is a drumming expedition to build an ideal future.

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