Composers for Relief: Existence by Nick Murray

composers-for-relief-album-cover

On November 8, 2013, the deadliest natural disaster in Philippines’ history, Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), stole the lives of over 6,000 mothers and fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers, brothers and sisters, and countless children.

More than 16 million people have been affected by this horrific tragedy, their world ripped apart with every loss…their hopes torn from tortured hearts.

Though we are scattered across the globe, we are connected to their anguish, we feel their sorrow as if it were our own. They need our help, our empathy, our compassion, our action!

So Samatha Redstreak Geary has helped to arrange the following:

Over 30 gifted composers hailing from 16 countries collaborated on an inspirational album, initiated by Peter Ebbinghaus, to raise funds for the victims of this catastrophe. All profits from the album, and companion ebook, will go to Gawad Kalinga (“give care”), supporting the efforts in distributing food and rebuilding the devastated lives and damaged cities across the Philippines. More information on the album can be found at the Soundtracks and Trailer Music site.

Each of the 28 tracks instills a sense of hope, whispering of a new dawn. Every note holds the promise of rebirth, strengthening the power of will to rise again. The soul of the music demands that we fight back, it is the nature of our existence, to persevere, to strive for a life that is once again beautiful. This is not the end–a hymn of faith shall spill from our voices into cups of peace that will strive to heal brave hearts.

Together, we are a commanding force for change, forging a global act of kindness that will ripple through the sea of souls and restore the broken, battered pieces of humanity.  Master Tracklist with Contributing Authors: Available NOW on ITunes & Amazon

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I have been lucky enough to write a piece paired with Nick Murray’s “Existence,” a track that speaks of pain, loss, beauty, and survival. I’d like to extend a thank you to Nick for composing such beautiful music, and to Sam, for involving me in this project!

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Existence

He existed in the blips of the scanners, the whistle of air making its way into his crate, the low, low roar of empty space beyond. Something was wrong, systems failing. Alone. Panic.

“Access denied.”

“If you’ll only listen—“

“Access denied. Divert course.”

Please!” She sent the cry broadwave, hoping it deafened the slavers behind her, hoping more that someone, any living soul on the surface might hear her.

She cast a desperate look behind her. The crate, white plastic, cryogel trickling from one corner to ghost into the air. Electronics panel half-dark, heartbeat blips rising. She’d done everything to mod the cables she had on her ship, but the voltage wasn’t right, she didn’t have any of the chemical hookups she’d seen on the slaver ship. He was dying; most likely, he was already dead.

There hadn’t been a plan, hadn’t been time for a plan. The marvel was that she’d managed to dock and haul the crate into her own cargo hold before the slavers responded to the alarms, but then came a shot that ripped through the flesh of her arm, another that hit the side of the crate, panel gone dark now. Now she was on the run.

She was there with him. Who was she?

Hers was a frantic hope, disbelieving, born when she saw them give chase. She had wept when she saw the tech readouts. She meant to take her husband home for burial, the last scrap of comfort. But when she saw pursuit, a dozen ships coming after the burned-out body of the best scientist humanity had, she didn’t stop to think: she jumped, dizzily, eight or nine times and then she lay drifting in empty space and trying to think. Was there a way to bring him back?

There had been a moment of silence in the chase. Time was speeding and slowing at once.

She settled on one of the outer ports, bought a drink in one of the worst taverns, white alcohol that made her gasp on the fumes alone, and found herself in a dark alcove before too long, looking at a man who stared at her like she was half-crazy and half-dead, both of which were probably good assumptions.

“I need someone who can bring someone out of cryo sleep. No activity on the brain readout. Damaged hardware in the crate.” A useless request. Impossible. But he gave her coordinates.

And so here she found herself, in orbit by a lonely planet, looking for a woman who lived not in the forested valleys or verdant grasslands, but somewhere on the frozen southern icecap, maintaining a lab fortified beyond belief—the merchant said the base’s guns had taken out a full battleship not long past. She’d given him every credit she had, and then he had given her anesthetics and adrenaline out of pity, her arm was so bad. The seat beside her was littered with syringes. She hadn’t really expected to live long enough to feel pain again.

He could feel a flicker in the other presence, flaming bright. He hovered on the edges of existence, her light a comfort to him even when it flared in pain and distress.

“Please,” she whispered into the comm. “He’s dying. Please.” This was what you did when you had nothing left to lose, and more guilt than you could live with. She should never have taken them through an unguarded port, mind like his. Of course slavers would go for him.

The pause stretched so long that she stood and went to the crate, one finger on the red button, one hand on the last dose the merchant had given her. “You don’t want to admit it,” he told her, “but trust me, if it comes to it, you’ll want this over capture.”

The other presence guttered low. He felt her grief.

“Landing authorized. Proceed to western port.” The computer’s voice startled her, and a wry voice followed up. “I’d drop quickly. You have followers I don’t want on my base, and whoever you are, you’re not worth saving if you get in the way of me taking them down.”

She was at the controls in a flash, taking the ship into a dive, and then she remembered nothing beyond the world receding, the edges going dark. She had no memory at all of her ship being opened, boarded.

Frantic, her existence failing. He felt a surge of distress. Who was this woman, that he cared? The flame flickered, and went dark. Was it his existence flickering out, or hers?

They hung together in the darkness, an anguished flare as light and sound poured over him, the fading embers of her life force clinging desperately to his sensation. He reached out for her and she reached to him, no longer remembering who he was, who she was. Time faded away, and at last, all went dark.

Gone. Alone.

Light. Blinding. A flinch.

“Good. You can see.” A dry voice. “Half-woken cryo shells are one thing—interesting job—but patching you up was tedious. I hope you don’t expect me to do anything like that again.” Words were impossible. She remembered the fringes of existence, dreamspace, a presence she had welcomed. It was gone; tears seeped out of her eyes. Gone. “But your husband insisted,” the voice said. “And so here we are.”

Eyes opened, head turning. “Aviram?”

His face swam into view. “Tara.” She gave a choking sob and held her arms out, wincing at the stab of pain in the right one.

“You’ve been asleep for two days,” he whispered, into her hair. “I was so worried for you.”

You were worried!” Words came out now, jumbled. “You were dead!”

“Not dead. In otherspace. You were there with me.” His fingers clenched on her back and she remembered the flame of his presence in her mind, the place at the edge of existence. “You didn’t give up. You brought me back. Sleep now, Tara. I’ll be here when you wake, I promise.”

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16 thoughts on “Composers for Relief: Existence by Nick Murray

    • Thanks, Yolanda! It was wonderful to write with the music as an emotional reference point – I am glad it resonated with you as well!

      -M

    • Thank you so much, Shannon! I’m looking forward to reading all through the other stories – wasn’t this an amazing group?

      Best,
      M

    • Thanks, Elise! Nick’s music just spoke to me of a sunrise over the curve of a planet, and from there the story was pure exploration. I’d love to work with these characters again in the future!

      I’m looking forward to getting in to all of the stories :)

      Best,
      M

    • Thank you, Michelle! It’s great to see you on the blog. I am so looking forward to reading all the other stories!

      Best,
      Moira

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