The Gradual Week 2
- Tidal Symbols is selling well, especially in the islands. Sandro is enjoying being married. And old letter - seemingly sent ten years ago - arrives from Jacj. The letter is strange and impersonal, informing Jacj's familay that he's about to embark on the grand campaign to end the war, and encouraging them to buy war bonds. The letter is postmarked from Winho, and Sandro is curious about the place.
- Sandro writes new pieces: the Seasonal Gods oratorio, in which the passage of time is depicted by the antiphonal gradual, and Detriment in the Calm to complete the trilogy that he had started with Dianme. His career is progressing nicely until things start to go wrong.
- A fan letter arrives and reveals that a person named And Ante on the island of Temmil has plagiarized a number of his pieces on a new rock album called Pilota Marret (The Lost Aviator). Sandro is unsettled but doesn't think he can do much about it.
- Sandro is invited on a tour of the islands as composer emeritus. His wife helped arrange his place on the tour for his benefit. The tour will include the island of Temmil - home of And Ante. Sandro expresses some foreboding and drops hints that bad days are a-coming.
- Sandro prepares for his trip. In preparation, he's given a hold-all containing a tour jacket and hat, some cash, and a mysterious stave which seems something like a conductor's baton.
- A brief visit with his parents reminds Sandro of his lost brother and saddens him. Again, some foreboding of the future.
- The opening concert of the tour takes place in Glaund City and goes well.
- The tour begins in earnest as Sandro boards the boat and it leaves port. Sandro remarks on the view and how it is already different. He also remarks upon two chronometers in his room labelled Mutlaq Vaqt and Kema Vaqt, names he doesn't understand. He drinks himself to sleep that night, and wakes up late the next morning. His personal watch seems to be 4 hours out, so he assumes they crossed some time zones. He's informed by a cellist names Ganner that he slept through the morning briefing which announced the itinerary - and he wasn't the only one.
- Priest basically tells us that things are going to go wrong, then let our imaginations do the heaving lifting. Effective?
- Any predictions with respect to this And Ante character - I mean, apart from the fact things will go poorly? (And is Priest an Adam Ant fan?)
- It seems like temporal anomalies will be a thing. I wonder what kind of havoc that might wreak on the reading and playing of music!
- We are given the word 'gradual' again, this time in the musical context that @RichardAbbott so kindly pointed out.