Tuesday, August 22, 2017

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The Album Narrative
Well, "hello"!

This "synopsis" page is under construction (please pardon our appearance) and contains major, huge, really big, top secret spoilers!!

Proceed forewarned.


AIRS

Music Steve Brockmann
Lyrics George Andrade

1. Now I Know

I.   Fateful Days (Part One)
II.  Grounded (Part One)
III. Kites (Part One)
IV.  Flight (Part One)

2. Current Events

I.   Winds of Change
II.  Heirs

3. Book of Airs


4. The Flyer

I.   Annabelle
II.  Fateful Days (Part Two)
III. Hannah

5. Airs

I.   Kites (Part Two)
II.  Grounded (Part Two)
III. Flight (Part Two)
IV.  Owen

1. Now I Know

I. Fateful Days (Part One)

 Owen Doane is returning home by ferry to Manisses Island, a circular deposit of gravel and clay and rock, a product of the retreating glaciers, sitting in waters 10 miles off the coast of Rhode Island, after serving 6 years in a prison mental health facility on the mainland.  He has received word in prison that his father, Derrick Doane, 6th generation islander and current patriarch of the Doane family, is dying. 

 Owen was the driver in an automobile accident that had left an 8 year old girl paralyzed and with minimal speech; he had passed out on a combination of anti-depressants and alcohol, and rolled through one of the island’s many stop signs (there are no traffic lights) forcing the car in which the girl had been travelling with her mother (both visiting the island as tourists) to swerve into a stone wall.

 Unfortunately, Owen’s accident had come on the heels of a major blow to the family business: Derrick Doane, acting as the Island Council President, had cast the deciding vote cancelling the expansion of a maritime business that chose to dump waste water into the island’s sewage system rather than pay to have it shipped off-island, thus endangering the community’s fragile water supply as well as possibly contaminating the island’s groundwater.  The problem was that Doane Stoneworks was contracted by this company to build stone walls surrounding the property involved in the expansion – a contract that would account for a major portion of the stone business’s yearly earnings.  Consequently, the company severed relations with Derrick.  The loss resulted in the inability to pay suppliers and, worse, the large crew of men employed and dependent upon them for their survival on the island.  The spiraling effects nearly bankrupted the company, and though none of the men harbored any ill-will (they knew of the quality of character of the man for whom they had been working for), the moral and ethical conundrum weighed heavily upon Derrick, and operations had to be scaled down. 

 And then Owen was found guilty of reckless endangerment and driving under the influence, and sentenced to serve 6 years in prison.  Derrick pulled every remaining string that he had to get his son remanded to the State Institute of Mental Health, rather than the Adult Correctional Institution (the sate prison), which infuriated the mother of the little girl.  She subsequently filed a civil suit which won her the perpetual care of her daughter in a private facility, The Center, which happens to be situated on a picturesque hill on the south end of Manisses Island that overlooks/can be seen from the Doane family homestead. 

 Finally, Derrick had no choice but to suffer the further humiliation of having to sell Doane Stoneworks (rather than hand it down) to his oldest son, Craig, and his “silent” partner … with one act, Owen had brought down everything that his father and family had worked for.

 As he passes through the breakwaters at the mouth of the large salt pond carved into the leeward side of the island, Owen sees the great windmill of the Doane family, still standing as a silent sentinel to the memory of when wind and airs tangibly powered the island.

 Upon arriving, Owen departs the ferry and catches a cab for the ride around the pond to his father’s home.  As he makes his way up the drive, he is greeted warmly by his father’s life-long friend John, and told that his father has been “waiting for him.”

*******************************


Prologue

Owen Doane is returning home by ferry to Manisses Island, a circular deposit of gravel, clay and rock, after serving a 6 year sentence in a state psychiatric lockdown facility for rolling through a stop sign and driving a vehicle carrying two tourists from the road to strike a stone wall.

Ferry Captain:

“Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome aboard the ferry “Manisses”. Our sailing time today will be approximately 50 minutes over calm seas.”

He had been drinking in an island bar at lunch, and was returning to a job site where he was a foreman for his father’s company of stonemason’s – Derrick Doane Stoneworks – when the combination of alcohol and anti-depressants that he had recently been prescribed caused him to drift from consciousness. 

The vehicle carried a mother traveling with her 9 year old daughter, Hannah … and the accident caused the girl to suffer injuries that paralyzed her from the waist down, confining her life to a chair. 

Hannah’s mother sued Owen’s father and his company, winning care for her daughter at “The Center”, an old home converted to comfort and attend to the island’s disabled and infirm.  The building is situated at the highest point of Manisses Island which, ironically, can be seen from the Doane house and property. 

As a result, Derrick suffered the collapse of the company that had been built upon the Doane family heritage of pulling stone from fields before harvest and building walls after milling grain since they had settled Manisses Island in 1664.  In danger of losing the company altogether, he eventually was forced to sell to his oldest son, Craig - a further embarrassment - while Owen was still in prison.


Now I Know

Fateful Days

Paul Adrian Villarreal as Owen

Owen:

When I was a boy I played in fields by the sea
Winds in the grass surrounded me
When I was a boy I watched my father before me
Heirs in the fields surrounded …

Now I know there was no moment’s way to see
What I could have done to change that fateful day
And now I can see what I’ve done to my family
And I know that now I am not …

I can see
An island at sea
I can see now that I am …
What I am

Windmills at sea
Father it’s me
And I can see now what I …
That I am

When I was a boy I learned to fly by the sea
Kites in the air they pulled on me

When I was a boy I watched my father flying free
Airs in the fields they pulled on

Now I know there was no moment’s way to see
What I could have done to change that fateful day
And now I can see what I’ve done to my family
And I know that now I am not …

Hannah:

“I saw it.”

“I can see you.”

“I saw it.”

Ferry Captain:

“Ladies and Gentlemen, we are now entering The Great Salt Pond.  We ask that all passengers with motor vehicles to please go to their cars at this time.”

The ferry settles in and glides through the breakwater separating the ocean from The Great Salt Pond - Owen rises and goes to the rail … nothing appears to have changed, time seems to have stood still; the family home sits on a small rise up from the mouth of the pond, angled on the land in such a way as to bear the brunt of strong winter winds with the long dormant windmill in the foreground by the shore, turned away from him and his return home.

And then Owen notices another, newer construct down by the shore.  He walks the rail back to the stern as the ferry sluices the water easily past … it is most certainly new though weathered, a lookout perhaps - a post that resembles a lifeguard’s chair surrounded by a stone foundation.  It sits at the very edge of the pond and is turned looking out empty towards the sea, dark under the overcast sky.

Owen:

When I was a boy no mother’s voice called by the sea
She saved her last breath to give to me

When I was a boy I watched my father comfort me
My head on his chest breathing …

No one knows there was no moment’s way to see
What I could have done to change that fateful day
And now I can see what I’ve done to my family
And I know that now I am not …

I can see
Father it’s me
I can see now that I am …
What I am

Winds of change
Lives exchanged
And I can see now what I …
That I am

The ferry throttles down and begins to slowly turn its bow around … and the faces of the bars, shops and hotels hugging the harbor sweep into view.  Some have new paint and there are name changes to be sure but the facades have remained the same and new lives no doubt walk those halls.

Owen watches the ferry churn the waters of the Great Salt Pond as it backs into its berth.  The smell of brine is pungent.  He breathes deeply and watches the dock workers catch tossed ropes which they hold and pull leaning back to cleat along the dock.

Ferry Captain:

“Ladies and Gentlemen, now arriving Manisses Island … We ask that all passengers with bikes and on foot to remain on the upper decks until all vehicles have exited the vessel.”

Mothers call out to children running on the upper deck while fathers gather their family belongings.  Lovers stand at the rails smiling and laughing in each other’s arms, amused at the antics of seagulls that appear motionless before them, bawling for treats.  Elderly couples move slowly and easily to the stairs where husbands and wives assist each other down with soothing, encouraging words and gentle hands.

Owen waits to walk last out of the dark cavernous car deck and into the light on island for the first time in six years.  With his head down, he shoulders what little he has brought from prison … and begins the long walk home.

*******************************

 II. Grounded (Part One)

  Owen goes to his father’s room but does not find him there, nor does he recognize any of the furnishings.  He is told by John that his only sibling, his older brother Craig Doane, had moved his father out of the master bedroom once he had married Rachel, the daughter of a prominent hotel and restaurant owner on the island, and had put him into Owen’s old bedroom.  Craig and Rachel are expecting their first child.

  This clearly irritates Owen.  This was his father’s bedroom – his mother, Allie, also a 6th generation islander, had died in giving birth to Owen – and even though he had been ill, and was now dying, Derrick Doane was not yet dead.  Not to mention that it was common sense to expect Owen to return home once he had served out his sentence.  Owen asks where his brother is, and John replies gently that he is out “trying to find work for the company.”

  Owen finds his father carefully propped up in his old twin bed, covered under layers of sheets with his arms cocooned at his side and turned so that his face can catch the incoming sea breeze.  He is breathing shallowly but steadily.  He is delighted to see Owen, and enthusiastically welcomes him home.  He tells him that he has been “waiting for this moment”.  He then begins to talk to Owen about kites and their time flying together.  He tells him about the winds when he was still a boy, and the times watching his grandfather “sail” the windmill.

  (Once the age of the steam engine had rendered wind power obsolete, the Doane family had turned from milling corn and grain to full-time crafting walls from the island’s ancient stone to provide for the family, though they maintained and put into practice their inherited understanding of wind and air by flying kites.  A knowledge passed down through the generations, Derrick Doane began to impart this knowledge to young Owen through endless sessions of designing and flying kites.  As a young boy, Owen had taken great interest in his father’s ability to read and understand the nature of the wind and air that descended upon Manisses Island, though as he became older this interest waned, and ultimately altogether vanished.  The family business may have been laying stone, but its heritage, and his father’s passion, was harnessing the ever-changing wind for power and flight.)

  Derrick suddenly reaches for a key that is hanging around his neck and hands it to Owen.  He asks him to go to the “room at the top of the stairs” to retrieve a particular kite that he had been working on – he would like to fly one more time.  “The air is just right.”  Owen takes the key and goes.

****************************

Grounded
Gordon Tittsworth as Owen and Derrick

Owen:

“Why has my father been moved to my room?”
He is no child grounded for life
“Why has my brother moved into his room?”

He could have waited for Dad to die

Consequences move like waves (waves)
Self-sustaining, rolling fate

He is cocooned in my covers - my bed
He looks so fragile, yet so strong

He is turned to the window – the air
The curtains rise and fall with his hair

“I didn’t know” – I want to cry (cry)
I drop and it wells up from inside

The chance to redeem me
I’m by your side
Afraid of just what I’ve become

Owen reaches for his father’s hand and clasps it as he lays his head down.  He looks out past the billowing curtains to the branches of the large tree in the yard and listens to his father’s breathing as he rides the small swell of his chest up and down.  Derrick slowly opens his eyes and smiles … and then he cradles Owen’s head with his free hand.

“I was trapped, Dad - in body and mind”
In prison … the hell was I really?
“I would look in the mirror - see signs”

My past rushing up from far behind

 “In the space between the bars (bars)
I saw my life within that car”

The chance to redeem me
I’m dying inside

Afraid of just who I’ve become

As Owen adjusts and smoothes the blankets covering his father, he can feel the disgust for what they have done rising like bile.  Derrick Doane is a large man and this bed – Owen’s twin bed – can barely hold him.  It reminds him of the bed in the cell that he was sentenced to occupy, his world reduced to a rectangular box of cement blocks.

Derrick:

Oh, dear … “Son … the air is just right ….”

Owen:

I think he wants to fly again
He takes the key from the string on his chest
I haven’t seen that room since a boy

Climb to the door at the top of the stairs (stairs)
I turn the key … and I just stare

The chance to redeem me
To turn the tide

Afraid of just where I have come


***************************

III. Kites (Part One)

  At the top of the stairs he unlocks the door to a room he vaguely remembers being inside of, though he knows that he has been, and enters.  The room runs the entire length of the house and, once inside, Owen is astonished at what he sees.  Kites of every imaginable design and size hang from beams and rafters.  Long worktables are filled with paper and cloth and string and wood.  A large book with notes and drawings scrawled across pages of different color and texture and wear, as if they had been added over the years, is opened face up to one side with a pencil nestled in the crook of its spine.  Owen lifts the front cover and reads: “The Book of Airs”, cut into red leather.  He finds the kite that his father had described to him on the worktable, and lifts it carefully.  He carries it to him.

  His father asks him to push the bed right up to the window.  Owen calls for John to help him.  Derrick instructs him to take the kite outside and come to the window, where John will affix the string.  And then he is to walk with the kite held in front of him down the slope of lawn to the windmill.  He is to stay positioned that way until he hears John yell for him to release the kite, at which time he is to turn and raise his arms, lifting the kite into the wind.  That should be all that he needs to do.  Nature will take care of the rest.  But first, the kite needs a tail to balance it and help it rise.  He sends Owen back upstairs to get a special tail.  Owen returns with what can only be described as a ball of material.  When Derrick attaches the tail to the kite, and unfurls it carefully across the bed and onto the floor, he explains that it is made up of bits and pieces of material from various times in his life:  a strip of Allie’s wedding veil, a piece of Owen’s baptismal gown, a length of Allie’s burial shroud….

 Owen turns to go, but his father grabs his arm.  “I forgive you, Owen.  You need to know that I have forgiven you, son.”  Owen drops to his knees and lays his head upon his father’s chest and listens to the slow hollow sound of his breathing.  Derrick places his hand upon his son’s head, and then says, “Now go.  It’s okay.  It’s time.”

****************************

Kites
Tilman Eckelt as Owen

Owen:

Dust motes float, suspend the wait of hidden years
Floor to ceiling, tissue hung on wooden frames
Designs, materials strewn upon a craftsman’s table

Old tome, leather, turned down called: “The Book of Airs”

Have I come home to meet this kite maker
“A man with his head in the clouds”?
I want to believe what was once lost to me can be …

Found

Dust motes settle, fall the weight of wasted years
I see the kite he asked for, simple, from my youth

The tail is torn, tied fabric taken from the years
I save one last look … resigned, sigh at the door

When Dad rises to meet his own maker
Will the skies claim their tears from the ground?

I have to believe what was once lost to him can be …
Found

When it comes time to meet my own maker
Will the clouds empty, reform all ‘round?

I would like to believe we are fallen tears on the …
Ground


****************************************


IV. Flight (Part One)

  Owen goes outside, takes the kite, and moves down the hill into position. In the bedroom, Derrick caresses the string and turns his face once more into the wind.  The curtains rise and fall, his fine hair tosses and settles.  He breathes deeply and closes his eyes, sensing the rhythm, slowly nodding his head.  “Now, John”.

  “Now,” yells John.  Owen turns and lifts his arms and is stunned as the wind snatches the kite from his hands and carries it aloft, scaling the hill and rising.  In the bedroom, Derrick gently works the string as the tail races out over him and leaves the room.  The kite continues to rise, needing only to clear the large oak tree that stands at the breast of the hill - the tree that generations of Doanes had carved names and pledges of love into, and had swung from, and had climbed.

  The kite clears the tree but the tail is still riding low, having just left the earth.  There is so much of it – so many memories.  It rises, rises, yet still enters the tree, getting entangled in the topmost branches.  The kite stalls momentarily and wavers in its ascent.  In the bedroom, Derrick opens his eyes.  “I’m caught in the tree,” he says to John as he makes the necessary adjustments to try and keep the kite aloft.

  Before John can call out to him, Owen rushes to the tree and clambers up. He passes over all of the markings and carvings of his family, including some of his own, long since healed on the tree.  On his way to the top, he sees: “Derrick & Allie”.  He reaches the tail and begins to free it, keeping one eye on the kite that is now fighting to enter the atmosphere.  He simply ends up breaking a branch to do the job, and as the kite resumes its flight, he shepherds the ends of the tail through his hands and tries to discern the origins and meanings of each piece as they play out and up.  Finally he sees his name and he closes his hand, snatching the very end of the last of the tail.  He sees that it is a blue ribbon with his name and the date of his birth.  He holds this for a moment more and then lets it go.  The kite rises.

  He descends the tree and looks to the window and sees that the string has gone limp – that it is simply, lazily flowing out over the sill until, finally, the end appears and rides silently up into the sky.  The curtains to the bedroom have been drawn out, and fall to rest on the sill as the wind slowly dies.

****************************

Flight
Cornelius Kappabani as Owen and Derrick

Owen:

I take the kite outside
Through window open wide

Derrick:

“You need to know that I forgive you, son”

Owen:

The string clutched to his chest
The tail our family crest

Derrick:

“Don’t be afraid to forgive yourself, son”

Owen:

I want to change for good
I won’t accept my fate
Out of convenience I am …
I

Derrick:

“The air’s just right.”

Owen:

I take the kite on down the hill

The wind comes off the sea
Sweeps up and surrounds me
I turn around, kite trembles in my hand

I lift my arms up high
I know this is goodbye
I cannot hold this kite down on the ground

I’ve never changed for good
I would accept my fate
Out of convenience I lived …
The lie

Then it’s gone
In the blink of an eye

Rising high
Silent flourish in the sky

The kite shudders as it climbs, vibrating with a staccato rapidity that causes the tissue to buzz and hum on its frame …then it steadies itself with a shake of its shoulders once, twice as it moves through and navigates the currents, much like the gulls that ride the currents along the shelves of the eroding island cliff faces always searching, forever searching …

The sun glints through the tissue of the kite as the struggle to climb diminishes, infusing the frame with diaphanous colors and light.  Once above the conflicting current of airs the kite twists and turns gracefully, playfully dives and swoops and then suddenly rises, soaring higher …

A sudden gust of wind expands and lifts and fills the tree at the top of the hill and then dissipates, dropping branches rushing downwards, the leaves exhaling as it rushes towards Owen warm against the cool ocean breeze at his back.  He looks and notices that the curtains to his bedroom window are blowing outwards.

Then Owen sees that the string to the kite has gone limp – it is simply flowing out over the sill.  The end of the long tail soon appears and drops to the ground and is pulled snaking through the grass until it slowly rises, floating up through the air in a long slow sweeping arc and gliding over the blades of the grass as it heads for the tree at the top of the hill …

Owen:

I rush into the tree
To set the tail – caught - free
Carved branches – healed – our hold on history

I untangle carefully
Past slips from my hands and me
The last to go: blue ribbon from my birth

We take the same way up
We can control our fate
We all need some help to be …
Set free

I watch it fly
Kite soars, rises to new heights

Pulls at my heart
String trails away from all sight …

****************************

2. Current Events

I. Winds of Change

  After the funeral, Owen wants to get back involved with Doane Stoneworks to help repay the debt he feels he owes to his father, and to help rebuild the company to what it once was before his accident destroyed it.

  He is on the job for only a short time before his brother takes him offsite and explains that the company will start losing business again if customers see him on their properties – they have received complaints and threats of cancelled contracts and, unfortunately, he has to let him go.  Owen could obviously still stay at the house, as long as he does not start drinking again, but he could not work for the stone company any longer.

 Owen goes to visit one of his brother’s clients – an old islander and his wife, both friends loyal to his father - and is told that they did no such complaining to Craig, and that they did not believe that that was the sentiment towards him on the island.  Further, they felt that the influence of Craig’s “silent” partner was large and growing on him and the island, and they weren’t sure what could be done about it.  Owen asks if they know who the partner is, and they tell him that his name is Coleman Burke.  Owen knows the name.  Burke is the guy who was married to his old girlfriend, Annabelle Kingsley; they tell him that he appeared on island shortly after Owen “went away”, married the Kingsley girl, and gave Craig the money to help purchase his father’s company … and it was rumored that he was behind the loss of the large contract that nearly destroyed his father’s business.  At any rate, it was Burke who hired away most of Derrick’s crew in the harrowing months that followed.  No, they felt that Burke was the reason why Owen was out, and now that Owen has returned, they think that Burke sees him as a threat.

  Owen also hears from other old timers loyal to his Dad that Craig’s wife, Rachel, may be having an affair with Cole Burke.  Many feel that Burke wants nothing short of taking the Doane land and putting up a wind farm – he had been making quiet inquiries into what types of permits would be needed, etc. – to gain a monopoly on the island’s resources … why, he had already married into the island’s only groceries market and was now rumored to be cultivating an affair that could destroy the last of the Doane homestead and holdings, thereby opening the door to a potential control of the island’s power in the future.  Many were amazed that Owen’s brother did not know – could not know - or at the very least expect that something was wrong.

II. Heirs

 Returning to the house, Owen sees a delivery truck from a store on the mainland parked out front and a column of men bringing in baby furniture.  He enters and sees that they are carrying the furniture up the stairs to his father’s kite room.  He rushes up and by them and sees that the entire room has been emptied.  He asks his sister-in-law in a loud voice where his father’s kites were and she tells him “down in the basement.”  Owen is irate. He bounds down into the basement and frantically searches until he finally finds the contents of the kite room dumped unceremoniously into the old root cellar.  While some things have been crudely boxed, most items lay pell-mell along with the kites which were apparently tossed like fragile dice upon the earthen floor.  He races back upstairs and begins to berate Rachel, who is on the phone with Craig complaining about Owen’s behavior.  It isn’t long before Craig roars into the drive and the brothers confront each other outside. 

 “We’re having a baby, Owen.  What the fuck do you want me to do?  Where do you want me to fuckin’ put him?”

  “Wait – “Him?”

 “Yeah.  “Him.”  We’re going to have a son, Owen.  Someone to carry on the Doane name.  If there’s anything left for him to carry, no thanks to you.”

 “Fuck you.”

“ No. Fuck you. You’re the one …”

 “It was an accident, Craig.”

 “An accident …”

 “And I paid for it.”

 “You paid for it – you paid for it … so did we, Owen. So did Dad.”

 “You cleared out his kite room, Craig.”

 “His ..?  Again, where are we going to put my son?  With you?  Maybe I should have thrown you into the root cellar, put the baby in your room?”

 “They were just thrown down there.”

 “The kites and shit?  That what we’re talkin’ about, here?  The fuckin’ kites?  Look, you’re the only one who cared about that crap anyway.  You always had your head in the fuckin clouds, Owen.  You know, if you would have had your feet on the ground and cared more about building walls – and you were fuckin great at it, man – you wouldn’t be in this mess.  We wouldn’t be in this mess.”  After a moment: “And you wouldn’t have lost Annabelle, either.”

 “What?”

 “You heard me.  Look.  Dad is dead.  It’s my company, now.  The house is deeded to the company-“

 “It-?”

 “I make the decisions, now.  Not you., Owen.  You gave up that right when you decided to tune us all out and hit that little girl.

 “I didn’t hit anything.  It was a car …”

 “You know what I mean.”

 “I’m sorry.

 “You’re sorry.  No.  I’m sorry, Owen.  Really.  I am.”

 “I am ….”  After a moment:  “You’re just puttin’ on airs, Craig.”

  Owen announces that he is moving out of the house and into the windmill.  He rushes back down into the basement and grabs his father’s “Book of Airs” – the ancestral flight book.  By day’s end he has cleared all of the kites out from the root cellar and has surrounded himself with them in the windmill.

****************************


Current Events

(Brockmann/Andrade)

Winds of Change
Gordon Tittsworth as Owen

Owen: 

Mending walls and fences for my family
My debt to Dad, rebuild his company
Good walls make good neighbors - I’ll start with the fateful site

“Brother, who are you to let me go?
And who are you to clear out all Dad’s rooms?

And where have all his notes and kites gone to?”

Oh my God - they’re just thrown
In the …

The root cellar!”


Heirs
Cornelius Kappabani as Craig
Gordon Tittsworth as Owen

Craig:   

“I’m having a baby – what the hell should I do?
Where should I fuckin’ put him?

A son to carry on the Doane family name

If there’s nothing thanks to you”

Owen: 

“You cleared out all of father’s rooms!”

Craig:   

“The kites?!  Is that what we’re talking about?
You’ve always had your head in the clouds!
If you would have had your feet on the ground

You wouldn’t have lost your Annabelle

Owen: 

“She left and she found someone else –“

I drove her there
I didn’t care
I wasn’t there

And his name is …

Craig:   

“What can we do now Owen, Dad is dead
Look - I’m calling all the shots now
You gave that right up when you hit that girl

And I can’t have you on my job sites”

Owen: 

“I didn’t hit that little girl …”

Craig:   

“Just who the fuck do you think you are?
The house is deeded to the company
Too bad he chose to give it all to me

While you were in that mental prison”

Owen: 

Dad didn’t give you anything!”

He had no choice
I took his voice

You voiced your choice

And his
name is …

Winds of Change II
Cornelius Kappabani as The Islanders
Gordon Tittsworth as Owen

Islander 1:          

“He appeared on island when you went away”

Old Salt:

“Married the Kingsley girl and settled in”

Islander 2:

“He gave your brother money - took hold of your company”

Old Salt:

“Rumor is he wants your property”

Islander 3 and Old Salt:

“Like an ill wind brings an early frost
So his presence in our island life”

Islander 4 and Old Salt:

“He is eating away
He is …”

Owen: 

Coleman Burke!”

Owen decides that he can no longer sleep in what has become his brother’s house and moves into the old windmill down by The Great Salt Pond.  Along with his meager belongings, he brings with him all that he can salvage of his father from the root cellar.  He also carries with him the “Book of Airs”.


Errs

Gordon Tittsworth as Owen

Owen: 

“I drove her there
I didn’t care
I wasn’t there

And his name is …”

“He had no choice
I took his voice
You voiced your choice

And his name is …”


****************************

3. Book of Airs

 As the wind envelopes the windmill, putting pressure on the stopped, aged gears that creak and press against their moaning support timbers hewn from stands of trees long since depleted on the island, and whistles through the mill's four empty sail frames, Owen sits listening within his makeshift home and reads from his father's Book of Airs.

 The Book of Airs has been handed down through the generations, and Owen has rarely seen it – he vaguely recalls seeing it as a child but certainly not the pages written before his father’s additions, which are written in a script that has faded away to near non-legibility the closer he turns to the beginning of the book. 

  The Book of Airs contains the complete history of the Doane family’s knowledge of wind currents: their origins, duration, levels and to whence they go from wherever the family had landed, lived, and flourished, including most recently Manassis Island (thus ending with his father’s additions).  It contained all of the ways with which they harnessed the air:  kites, windmills, sails, as well as the many experiments taken to fly. Some of these experiments are rather odd, and two recent pages of ideas in particular strike Owen’s imagination and pique his interest.  The first was written by his grandfather, and concerns what can only be described as two methods of flying.  Owen is quick to put them to the test.

  The first method required that on the turn of the tide he was to stand in the water of the Great Salt Pond up to his waist and fly a kite, thereby feeling the pull of opposite currents; and he did experience the sensation of being pulled from the water by the flight of the kite while being drawn back by the undercurrent into the water.

 The second method required that Owen get the kite in the air and then submerged himself into the “womb’ of the Great Salt Pond, letting the water and air currents pull him in either unison or opposite directions – the point was for him to experience the serenity while he floated and tumbled.  Owen used his grandfather’s own kite designs for this, some of which survived and were found in the root cellar.

  The second idea that intrigued him belonged to his father, and one in which his father returned to again and again, seeming to improve upon the design.  It was a large kite constructed of “sails” - the “sails” that were meant to be suspended on the windmill? - that would open up like an inverted flower (a tulip, perhaps, or a rose) and be capable of lifting a man off the ground and into the air, utilizing his body mass as a “normal” kite would a tail as counterbalance.  Owen didn’t understand much about the mechanics, but he was determined to learn and to build his father’s air machine.


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Book of Airs
(Brockmann/Andrade)

History
Instrumental

Heritage
Gordon Tittsworth as The Narrator and Owen

Narrator:

On the hillocks of history as the countryside changes below
Windmills steadfast through bluster and torrent now standing idle and old
Provided villages of men with daily bread
While parish alms and prayers filled every heart and head

Owen:

The past not dead

Narrator:

The Doanes were millers and stonemasons from mainland shores in 1664
Posts and gears hewn from island woods, sails sewn from ships that brought them ashore
Supernatural resource, self-sustaining winds of change
Power coming from off the sea could not forecast long range

Owen:

Lives exchanged

I sit and read from “The Book of Airs” as aging timbers creak, shift and moan
Chronicles and experiments to harness all the airs that have roamed
My father’s kites adorn the beams up off the floor
Not tossed like skins off fruit - not forgotten anymore

Experiments
Gordon Tittsworth as Owen

Owen: 

From the ink and lead pressings my grandfather he speaks to me (1)
My father’s designs, reworked, the mechanics an oddity (2)

(1)“Wade in to your waist and feel the polar pull of opposite currents;
With your kite still in the air submerge yourself, hold on and feel yourself drawn out –
Serene suspension, rolling … womb-like muted sounds lull your soul”

(2) Inverted flower folds sewn from the sails of either windmills or boats?
My body mass the tail: counterbalance in a parachutist’s harness –
Contrasting construction, resembling dormant tulips or a rose?

Out of a job, I’ll have to recycle bottles to live
Off to the pond, I need to trust and try not to misgive

Floating
Instrumental

 

 -Intermission-

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