The La-Iin Series
“Collaboration with Sulaet-Defka–Part 2”
Throughout the night, Usl-Thaehey thought on the things she and Sulaet-Defka had gone over that day.
‘She had some pretty weird ideas…’ Usl-Thaehey thought. To her the sudden tempo changes sounded as though they would be difficult to pull off, and would end up resulting in a disjointed song. She couldn’t imagine the song without any sort of electronic enhancement either.
But at the same time, the idea of electronically enhancing Sulaet-Defka’s voice seemed strange. In the songs by her that she had heard, Sulaet-Defka had a deep voice, much deeper than her tiny speaking voice, that seemed like a strange choice for an electronic song.
Even in her head they were still having conflicts.
‘We need to reach a compromise…’
Usl-Thaehey wasn’t sure how long it would take, but she was determined to see the collaboration through, if for no other reason, to get it over with.
“Are you ready, Miss Gyunerr?” Namgung asked.
“Yeah, I guess, but….I dunno…I hope we make more progress than yesterday. And I wish they’d give us our own songs ’cause, you know, we could have collaborated on an album as opposed to singin’ one song together…so crappy what they did…”
“I wish I had any input. I would have mentioned something like that, if I could have…”
“Don’t worry about it, Mr. Namgung. I’ll handle it….she’s pretty polite, but she agitates me a little. Still, it’s hard to stay mad at her ’cause she’s over a hundred years old…know that’s not the oldest for a Groundiser, but I kinda feel like she’s a little old lady and that….ah heh…”
“Are you ready for the meeting, Miss Gyunerr?” Sulaet-Defka asked. Usl-Thaehey swallowed hard.
“Er, yeah, sure! Just, gimme a moment here, I’m discussin’ things with my manager.” She flattened her ears in shame.
“Alright.” She walked into the room, closing the door gently behind her.
“She doesn’t sound like a little old lady,” Namgung said. “Her speaking voice is a lot different from her singing voice, isn’t it?”
“Yeah, wonder why. Some strange abnormality? One of the voices is affected, maybe? Maybe she thought she wouldn’t be taken seriously with that little voice and worked to deepen it for her songs. …or maybe all that singing in such a deep voice killed her vocal chords…”
“If they had, she wouldn’t be meeting you today. You should go now, Miss Gyunerr. The sooner you two get even the smallest idea, the better.”
“I know, I know…” Usl-Thaehey sighed. She took a breath and walked into the room.
“….do I really come off as old to you?”
“Er….you heard that, huh….sorry, it’s just…even a hundred is really old for both Werewolves and Normals…most species actually…I know for a Groundiser, that’s like a young lady, but still…”
“It was just surprising to hear. But we Groundisers do age faster than Vampires, for instance…so I suppose I am closer to little old lady than you are.”
“But my manager said you sound really young. And you don’t act that old. Just, old-fashioned a little, you know?”
“I try to adhere to my traditions as closely as possible,” she said. “Now…to the song…”
“I actually was inspired last night, after hearing your suggestions,” she said.
“I prepared some…short lyrics…” She pulled out a folded piece of paper from her bag. “It is not the tidiest….I had to get used to the strange writing style of Vaelis…so if you cannot read all of it, I can tell you what it is supposed to say, but…your idea of a song about good and evil, and neutral, I thought was a good idea….and even though I am not a fan of electronica, I saw how it could be incorporated into such a song….”
Usl-Thaehey read over the lyrics. She squinted at some strangely-written Vaelis, but nonetheless was surprised.
‘This…this is pretty good!’
“Do you like it?”
“Yeah, I do! This short little chorus line here, this is supposed to be the part with the electronica?”
“Yes, I thought if any part would have electronica, it would be the chorus line…or we could reverse that…it could work the other way around, I suppose…” Sulaet-Defka yawned.
“Geez, now I know why you’re so popular. You’ve got talent, Calziona.”
To Usl-Thaehey’s surprise, Sulaet-Defka smiled. “You do too, Miss Gyunerr. You are the modern face of Vaelis music, I would say. There is a reason you have so much popularity outside your home country…”
“You too! And you’re still popular! Oh gosh. Calziona, don’t worry about what a newbie like me has to say about your older style, it works. But this is…”
“Thank you,” she said.
“I think I could work with this, actually.”
“I would love to see where you build from these lyrics…I just got inspired last night…”
“That why you seem so tired today?” Usl-Thaehey asked.
Usl-Thaehey took a good look at the paper once again. “But you know, this still needs work.”
“Of course it does…”
“No, I mean, this is a collaboration project. We can’t have this bein’ ‘Gyunerr Usl-Thaehey’s song with assistance from Calziona Sulaet-Defka’. It has to be the project of both of our minds. It has to be….Gyuziona.”
“Please, no,” Sulaet-Defka sighed.
“Yeah, Gyuziona’s no good….don’t worry, I’m not coming up with another combined name!” She shrieked.
“Y’know, before we go on…” Usl-Thaehey started.
“Ever since I was told about this collaboration, I was kinda skeptic. Our musical styles are different, and I thought, well…you being more old-fashioned, you wouldn’t like my musical style!”
Sulaet-Defka stared at her, though Usl-Thaehey could barely tell behind the sunglasses. “That’s kinda why I fought you. I thought it would be hard to work together with someone else. But then you show me these lyrics, and I get all inspired!” She gave a sheepish giggle as she continued, “I guess I’m easily swayed.”
“I felt reluctant about our collaboration at first too, Miss Gyunerr. But I think, so long as we are thinking about music, it will come out just fine.”
“Yeah. Instead of thinking about the collaboration, think about the music…” Usl-Thaehey smiled at her.
“I’m glad to work with you, Calziona.”
“Same here, Miss Gyunerr.”
“You know, we might be able to do a milder tempo-switch with the lyrics you have so far. It seems like it could work, so long as it’s a gradual increase in tempo as opposed to just jerking between tempos.”
“That sounds good,” she said.
“And from your lyrics, we’ve got a chorus already, which is good. There’s a direction this song could go in. Then we get down the melody, and find a way to make it work with both of our voices.”
“…will my singing voice work with this song?” She asked.
“Oh yeah. Actually, I’m wonderin’ if my voice might be too high for this…”
“You don’t have too high a voice, Miss Gyunerr.”
“I guess I’m not the pitchest girl….er, whatever that means…”
Usl-Thaehey blinked at Sulaet-Defka.
“Yes, Miss Gyunerr?”
“We’re workin’ together now, for real this time. You don’t need to keep the sunglasses on. Er, you can if you wanna, but…”
“No, I can take them off.” Sulaet-Defka took off the sunglasses and sat them neatly next to her. Usl-Thaehey was able to see her bright cornsilk eyes, which were only partially hidden by sand.
“Do they look strange?” She asked.
“Naw. Actually, they’re pretty cute!”
Later on that day, Namgung invited both Usl-Thaehey and Sulaet-Defka out to a bar diner. Usl-Thaehey could hardly say no, while Sulaet-Defka gave a quiet approval and came along with them.
She figured she knew the reason Namgung was inviting them out; he had been worried about their progress after Usl-Thaehey had voiced her concerns. She grinned when she thought on their earlier conversation given the progress they had made in one day.
They were seated in a booth and Namgung quickly got to the subject matter Usl-Thaehey had been expecting.
“So, how is the song coming so far?”
“Miss Gyunerr is pleasant to work with. It is making swifter progress than I expected,” Sulaet-Defka said.
“We disagreed on some things at first. But like the cliche cartoons of….well, before and now, we figured our ideas, when put together, could probably make a good song.”
“We thought less about the collaboration, and more on our passion for songs,” Sulaet-Defka said. “At the very least, I did. That helped a lot, I think…”
“I thought like that too,” Usl-Thaehey said.
“I’m glad to hear you two made such good progress so quickly,” Namgung said. “Your companies will be pleased.”
“It still needs some refinement,” Sulaet-Defka said.
“Yeah, even though we like our current draft, there’s no way that could be the public version of the song. It needs….refinement, yeah!”
“And also a title,” Sulaet-Defka said.
“And an actual tune instead of tempo increase and decrease cues,” Usl-Thaehey said.
Namgung smiled. “With two professionals on the job, I’m sure you’ll find all those things soon.”
“Calziona deserves that title more than I do,” Usl-Thaehey said sheepishly.
“I have been trying to tell Miss Gyunerr that she is a great modern musician. You should be proud to be her manager, Mr. Namgung.”
“I am,” he said. “She’s a good singer, a good business partner, and a good friend.”
“Don’t embarrass me in front of Calziona!” Usl-Thaehey yelled. Sulaet-Defka gave a soft giggle.
“Your drinks and meals.”
The waiter had returned with their drinks and meals on a tray. He set them down in front of each of them, bowed, and walked away.
“I think this collaboration’ll be fun,” Usl-Thaehey said. “I can’t wait to start recording with you, Calziona.”
“The same, Miss Gyunerr.”
Namgung could barely hide his satisfaction. ‘I knew you girls had it in you…..’
In Bledger that day, La-Iin read a strange rumor.
“Usl-Thaehey and Sulaet-Defka are going to collaborate!?” She shrieked.