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The Story of a Composer

The rise and fall and rise of Lanny Zbyszko.

Part 1: the beginning.

“Welcome everyone.” Said a man, as the camera focuses on him. “Today, I have the privilege of telling my story with my own words, while people who have made an impact on me will make their comments once in a while.”

“For those who don’t know, I’m Lanny Zbyszko, a composer who has been lucky enough to attain the celebrity status.” A brief list of his project rolls across the screen. “And today, we will take a look back of my career, which has lasted for close to forty years. We will learn how I began to learn music, how I started in composing, meet some people who left their impact on me, and talk about my rise, and fall, and rise again. So as I often like to say: let’s begin!”

“I was five when my dad started to teach me piano. Initially, I loved it. but after a while, people’s demand to play them something each time they were on our house started to get on my nerves.” A scene goes by, in which an annoyed child is hassled by adults near a piano. “But I didn’t let that put me down, like some grumpy guy. I just took it as the part of life, and continued to play piano, improving so much, that I could play almost anything back on it, as long as I heard it first.” An old video of Lanny playing Daydream by Design is shown on the screen.

The camera shifts to an old man, who looks to be in his eighties. The name Viktor Zbyszko flashes on the screen. “He was very attentive. Always learning the lessons which I taught him quickly.” He spoke. “That did not mean that he didn’t struggle. But it was very rare for him.”

“Since dad was teaching me piano, I pretty much had access to my teacher, 24 / 7. Whenever I didn’t get something, I’ll just go and pick his brain off, no matter what he was doing.”

“I remember how he used to crash my office meetings, when we would just gather at home and decide to do work there. He would just show up, and say, “Dad, explain to me this. Dad, tell me that again.” Naturally, I took full advantage of that to get away from those meetings.” Said the old man, chuckling in remembrance.

“However,” the camera’s focus is back on Lanny. “Piano wasn’t enough for me. after getting the taste of music through one instrument, I often imagined how the combination of them would sound. Having not any other instruments in the house, I often banged plates and glasses together. Needless to say, mother had a hard time to quiet me and get some piece in the house.” Said Lanny.

“When I was eight years old, I finally pestered my parents enough to buy me a violin, and take me to the violin classes.” He continues. “We tried many classes, the ones who promised a lot, the ones who promised nothing, yet asked for the ruinous amount. But it was surprisingly, close to our home, where we struck gold.”

the scene cuts to a three stories tall building in an old residential society. Lanny slowly walks in the sight of camera.

“Ah, back in the day, this was the newly built housing society.” He said, while standing on the stairs of the house, and posing. “I can’t help myself.”

Part 2: meeting the mentor.

“Mom and dad heard that there was this guy who was teaching violin to a bunch of kids in his home. Since we weren’t having much of a luck with other classes we have checked out so far, we decided that it couldn’t hurt to check this one out as well.” said Lanny, now sitting inside of the house on a spinning chair.

An image of younger Lanny coming to this house with parents comes on the screen. “Imagine our surprise to find this blind gentleman welcoming us, while the class was on the session. He was sitting in the same kind of chair like this one.” Said Lanny, while tapping an arm of his chair for emphasis.

“He had an assistant with him who welcomed us. We waited and observed how he takes the class from outside, since we didn’t wanted to disturb others.” Said Lanny.

The camera cuts to Viktor. “After the classes were over for that day, he finally met us in his living room turned office. We were all so surprised at the mastery of his house. When power cuts happen, we feel so helpless. And yet, this man traversed his home without sight effortlessly.” Said the old man.

“He introduced himself to us,” the name Dennis Ritchie flashes on the screen. “We already knew how he teaches, so we didn’t ask him questions like “How will you teach our child.” Instead, we discussed the fees, and decided to send Lanny to him for a month.” Said Viktor.

“Later, mom told me that they weren’t sure that I would like to learn from him for the long-term or not. So they started my classes with him on the trial bases. Thankfully, we seem to have hit it off nicely, since I was eager to learn whatever he has to impart. Other kids were there to learn violin, because they either thought it was cool, or their parents wanted them to learn the instrument. I was there because I loved music.” Said Lanny, still on the chair.

“Dennis was a strange kind of guy. He liked his privacy, and often preferred silence as opposed to the loud life of the world outside of his home.” Said Lanny. “He worked as a programmer for several years, but by the age of forty, he was wealthy enough to retire. He then opened this class to share his passion for music, which I joined later.”

“When Lanny was ten,” said Viktor. “He had a competition in the school where he played violin. When Dennis learned of it, he helped him so much. Lanny practically lived with him on his house, practicing there.”

“This was when I also decided to learn composing. While my mentor did know some instruments, most of the time, he just worked with a computer, and tried to experiment with sound, and see whether something sounded great or not. “This,” he later told me, “Is how a lot of the tracks are discovered most of the time.” when I joined a music related program at my college, my professor was so pissed after hearing that.” said Lanny.

Part 3: building the career.

“After I completed my graduation, and joined the college, I started to make small tracks, which I would often share on internet. One of these attracted the attention of a small group, which created animated shows. They hired me as their composer, and it kickstarted my career.” Said Lanny, while the name of the show flashes on the screen.

“I also participated in the contests organized by the students in the college. So I got experienced in playing in front of the crowd.” said Lanny. “During one such concert, I was unaware that a famous film producer was visiting our college as a guest lecturer, and was watching my concert.”

The camera cuts to a man in his seventies, while the name Terun flashes over the screen. “I was working on Temper, while visiting the college as a lecturer. I was having trouble in finding a composer for the movie, since it wasn’t big enough that heavyweights of the industry would express their interest, or certainly complex enough that small up-coming composers won’t do. Then I watched this young guy, playing for the crowd. what’s more, he was modifying the classic music for himself. Then I decided to ask him about it, and he agreed.” Said the producer.

“That began a long association, during which I composed tracks for around twenty of Mr. Tarun’s films.” Said Lanny.

“After I graduated, I just tripped on opportunities, which lasted me for years. I was getting success among the most of my projects, and even if some of those did not meet the rather high standard I established for myself, I was still happy with them. However, then I heard that mom died. That changed everything. It was as if, my creativity also died with her.” Said Lanny.

“While I did recover from this small slump, there was another problem heading my way.”

Part 4: craving for peace.

“By this point, I was in my late thirties. I was composing music, holding concerts, going on tours, and I even had my own manager to manage all of these things for me, something as a child, I never imagined. But it seems that the music which I loved so much, it just wasn’t coming to me at it used to. I often noticed how most musicians around this age, just tour a lot and do concerts, and generally live by their old reputation. But I didn’t wanted to do that. but how could I solve my problem was beyond me.” said Lanny.

“Until one day, Dennis called me.” said Lanny. “He said to me that he heard my last concert in France, since it was getting live streamed. And as his student, he must tell me the truth: I quite frankly sucked.” Said Lanny. “Coming from him, I believed it. because as long as I’ve known him, Dennis is not one someone who sugarcoats his words.”

“I told him what was going on with me, so he invited me to come and live with him for few weeks. I agreed, despite the protests of my manager.” The camera cuts to the roof of the house, where Lanny is standing in the evening during the sunset. “I came here, and he told me that I must avoid media, crowd, and any other thing which could distract me. I just stayed here, played music, experimented a little bit, and then left.”

“Believe it or not, those few weeks fixed me completely. I was back.”

“But I kind of thought that after going through some final projects, I’ll just retire from the industry. And I did exactly that. as I was thinking to get some peaceful place of my own, I heard that my mentor has died.” Said Lanny sadly.

“At which point, I decided to buy this place, and teach kids, just like he did once. And after few years of doing that, I ended up getting a blind girl as my student, which I feel is the greatest thing which could have happened to me. I get to return the favor to my mentor, by educating a child with the same problems as he faced.”

Author’s notes:

I initially thought of writing this story in the first person. But then I decided to turn it into a documentary. Now, you decide whether my decision was correct or not.

You’ll also notice how I did not provide many details to people’s look, aside from their approximate age. That is because I have trouble describing things like hairstyle, clothes, color, various shapes and sizes as a blind person myself. So I decided to stick to my strong point, those being dialogs, and kept the description to the minimum.

As for a blind mentor? Why not. I mean sure, here’s a blind guy writing about a blind character. But I don’t see why I couldn’t do that. I mean people don’t raise any eyebrows at sighted people writing blind characters, now do they?

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed reading it. I will be writing even more stories in the future here, as I have plans to publish an multichapter web novel in the future.

Follow this blog, and also follow me on twitter:

My twitter.

And I will see you in the next article.

Published by Tanish Shrivastava

I'm a guy who likes programming, chess, and writing.

6 thoughts on “The Story of a Composer

    1. When I decided to make it in a documentary style, it basically insured that I have to mention the camera and the screen, things which are usually went unacknowledged in a normal story, because they can break the immersion. But here, it is the part of immersion.

      Glad that you liked it.

      Liked by 1 person

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