In the beginning – Part One – David
David is hiding in the Monastery after stealing €500,000 worth of untraceable valuable stones from his employer Mr Blanc- a shady entrepreneur who dabbles in international conflict diamond smuggling.
There is now a contract on David’s head.
David did have a plan of escape – the only problem was – he formulated it while “off his head on acid”. This included hiding the stones in a locker somewhere.
Of course when he came down he had huge memory black outs of what he had done and these included where and what he did with the contraband and the key that released it..
All he has is a receipt with the writing:
Key 74071200– Locker 513.
The top of the receipt identifying the location had been ripped off.
When word had got out that David was responsible for the missing stones, Mr Blanc was furious that some lower level courier boy had stolen from him made it a high priority that David was wiped from the planet, whether he got back his diamonds or not.
David in a fit of panic thought of the least likely place Mr Blanc’s henchmen would find him.
David escaped to a Trappists Monastery in the French countryside The Abbey of the Righteous Order of St Benedict- where he was given sanctuary and he tried like mad to remember his Catholic upbringing.
David knew he would be safe living with the monks but wasn’t sure if death wasn’t a better option when boredom hit him an hour and a half after entering the grounds.
It wasn’t until he discovered the brewery that he found solace.
David liked home brew, David liked anything that gave him a buzz but he managed to find his chops working in the Monastery Brewery where he was forbidden to partake in excess amounts of tasting.
The brewery was a traditional operation and brought in much needed financial support for the Order by being a popular seller in the surrounding areas. It wasn’t long before David’s enterprising ways and the Order’s misguided trust in him led to David’s alternative business operations.
Of course a percentage always went back into the Monastery which was now his new home.
Part Two James
James woke up in the Monastery one day and doesn’t remember how he got there. He was discovered unconscious on the Abbey grounds dressed only in jeans and
T-shirt- in his hand he grasped a piece of paper.
Written on the paper was an alpha-numerical code
T4O7R005B that seemed to be some sort of password.
He was taken for tests at the local hospital who found him in excellent health and with no reasoning for his condition or why he was unconscious to start with; his body was clean of any traces of narcotics.
When James eventually awoke some hours later he had no recollection of his past life. The brothers even left photos of him and details of where to find him with the local constabulary in case someone came inquiring.
Because he couldn’t remember his real name and he was found on the feast of St James the brothers started to call him by that name.
Due to his lost soul status the Order of St Benedict offered him shelter which James accepted wholeheartedly. After some adjustment James came to love his new home and the brothers who were kind and didn’t push for him to remember. James found the life of the Abbey and the Order tranquil and much to his liking.
But sometimes he felt as if someone or something was calling him, but he couldn’t quite catch who.
The voice and recognition of who it was always danced on the peripheral of his mind.
One day James stumbled upon the Abbey music room. The brothers were practising Gregorian Chants and the sound filled James with joy. He sat down at the piano and his fingers played along with the baritones then he added the melody line, soon both hands were dancing over the keys. The singers stopped to marvel, except one who followed and melded with James playing. James then picked up the violin and once again he played it like a virtuoso. James tried the cello, guitar and flute all with same result. James smiled at the singer and felt a tinge of familiarity he then fainted on the spot. When he was revived the Brothers proclaimed him a miracle and a gift from the Lord.
James for some unknown reason felt compelled to beg them to tell no one outside the Abbey.
Part 3 Marcel
Marcel always wanted to live a pious life.
He grew up near the Abbey of St Benedict’s, was taught by it’s brothers and worshipped in it’s chapel. He often played in the grounds and volunteered his services to help in the gardens or the fields and when he was old enough he joined the Order.
Marcel had no theologian ambitions he was in love with his God and the atmosphere of the Abbey. Marcel loved the simple life. Marcel also loved to sing and every moment he had spare would be practising Gregorian chants with the other brothers or leading works songs in the fields picking the hops.
Marcel was in the room leading singing practice the day James discovered the music room. Marcel was one of the brothers who discovered James and found the note clasped in his hand. Marcel hadn’t had the opportunity to talk to James since he had recovered and came back from the hospital, though he did intend to. The numbers and letters on the note which he read were tantalizing familiar to Marcel.
But when James played Marcel forgot all about the note and his heart filled with joy as the music James played entwined with his own voice to create something other-worldly. As James picked up a new instrument Marcel changed in pitch and tone in perfect synchronicity. It all came to a halt when James collapsed.
When it ended Marcel felt as if his heart had been squeezed.
Part Four DaivdMarcel had left to do other chores when James came to and asked for the other Brothers not to tell anyone – but he did ask if they could they tell him where he could find the boy with the magic voice.
Part Five Mr. Blanc
Mr Blanc thought he was being clever when he tried to courier the Ephinany stone in “plain sight”
There were many a World leader who would love to get their hands on it.
Mr Blanc’s exploration teams had discovered the mythical stone in Ethiopia and whilst bringing the stone to England it was hijacked by one of his own men.
Mr Blanc was sure the man who stole it wasn’t aware of it’s supposed powers but Mr Blanc knew the stone may try to stay hidden.
Mr Blanc was incensed and sent the only man who knew he could trust to search for the thief : – his brother Edward .
Meanwhile while he spread rumours of a million Euro contract for David.
Only days into his search Edward disappeared.
Part Five and a half Mr Blanc and family
Mr Blanc and his brother Edward ran the family crime business together, but everyone knew it was Mr Blanc who was the brains behind it all.
Mr Blanc knew certain sections referred to Edward as “Deadwood” but never to their faces.
Edward had his own talents – he was considered a prodigy when he was younger – he just didn’t have the spirit to be a crime boss.
When he needed to think Mr Blanc would retreat to his Gallery and admire his “Modern Masters”
Before he went missing Edward would play simple lullabies on his violin that were so beautiful and haunting they could almost make Mr Blanc weep.
He desperately missed that now.
Part Six: The Epiphany Stone
David stole it from Mr Blanc and promptly lost it – or did he.
Mr Blanc’s brother Edward disappeared in the search to recover it and David.
Part Seven things start to take shape.
James and Marcel became fast friends.
Both were in awe of each others talent.
They would practice singing together at every opportunity with James sometimes writing new things on the spot to challenge the mighty voice of Marcel.
David would lie under the open window in the garden outside the music room with other brothers.
While the other members of the order where delighting in the God given gifts of the voices emanating from the room David was calculating box office receipts and album sales.
David had managed to find an ancient reel-to-reel recording device in some of the donated goods that the townspeople often left in the cloister of the Abbey.
David prepared the recording device and used old reels of tape he found in the box with it.
Unknown to David it was a 4 track recording device. So while he taped the brothers singing – playing along side it were the contents of the original recording. Recordings of unknown French punk rock bands.
David in his haste quickly grabbed the tapes and gave them to one of the truck drivers who knew someone who could transfer the music onto CD.
What happened next was a comedy of errors that must have been directed by divine intervention..
The truck driver gave the tape to his son who knew a guy who worked in a commercial recording studio. The truck driver’s son said to the recording engineer if he transferred it to CD there was 4 dozen bottles of St Benedicts beer in it for him.
While the recording engineer transferred the tape with all tracks playing in unison, the head of Shidot Records came into the room: Mr Sincerity .
Mr Sincerity’s only claim to fame was the fact he discovered Plastic Bertrand back in 1977 and had been living off that glory ever since. He longed for another great discovery and when he heard the chants of Marcel and James mixed accidently with the punk music his brain registered one sound only
Part Eight: The message in the notes
What do the notes mean?
James note was found clasped in his hand when he was discovered unconscious on the Abbey grounds by Marcel.
The message seemed somewhat to familiar to Marcel.
To James it meant nothing since he had lost all recollection of his past life.
It didn’t stop him from having recurring dreams about it.
When David woke up he had a massive headache and no recollection of what he had done with the stones.
In his pocket he found a ripped note.
His only clue to what he may have done with the contraband.
Why couldn’t he remember?
David will recognize the similarity of the notes and convince James to record and go on to tour to help discover who he really is and what his real purpose in life is?
Marcel will hopelessly follow.
Part Nine: Mr Sincerity & David’s dilemma
Mr Sincerity sought out David through the Engineer and arranged a meeting.
He was shocked when David arrived at the meeting dressed in his monk robes complete with hood covering his face.
Mr Sincerity explained the importance of his record company SHIDOT PRODUCTIONS signing the group of musicians he heard on the tape.
TO Mr Sincerity it was the greatest thing to happen to popular music in last 5 years.
The more Mr Sincerity raved, the more ideas and solutions to potential problems bounced around inside his head.
They could be rich, powerful and popular except for some important points.
Marcel and James would never leave the Abbey.
The additional track was not even them playing.
How would David incorporate himself into the group?
How would they stay anonymous?
How would he make all this work?
After the meeting with Mr Sincerity of Shidot Records David started researching all his options.
Mr Sincerity had asked how many were in the group? David couldn’t tell him two marvelous voices and an ancient backing tape.
Did they have an angle? He thought the outfits were a nifty marketing angle.
Did they have more material? He could arrange studio time at a moments notice.
All these problems were of no major concern to David because coming from the back of his mind was one over riding sound:
He’d find a way.
Part Ten: David convinces the others
“I could never leave the Abbey” Marcel sat shaking his head
David knew this would be his first reaction.
“No one said anything about leaving the Abbey indefinitely Marcel” said David “It’s only so we can record some songs maybe tour about and use that freedom and may I add free travel to figure out our real purpose”
This made Marcel look up and take notice
“What real purpose David?”
“The notes James and I carry around haven’t you ever wondered why we carry them and what they me?
“Well.. Actually, yes I do” replied Marcel
“Well so do we Marcel. James and I don’t have a clue why we have them. It’s eating at our souls, we need to find out”
“What note David?” James who was sitting in the corner observing David suddenly asked.
“This one” and David handed James the ripped receipt with the key and locker numbers.
“Notice anything similar?”
“James studied the David’s piece of paper intensely then turned and handed it and his own note to Marcel.
“He has a point Marcel”
Marcel studied the notes and looked over at David.
“I’ve always felt something familiar with these letters and numbers, if James thinks it’s important I will go” Marcel said
“I think its important Marcel, I’ve grown to love the Abbey and consider it my home now but something in my dreams and my very being gnaws at me to answer this riddle” said James taking the note back off Marcel.
Inside his head David was doing a merry jig.
“What do we need to do David?” Marcel asked.
David had it all planned and explained his course of action.
David would join them as Manager/member. He would take care of the organizing.
The brothers wouldn’t even have to show their faces, this way the general public wouldn’t trace them back to the Abbey and then cause problems for St Benedict’s.
David was an expert at double dealing, everything he said to Marcel and James was also in his best interest though in a different context to theirs.
David – who always had an aptitude with machines -was more than willing to look after the tape side of things if James wanted to play on the backing tracks.
David offered to play some violin but it was discovered he was terrible.
James listened to the backing tapes and his musical ear instantly identified all instruments regardless of distortion and even commented how many were out of tune and off key.
James approached David in regard to the backing tracks and expressed concern if Marcel (though he had a mighty voice) could compete with this noise and whether he could actually sing with it. James said he was having a difficult time himself.
David had already thought this problem through.
His solution: earphones with low organ piped in to the same time as the music.
Marcel and James would be singing to one thing while what was being heard would be totally different. Genius.
Leaving the Abbey was never a problem as none of the Brothers were compelled in any way to stay within its walls as none were studying for the priesthood. It took David little under ten minutes to convince the Deacon of the Abbey that it would be in everybody’s best interests when he showed him Mr. Sincerity’s projected sales and marketing charts.
The boys were off to the studio.
Part Eleven: The ball starts rolling
Mr Sincerity sent a limousine to pick up Marcel, James and David and they immediately began work on the recording of their songs.
Marcel sang with James some old church standards also some melodies they had made up together.
David sat next to the engineer rubbing his hands together with a huge grin on his face.
When the singing had finished James listened to the vocal tracks then with David proceeded to tape the musical backing tracks.
David who had listened repeatedly to the original old reel to reel tapes knew what he wanted and asked James to play the most distorted fuzz filled chord progression to follow the vocal track. David matched the backing beats with the studio drum machine which he sped up and down depending on his mood.
The sound engineer acting as record Producer played around to clean up the sound and mixed it all together.
“Just like the old days” He was heard to remark “Record in the morning, mix in the afternoon, press at night on the radio next day. Sure beats dealing with these arty types who don’t usually have a song written when the come here”
Truer words could not be spoken because that’s exactly what happened.
Mr Sincerity was out spruiking the record as soon as he had a copy in his hands.
Part Twelve: A name is chosen
Mr Sincerity was out spruiking the record as soon as he had a copy in his hands.
Mr Sincerity was working like a man processed.
The record hadn’t even been pressed and was telling anyone who would listen that he had the future of popular music in his hands.
There was one small detail that Mr Sincerity had forgotten when he grabbed his copy and leapt in his car.
What was the name of the group? let alone the name of any the songs?
The first DJ he visited asked “Who were these people?”
Mr Sincerity answered without thinking (almost if guided by an inner voice)
“These guys are geniuses their I.Q is infinity……..uh……….. and that’s what we called them. I.Q equals infinity. It sounds smart and you can write it down in symbols to suit the texting teenagers of today.”