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Discipline (USA) - 1997 - "Unfolded Like Staircase"
(65 min, 'Strung Out')
1.  Canto IV (Limbo)
2.  Crutches
3.  Into the Dream
4.  Before the Storm

The Disciples are:

Matthew Parmenter (the Player) - vocals; keyboards; violin; sax; chimes
Jon Preston Bouda (the 1st Minstrel) - guitars
Paul Dzendzel (the 2nd Minstrel) - drums
Mathew Kennedy (the 3rd Minstrel) - bass

Other Characters: The First-Comer, The Storyteller and Both His Secret Passions.

This is a story of the very remote Past; this is a story of the very distant Future that came out of our Past to become our Future - every moment - since it becomes our Present. Four Disciples were going through the parallel roads of Space, through the distorting mirrors of Time. One of them nicknamed The Player (also known as The Acolyte) was often speaking-singing in paraboles to the accompaniment of some musical instruments, the only material things that The Disciples were carrying with them always.

Once the Player was singing a song of Misunderstanding, and His words, as always, were full of diverse paraboles and allegories. Simultaneously The Player and His Companions were playing their musical instruments. It needs to be said, their music seemed to be incomprehensible, as grotesque were lyrics sung by The Acolyte. Musical themes, interplays and solos were sounding strange with their seemingly inconsistent chords, amorphous rhythmical measures and changeable tempos. Here was The First-Comer having a rest not far off the place where The Disciples made a halt. "Hey, Minstrels! What were you singing and playing about?" asked Them The First-Comer after They finished, "Are you really happy to be in Limbo? I am not a Prophet, but I am sure you'll be 'there'... I mean in Limbo... always. I was trying to understand what is that you want to tell the People". "Canto the Fourth", The Player answered. "I see your answer is exactly like the song you sang and played just a few minutes ago. You'll be in Limbo always and... for ever. As for myself, you are in Limbo on my brain already now. What do you want the Mob to understand with such a set of Nonsenses? Your verses and your music - it's like a bag that's full of Absurdities". "Who says He sings it for the Mob? Sadly, you are still in search for Understanding. Don't worry, though: you'll find It in Your Future, anyway", The Storyteller (also known as The Fabulist) who was going past (with both His Passions) from the Past said to The First-Comer. "You'd better think of your morals," a passer-by was angry with this Someone that meddled in their talk being together with two persons of the female sex. "As for morals in general and both My Passions, it is necessary for me to talk about them. But not right now, sorry, not with you at any rate: I'm just afraid you'll lose your ears as I begin to say my thoughts. You are a good man... time will come... and all the words you say... all will be equal to the thoughts... thoughts that you think before you say them". ("Off with his head!.. Surely, all these men are mad" - these were the thoughts of our First-Comer at the moment.) He took his bag and went away to meet his Future (every moment).

"Well, Crutches", softly said The Player before The Disciples began to play another song. The second song was also full of musical and lyrical grotesques. Quiet musical waves came in very unexpectedly as if choking with the furious streams of Passion, the Sister of Music and the Human race as well. The sudden musical Winds, beings of absolutely different parallel worlds, were sounding marvellously harmonious within the overall singing of myriads of notes. There were no simple words in a Story of Crutches told by the Player. It was a complex world where paraboles and allegories rule the ball. The world of words was as complex as Music, in accompaniment of which some strange (at the first sight) characters were solving their strange (at the second sight, too) problems. "And I ask your name, and you tell me my own. I owe everything I have, I own nothing", the Fabulist thoughtfully repeated after The Disciples finished playing. Then He continued addressing The Player: "Yes, the Union of absolute contradictions is the only way to the Golden Throne of Understanding in this dual world. But, aren't you afraid the sleepers will call you a madman just because they 'know' it is 'impossible' to unite two absolute contradictories? Do they ever realize the world they 'currently' live in is just a Grand Illusion? They lose their way between the two trees of Good and Evil. Why do you sing your allegories and paraboles if they don't even see a direct way to their escape? Don't you see, all they still need are the crutches of the traditional teachings." The Player nodded: "It is too hard for the sleepers to make a right choice between two illusory trees. A direct way in our illusory world is by far not always the most near way. I sing for those who are on the right way to Awakening." "Do you understand you're preaching only for a select circle?" "I do. Yes, our reality is cruel, but don't forget, it is the same Illusion, Friend."

"What does it mean To have Understanding?", asked one of the Passions called a Woman. "Oh, that means you just have to begin To search for It, though it's an endless search for where you are, for where we are", another Passion, known as Music, was answering Her.

"Into the Dream" we go, and you can follow us", - these words by The Acolyte were addressed The Fabulist and Both His Passions. Then all the Minstrels take their instruments in their hands, and Music struck up with a mysterious drive as if from nowhere. It was the longest song They knew. It was, as always, a very complex piece, full of diverse and often hidden meanings, of notes owned by Music that all four Minstrels played, of notes owned by Words of which The Player is The Owner at the same time. "It's pure Magic", said the Woman. "First off, my Magic", Music added gently. "Oh, what a Phenomena", The Fabulist come to Himself, - "Your Music is so complex, Your Words are so profound!.. They're so original - Your Music and Your Words - I can't trace any influences there. Were they inspired by hmm... drugs in some way? It's time to talk of our morals." "No, not at all. But even if the Truth they bring was really inspired by some drugs, it doesn't matter. No?" "You're quite right. The Truth was born before the drugs, before this illusory world was born. What but The Truth can make some real people happy? And if the Truth will come to someone the way of easy drugs... that means the Truth did find its Bringer able to convey it as it is to some yet real people, anyway." "But what about your Passions, man?" "As for my Passions, both of them are friends to the two things we know - material and spiritual things - they're most positive energies of our thin and our raw worlds. They're friends to all of us - Our Muses and Our Mothers." "Let's go to the World of Oneness!" "Before the Storm", so was called the last song The Disciples performed (in their typical manner) before they parted with The Storyteller and Both His Passions. Needless to say, some people speculate that One of The Storyteller's Passions called Music left Him and went with The Disciples, but most likely She just made a Miracle: as She was divinely beautiful, She decided to remain with all of them - The Storyteller and The Disciples - generally and particularly. You may be asking yourself, how is it possible to be simultaneously here and there and everythere. Good question. It is only known that after the Storm all of them met in Eden. There The Fabulist and all the Minstrels were talking about a set of songs called "Unfolded Like Staircase", and The Fabulist was sure it was one of the best yet simultaneously one of the most underrated works of musical art he heard during the last five years. And none of them were saying it was impossible...

VM: April 25, 2007


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