cleopatra 1658 guido cagnacci‘The Death of Cleopatra’ by Guido Cagnacci – 1658

The air was still. The day was cold and bleak. From the chimney stack, all along either side of the rooftop there was a static murmuration of starlings looking a bit worried. I gave up counting when I got to sixty.

In town, what’s left of the roof of what was once a posh hotel until it got burnt out years ago, maybe the same number of pigeons, maybe more. I had to look up the collective noun for pigeons. I wish I hadn’t because they’ve got loads. None of them very imaginative. Then again, pigeons don’t major in creativity. I settled for just the two. A bunch of pigeons flying is a ‘flight’; a bunch of pigeons hanging out together is called a ‘flock’. Why double up?

There’s a reason for everything that happens. In the case of the murmuration of static starlings and the flock of pigeons hanging out doing nothing much except looking worried, it was because the sky immediately above the rooftops was a sea mist so dense the sun had got bored and given up on trying to burn it off.

Seagulls? None to be seen anywhere. I guessed they’d all flown across The Channel to France where the skies were blue. Good thinking.

Later, in the music shop, the owner didn’t leave me in peace when I was road-testing a guitar. He kept talking on and on and on. I kept trying to play the guitar. I lost the will when he said apropos nothing that he could restring a guitar blindfolded. I gave up on road-testing his guitars.

On the way out of the shop his wife at the till where I wasn’t spending any money called me over and told me that her husband was a liar and couldn’t restring a guitar blindfolded. I’d already guessed that. Only a genius could do that.

Outside I got to thinking why do blindfolds exist when anyone, if they really wanted to, could just shut their eyes and get the same effect. It gets annoying when people put things inside my head that I didn’t want to know in the first place.

Back home instead of starting work I had to check out on Google exactly why blindfolds exist. What I learnt was that they’re used as sleep masks; when playing ‘pin the tail on the donkey’; kidnapping victims; executions, sex games and some other odd things. I wish I hadn’t checked it out as all those things could be achieved by just closing your eyes and I knew that in the first place. Another ten minutes of my life I won’t get back.

Time for some music. A new composition. The first time I’ve created music using my new Fender Vintage American Telecaster. It’s called ‘Goodnight Cleopatra’. I can only compose guitar genre instrumental stuff when I have a picture in my head. On this occasion it was Cleo around the time she let a poisonous asp have a bite of her to end it all. I tried to reflect in music what would have been her mindset variations at the time. I’m liking the build. I hope you enjoy;

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45 thoughts on “GOODNIGHT CLEO

    1. Thanks, Cathy. Checking out stuff on Google never ends well. As to the ladies, the bloke painted it back in 1638 must have done it as he saw it in his mind – I think and legend has it that all Cleopatra’s maids committed suicide when she did, so I guess they all had to be hanging around at the same time the asp bit her. When I read that it reminded me of what my dad asked me as a kid. His question was, ‘If one synchronized swimmer drowns, do they all have to drown?’ although I think he might have nicked that from Woody Allen. Thanks again ~ George

      Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks Holly. I didn’t know she was a redhead, what with me being colourblind. Good to know. The closest to red I get to see is brown – at least that’s what I’ve been told. The piece of music was composed with my new American made Fender. A fantastic guitar, even though I’ve managed to make a dent in it when the strap detached itself about ten minutes ago! Can’t believe that happened, but it still plays perfect. Thanks again ~ George

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Carolee. A new guitar needs new inspiration. I don’t know where it came from – I don’t even know that much about history. It just arrived. It’s odd how all the classic paintings of Cleo westernize her. You’d have thought they should be more Egyptian? ~ George

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, medieval and Renaissance painters did that all the time. They portrayed figures like Jesus and the apostles dressed in what would have been “contemporary” attire. It’s kind of funny.

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  1. Your post was hilarious, and as for the song, it was great! It sounds a bit like the music they put on 3rd person shooter/action games (the big production ones that I can’t afford 😂). At first I thought it was a little heavy on the cymbals but you tied them in nicely. The guitar was well done, kind of had a nineties feel to it. Made me feel guilty about my own slightly neglected guitar, and that I need to practice! 🙂

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    1. Thanks for taking time out re this one. Good you picked up on the vintage vibe. That’s what I was aiming at with this new addition to my guitar collection. Keep the faith and go back to your guitar. Regards ~ Zoolon aka George

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I know this one Anne. My mother is a ‘twitcher’ – English for a bird watcher – and she told me ages ago that a ‘murder’ of crows is named that way because sometimes a whole mass of crows will peck one of their own to death. Usually it’s one with say, a damaged wing or maybe it has some white in its colouring. I saw it happen just the once. It’s seriously horrible to watch. Maybe, crows are a bit like some humans! ~ George

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Oh my….that is pretty sinister but there are many things in the animal world that are not so nice and most of them involve survival of a group and the species. Thank you for giving me an answer to something I did not know.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. When researching old artworks for paintings of The Death of Cleo I couldn’t find even one where she had her kit on. Odd, even for 1658 when the cover pic was painted. I’d have liked one where she and her servants at least had a hoodie on. Thanks again ~ Zoolon aka George

      Liked by 2 people

  2. New at you, two Qs: you overdub all the tracks (drums/guitar/synth/vocals)? Man, if I had that tech savvy I would love being alone just like I did with two thick pencils and my Mammy’s scrap white paper in the drawer when I was seven.

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    1. I do everything myself because if I worked with others the end result wouldn’t be a part of me. Working alone is the only way I can do it. I don’t know why that is. Maybe because there’s no politics – like there were in say, bands I played in had – involved?
      ‘Two thick pencils’ just gave me the random thought, ‘Two intellectually challenged pencils’ for some reason.
      You sound brilliantly mad in a good way ~ George

      Liked by 1 person

      1. George, never apologize for doing everything yourself. I am exactly like you, in that regard. When I collaborate, it is only when rendering the masterworks of history; in every other way, I must do it all myself or it doesn’t meet my satisfaction. I have been labeled “difficult to work with.” Well; that may be correct. You give me the courage to continue on my own, after two decades of submitting to the direction and control of others. Two intellectually challenged pencils? That is all yours. Go; make something wondrous out of them!

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      2. Thanks. Hunting alone is best. I did have a short period of pathetic employment working in a cafe but the owner, she went on and on at me because I can’t butter toast quickly – well that and she hated me for some reason, so I know what you mean. I’ll try to do something with ‘two intellectually challenged pencils; in the hands of fools…” a bit later. Thanks for that ~ George

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. The new guitar is a gem. I got it with playing it and an investment in mind. It has got its first dent when the strap broke off as I was composing. No major damage, plus I got told that there are companies out there who – for around £1000 – will ‘age’ them. Looks like I’ve ‘aged’ mine for nothing. They say it won’t affect its future value. Phew!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Random sidenote: The Shakespeare play ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA is, to me, the worst of his stuff. Your guitar, however, sounds smashing! Don’t smash it. 🙂 It’s got a rich sound, amber-lit and just as sweet. x

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I don’t claim to have read Shakespeare – I find it hard enough to read what I wrote. Yes, that guitar really is special. It’s putting me off doing things I should be doing, hence I’m running behind schedule on everything ~ George

      Liked by 1 person

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