ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem is spillover from the July 19, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] corvi. It also fills the "caroling" square in my 7-1-16 card for the Winter Fest in July Bingo fest. It has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles. This poem belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.


"The Solo Chorus"


Ninepin's power was Self-Duplication.

Of course she used it at work,
as a dispatcher for SPOON.

Of course she used it at home,
mothering three children.

She also used it in a favorite hobby,
singing a solo chorus.

In high school, Ninepin joined
the Madrigals Club and learned
how to sing in harmony.

At first, she just did it
the ordinary way, singing
one part while other students
performed the rest.

As the learned more about
her superpower, though, she began
to sing in harmony with herself,
first duets and then more.

At SPOON, she used it for
fundraisers and other social events,
showing people that superpowers
could be fun as well as scary
or heroic or practical.

She dressed up in garb of
saffron silk and velvet, stood on
doorsteps all around Onion City,
and sang Christmas carols
to amazed audiences.

Whenever she did it, Ninepin
was beside herself with joy.

* * *

Notes:

Ninepin (Poni Daniels) -- She has mahogany skin, brown eyes, and long wavy black hair. She has three children, two boys and a girl. Ninepin works as a dispatcher at the Onion City SPOON base. One of the more creative uses of her superpower is performing as a solo chorus, multiplying herself to sing all the parts.
Origin: Poni's parents divorced when she was twelve, and they fought over her like two dogs with one bone. She often wished she could be in two places at the same time. Then one day it actually happened.
Uniform: On duty, she wears a navy blue shirt and pants with the SPOON logo embroidered in silver on the chest pocket. Off duty, she favors deep jewel tones and gold jewelry.
Qualities: Good (+2) Compassion, Good (+2) Dispatcher, Good (+2) Fast, Good (+2) Mother, Good (+2) Multitasking, Good (+2) Singer
Poor (-2) Nosy
Powers: Good (+2) Self-Duplication, Average (0) Super-Intelligence
Limitation: She can make up to nine copies of herself simultaneously, but she can only control seven of them with accuracy. The other two either copy what another version is doing, or wind up staring into space. She can actually make eleven copies if she doesn't try to do anything else with them, but it's still exhausting and not much use.
Motivation: To be there for people who need her.

* * *

Christmas carols have a long history, as do madrigals. There are tips on how to go Christmas caroling.

A choir or chorus consists of multiple people singing in harmony. If you're wondering how this works for Ninepin, it's a bit like patting your head and rubbing your tummy at the same time. Learn how to harmonize with text or video lessons.

Madrigal clubs often dress in period garb for performances. You can buy or make yours. I modeled Ninepin's garb after the lady in the lower right of this group.

(no subject)

Date: 2016-07-24 06:51 am (UTC)
thnidu: a G-clef crossed with a lightning bolt (clef)
From: [personal profile] thnidu
Oh, lovely!

The picture reminds me strongly of SCA events I've been to, and sometimes performed in.

• patting your head ant rubbing your tummy at the same time.
-> and

• I modeled Ninepine's garb
-> Ninepin's

(no subject)

Date: 2016-07-25 01:41 am (UTC)
stardreamer: Meez headshot (Default)
From: [personal profile] stardreamer
Oh, I'd love to hear that! What's her vocal range like? (I'm wondering whether she has to stick with SSAA arrangements, or if she can actually carry a tenor line.)

ETA: You should say "lower stage left" in your description of the madrigal-group photo, because the saffron dress is on the right side of the screen.
Edited Date: 2016-07-25 01:44 am (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 2016-07-25 03:18 pm (UTC)
redsixwing: Picture shows a red-winged angel staring at a distant blue star. (Default)
From: [personal profile] redsixwing
Eeeee!

What a delightful use of her power, and an excellent show-off piece besides.

(no subject)

Date: 2016-07-25 06:22 pm (UTC)
corvi: (Default)
From: [personal profile] corvi
Hee! This is really great, thank you! Lots of fiction has intriguing background characters, but it's so unusual that you can ask the author for more information and get it. :)

(no subject)

Date: 2016-08-01 07:36 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Oh I love the use of this power! I often get annoyed while singing songs by myself at have multiple parts. I have had Hamilton stuck in my head for the past month or so, and it has lovely harmonies. - Readera

now bring us some figgy pudding

Date: 2016-09-30 02:26 am (UTC)
callibr8: icon courtesy of Wyld_Dandelyon (Default)
From: [personal profile] callibr8
One of my favorite Rain City holiday events is the Figgy Pudding Caroling Competition, held the first Friday of December. I have tons of fun not only strolling and listening to many different groups performing in all kinds of styles from barbershop to jazz to madrigal, but also joining in on harmony parts, especially in cases where I recognize the exact arrangement that they're using. The usual reaction from other singers is pleased surprise.

I'm having fun imagining myself, the tall green-eyed blonde in the forest green Tudor gown and headdress, who comes along at just the right moment, when the iteration of Ninepin who was singing the descant line, takes a breath too quickly and ends up sending a bit of spit down the air pipe. While she's sorting herself out, I step up and fill in for the rest of the song, because it's one of the hundreds of carols that I have memorized. At the end I smile, curtsey, and hand the nearest iteration my card, then quickly and discreetly fade back into the crowd.

wassail, wassail, all over the town

Date: 2016-09-30 08:00 am (UTC)
callibr8: icon courtesy of Wyld_Dandelyon (Default)
From: [personal profile] callibr8
I'd think that with sufficient advance planning (say, a couple of months, which is the span of time between now and the next contest), it would be easy to arrange for Ninepin to make a "field trip" to Rain City to join a either chorus of soup singers or perhaps just reinforce a caroling group led by a Rain City based friend whose group is enthusiastic but short on certain voice parts. I'll have to be sure to keep my eyes open when I go to this year's event! :-)

(no subject)

Date: 2016-07-25 01:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] janetmiles.livejournal.com
Oh, what a nifty use for a superpower! I like that "superpowers
could be fun as well as scary or heroic or practical."

Now I'm wondering about Tuvan throat singers.

Thank you!

Date: 2016-07-25 01:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
>> Oh, what a nifty use for a superpower! I like that "superpowers could be fun as well as scary or heroic or practical." <<

I'm glad you enjoyed this. Terramagne is just starting to explore the recreational uses of superpowers in public, rather than private. (Supervillains have been running their own sporting events for decades, but they're a lot more willing to break the rules or make their own.) This is what the society needs in order to integrate superpowers fully instead of shunting them off into segregated areas.

It's something that mainstream comics almost never explore. That leaves a lot of free range for me. One of the few examples I can think of is from "X-Men: Evolution" in which Rogue used her ability to borrow Kitty Pryde's skill at dancing. That's the kind of thing that interests me. People have done all the crimefighting stuff, they haven't done the sociology of superpowers.

>> Now I'm wondering about Tuvan throat singers. <<

That could be interesting too.

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