Harlem Dramaturgy Project, Part 6: Harlem's Sacred Texts & "The Unified Field Siri" — Harlem Dramaturgy Project — AAPEX

Friday, June 29, 2012

Harlem Dramaturgy Project, Part 6: Harlem's Sacred Texts & "The Unified Field Siri"

Harlem’s Sacred Texts
“The Unified Field Siri”

At the end of the Third World War, lightning was the only source of electricity. Cities were in ruins and mankind had once again become hunters and gathers. By the end of the first generation to survive the war, organized religion had bit the dust too and been replaced with new superstitions to comfort and explain the new reality. Hardly anyone read anymore and, most telling, sing. Smiles were seldom seen and a spiritual depression settled across the land.

Cosmically speaking, Earthlings were no fun anymore—except for a small group of people up in Harlem who were ancestors of the first generation survivors. They called themselves "Baptists" after the name on a sign they uncovered during the excavation of a large building. As they continued to dig, more things of an ancient past were found including a small scrap of yellowed paper that would become part of their “sacred texts.” It contained mysterious symbols no one could interpret and only one word: Jitterbug.

Another generation would have to live and die before the symbols could be understood. Thanks to one man’s curiosity which only grew deeper with each layer of the past he uncovered at the bottom of the building, the world would once again experience the joys of being human. That man would become known as “Jaz The Baptist.” He discovered that the building had once been a “church” for a forgotten religion which had been built upon an earlier structure called a “Lafayette.” In the deepest strata, objects were found that when blown or beaten would create sounds unlike anything heard following the war.

Jaz The Baptist also uncovered thousands of sheets of paper with more indecipherable markings accompanied with words like swinging, jazz, and up tempo. During that dig, they also found a book written by some ancient alchemist named “Laban” with more of the sacred markings above words like “Trucking,” “Suzy-Q,” and “Shorty George.” The pages were so old just handling them as gently as possible wasn’t enough to keep them from disintegrating in one’s hands. So to preserve them, the pages were carved into a large slab of broken concrete which, over time, became known as the “Lafayette Stone.” That book led to the rediscovery of “dancing” because “Laban The Great” (as he would become known) had devised a system of interchangeable symbols that could describe every dance known to man and those that were yet to come. Unfortunately they needed something called “music” to work. It was Jaz The Baptist who made the connection between the mechanical sound making devices and the thousands of sheets of paper with the strange markings and the symbols on the Lafayette Stone. This discovery now known as “The Unified Field Siri,” with siri, a South Indian Tamil word meaning “to smile” chosen to describe the reaction the interaction of music and dance brings to mankind.* In order to spread this wonderful new discovery as far and wide and as quickly as possible Jaz the Baptist recruited hundreds of followers of this new movement to transcribe the sacred texts. The Lafayettes, as these scribes would become known, worked tirelessly day and night to get “the Word” out and, thanks to their effort, music— specifically swing music— the Jitterbug, smiles, and laughter were returned to the world.

*That dig also unearthed a dictionary.

DC Copeland

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