A Confession is Found

My name is Anthony Philip Glass. Many years ago I was the unwitting participant in a cruel hoax, perpetrated by my father Edward Glass.

Perhaps my name is familiar with you, over the years it has been appropriated for many tall tales, fantastic stories and outright lies but in this journal I intend to set the record straight and do what I can to regain my good reputation.

But let me start at the beginning. My father was always a terribly ambitious man, and was possessed of a keen intellect and no small amount of charisma. However, he always seemed to fall short of his own high expectations. In fact, if it weren’t for a large inheritance that included our family house, I doubt whether he could have kept a roof over our heads at all. It’s not that he was workshy, or without skills, but I always got the impression that he felt “work” in itself was beneath him, something that other people did while he contemplated the best way to leave his mark on the world.

I think I must have been about 10 years old when he decided that I would be his legacy, his “gift to the world” so to speak. My father had always been fascinated with what came to be known as Science Fiction and would read all the pulp magazines of the day voraciously, in much the same way as most other fathers would devour the Times, my father ploughed through piles of histrionic nonsense like Weird Tales and The Argosy.

And so it transpired, my father set about formulating a scheme that would guarantee his infamy, with me as the key player. He devised meticulous plans for a machine that he claimed would transmit music and other forms of art through time to some future recipient – the purpose of which was never really explained. Over the course of three years I was regularly administered a weak tincture of what I now assume to be laudanum which kept me in a permanently bewildered state. Every night I was dragged from my bed and taken to my father’s library where work would continue on building the vast orange-brown behemoth.

I must confess, the sheer scale of my father’s deception was impressive. By the time we were undertaking the first “tests” the machine filled almost every corner of my father’s large basement library. It huffed and puffed, glowed and groaned in a most impressive manner, and some of it’s malfunctions were terrible and magnificent to behold. By the time I was sent away to live with Aunt Sophie at age 14, the machine seemed as much a part of the house as a heart is to the human body.

I will write further tomorrow.

Chapter Two

Staring out of the train window, the boy sighed as the miles flew past, each taking him further from his family – his worried mother and the father he would never see alive again. He was to stay with a distant aunt he’d never met, out in the country, having been packed and rushed out of his home in the early hours of the morning. Answers to his tearful questions were not forthcoming, only his mother’s weeping face and his father’s strict glare.

By his side was his school satchel, containing an apple, some sandwiches and a thick, leather-bound notebook, into which his father had stuffed folded blueprints, sketches and diagrams quickly salvaged from the workshop. His father was keen to impress upon him how important it was he kept these documents safe and was not to mention them to his estranged Aunt. Indeed, it was clear that he was to make no mention of the Great Machine or his work with it to anyone outside of the immediate family. The boy just nodded mutely at this request, but he understood perfectly.

During the weeks before his impromptu departure, the Colonel’s visits to his father had become more frequent and more explosive. Anthony had been made to hide in his room upon any knock on the door, and could only hear the raised voices of the two arguing men muffled through his floorboards. Every visit was accompanied by a greater number of footsteps, and a greater clanking and rustling of military uniforms and rifles.

His father had taken to drinking heavily and had no time to discuss anything, least of all the Great Machine, which had lain dormant for months now. Anthony relished the return to a normal sleep pattern and a cessation of his intake of the bitter tincture his father prepared for him, he assumed to keep him awake through the long nights of toil.

Still, he missed the machine, and he missed the time spent with his father. He missed the blistering steam and the whirring and clanking of the mechanisms as their experiments got ever closer to achieving their goal – the transmission of music and art through time itself.

Their latest test transmissions had gone well – all the diagnostic report cards signified that the messages were being received, although at this point there was no way of knowing if the broadcast had reached the desired parties, or someone else entirely. At this point, it was irrelevant.

[Page ends]

Computer Malfunction

Just a quick note to apologise in advance for any delays in updates, I’ve recently been having a lot of problems with the computer I write this journal on. Coincidentally it’s also my main recording studio computer, and over the last few weeks I’ve had problems with some kind of interference overwriting music I record with static and what almost sounds like muffled voices.

Occasionally, while writing documents, seemingly random characters insert themselves which is most irritating.

I’m sure both the audio and visual glitches are just the usual technological hiccups, but please bear with me while I resolve them.

Business Cards Discovered

Since my posting of 19th June, regarding a charred damp business card I found in a corner of the storage room where I’m currently finding snippets of information, seven people have contacted me. Some through the comments section of this site, some directly through email. All are reporting the same thing – that they’ve found a very similar looking business card while going about their daily life -  in a bar, a record shop, and in one case in the bottom of their handbag.

“I was in a cafe in Bristol, I went to pay the bill and one of these cards was on the counter. I picked it up because I couldn’t understand what it meant??”

“Watching a band in York and one of these was on the table. Had this web address on it”

“Looks like your guy was in Newcastle bud – I found one of these cards inside a second-hand CD I bought off the market”

“My girlfriend brought one of those cards home unwittingly inside a local music mag”

“Clearing out my handbag, this was in the bottom. No idea how it got there, some kind of prank?”

“Got given one of these in the street by a Big Issue seller, was too confused to ask why!”

“Yup found one of these cards on a bar stool in Leeds”

It looks like someone is playing games, possibly with me, or maybe I’m just an observer. Either way it looks like AP Glass is among us.

Please continue to report anywhere you find one of these cards and give as much information as possible, time, dates etc.

A Concerned Father Writes

Colonel,

Firstly please forgive me the brevity of this missive. You know I have always respected you but I fear you are testing the boundaries of our friendship with your continual insistence on my son’s participation in your military research. My reasons for denying your request remain unchanged. The boy has no inkling at all of the scope of his skills. Indeed, I still convince him that it was I that supplied the plans for the great machine. If he were to realise that he himself drew them while in some kind of mesmeric stupor, I fear he may start to lose his mind. Anthony is remarkably mature and well-balanced in his demeanour considering how uncommon his daily life has turned out to be and I do not want to jeopardise his mental welfare further.

I hope you do not take me for less of a patriot or proud Englishman, rather a concerned and loving father attempting to nurture and protect his only son at a very crucial stage in his development.

I would welcome a visit from you to discuss this face-to-face but I implore you not to bring your “security” personnel. Their presence during your last visit was unnecessarily distressing to my wife and most intimidating.

Once again I hope you can understand my position in this matter.

Yours Sincerely,

Edward Glass

A Business Card

I was sweeping up the corners of the storage room, when this caught my eye. Obviously a business card at one time, but fire and water damaged. I can just make out the name Anthony Philip Glass and the words “Adventurer, Entrepeneur” but I can’t see any contact details or other information.

Given that it would be unlikely that a child would have need of business cards, is it safe to assume that this is from a later period in AP Glass’ life? If so it would appear it wasn’t just his childhood that was unusual. I wonder what kind of services he was offering to potential clients with this card?

I’ve attached a photo, apologies for the poor quality.

card

Journal Entry #2

Sifting through the loose leaves of the water-damaged journal, it’s hard to put them into a great deal of context. However, I discovered this snippet which may give some insight into the video and audio I’ve come across over the past few weeks.

January 3rd

Our initial test-run of the apparatus had a most alarming malfunction tonight. Indeed, father’s hands were severely scorched but as always he refuses to call for the doctor, and mother is most upset. We had begun a test transmission but something wasn’t right – the meters were most erratic and certain flues were not up to the requisite pressure, despite many thorough tests. Father insisted we inserted the first punch card and so I obeyed as always, fearing his ire.

There was a huge groaning noise from the very belly of the machine, the like of which I’d never heard before. I saw a crack appear in the second main bellow and some of the mountings began shaking violently. I moved to pull the lever back, to return the machine to a docile state, but father told me sternly to stand back and do nothing.

Suddenly, the first cathode-ray bulb started to show images and landscapes that were totally alien to us, cogs and machines, vertical and horizontal stripes as though laid out by a draughtsman, but terribly distorted. Worst of all, sound was coming from the horn that we had not entered into the machine. It was deafeningly loud, like waves crashing rhythmically on some infernal beach, or a ship of the dead rowing to the beat of a hellish drum. I was terrified, but as soon as it had started, the second bellows finally split and pressure was wholly lost. The machine wheezed to a halt, the cathode-ray dimmed and the horns once again fell silent.

Father had few words to say after the event. He postulated it was some kind of feedback loop – something coming back down the line that shouldn’t have. He had no notion of the destination of the test message due to the inaccurate pressures, and hence we knew not from whence the feedback came. I did not sleep tonight.

Page ends.

A letter from the Colonel

Dear Edward,

My sincere apologies for not writing sooner. As you know my recent trip overseas encountered complications and I was not able to board my planned ship in return. I will keep this missive brief, and as always I’m afraid it is with regard to your son Anthony.

I appreciate that you do not wish to divulge the full nature of your current work with the boy, but regardless it is clear to me that he is a vital “component”, if you will, in your endeavours. And with good reason! Precocious does not describe the lad, rather a genius, a protege, an otherworldly mind on such young shoulders.

While I realise from our previous conversations on the subject you are most opposed to his use in a military capacity, I must once again strongly recommend that you begin talks straight away with my superiors in order to get him all the requisite help and support if he is to be useful to his country and the development of our weaponry against the myriad external forces who seek to take our liberty.

I have always considered you a friend, Peter, but know this – such is the vigour with which my superiors are pursuing your child’s mind and talents, it could soon be a matter taken out of your hands. Let us not forget the tragic end of [illegible] there could be little time left.

I will be in London next week, and will [illegible] I trust you will not [illegible] again.

Yours Sincerely,

Col. Maurice Von Riper (retd)

Video Emerges

After my last post regarding the cassette of strange noises I received anonymously, commenter ‘Thedaveyk’ kindly emailed me, this is what he said:

“Hi Alexander, I thought I’d heard that music somewhere before and I had! Took speaking to my wife to jog my memory tho – basically when she was at art college in Bristol in the late 80s, she bought a second-hand betamax video recorder from a car boot sale. When she got it home she found an unmarked tape left in the machine. It looked like the tape was damaged and the sound was pretty awful, it only lasted a couple of minutes but at the time she was doing art installations involving stacked up tellys so she decided to use it as it was a bit freaky. When I heard your cassette it rang a bell because that was the same audio that was on the video. Weird eh? Anyway it turns out my wife had already put the video on the computer a year or two back along with a load of her other video installations stuff as she’s a lecturer now and wanted to show her students, so I dug it out.

I’ve uploaded it up to Youtube so you can check it out. Do you think the person who made the video is the same person who gave you the cassette? Anyway, hope it helps you out. Cheers, Dave.”

This is Dave’s video – embedded here with kind permission.

Discovered Recording

Yesterday a cassette tape was pushed through my door – I don’t know exactly when, it was lying on my doormat when I arrived home from work. The cassette was unmarked,  and the envelope was blank.

Although the sound quality is very poor, you can just about make out what appears to be music. I’m not sure if this is related to my research on this website, or if it’s someone’s idea of a practical joke, but I’ve digitised the recording and attached it to this update – make of it what you will.

Click here to listen