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Minor Major

Stella Skoullos

The song was due this coming Monday. I had two days to compose a

song about strength and vitality. I had no idea what to do. “Working

hard is a mindset”, my father would always profess as he sent me to

do my schoolwork. I thought of that now as I gazed, blankly, at an

empty document on my computer. It was a phrase my grandfather

would always tell my dad in his thick, migrant Italian accent. I lifted

my face from the blank document and drifted towards the kitchen.


, I heard as I tripped over my clothes on the floor.


, I heard

as I threw ice cubes into my glass. My forefathers have been known

for their strong work ethic, but personally, procrastination was my

greatest talent.

If you asked me why I was doing this music composition course,

I would tell you that I grew incredibly bored after my three gap

years travelling the world, and I decided to return to Melbourne in

an attempt to ground myself once again. I enjoyed going into the

city for class, but I detested the work that they assigned us; I just

didn’t find it relevant to me. I sat back down at my desk after hours

of Netflix and nothingness. “Who in the world am I going to write

about?” I pondered over and over again as my eyes surveyed the

room. My flat was grotesquely decorated in unwashed clothes,

glasses, crumpled up paper and the odd instrument. I had speakers

scattered across all the walls and there was always music, endless

playlists of blues artists, jazz artists, everything.

Several moments later, I decided on my grandfather, Luciano.

An image of strength, his proverbs guided me throughout my

childhood. Now, I only follow a lonely few. He was born during the

Great Depression in Florence, Italy. The World War had left Italy

broke and weak. At just eleven, his father was sent off to the Second

World War and his mother, after his father left, died giving birth to

his third little brother. Nono doesn’t like to talk about his childhood

much, but when he does he mentions his mother and his fond

memories of her, while wearing a soft smile. I picked up my guitar

and began to experiment with the chord structure. I began with

mostly major chords, but something was telling me I needed to use

minor chords instead.

The remainder of that day was spent in deep concentration; I

hadn’t concentrated like that in years. It felt good. I heard the rustle

and occasional beeping of cars outside my flat. Winter was ending

slowly but surely, and the leaves of the trees were being revived by