But for all of her high-falutin’ musical and intellectual pedigrees, Berberian was equally known as someone with a sense of humor. Her Revolution album of Beatles covers is a unique and quirky collection indeed, but she really ties together her pop and avant garde inclinations beautifully in her own composition, “Stripsody,” a short vocal piece where she uses comic book exclamations and sounds (Words like “Boing!”“Vrrop vrrop” appear on the sheet music) to get the point across, sounding very much like a comical version of Cage’s Fontana Mix.
The noise recedes. All is quiet. The man lays on the floor, unconscious but alive, his heart beating in its own, unique way, breath ragged but steady. The floor is cold, but he does not yet feel it.
The door to the chamber opens — not by hand or machine, but simply a released latch and an uneven casing. The air that flows in is greyish with a fine, salty dust. Outside it is bright and hot and the sounds of twenty bands in competition with weather, crowds, traffic and explosions. For this place and time, this is just normal background noise.
The man stirs. As the room warms with the hot, dusty wind, sweat covers his forehead. He is wearing a smart suit, but already it is wrinkled and damp. His hair is blond, his chin bears a light golden dusting of what might be a beard one day if it eats right and does its exercises. He is thinner than the man the suit was tailored to.
"Whoa!" A face appears in the doorway. A man in a parti-colored mohawk and little else stands there, a water bottle clutched in one hand, the other supporting him against the doorjamb. The wind eddies about him merrily, like a joyous pet. It flaps his zebra-striped loincloth to one side. He does not seem modest. Nor should he.
"Dude, are you all right?" The man in the mohawk runs in, kneels before the man in the suit, checks for pulse, is discomfited by what he feels lub-lub-dubbing at the man’s throat. The man stirs.
"Water," he says.
The man in the mohawk lifts the man in the suit’s head a bit, and carefully pours a bit of the water — tainted a bit with Gatorade, dust, and maybe a whisper of cheap vodka — into the man’s mouth. He sputters, and his eyes open.
"Hello," he says.
"Hey, dude," the man in the mohawk says. "You ok?"