The shocking SCANDAL that is the American symphony orchestra...
A psychopath's scented love letters. Neo-Nazi music journalism.
The museum guestbook, right beside a lifelike diorama of musicians in their natural habitat.
This collection of hybrid fiction is all that remains of the Stonehaven Symphony Orchestra.
In the aftermath of their fiery tour bus mishap, Curse of the Maestro and Other Stories documents the lives, loves, and musical pursuits of tuxedo-clad misfits in their own words, a shameless allegory for the performing arts today.
Characters from the gamut of racial and sexual orientations drive these short stories, unreliable narrators exploring the secret trenches of high art.
Will the young explorer ever discover the Maestro's secrets?
Where on earth did the Stonehaven Symphony come from?
Was the Symphony Dog Wash Fundraiser a good idea?
How did Lil Skank end up overdosing on stage?
And did Romeo and Juliet really text each other?
Curse of the Maestro
Is it true great music never dies? Do the dead keep musical secrets? Have you ever seen a dead person?
Tutamen’s Curse of the Maestro™ touring museum exhibit answers these questions and more. Museum patrons will witness the complicated lives and unsurprising deaths of 49 young musicians. Go on a journey of exploration! Experience the magnificent artifacts of Maestro Michel Butrie, his star-crossed Stonehaven Symphony orchestra, and the early 21st Century archaeologist who discovered them all - Dame Haylie Cartwright.
Museum exhibitions devoted to cultural history and music have dwindled in popularity for many years, so often due to their pretentious irrelevance. But Curse of the Maestro presents this fascinating subject in an entirely new way. This immersive exhibit allows visitors to re-live the events of the famous 2018 Stonehaven Symphony Tour Bus excavation. Colorado artisans and taxidermists have lovingly recreated Michel Butrie’s earthly possessions as well as the remains of orchestra musicians and livestock that followed him into the afterlife. A variety of educational materials are on display. See the mock conductor’s podium, complete with rehearsal sticky notes. Children are given brightly-colored activity hand-outs, with quizzes and games that simulate the gigging musician’s daily life from cradle to grave. You’ll be guided by a free audio tour based on the Dame Cartwright diaries, read educational wall panels and watch historical re-enactments featuring local school children. Here at the Colorado Museum of Nature and Science, guided tours are also provided twice weekly by enthusiastic Mountain Vista Women’s Correctional Facility residents.
Interactive kiosks feature an actual 21st Century musician’s journal, cell phone transcripts, drug prescriptions, all manner of rusty musical instruments, a Pokémon list, newspaper clippings and reviews, a tattoo transcription, more sticky notes, program notes, a summons, letters, laptop drives, and an ankle monitor. Audio guide headphone tours are narrated by the official exhibit mascot, Trumpet Monkey. After blowing chocolates out of a toy horn, he always leads children straight to the Haylie Cartwright Diary Room.
The Haylie Cartwright Diary Room
Haylie Cartwright’s biography is unique among archaeologists. She was a fearless and feisty inspiration for women of all ages. Haylie was 23 years old in 2018, fresh out of archaeology school. A tall, red-headed vegan and entry-level banjoist, Haylie left the UK to immerse herself in the burgeoning Rocky Mountain Bluegrass scene. At the time, the Denver Musicians Union was experiencing a financial downturn. Many musicians, living in poverty, were unable to pay union dues. In desperation and in hopes of recovering past due payments from recently deceased members, the Denver Musicians Union had just posted a new job description: Musical Paleontologist. Young Haylie jumped at the opportunity for employment.
Haylie’s archeological team consisted of personal secretary/estranged girlfriend Riia Bethard, Denver Musicians Union treasurer and newly-appointed Colorado Wind Quintet Flautist Louden Carnard, as well as a fluid number of Sigma Alpha Iota music sorority girls. Intern Lil’ Willy Williams appeared to be responsible for most of the actual digging. Most of the team’s curated objects were excavated in Glenwood Springs’ Valley of the Orchestras, two alpine canyons on the west bank of the Colorado River, 156 miles west of Denver. Covering half a square mile, the valley is the site of some 62 orchestra tour bus fatalities.
Haylie recorded her activities in her journal and this diary is exhibited among her own effects including reading glasses, a pink banjo plectrum, and a well-used roach clip. The original diary and its annotations have been painstakingly edited by her faithful secretary, Riia. They are all visible in a glass display case, opened on the entry for 1 August 2018, the very day of Haylie’s big discovery. The transcript is presented here with only minor redactions for a family audience...
and Other Stories
The alter-ego of Black concert violinist Gregory Walker, G.T. originally received a B.S. in Music with Honors in English at Indiana University sometime during the last millennium.
He was eventually awarded a doctorate and became a full professor at the University of Colorado Denver. After securing a publisher for his first novel, Trigram Cluster Funk (Double Dragon), winning the Elizabeth M. Cruthers Prize in Playwriting, and attending the Second Wind Theatre premiere of his science fiction drama Chambers of the Heart, he became a freelance writer and columnist for a number of internationally-distributed publications including Strings, Teen Strings, and Chamber Music America magazine.