A Count of Measure : The Music of the Count of St. Germain
At first, this was simply going to be a playlist of the music that fueled my inspiration during the early drafts of writing A Peculiar Count in Time. And alright, why not throw that in while we're on the topic. But seeing as some of St. Germain's own compositions are on the list, it seems a waste to not at least mention that he was a respectable composer, especially since it's one of the rare, provable aspects about him. And then of course, it's difficult to bring up one of St. Germain's talents without first acknowledging a few others (rabbit holes, wut?)
Researching the Count of St. Germain unearths a trove of rumors, including what seems to be an unending list of proficiency in the fine arts. Aside from being an alchemist, he was a scholar, historian, and a linguist who spoke more than ten languages - but his skills didn't end there. Many of these tangents were cut from A Peculiar Count in Time for the sake of length restrictions in the time travel anthology, but perhaps a future publication of the unabridged version will let the story fill out more. *fingers crossed*
One of my favorite rumors about St. Germain is that he was a fellow author. A manuscript titled La Très Sainte Trinosophie was discovered in his possession after his reported death in 1784 - entirely in Rosicrucian code - and its interpretations remain contested to this day. Known as the Triangle Book for it's unusual shape, it is thought to have been a cipher for French Masons, though esoteric societies claim it's a grimoire he has possessed since the days of Moses. One passage stood out to me when considering time/space travel: "We moved through space at a speed that can be compared with nothing but itself. Within a fraction of a second the plains below us were out of sight and the Earth had become a faint nebula." I kept this description in mind when determining what Isabella and John would experience during their own travels.
St. Germain was also a master painter, and "it's said that when he painted women in fanciful dress, he painted in hues so brilliant it looked like the gemstones themselves." Not surprising, his knack for painting transferred to cosmetics, and his beauty creams and makeup were highly sought. He created vibrant fabric dyes as well, because why not, if you're on a roll? While residing in Paris, he manufactured a synthetic silk from flax which might have revolutionized the fashion industry more than a hundred years sooner than it did, had he not been chased out of France by the Duc de Choiseul. The Duc is probably worth his own book, but he was a longtime detractor determined to expose St. Germain as a barefaced liar and spy; like Isabella and Louis Napoleon, he chased St. Germain to little avail over the years. In this particular incident, the elusive count fled to Venice before any arrest could be made, which alas, was not exactly reputed for its booming textile industry. And so, the synthetic fiber craze stalled.
So what about that music, then? As with much of St. Germain's legacy, no verifiable proof of his paintings are known to exist, but we do have some of the music he composed, as preserved by Manly P. Hall. As a violinist, St. Germain composed over sixty pieces of music, including forty-two arias, seven violin solos, and various sonatas; many more are said to exist in private collections throughout Europe. I generally accompany all my stories with a playlist, usually a private affair to help set the mood while I write the first drafts; I attribute this habit to a background in musical theatre, dance, and orchestra. Music is an expression beyond words, another conduit for storytelling all in itself, and when you listen to this music for the first time, you may just catch a glimpse of the character and charisma of St. Germain as he has been reputed.
"Music can change the world, because it can change people." ~ Bono