Fredrick Hoffer | Farewell To Africa

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Classical: Contemporary Avant Garde: Free Improvisation Moods: Type: Instrumental
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Farewell To Africa

by Fredrick Hoffer

Contemporary Classical Piano Music
Genre: Classical: Contemporary
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Heat!
6:17 album only
2. David N\'Sofwa
6:32 album only
3. Stomping Feet
6:07 album only
4. Little People
5:17 album only
5. Dancing Like Mad
4:37 album only
6. Still Alive!
5:06 album only
7. A Large Pig
5:08 album only
8. A Medal For David
5:03 album only
9. A Quiet City
4:12 album only
10. Farewell To Ted M\'Gongo
8:40 album only
11. Not The Same!
5:13 album only


Album Notes

The heat was overwhelming; the light was blinding. The Reverend Brown crouched down , waiting for the molten iron to come cascading over the top of the barrier on to his helpless body

PLOP! He felt it rather than heard it. He looked down and there was a coil of rope at his feet. There was a figure at the top of the cliff waving his arms. “Hurry! We must hurry if we are to save your friend!”

The rope was already starting to smoulder. Would it hold his weight? No time to waste! As he passed the protection of the barrier, the full force of the heat struck him, almost causing him to loose his grip. He concentrated mightily on the job at hand. At last he reached the top, where helping hands were waiting . That last climb had been too much for him! The Reverend Brown lay on the grass, gasping for breath, unable to rise.

“I am David N’Sofwa of The New African Forestry Service,” he spoke softly. “I was on my way to investigate a disturbance when I saw you were in trouble. Unfortunately there was nothing I could do until I remembered that there are coils of rope kept at the checkpoint which was my destination. That’s where I also found that your friend is in terrible danger.” He put his arms around Reverend Brown and helped him to his feet. “I know you are exhausted, but we must hurry, and I cannot leave you here alone.”

At first Reverend Brown had a hard time keeping up with David N’Sofwa, but he soon regained his strength and was not far behind when David stopped and uncovered a camouflaged plate in the ground. There was a ladder which reached down into a dimly lighted tunnel. The tunnel was not very high, so they had to bend down as they raced through it. It seemed like a long time before they reached the end, where there was a good sized room with some furniture in it.

They could clearly hear frantic drumming, wild shouts, and the sounds of stomping feet from somewhere nearby. “Here, you can look through this periscope while I get things ready,” said David.

The Reverend Brown did as he was instructed and was horrified to see Terrence stretched out and hanging from a pole. His head was hanging down, and he looked like he was dead. Beyond him and in a slight depression were hoards of little people, and they were dancing like mad. Over in the corner, N’Sofwa was frantically twisting some large valves.. The Reverend Brown could see smoke beginning to come out of the ground on the other side of where Terrence was hanging.

“There! Now we will just add a little meat flavor to the smoke, and we will be ready to go.” A great shout came up from the people as they saw the smoke. “We must hurry now,” said David as he climbed a steel ladder in the corner. The ladder led up to the inside of a large hollow tree, and there was a cleverly hidden door in it which faced in the other direction from the pygmies. “Grab one end of the pole, and we will carry him over here,” whispered David. As they cut the vines that held him, David felt for his pulse. “He is still alive! Roll him on to his stomach, while I get the antidote.” David was back in a few moments with a large hypodermic syringe, and proceeded to jab him once in each buttock and also in his left arm.

“Ok. Now to finish the job and get out of here before the smoke runs out.

“I will need help,” he said as he descended the tree ladder. At the bottom, he opened a compartment and pulled out a large pig. It must have weighed two hundred pounds or more.

“This is a gift from the farmers to their brothers in the wild,” said David as he slipped a stout harness around the pig. “We will use this block and tackle to get him up. You go to the top, and when I get him up there, you can pull him out on to the ground.”

They made short work of putting that pig in the same place that Terrence formerly held. “Now for a little fire starter, and the feast is on the way,” he added with a grin. Then, using the same harness that had held the pig, they lowered Terrence down into the hole.

It was some time before Terrence stirred. “What is that horrible tasting stuff that you made me drink,” were his first words.

“It was a slow poison,” said David. “The people don’t like to roast anyone alive, so they make them drink this first. In an hour or two you would have been dead. Then they would have lighted the fire.”

“But what will they think when they find a pig instead of Terrence,” asked the Reverend Brown.

“Apparently they accept it, perhaps as a form of magic, or maybe they know it’s from us, but we’ve done this sort of thing before, and it does seem to work. You see, we try to interfere with their customs and ways of living as little as possible, but occasionally we do try to save someone who is in danger. This tree is one of a series of check points that we use to monitor them, but mostly we just keep out of their way.”

Terrence had to be carried out on a stretcher until an ambulance could be called. Later they heard that their friend David N”Sofwa had been awarded the African Distinguished Service Medal for his role in single handedly rescuing the two Observers..

One of their first visitors was President M”Gongo. “In light of your recent experiences, I believe it is time to speak to you further about the way we have organized out New African Society,” he said. “Historically there have been three major directions that mankind has taken. At first people were hunter gatherers, essentially nomads, because when food supplies ran low, they had to move on. Then some began to realize they could grow some of their own food. This led to a major change in the way their society was organized, because now people did not need to move constantly; they could stay in one place and settle down. Now they needed to protect their property, and this led to the various forms of government. It also led to trade, which enabled them to exchange what they had too much of for things they needed.

“Specialization, better tools, and greater skills led eventually to an industrial society, where people were no longer tied to the land and could pursue their trades without a direct connection to the farm.

“Africa, perhaps more than any other continent, has all three of these ways of living and all at the same time! When we founded The New Africa, we felt that this mixture was one of the main causes of our troubles, so we decided to separate these ways of living. The people were given a free choice as to which sector they wanted to live in. Those who felt a close connection to the land chose Agriculture and were given land to farm. The office workers and the artisans were assigned to apartments in the cities. But a surprising number chose to return to the forest and carry on the traditions of their ancestors. Those who were already in the forest were allowed to continue their lives, but we were determined to protect them, both from outsiders and from themselves.

“Of course we were most concerned about this last group, and that is the main reason we closed Africa to all outsiders. If these people were to live in the traditional way, we had to be sure that they did not have access to modern weapons. They had to be able to subsist on the tools and weapons they could make for themselves. We then erected a chain link fence around the whole forested area (truly a major undertaking in itself), as much to keep people out as to keep them in, for their society was a danger to the rest of us..

“We do still have the problem of criminality. If one of our farmers or industrial workers begins to steal things, or if he hurts or kills someone, we don’t punish him, per se. We feel that he has simply regressed to a more primitive kind of society, and he is sent to a rehabilitation camp where he is taught to survive in the jungle. When he is ready, he is released. That way he can make use of the skills and temperament that made him a danger to the rest of us. And in that and in similar ways, there is a certain amount of transition between the three areas of civilization.”

Terrence remained in the hospital for observation for a week or two, and Reverend Brown was given a room nearby so he could check on him. Soon they were back in circulation and were more in demand than before. Then one morning they woke up to find the city strangely quiet. There were none of the normal noises. The city appeared to be shut down. When they went out, they saw that the flag was at half mast. Somebody had died during the night.

They soon found out that that person was their good friend, President M’Gongo, who died of a massive stroke the night before. He was lying in state in the capitol building down the street from them. They joined the long lines of people who wanted to pay their last respects to the man who had saved Africa. A few days later a long funeral procession carried him away to his last resting place.

Fredrick Brown and Terrence Greene were disconsolate and no longer felt that they could go ahead with their observations. Since their experiences had already clearly shown that some changes needed to be made before Africa could be opened to the rest of the world anyway, they were given permission to return home. They made the same African Airlines trip, this time back to Washington, but there was a somber difference. They had changed. They were no longer the same two people who looked forward to the trip with such excitement.



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