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Description
An Octoberish piece for you, including a short story, dedicated to a ghostly siren, from the point of view of one whose life, such as it was, took a 180 after encountering her. It's long and self-indulgent. Going for some mood in the usual guitar-bass-drums-synths format. It's not exactly progressive rock, but close enough… maybe. There are a few parts. The first part is more or less normal for our protagonist, with a tinge of something unsettling, given the surroundings. The second part is an interruption of his normal activities. A calm filled with uncertainty. The third part is the encounter, which is not at all unpleasant, but weird nonetheless. The fourth is the aftermath, the complete outcome of which is still unclear to him … and us.

I could maybe have gotten away with posting this for the Halloween Challenge, but decided not to. It doesn't really say "Halloween" to me. Besides, Halloween should be fun, just like the many other pagan holidays that I celebrate.

Credits:

Les --- guitar playing, programming

Freesound attributions:

digifish -------- singing
offthesky ------ chiming
ERH ----------- blowing wind
Corsica_S ------ talking, whispering
---------------------------------------------

Why do I bother to write this? Mere habit? Maybe it is to test my sanity. I am alone. Yet I can't help but to wonder if someone is out there. Somewhere. Some day, perhaps, someone…. it makes no difference.

California: October 2007. It is still October, as it will always be. I had rented a two-bedroom cabin not far from a sleepy coastal town. It was the kind of town that passed for quaint if you drove through it. Few stopped. I did.

I had promised my sponsors that I would produce a draft of my manuscript by the time I returned --- just two months hence. I had everything I would need --- a laptop and my notebooks. I was alone with the trees, a wall of forest and mountain behind me, and the low sandy hills leading to the shore about a half mile to the west. The hills. They did nothing to prevent the fog from skulking its way in to me every night.

Every day was the same. Hours of work, a walk down to the ocean under dark clouds, or a walk up the hill behind the cabin. I struggled to the top once, only to find the view completely obliterated by the forest. Sleep came easy on those starless, fog-enshrouded nights. How can I describe the complete and utter silence of night in this place? Sometimes I strained to hear a sound --- anything --- a car on the highway, the sound of the nighttime ocean, the low whisper of a breeze moving through the trees. It was as though my hearing sense was reaching out and out, to the limits of this quiet Earth, finding nothing. It was the most soundless place I had ever been.

Occasionally, I would make a trip into town for food supplies, or to visit one of the two shabby diners. It was nice to be around people, lonely and detached though they seemed. That's when I heard about the death. Ellen, the inscrutable one, who tended the counter at Nick's Cafe, said one evening, as she served my dinner, "A woman died near your place." I looked up from my bowl of soup, searching my brain for the appropriate response, but then she walked away. After paying the cashier, I approached Ellen and asked her what she had meant. She met my eyes, maybe for the first time ever, tilted her head, pressed her lips together, and said nothing. Absolutely nothing. Then, as though the happiest thought in the world had just entered her mind, she smiled and said, "Well, closing time." And that, as they say, was that.

The days passed uneventfully, but I often found myself thinking about Ellen's strange comment. I learned nothing from the locals, nothing from scouring back issues of the town paper. In any case, I had work to do. I might have --- should have --- dismissed the whole idea, but I could not shake the uneasy feeling that came over me whenever I crossed the highway and walked among the sandy hills. It wasn't what I would call dread. I would get butterflies in my stomach, a sense of nervous anticipation. Still, nothing happened, and, having decided that my focus was being compromised, I gave up my daily walks to the shore. The soundlessness persisted, with one exception. Once, late at night, sitting with my work, I convinced myself that I could hear the sound of women singing, coming from very far off. I surmised that the wind could have carried the sound of a live music show in town all the way here, although the wind did not blow from that direction. I later asked about it, and none of the townsfolk I talked to had heard anything about any musical performances.

Then came the dream. At least, I thought it was a dream, but now I'm convinced that it wasn't --- or isn't. It can't be. On a night suddenly different from those preceding, I awoke in the darkness. I got up and opened the door. The sky was brilliant with stars, more stars than there are supposed to be, I remember thinking. Where was the fog? The air was filled with a pleasant fragrance that I could not identify. I had an extreme case of butterflies, almost to the point of shaking. There was a glow in the distance, towards the sea, low to the horizon, behind the silhouette of a treeless hill. I walked, not noticing if I had even crossed the road. The wind came up. I heard a bell-like sound, almost like wind chimes. Then the voices came, ethereal but beautiful --- singing mixed with indecipherable whispers. They came from all around me, sometimes seeming to come from within my own head. Only one word could I make out --- "sphere." It is senseless, but that is the word I remember. Perhaps it was the snaky "sssss … fear." It makes no difference now.

I continued walking towards the glow. Then I saw her. Dark hair, pale skin, exotically draped, swaying and writhing inside a faint but distinct glow of light. I can't say whether she was beautiful or not. All I remember is the intense desire to be near her, to be inside that glow. She never looked directly at me, but somehow I knew that her attention was focused entirely on me as I moved nearer, each step becoming more and more labored. She swayed in rhythm --- to something I thought I must know. From some vague intuition, I placed my hand over my heart, and discovered with no surprise, as if it were entirely natural, that she danced to the pulse of my heartbeat. It was almost unbearably intimate. Unintelligible whispers raced through my head --- promising what? As I drew closer, possessed by an unfathomable desire, I was briefly startled by her eyes, which were as black as the abyss. Then, even as I drew close enough to touch her, she seemed to fade. What colors I might have ascribed to her and her clothing slowly diminished into a pale white mingled with gray. Then, fading. Her form vanished, becoming an amorphous, black shadow within the light, slowly dwindling. And I reached out. A blinding light erased the world. I was knocked to the ground. I began to lose consciousness. Drifting down. Falling. Darkness.

When I came to, it was day. I lay in damp sand under the usual overcast sky. I stood. I remembered. At first, I assumed that it was a dream, and that I had sleepwalked, a phenomenon to which I had been subject in my youth. In a time as brief as that required to look around me, I was overcome by the insistent feeling that the ties I once had to the world, everything that defined my place and purpose, had been cut away, disconnected. That this should occur to me after I had been alone for all these weeks perhaps seems strange. But no, the isolation I now felt far surpassed anything that I had known before. I was overtaken by a sense that the world had left me --- or that I had left the world --- and somehow I knew that I was not dreaming.

I am here. I don't know how long it has been --- months, years. The light beyond the hills has not returned. There is no road. There is no town. There is a two-bedroom cabin, and trees, and sandy windswept hills, and an ocean, brooding, without empathy, with its cast of permanent October. I want for nothing. Neither food nor water nor sounds nor human company. I need no sleep. I want only for answers. I write stories that I alone will read. I will never be lost; I walk for hours, following as straight a path as I am able, only to find again my cabin nestled in its familiar trees. Some day, perhaps, I will set off across the ocean. Do I have it within me to actually construct a seaworthy craft? No doubt, there is time to find out. But I know what I will find. Sometimes I imagine that I hear wordless voices mingling with the wind, reminding me of her, but then I resign myself to thinking that I'm simply giving in to my own wishes. I stand silently in the night, facing the fogbound sea, waiting for her return.
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Song Stats
Hits: 2328
Comments: 60
Fans: 30
Plays: 221
Downloads: 54

Uploaded: Oct 24, 2012 - 10:16:44 PM
Last Updated: Oct 25, 2012 - 12:33:47 PM Last Played: Oct 29, 2017 - 07:09:26 PM
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Comments
PeterB7858 said 1880 days ago (October 25th, 2012)
Disconnect
A feast for the senses, Les. The short story is really well constructed and kept me readily engaged. Fine prose. The music is equally evocative. Epic last section. 8+ minutes very well spent. Thanks, Peter.
Check out my latest song called Losing You
Les_Kloo said 1871 days ago (November 2nd, 2012)
Peter
Thanks for that. I realize 8+ is asking a lot of the listener, but sometimes I can't help myself.
Check out my latest song called Smoke and Dew /awigze
RochaMalhada said 1880 days ago (October 25th, 2012)
Dude

I want to try some of that shit you're dropping...

kidding - but that's some cool writing. Therein is your spooky bit for All Hallows' Eve

oh yeah, the music is quite alright as well ;)

. - Harold
Check out my latest song called Ascent of a Tree (w Mike_D & FEEL)
Les_Kloo said 1871 days ago (November 2nd, 2012)
Harold
The only thing I dropped here was my sense of discipline, such as it is. But if it ain't fun, I ain't doing it. Thanks for the nice words.
Check out my latest song called Smoke and Dew /awigze
Demeter7 said 1880 days ago (October 25th, 2012)
I read while the
music swirled around me. At, "Once, late at night, sitting with my work, I convinced myself that I could hear the sound of women singing, coming from very far off."... I heard the misses digifish vocalizing. Great timing, that. You are brilliant, sir. And I think this music along with the story is definitely a Halloween treat. If you have more stories, I'd love to hear them. that is, if you are still alive to tell them. ;) (Oh, yeah! Good call, Harold.)
Check out my latest song called Boogieman Boogie Halloween 2012
Les_Kloo said 1871 days ago (November 2nd, 2012)
Char
The timing match of text and music is just an accident, of course. Originally, my description was a single paragraph. It didn't make much sense when I re-read it, so I started adding, and ended up with a story. The original concept was based on a ghost girl dancing on a hill. Anyway, glad you liked it.
Check out my latest song called Smoke and Dew /awigze
tokai said 1879 days ago (October 25th, 2012)
Pagan
Brilliant . Refreshing . Kool
Check out my latest song called sleeper
Les_Kloo said 1871 days ago (November 2nd, 2012)
Steve-O
This had been sitting around for about a year. I could not come up with an ending, and seriously thought about trashing it or spinning some of the parts off to new tunes. I was glad to finally finish it because there are a couple of parts I like. All in all, it's the usual mish-mash. Anyway, thanks, and good to hear from you!
Check out my latest song called Smoke and Dew /awigze
Narad said 1879 days ago (October 25th, 2012)
Disconnect
Excellent introduction and built-up. A lot of tension and energy.
Great stuff ! :)

Check out my latest song called Earthquake
Les_Kloo said 1871 days ago (November 2nd, 2012)
Hi, Harald
I appreciate your comment, sir. I cannot possibly convey tension (or anything else!) as well as you can, but I gave it a shot anyway. Thanks much.
Check out my latest song called Smoke and Dew /awigze
alackbass said 1879 days ago (October 25th, 2012)
Disconnect
Another must have Les Kloo fix! Thanks for the awesome download!
Check out my latest song called Mean Miss Teacher
Les_Kloo said 1871 days ago (November 2nd, 2012)
Hi, Andrew
A very self-indulgent bit of work. I'm glad that it seems to be pretty well received. Thanks for your generous support.
Check out my latest song called Smoke and Dew /awigze
carbon said 1879 days ago (October 25th, 2012)
disconnect
i really enjoyed this, les. the short story paints such an interesting picture and mates so well with the music. you continue to push the limits, transcending the label of "prog rock". a thoughtful piece and easy download. thanks again.
Check out my latest song called the long arc
Les_Kloo said 1870 days ago (November 3rd, 2012)
Hi, Steve
Preparing your intrepid self for the Big Adventure, I imagine. Godspeed ... bon voyage ... fare well! Thanks for taking the time to come by and listen to my flailing away. It transcends the label of "prog rock" mostly because it's not prog rock. But then, I have no good idea as to what is really is. The story morphed from a few-sentence description that made no sense, so I started embellishing --- into the night. Well, it was fun to write something non-technical for a change. Thanks again.
Check out my latest song called Smoke and Dew /awigze
richard13 said 1879 days ago (October 25th, 2012)
A very sweet experience
Thank you, i enjoyed every byte. And the music is excellent too.
Check out my latest song called one last night with you
Les_Kloo said 1870 days ago (November 3rd, 2012)
Sir Richard
Thanks so much. Glad you liked it.
Check out my latest song called Smoke and Dew /awigze
finkeldink said 1879 days ago (October 25th, 2012)
The Kloo
The Kloo strikes again!

Dude, you know just how to drive the spike right through the head.

Great melding of separate parts to make a great whole! I especially like Corsica_S's part.

Love the panning effects. Just enough to mix things up.
Check out my latest song called She's Nothing but Trouble
Les_Kloo said 1870 days ago (November 3rd, 2012)
Michael
Hahaha. Always enjoy reading your comments. You've hit the spike ... errrr ... nail on the head when you identify this as separate parts. Separate pieces at one point --- the beginning was supposed to be something else, but I gave up on it. The second half had a different beginning, which I tossed out. Anyway, thanks ... and yes, Corsica_S has provided lots of inspiration.
Check out my latest song called Smoke and Dew /awigze
magnatone said 1879 days ago (October 26th, 2012)
Disconnect
an odyssey for season - great work mr. kloo
Check out my latest song called Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen) and Variations
Les_Kloo said 1870 days ago (November 3rd, 2012)
Odyssey
Well, that's a fine compliment. Thanks Ms. Tone. Gratefully accepted.
Check out my latest song called Smoke and Dew /awigze
Moviz said 1878 days ago (October 26th, 2012)
Such Talent
You've got it all..... love the music, the playing production, arrangement and moods it evokes. Excellent writing too........ enjoyed very much, regards M
Check out my latest song called Angels
Les_Kloo said 1870 days ago (November 3rd, 2012)
Mr. Mo
Well, I'm far from having it all. I can't sing or dance hahahaha. But thanks for the flattering comment.
Check out my latest song called Smoke and Dew /awigze
Vic Holman said 1878 days ago (October 26th, 2012)
fog of fate
damn good story. the music conveys it so nicely or spookily
Check out my latest song called For You To Decide
Les_Kloo said 1870 days ago (November 3rd, 2012)
VH
Thanks, man. Glad you liked the story, my annual bit of self-indulgence.
Check out my latest song called Smoke and Dew /awigze
TG said 1878 days ago (October 27th, 2012)
Sweet
Real nice sounds and change ups-guitar tones are spot on-this whisks you away-good Job!
Check out my latest song called Slow Train [with Vic Holman & KTB]
Les_Kloo said 1870 days ago (November 3rd, 2012)
TG
Hello. Nice to meet you. Thanks very much for listening and commenting. Appreciated.
Check out my latest song called Smoke and Dew /awigze
davajonah said 1878 days ago (October 27th, 2012)
You know,
I'd love to hear this without any percussion. I think it could work as an ambient piece, albeit a very strange one, especially from about 2.40 onwards. But as it is, it's fantastic!

I know what you are doing. I'm on to you and your evil methods. I see through your master plan. You sit in your studio and spend endless hours making sure everything is perfect. Your family, health and work all suffer. You sit there, surrounded by detritus for days on end. But this is a good thing and you do it so well.

Much kudos.
Check out my latest song called Lost and Found
Les_Kloo said 1870 days ago (November 3rd, 2012)
Hi, Dave
No percussion. Now, there'a radical idea. It might work. If Ex decides he needs to recycle something, maybe I'll let him give that a shot. As far as evil methods, you would laugh at my so-called studio. I do all the time. As for the rest ... OK, you've pegged me. Luckily, I'm expendable, and no one notices when I'm ... unavailable hahaha. As for detritus ... nah ... I have minions ... buahahaha!
Check out my latest song called Smoke and Dew /awigze
ktb said 1877 days ago (October 27th, 2012)
Disconnect
Love your music and your writing style. Had me engaged from the 1st sentence and measure.
Check out my latest song called Blackwater (by Tokai)
Les_Kloo said 1870 days ago (November 3rd, 2012)
Hi, John
That's very gratifying. Much appreciation.
Check out my latest song called Smoke and Dew /awigze
Philip18 said 1877 days ago (October 27th, 2012)
Disconnect
Love the story, love the music - and love that guitar playing. Very impressive in all respects, Les!
Check out my latest song called Silk and Honey
Les_Kloo said 1870 days ago (November 3rd, 2012)
Hello, Philip
Nice to hear that you had the patience to both listen to the tune and read the story. I realize it's asking a lot, and I'm most appreciative. Thank you.
Check out my latest song called Smoke and Dew /awigze
egobandit said 1877 days ago (October 27th, 2012)
so much to take in
this picks you up and it never lets you down some cool effects that wobble synth against the wind classic! Then the build up around it your production and mix are outstanding all I can say is thanks for the download!
Check out my latest song called Twilight Time
Les_Kloo said 1870 days ago (November 3rd, 2012)
Hi Tim
Ah, you've identified my favorite part. I think that's the only reason I kept this around for so long and didn't trash it --- a regularly occurring practice of mine. Thanks very much for the nice words.
Check out my latest song called Smoke and Dew /awigze
ste said 1877 days ago (October 27th, 2012)
liked
your guitar sounds on this. good bass too
Check out my latest song called songbreak
Les_Kloo said 1870 days ago (November 3rd, 2012)
Thank you
STE. Thanks for coming by and giving this a try. Very appreciative.
Check out my latest song called Smoke and Dew /awigze
TvRicky said 1877 days ago (October 27th, 2012)
You are ROCCCK! Mr. Kool!!
Yeah my friend Rock is your Blood and Guitar your veins! Flow my man! Rocked out Percussion kicked left by your wonderful Guit and the mix is magical baby! Rock us Left Les! Yeah! Marvelous Composition and Musical Experience!!! Souled to the Nines! I would love to hear you and EgoBandit Kick it!

A SincerelyZipped, TvRicky
Check out my latest song called Trane's Eastern Groove
Les_Kloo said 1870 days ago (November 3rd, 2012)
Sir Richard
You haven't been around much lately. Good to hear from you. As always, your comments are works of art in and of themselves. The EB collab idea is an interesting one. He thinks on a higher plane. I doubt that I'm up to that, but it's a nice compliment. Thanks TVR!
Check out my latest song called Smoke and Dew /awigze
PrototypeEightyOne said 1873 days ago (October 31st, 2012)
Nice
Great sound choice and the bass/percs are mixed nicely. Def catch 90's vibe from this. Tool, deftones, Korn, etc. Nice change of pace and energy near the middle.
Check out my latest song called Sin Trifical
Les_Kloo said 1870 days ago (November 3rd, 2012)
90s vibe
I like those guys, especially Tool, so I'll take that as a fine compliment. But ... I wish. Anyway, thanks much for coming by.
Check out my latest song called Smoke and Dew /awigze
gadzooks said 1873 days ago (October 31st, 2012)
Disconnect
Excellent! Great guitars and synth ... I always love your drum sound.
Check out my latest song called Emoji
Les_Kloo said 1870 days ago (November 3rd, 2012)
Hey, Stan
Thanks very much. Thanks for the thumbs up on the drum sound. I love drums, and wish I would have learned to play when I was a kid. Too late, so I pretend ... but good fun.
Check out my latest song called Smoke and Dew /awigze
oldlibmike said 1873 days ago (October 31st, 2012)
Truly creepy and a must have!
Excellent through and through. Had fun reading the prose to the sounds - great movement and mood building.
Check out my latest song called Parabola
Les_Kloo said 1870 days ago (November 3rd, 2012)
Mike
Ah, thanks for reading the story. I'm not sure it goes exactly hand in hand with the music, but I gave it a shot --- up to a point. While possibly misguided, I enjoyed doing that. Thanks for the nice comments.
Check out my latest song called Smoke and Dew /awigze
Doug Somers said 1873 days ago (October 31st, 2012)
And it's over the fence and outta the park!!!
I'm hearing Yes at 1:38 and again a little later. Really interesting mix of styles and themes that really work together. But of course they do, this is a Les Kloo piece - signature synths and some hot beats, tunes that keep you glued in your cans for however long the music grabs your ears and does not let go for an instant. Vocals in this one are mesmerizing... Guitar work and drum programming make me come back for more and want to give up ever working on a prog piece. Well, maybe not yet.

I will come back to read the story because it is getting late and I don't want to read it and listen at the same time (can't walk and chew gum either).

Killer mood, killer track.

Thanks,
Doug


Check out my latest song called Coming Home - Based on a Theme by David Kneupper
Les_Kloo said 1870 days ago (November 3rd, 2012)
Hi, Doug
Hello to my favorite commenter. I doubt that anyone has mentioned this to you, but you are to be commended for your diligent, interesting, and entertaining comments. Very thoughtful of you. I'm glad you liked the work. And of course you will not give working on a prog piece. "YOU SHALL NOT!" he said, as he drove his gnarled staff into the dirt.
Check out my latest song called Smoke and Dew /awigze
sewer rod said 1873 days ago (November 1st, 2012)
As usual
..You show your incredible talent. Great work as usual. I like the drum track you have.
The story is awesome too, you are multi-talented!!
Keep up the great work!
Check out my latest song called No Superhero
Les_Kloo said 1870 days ago (November 3rd, 2012)
Hi, Jay
Thanks for reading my little attempt at an October story. And thanks for the encouragement! Much appreciated.
Check out my latest song called Smoke and Dew /awigze
SmokeyVW said 1872 days ago (November 1st, 2012)
an engaging listen
this is fun on headphones!
love all the tritones - heavy metal overtones, but with lots of subtlety
great choice of voice loops and processing - wow
so many spaces
so many voices!
on and on and on - a walk through an enchanted forest

certainly very spooky
TY!
Check out my latest song called Tru Th
Les_Kloo said 1870 days ago (November 3rd, 2012)
Smokey
Gratifying feedback on the production. Thanks very much for that, and very pleased that you liked it.
Check out my latest song called Smoke and Dew /awigze
Doug Somers said 1871 days ago (November 2nd, 2012)
I'm baaaaaack
Great story - both chilling and intensely interesting and immersive, especially when I had your track on while I read. I have stayed in places in California like you describe and your story took me back quite viscerally. I have new appreciation for the subtlety of the voices you added to your piece in that I think my ghostly sounds were way too over the top and yours are sometimes so faint that the imagination has to fill in the holes - and it always does so to maximum effect.

Well written all round. Dloaded and re-listened to several times with appreciation.

Kloo, he's the Progmeister, the Progster, the Head Progerino, Progus Maximus, .....

Doug
Check out my latest song called Coming Home - Based on a Theme by David Kneupper
Les_Kloo said 1870 days ago (November 3rd, 2012)
Hey, Doug
Yeah, normally California isn't associated with creepy places. In the US, we have Massachusetts (Lovecraft), Maine (King), sometimes Louisiana (Rice), and now Maryland because of the Blair Witch phenomenon. But California has 'em, too. It ain't all bikinis and sunglasses, as you point out. Are there any particular parts of Canada that stimulate imaginative horror? Algernon Blackwood's story "The Wendigo" uses the Canadian woods as his very spooky setting. Anyway, thanks for the feedback. I truly appreciate it.
Check out my latest song called Smoke and Dew /awigze
Wummimann said 1871 days ago (November 2nd, 2012)
...
les, the music and the story catching my own feelings...thanks
Check out my latest song called On Ly Yu
Les_Kloo said 1870 days ago (November 3rd, 2012)
Hey, Wummi
I appreciate your openness and honesty. Strictly unintentional, of course. I hope it was OK.
Check out my latest song called Smoke and Dew /awigze
Diviner said 1868 days ago (November 6th, 2012)
wow
what an epic journey. well done, this is really well made, enjoyed very much
Check out my latest song called Away ft Lokka
Les_Kloo said 1865 days ago (November 9th, 2012)
Mr. D
Hello. Thanks very much for giving this a listen. Appreciated.
Check out my latest song called Smoke and Dew /awigze
abzwork said 1866 days ago (November 8th, 2012)
Disconnect...
Crazy colors, tension and mis-direction are excellent here..:):):)
Check out my latest song called "Cheers"
Les_Kloo said 1865 days ago (November 9th, 2012)
Erin
Good to see you around. You've been missed. And thanks for listening.
Check out my latest song called Smoke and Dew /awigze
J_Gretch said 1855 days ago (November 18th, 2012)
Disconnect
Don't know how I missed this one,, but damn sure glad it's playing now...I could write volumes about what I hear while listening to one of your comps...Let just say that Les is more when shopping for ear candy...Thanks so much for sharing your talent with us!!
Check out my latest song called Only what you feel
Les_Kloo said 1847 days ago (November 26th, 2012)
Hi JG
Thanks for taking the time to listen to my indulgences. Definitely appreciated.
Check out my latest song called Smoke and Dew /awigze
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Name: Les
Location: City in My Head USA
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Progressive rock (shortened to prog, or prog rock when differentiating from other "progressive" genres) is an ambitious, eclectic, and often grandiose style of rock music which arose in the late 1960s, reached the peak of its popularity in the early

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