I’ve been researching the life of Anthony Glass for over a year, and so far I’ve got more questions than answers. A bizarre collection of coincidences, synchronicity and luck, or are there larger forces at work?

Since the album launch I’ve had more time to start filing and organising the resources I’ve managed to lay my hands on so far. It’s a baffling jigsaw puzzle of first, second and third hand reports about a mysterious man who might never even have existed – at least in any way we would recognise. I’ve been taking copious notes in a bid to get my thoughts in order and have managed to transport a good carload of papers and documentation back to my home where I can start putting the known facts in some kind of context.

Which are the most pressing questions? Well, the death of Glass Snr. is obviously a key event – and Colonel Van Riper’s involvement in it. There’s much to learn about the lives of both men which I think could lead to some kind of answer as to how Edward Glass died and who was responsible. The machines, both full sized and portable – what happened to them? Was Anthony Glass a clever hoaxster, as his father was purported to be? And what of Anthony’s mother, Edward’s wife – the trail rapidly goes cold once Anthony is sent away following his father’s death (murder?).

And bringing us up to date – how do the cassette tape, the discovered video recording and the business cards people report finding fit in? Am I the subject of an extension of the Glass myth? Is someone mocking me, and if so – why? All I know is, I must find answers. Anthony Glass and his peculiar story are seeping into my life, my work, and the music I produce to the point where I wonder how much of it I’m in control of.

Lately I’ve been having a recurring dream, which I can only assume is in some way linked to the amount of time I have spent researching the Glass mystery.

It always starts the same way – a crack opens in my bedroom wall, and for some reason I climb through the crack and find myself in the bowels of a machine. Steam scorches my face and huge oil-slick cogs grind around me like slavering jaws, dripping their saliva on my head and back as I crawl beneath them. A continual cacophony – like every piece of music ever made played at once – assaults my ears and I am terrified.

After what seems like an age, I glimpse a sliver of light at the end of a shifting corridor and make my way towards it. The light is emanating from a crack in the machine’s wall, much like the one I used to enter it. Relieved I clamber through to find myself on my back in a huge library. I lift my head and see a man with a large moustache and a young boy. The boy looks scared and hides behind his guardian, as the man raises a shotgun, levels it at me, and with a smile on his face, pulls the trigger.

At this point, I awake.

I must confess, after living with Aunt Claire for seven years, just as isolated as I was previously in my father’s library night after night, my perceptions of reality were twisted. I had no friends to speak of, and took to wandering the neighbouring forest for hours on end. Aunt Claire’s age and waning health meant she was never too concerned about my whereabouts and I revelled in nature, as a stark contrast to my upbringing around machinery, science and mathematics.

My father’s death, which occurred only days after I was exiled from him, came as no surprise. Nor was it surprising that it was at the hands of Colonel Maurice Van Riper. Van Riper was never tried or brought to justice for his actions, my father’s official cause of death being suicide by overdose. Cruel though it may sound, my father brought it upon himself. His web of lies grew so large that he had no escape, and although his final act was selfless, in sending me away, I still wonder if he had any idea what impact his fantasies would ultimately have. A child without a father, a wife without a husband. And for what? One old man’s escapism.

In my early twenties, with no sense of direction, no formal qualifications and no network of contacts I am ashamed to admit I did the only thing I could to survive: I propagated my father’s myth and undertook speaking engagements all over the world telling anyone who would listen about the Great Machine and the work we undertook to transmit intellectual matter through time. My lectures were an unmitigated success, and I travelled the world for the best part of ten years getting paid very well to demonstrate a small prototype (in reality a dummy box adorned with typewriter parts and a smoke generator) which of course would always encounter some last-minute problem that would stop the demonstration dead in it’s tracks. On occasion the crowd would become unsettled and vocal about my apparent failure but the confidence of my patrons and my soothing speaking manner invariably won them over.

And so I went on, until a speaking engagement in York, England one summer went very badly wrong. I was at the point in the lecture where I was [page ends]

My name is Anthony Philip Glass. Many years ago I was the unwitting participant in a cruel hoax, perpetrated by my father Edward Glass.

Perhaps my name is familiar with you, over the years it has been appropriated for many tall tales, fantastic stories and outright lies but in this journal I intend to set the record straight and do what I can to regain my good reputation.

But let me start at the beginning. My father was always a terribly ambitious man, and was possessed of a keen intellect and no small amount of charisma. However, he always seemed to fall short of his own high expectations. In fact, if it weren’t for a large inheritance that included our family house, I doubt whether he could have kept a roof over our heads at all. It’s not that he was workshy, or without skills, but I always got the impression that he felt “work” in itself was beneath him, something that other people did while he contemplated the best way to leave his mark on the world.

I think I must have been about 10 years old when he decided that I would be his legacy, his “gift to the world” so to speak. My father had always been fascinated with what came to be known as Science Fiction and would read all the pulp magazines of the day voraciously, in much the same way as most other fathers would devour the Times, my father ploughed through piles of histrionic nonsense like Weird Tales and The Argosy.

And so it transpired, my father set about formulating a scheme that would guarantee his infamy, with me as the key player. He devised meticulous plans for a machine that he claimed would transmit music and other forms of art through time to some future recipient – the purpose of which was never really explained. Over the course of three years I was regularly administered a weak tincture of what I now assume to be laudanum which kept me in a permanently bewildered state. Every night I was dragged from my bed and taken to my father’s library where work would continue on building the vast orange-brown behemoth.

I must confess, the sheer scale of my father’s deception was impressive. By the time we were undertaking the first “tests” the machine filled almost every corner of my father’s large basement library. It huffed and puffed, glowed and groaned in a most impressive manner, and some of it’s malfunctions were terrible and magnificent to behold. By the time I was sent away to live with Aunt Sophie at age 14, the machine seemed as much a part of the house as a heart is to the human body.

I will write further tomorrow.

Staring out of the train window, the boy sighed as the miles flew past, each taking him further from his family – his worried mother and the father he would never see alive again. He was to stay with a distant aunt he’d never met, out in the country, having been packed and rushed out of his home in the early hours of the morning. Answers to his tearful questions were not forthcoming, only his mother’s weeping face and his father’s strict glare.

By his side was his school satchel, containing an apple, some sandwiches and a thick, leather-bound notebook, into which his father had stuffed folded blueprints, sketches and diagrams quickly salvaged from the workshop. His father was keen to impress upon him how important it was he kept these documents safe and was not to mention them to his estranged Aunt. Indeed, it was clear that he was to make no mention of the Great Machine or his work with it to anyone outside of the immediate family. The boy just nodded mutely at this request, but he understood perfectly.

During the weeks before his impromptu departure, the Colonel’s visits to his father had become more frequent and more explosive. Anthony had been made to hide in his room upon any knock on the door, and could only hear the raised voices of the two arguing men muffled through his floorboards. Every visit was accompanied by a greater number of footsteps, and a greater clanking and rustling of military uniforms and rifles.

His father had taken to drinking heavily and had no time to discuss anything, least of all the Great Machine, which had lain dormant for months now. Anthony relished the return to a normal sleep pattern and a cessation of his intake of the bitter tincture his father prepared for him, he assumed to keep him awake through the long nights of toil.

Still, he missed the machine, and he missed the time spent with his father. He missed the blistering steam and the whirring and clanking of the mechanisms as their experiments got ever closer to achieving their goal – the transmission of music and art through time itself.

Their latest test transmissions had gone well – all the diagnostic report cards signified that the messages were being received, although at this point there was no way of knowing if the broadcast had reached the desired parties, or someone else entirely. At this point, it was irrelevant.

[Page ends]

Sifting through the loose leaves of the water-damaged journal, it’s hard to put them into a great deal of context. However, I discovered this snippet which may give some insight into the video and audio I’ve come across over the past few weeks.

January 3rd

Our initial test-run of the apparatus had a most alarming malfunction tonight. Indeed, father’s hands were severely scorched but as always he refuses to call for the doctor, and mother is most upset. We had begun a test transmission but something wasn’t right – the meters were most erratic and certain flues were not up to the requisite pressure, despite many thorough tests. Father insisted we inserted the first punch card and so I obeyed as always, fearing his ire.

There was a huge groaning noise from the very belly of the machine, the like of which I’d never heard before. I saw a crack appear in the second main bellow and some of the mountings began shaking violently. I moved to pull the lever back, to return the machine to a docile state, but father told me sternly to stand back and do nothing.

Suddenly, the first cathode-ray bulb started to show images and landscapes that were totally alien to us, cogs and machines, vertical and horizontal stripes as though laid out by a draughtsman, but terribly distorted. Worst of all, sound was coming from the horn that we had not entered into the machine. It was deafeningly loud, like waves crashing rhythmically on some infernal beach, or a ship of the dead rowing to the beat of a hellish drum. I was terrified, but as soon as it had started, the second bellows finally split and pressure was wholly lost. The machine wheezed to a halt, the cathode-ray dimmed and the horns once again fell silent.

Father had few words to say after the event. He postulated it was some kind of feedback loop – something coming back down the line that shouldn’t have. He had no notion of the destination of the test message due to the inaccurate pressures, and hence we knew not from whence the feedback came. I did not sleep tonight.

Page ends.