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November 10, 2006


Hans Leopold Fuchs (1945 - 2002) was a French composer, political activist, and womanizer. He was born to parents of questionable moral values in a remote mountain village just outside Paris. His father was a German watchmaker, his mother a French spinster. Fuchs' style is a synthesis of baroque, romantic expressionism, and tired cliché.

Fuchs' signature usage of cymbals to convey melody, though groundbreaking, was widely criticized as unmelodic. At the age of fifteen, Fuchs had composed his first symphony, Le Deuxieme Croissant, featuring a violin, a timpano, and his father's flatulence. While his contemporaries attended the many Parisian conservatoires, Fuchs occupied himself firing garbanzo beans at pigeons in the park outside his parents' apartment.

At the age of twenty-five, having written fifteen symphonies, three ballets, and a birthday card, he decided to learn how to read music. He became a student of the forgotten virtuoso accordianist Jean-Pierre Lucont who by this time was not only poverty-stricken but also uninterested in talking. Through what Fuchs came to call "listening to the silence" he developed, under the watchful eye of Lucont, his signature style.

Fuchs insisted on performing the cymbal part of his compositions whenever possible. He could often be seen approaching would-be tourists on the Champs-Elysees sending wave-after-wave of symbol noise into their unprotected ear cavities.

In his later years, though discouraged by his mentor, Fuchs added vocal themes to his work. He had a natural ear for blending the irritated grumblings of Lucont with his own special form of gregarious chant.

The zeal of Fuchs' political activism shines strongly through his work. At the height of his prominence he recalls banging his fist onto the hood of a diplomatic vehicle because it knocked over the shopping cart which contained his possessions. This episode was then relayed through countless unrecorded interviews and also through much of his later work such as the unrelenting and arrhythmic report of the French Horn in Ubitude de la Mouchine in K minor.

Fuchs never married although he always loved the latest in a line of pet hamsters which he carried in the right pocket of his well-worn, if somewhat pungent, single-breasted smoker's jacket. Although Fuchs had a reputation as a womanizer it was later found to be simply a publicity stunt instigated by Lucont and his bedridden mother.

Fuchs died penniless although the unfortunate coroner discovered a very thick wad of bank notes stuffed down the front of his underpants. His remains is inhumed alongside those of his mentor, his mentor's mother, and her poodle in Le Cimetiere Oublie on the bank of The Seine, fifteen miles west of Paris.


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