Needs more preditory group intelects:
As the last note faded away there was a moment of utter stillness
In the distance someone else was playing a horrifically complex piece at breakneck speed on a violin. The years of practice implicit in the technical perfection of each note played would have been intimidating if the absolute mastery of counterpoint in the composition had not been so overwhelmingly awesome.
"Can you hear?"
"There's a mystery I can do something about. I'm going to investigate." Zepher ran off ahead while the others packed up and followed more slowly.
By the time they caught up with him, he was over the brow of the hill, staring raptly at the musician, or rather, musicians. There were about a hundred of them, seated on stools on the ground in a semi circle facing another man who waved at them rhythmically. There was a roughly circular patch devoid of snow centered on them. Only one of them, an angular bony woman seated towards the center of the arc, was playing.
First Violin stopped.
"I have played the Call; these have responded."
Michael realised that the entire group was blinking in synchrony with each other.
"We are Philharmonic. Do you know music?" asked Conductor, with an eagerness which was subtly different from the longing which music sometimes evoked.
"I can play" Said Zephyra, proud of his ability, and not one to notice subtle differences.
One of the people stood up took an instrument from the empty stool next to him walked to Zepher and offered it.
"Show us." Said Sixth Viola.
The instrument was a sublime work of craftsmanship, far superior to the much-travelled and occasionally ill-cared for fiddle that Zephyer had practiced on and played to occasionally violently unappreciative farmers. After a few cautious experimental notes, he began to play, hesitantly at first, a haunting tune which he considered one of his best.
After a few counts, Philharmonic took up a counter melody which gradually built until it completely subsumed the original piece in its sublimely beautiful logic. Because Michael was watching for it, he noticed when Zephyer's blinks synchronised with the rest of the musicians.
The music rolled on, as flawless as mathematical truth, and with that, Philharmonic slipped behind a note and vanished from this world, leaving behind the previous body of Seventh Viola, which had lain underneath Piano. The snow stopped.
PS: I really like the lonely-tune-in-snow motif