Friday, December 24, 2010

My Beloveds

Image from Alex Shapiro

My Beloveds

When a composer discusses a piece with someone,
particularly if that someone has had a hand
in bringing those notes into the air
as either patron or player,
it’s awfully helpful to remember
what the music actually looks and sounds like.

One moment amidst the conference din,
a musician enthusiastically declared to me
how much he liked playing something
to which he referred as “that piece with the cool stuff.”
To which I gratefully mumbled back
something about “the paper.”
At which he shook his head at me quizzically
and said something about “key clicks.”
To which I replied something about “low flutes.”
To which he protested, since he was a euphonium player.
At which point I finally deduced
which piece was “that piece.”

Each piece is a beloved child,
but they’re all running loose around the house,
wreaking one level of havoc or another.
Some works have recently been premiered
and upcoming performances tugged
at my hem for attention;
other commissions are newly delivered
and published with imminent premieres,
and yet others are in the process of being written.
As with a good book, I’m riveted
to find out exactly how they end.
People often say, “I can’t wait to see it!”,
to which my immediate and bemused response is,
“yeah, me too!”. Obviously,
I wouldn’t have it any other way
or I wouldn’t have gotten myself
into this fine mess.

Alex Shapiro

Posted as prose over on her site Notes From the Kelp
Line breaks by Glenn Buttkus.

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