Saturday, February 23, 2008

SUNDAY SCRIBBLINGS followed by WRITERS ISLAND

Sunday Scribblings- this weeks prompt 'Passion'

Easter 1998 I joined an audience of 2000 in Winchester Cathedral for a performance of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion. The memory of that evening will stay with me forever. I've placed a video recording of the piece in the sidebar should you choose to listen whilst reading.
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All around me the soft murmuring of two thousand souls filling the vast space of the ancient building. Expectant, excited, impatient.

One by one members of the orchestra amble toward the platform then sit chatting to each other and looking out into the sea of faces watching their every move.

A choir of a hundred file to the rear. Cherub faced boys resplendent in scarlet robes giggle into cupped hands whilst behind them a white wall of expressionless singers sit, manuscripts on their laps.

Suddenly the audience breaks into spontaneous applause as the leader of the orchestra appears violin in hand followed by the imposing figure of the conductor who briefly acknowledges his welcome then turns to the musicians, tapping his baton on his music stand. At once the instruments burst into a discordant scramble of random notes as they tune up, and then quiet.
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The choir stands, the baton is raised and suddenly every corner of this grey building is lit up with the colour of the Bach’s inspirational music.

The steady rhythmic beat soon gives way to souring voices and lush orchestral blankets of sound. The elbows of two dozen string players dart in and out in perfect synchronicity. Red faced trumpeters with balloon like cheeks sit alongside pinch faced oboists whilst the percussionist looms over the orchestra hammers in hand

I close my eyes and everyone around me disappears. It’s just me and the music, lifting me, dropping me, faster, slower. Bliss.

My pulse increases, my heart beats faster. I feel excited, uplifted. I am at the mercy of the music. I am in another world.

It’s nearly over but I want more. I crave more, please let it never end. The sound rises and rises taking me with it and I shudder as it reaches its magnificent climax!
'
Then silence.
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A second’s silence that lasts for ages.
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I feel the warm glow of satisfaction. I am emotionally drained yet filled with contentment. I slowly open my eyes and am suddenly aware of thunderous applause. 2000 people standing, clapping, whistling, shrieking for more.
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One by one the people leave. I am left alone with just my memories of a night of passion.
/
/
Writers Island - this weeks prompt 'Second chance'
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Life shouldn’t be a race my friend,
Life should be a dance.
Don’t rush toward the tape my friend
There is no second chance.
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Life is precious, far too short
so cherish every minute.
Don’t wish the days and weeks away,
you’ll too soon reach your limit.
-
It’s no rehearsal, this is it.
When this day’s gone it’s passed.
Life plays us tricks, it has no heart,
this day could be your last
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Don’t race through life, it won’t last long.
Don’t rush, prefer to dance.
And savour every moment friend,
you’ll get no second chance.
'
'

39 comments:

  1. What a great description of a musical experience, from the audience perspective. Not an easy thing to convey! You make me feel a little guilty for sidestepping...

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  2. you certainly made it come alive for me!!!!!

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  3. when we are in the middle of a moment where our senses are heightened.......where passion is alive and well.....where the music soars like you describe......we so want to stretch out the experience don't we?

    beautiful post......in Winchester cathedral no less.....how lovely.

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  4. Beautifully descriptive Keith, I could feel myself there in the crowd! And I love your poem - so much wisdom in your words :)

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  5. What a great night of PASSION for you Keith!!!!

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  6. Nicely done - both pieces. Singing the great liturgical music just can't be equalled. Had the pleasure of sitting next to the choir at St. Paul's one early eve. I've just joined a choir that will sing for the Dalai Lama in April. Haven't seen the music yet, but I have a feeling it's going to be New Age-y; but, the experience will be all.

    PS: I'm hoping for a few more lives than a cat.

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  7. I tried not to read this yet because I haven't written mine yet! I wanted to let you know I tagged you for a meme today. Have a great weekend!

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  8. What an exhilirating experience - I'm sorry I can't spell that word right!
    Wow, choirs are so beautiful. I wish I was in one.

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  9. Oh Keith! I just loved your musical experience! I SO know what you mean, how you felt. I too am moved by the passion of and my passion for- MUSIC! Wonderful interpretation my friend!
    As for your second chance poem.. SO true, it brings to mind a silly movie but poignant to me- Click! I cried in that movie, because I WAS living life too fast... my 14 yr. old leaned over and whispered... 'Mom, this is a comedy"

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  10. From the moment your post began I was immediately thrown back to a time when I dated a cello player and attended a practice session of the Norfolk Philharmonic. Tucked aside in the far corner of the practice hall...looking down on the string section I was intranced watching the precision of the players moving in unison. Thank you for the memory jog!

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  11. LOVED, LOVED simply LOVED your poem.
    So simple, so deep--so beautiful.

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  12. Beautiful description of the orchestra too.

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  13. Fabulous! I felt like that for Phantom of the Opera, it was years ago but still on my mind. It was such a powerful performance. They should never have made it into a movie (the new version) it doesn't do it justice.

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  14. Very nicely done. I like your post before this as well as this prompt for second chance. Very well done.

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  15. Beautiful as always ... on both counts! You're descriptions transport the reader, Thank YOU!

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  16. a very beautiful and not stereotyped interpretation of passion..
    only a crazy admirer like me could understand this depth in the night at the orchestra :)

    loved ur poem...im one big fan of ur poetry...
    very wise and true words...its true sometimes life dosent offer u a second chance...
    and sometimes again, it does but u choose to ignore it...
    c'est la vie!

    take care...

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  17. Nothing moves me more than music - I share your passion.

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  18. This was very well written. I felt that I was right there with you experiencing the concert.

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  19. What a great description of passion! Mine is up now.

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  20. Keith,

    To commune with music, I've never done that - to commune with nature, I always do, but this, never and I thought how interesting!

    But you made me take a slice of the experience with your always descriptive writing taking me there. And in the proess, I, too, closed my eyes and listen and be completely possessed by music. I thought your words brought the musical ensemble in my room.

    And oh, the poem. Reminds me of my all time favorite lyric poem: "I hope you dance." I like the voice you used here to achieve its endearing effecacy on the readers - like a big brother giving advise to his 'lil bro. I take the wisdom.

    I wish you well.

    ~ Jeques

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  21. Your passion posting is almost breathless with emotion! Awesome!

    And like the guru stance of the poem!

    Smiles and Light

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  22. Music - there's always great passion in listening and in creating.

    I like your second chance poem. don't we wish some things last longer?

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  23. Keith both are beautiful pieces...music can create such passions. I agree. As for life..yes, it's best to live without expecting any second chances..

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  24. Fantastic! I could feel myself in that audience with my eyes closed taking every single detail in. Just lovely!

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  25. Beautiful! Music does that for me too!!

    Hugs Sherrie

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  26. Great poem to....lots of sage advice in those words!

    Giggles

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  27. Wonderful combination - passion and second chance form fine parallels. Great!!

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  28. The passion of a musical experience is hard to convey, but here you have succeeded... perhaps because you were able to stay in the moment, as your poem instructs.

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  29. I love your description of the choir. Great poem, too. I really like your writing.

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  30. "I am at the mercy of the music." So well put...I have felt this passion and exhilaration...so hard to captivate into words, but you did it so eloquently! I felt this at the hotel Bellisima watching the water while Bocelli was playing so magnificent...It reminds me of the music of August Rush...

    I enjoyed your second chance too.

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  31. sigh..the orchestra decription was so vivid and beautiful that i almost felt i was there...

    and then i read the poem...another winner...so simple...so beautiful so...true

    :)

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  32. Absolutely amazing what a wonderful passionate experience beautifully written.
    Love your poem Just the message i needed

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  33. Music can be such a powerful and passionate force. Many times I've felt as you did after attending the ballet. Thanks for sharing!

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  34. The poem says it all. And you took your own advice with the music.

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  35. The poem is so beautiful and so true.
    If you get a chance, please check out this: http://talloakroad.blogspot.com/2007/12/for-your-ears-only.html

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  36. Nice wisdom Keith! I like the way you rhyme dance with chance..

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  37. Very few people could bring a musical performance into written words so well. Thank you for sharing this!

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  38. Beautifully described. I felt like I was there with you listening to every note.
    Thank you for visiting my blog!

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