it’s almost midnight and even so there are people in the streets coming from parties or going to parties, a cheerful bustle typical of summer. i myself just came from a concert benjamin britten’s war requiem performed by local orchestra and chorus. there was artwork set up in the lobby ehren’s cups and a poem by ted sexauer and another poem by a warrior writer. julie had one of her photographs (only one?) on display as well. during the performance i kept watching the perfect choreography of pages turning, white sheets like fresh-washed laundry on a line, and also how the soloists would reach down for a bottle of water unscrew the cap and take a drink then set it down again. i also noticed the number of bald domes, mostly in the chorus, but some in the orchestra, and then i became fixated on the mechanics, the way a theme would pass from one group of instruments to another and around again. i paid particular attention to the percussion (who wouldn’t?) and was delighted when i saw the harp sitting near the cymbals, get its strings finally plucked. not understanding any of the latin and barely hearing the poetry, i was like a visitor from outer space, reduced to mere observation. narrative was missing. history was missing. i was awash in a chorus of human voices and a chorus of musical instruments. the brass and drums and cymbals brought the building down a second time, the choral voices rebuilt it.
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