A sea of sound in my ears

Quietly the violins and cellos broke the silence with slight movements of the bows. A short, precise oompa - oompa - oompa to set the foundation for the basoon to rest it’s melody. Slowly the melody climbed higher and higher until the violins crescendoed and bows synchronously pierced the air like soldiers saluting their leader. The violins shrieked, breeching the dam allowing the voices to enter. Relentless waves began to topple over eachother filling the stage, swiftly rushing past the orchestra through the conductor spilling into our seats, flooding our ears. First the bass, then the tenors, followed by the altos and finally the sopranos. They wove themselves together in one fluid motion that swirled through the air. The orchestra ebbed and flowed with them like seaweed floating in a tumulous blue ocean.

Throughout the night the ocean shifted and swooned. At times it crashed with the fury of a thunderstorm, only to die down to to a serene and safe sight. Fingers ran across strings with fierce determination not allowing room for error or second guessing. Bows bounced in delight with every movement of the conducter’s staff. The story of death, sacrifice, forgiveness and redemption was told with unifying voices.

My God it was beautiful. I saw the Oregon Symphony perform Mozart’s Requiem tonight. It seems so expensive to go to the symphony but honestly once I’m there I never regret the money spent, in fact it makes me want to save my pennies to go more often. It’s just so fulfilling, chills run up and down my spine to see music that I love unfold before my eyes. I like it too that there is no fuss, no opening bands, no jerky people, assigned seats, and good lighting. Jeez, I must be getting old. Two hours of solid music and I’m home before 10:30, what a treat. Phil was my hot date since I had no *real* hot date to go with me. When we got there the usher pointed us to our seats. As we approached them I saw a problem. It looked like someone was already sitting in our seats. I talked to the imposter in our seats and she said, “Y’know I can’t believe this, you’re the second person to come down here and say we’re in your seat.” I looked at her ticket and it read just as mine did, Orch A Row U Seat 4. Just then a man came down with the usher saying that he also belonged in that seat, sure enough he had the same assigned seat! Triple booked!! The usher pulled us in the back and presented us with two tickets apologizing for the ‘inconvience’. The new seats? Orch B Row L Seats 13 & 14. Closer and nearly dead center. What a deal!
We had a great view of everything, it was absolutely wonderful.

After the intermission they played John Adam’s ‘On the Transmigration of Souls’ which was something that was put together after the 9/11 incident. It was weird, a huge orchestra, two choirs and recordings of sirens, and people speaking the names of the deceased. I expected something much different. I know it won the Pulitzer prize but honestly I found it to be a little boring. It just never went anywhere, there were a few climatic parts where the celloists were playing so intensely I thought their fingers were going to fall off, but other than that it was a bit slow and chaotic at times, which I get because 9/11 was exactly that.

Without warning, after Adam’s piece was finished they paused, and went right into Mozart’s Ave verum corpus. This was a perfect piece to end the night, especially after the 9/11 tribute. Soft, gentle and very much Mozart. After the last few notes of Ave verum corpus trailed off into nothingness the conductor froze, the choir froze, the orchestra froze, the entire crowd froze. The whole place fell silent, no one moved, there was no extraneous coughing or rustling, no cell phones ringing in the distance just a 10 second moment of silent appreciation. A moment shared by over 2,000 people together, in the same moment. 10 seconds. It felt like an eternity, I loved it. Ten seconds I never wanted to end.

Please listen to Ave verum corpus. Close your eyes and really listen. Maybe just for a moment you can be there too.


  1. normaljean said,

    May 14, 2006 @ 10:13 am

    Bassoons are the most important part of every symphony, you know. ;)

  2. Phil said,

    May 14, 2006 @ 3:26 pm

    Bassoons kick ass. I mean if someone attacks you do you want to be wielding a bassoon or a violin?

  3. Jake said,

    May 15, 2006 @ 1:05 pm

    Fruitily the words begin, on they go for 6 paragraphs. “No” he thinks, “I will not read this post.” As he navigates his browser to elsewhere in the ether, he wonders “When will Micah return to the standard topic of poop?”

  4. Donna said,

    May 18, 2006 @ 2:06 pm

    hahaha, I love that! Phil is right they do kick butt!

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