Saturday, November 22, 2008

Of Glaring Quiet

“Come out and show us your comeliness again, “ Jennifer said in between syncopated claps, putting words to our understanding of the banality of the contemporary pageantry of classical music appreciation. The Capuçon-Angelich Trio, an ensemble of extremely talented young Frenchmen with burnished fiddles from the 18th century, fierce haircuts and wicked black shoes had just finished up Shostakovich’s Piano Trio No. 2 in E.Minor, Opus 67: A fantastic whirlwind of drunken pageantry, ethereal dancing, relentless death marching, and of course melancholic reflections high in the clouds over a stilled field of stark, naked trees and stones as fall turns to winter.

Jennifer says I can do whatever I want with her when she dies. Except stand her on her head like an acrobatic yogi in full Mennonite dress, or allow a professional disemboweler to disembowel her. She thinks it would be good to save her ashes until I’m dead too then we can mix them up and scatter them to the four cardinals or maybe into the dead wind whistling over Shostakovich’s field – I think the Hunger Steppe in Western Kazakhstan might work. She wants me to play a recording of Quartet No. 6 and say nothing. Just the music. Then I can hand out programs which detail her life in all its small pleasures. If I’m dead – then she will get Matthew to do all this. “I love Matthew and Olivia,” she says. Presumably because she knows she can trust them with her dead body.

“I don’t know why anyone would play anything other than Shostakovich,” she said. “He must have really lived.” And I agreed. Haydn and Mendelssohn seem a bit trite, a bit disengaged from real life. Now I’m listening to John Fogerty, and thinking about moving on with life in a drunken drama of reckless passion – so that the long moment of utter silence at the end of the movement will be completely pregnant with meaning right before the ludicrous clapping starts.


Blogger matt said...

Darren so good to see the muted tonality of a black and white photograph - I assume it was taken by you. Jen - I will add these "to do if I'm dead" instructions to our own growing list. I have one or two instructions for Olivia at my funeral but I don't know if it will happen - she has so much planned already. soon I will feel guilty about not dying.

9:36 AM  

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