Friday, April 3, 2009

Excerpt: Friday's 1-liner

That’s when Madge stood and faced the congregation.

“You may have noticed in your program that the piece you just heard was composed for viola. However, Kali Bond took the initiative and transposed her part—all in her spare time—so that she could play it for you on her violin.” She paused. “And I just think she did a marvelous job with that and with today’s performance.” Madge led the audience in applause, though they needed little coaxing. The place just went nuts.

Madge continued at an opportune time, “Kali would now like to perform a piece that she wrote this past summer, called…” she referred to piece of paper she’d hidden in her palm “'On The Water.'” That she had to refer to her note was no fault of her own—Kali had not settled on a name until minutes ago.

This time, Madge played a short intro, again on the harpsichord. After a couple of measures, Kali came in, holding, holding an F sharp, adding some vibrato, and then attacking a series of scales, all slurred seamlessly. And she ended the brief passage with a sweet, soft pianissimo. Then, together, the two entered another challenging section. They harmonized an impressive array of arpeggio—chords broken into single notes—and the visuals brought awe to the congregation. Kali’s bow and fingerings were relentless for a full minute, and Madge maintained eye contact with Kali as much as possible, checking to ensure that her own fingerings were oriented and precise.

Then once more, the music found a place of peace, of calm. Somehow, all of the prior chaos—essential, and needing to be expressed—melted away, receded, letting in only tranquility.

When the piece—all performed without sheet music—came to a close, the place erupted. It sounded more like a gymnasium than a place of worship. Julian wasn’t sure if this was the norm at this church, but by Natalie’s surprise, she gauged that this was something unusual, special.