Karan M.


The white lights bore down on them from above, causing the air to vibrate and cause a stir amongst the mass upon the stage. Blurs of black smeared with the purest white here and there. Silence. She enters. Everything is still, save the air. She sounds a note. En masse, they follow. Another note, and the same. She sits and they stand ready. Baton raised, expressions limited. He stands before them, an imposing expression, but only a facade. Instruments raised, they are like swimmers waiting for the gun to start them. His hand goes down. First beat. Bang! and they're off. Up and down, fingers splayed over fingerboards of ranging sizes. As a swimmer would take another stroke, they bow again and then again, slowing down as if for a turn, and then sprinting over the tops of the sixteenth notes. One will never experience seeing a more fluid motion as that of an orchestra. Hundreds of bodies moving in an empowering movement towards sound that drives the mind to open and coerces the heart to sing. Sound penetrates the air with strings being plucked, bowed, and vibrated. Stop. Start. Stop. Rest, quarter note, rest. They go to the next page, second half of the race. They push on, bows raising in the amazing feats of speed. Energy accumulating, faster and faster they go, volume rises, ear drums bursting, crescendo! Arms tiring, hands slowing, baton moving; slowly, slowly, slower it moves, up and down, up and down. The strokes are strong, gliding along. As if drawing from a store of energy, the lights are nothing now, and they are bathed in a glow in which the reflection of a hundred instruments reflects out into the audience, barely seen in the their shroud of darkness. Without labor they pick up again, gaining speed, motions, heat, sound, all at an explosion of determintion. Tiring, but still consistently moving. One, two, three, four. Last measure, arco, forte, double forte, crescendoing as they sprint across the finish while cello undertones and violin overtones ring out out. The epiphany shatters the still air with the recognition and understanding bestowed by the music, and then there is stillness. There is silence. There is nothing. And then there is sound. There is a thundering roar. It builds and builds. They stand. They bow. They exit. There is silence.


Copyright 2002-2006 Student Publishing Program (SPP). Poetry and prose 2002-2006 by individual authors. Reprinted with permission. SPP developed and designed by Strong Bat Productions.