i am audience

i remind myself calm this restlessness - i am audience - an early arrival - observe in silence

And I study the movements of the woman bare-handedly building a trombone before me: a brass skeleton pulled from a case of felt, metallic mouthpiece sliding into a curved frame, her right hand releasing the valve, as if breath were water, as if there were remembered notes, rippling outward in a river of sound

a trumpet player covers his mouth, laughs at a joke, looks to see if anyone’s watching a percussionist stretches her fingers gently along the skin of the tabla, generating a gentle hum

And I turn my attention to a figure of a man whose left hand is twisting a neck into tune, twanging strings into shape, the fingers on his other plucking a pick along taut steel lines, prime meridians running parallel over a carved-out shape, whispering frequencies across the guitar: the note, if ever lost, has been found

a tenor saxophonist mouths a reed, wanders, wood not yet resonating, a quiet expectation a flutist runs a feather through the body, removing traces in before-performance ritual

And I witness the woman bent over a bass drum, her foot kicking down on the One, she’s fiddling with action on the mechanical contraption, the pedal where her foot will propel the band into forward motion – then she’s done, focusing now, fixing, adjusting, first ride cymbals, and then the hi-hat, and then the snare drum, whose wire mesh bottom echoes in the nearly empty hall like ball bearings cut loose in a tin can town

a sound man, like snake charmer, wrestling wires and cords, connected into mics a pair of soundboard technicians, calling the muse with levers, knobs and widgets

And along comes a man spinning a thin baton between his fingers – mesmerizing; wondering, waiting for something to drop – but he doesn’t ever stop, so lost in the papers before him, the scratched-up music score spilling over sides of an angled stand, his lips mouthing stories of the acts yet to come – he, too, soon, will be an audience of one – threading through the tapestry of each musician, in each moment, where he becomes Arachne, stitching a poem to which all here will be bound

audio: https://sodaphonic.com/audio/1T4ThwNBlsP1VLgl7oR4 video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cXEJUwHLao