Chamber Music Yellow Springs
February 11, 2018
First Presbyterian Church of Yellow Springs
The following notes were written and compressed between printed words of the program. They are ordered here (more or less) chronologically.
This is the trick to sitting through a performance: Let your mind wander.
Leos Janacek, String Quartet No. 2, “Intimate Letters”
Feeding oneself one nut, one fruit, one leaf
as monkeys feed ended with control of fire.
Became communities of who does what —
Who scoops honey from hives
Who cuts tongue from antelope
Who scrapes corn from husk
Into cooks and hunters,
Husbands and wives,
Into worlds of many small fires and many small roofs.
Fathers and daughters, lovers and ex-es,
by a desire to forget our histories.
(From Many Small Fires by Charlotte Pence)
Bedrich Smetana, String Quartet No. 1, E minor, “From My Life”
Beginning of III. Largo sostenuto: In the audience: Many heads bowed — sleep or prayer?
I imagine someone had these same thoughts in this same place this morning during service.
If I look up, it’s easy to pretend I’m in a church in the Ozarks. Even in winter the celestial windows would be open; a bat could fly in any moment, trapped above us. I was homesick before I left.
Reading: The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka. A basket of cough drops is passed around me. I thought it was an offering plate.
Antonin Dvorak, String Quartet in G major, op. 106
I retract my string quartet envy. You can love things differently from a distance. More purely, somehow.