- Vol. 05
- Chapter 11
Theme and Variations
A concert hall with people and their fine clothes gathered to listen. On the stage on a podium on a chair a musician on the edge of stardom. She starts with a glissando from deepest bass to highest trill than falls back down. And so the concerto is played, her hands negotiating strings like a loom.
She sends her strings into the world, thrown like a brightly coloured maypole that wraps the audience in an ancient sound. Rhythms and melodies weave in and out in a blur of patterns that sends them giddy.
Eight fingers running up the strings, and don’t forget the thumbs, strum strum. In a bright hallucinogenic hum, strum strum. And the strings strum strum strum strum strum strum. And as the gas runs out her heart bu-dum bu-dum dum.
After the drum-roll that’s her cue, the cadenza. The pause of a hovering hand that gathers pace and races up in alternating thirds and trills around the dominant seventh and falls back down to the minor third, before a progression of bass notes walk off somewhere unexpected.
The man in the fourth-row sneezes. Someone at the back coughs. Squeaky shoes. Interesting smell. A sigh. A snort. And that most precious thing – applause.