The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

March 1, 2014


of the instruments i am in comfort

each instrument represents the comfort of a world opening up and
that familiarity that takes over body and soul, so that one
moves through the sonic landscape coming from everywhere, from
the soundboard to the neck itself.

each instrument is a field of possibilities, beckonings. each
requires care and gives everything in return, for this care, and
held with kindness.

each instrument is of the plateau of depression, sinking into a
state, which, however difficult, is already known, repeated many
times, opening onto new vistas.

each instrument is different in feel from the others, metal and
wood, nylon and lacquer, horsehair or reed, each sounding among
the others, each waiting, patiently, in turn.

each instrument speaks to the rustle and resonance of others,
and the tuning of each, the stretch of the fingers, the very
breath of the instrument, already presences an immemorial
history uniting them in consonance.

each instrument plays upon me in distinction and communality,
and each is a secret among the others, knowing well the others
as in a gathering of sounds i murmur from one, among or to, the
others, and each is strata and sweetness, cadence and descent.

each instrument is an old friend i have work with many times,
coming together with repairs and ruins held in abeyance, and
each returns, to me, many times over, what i have given to it,
and to all of them, in consort and unison, and each is a world
and cosmos, and each is a sounding and a whispering space, each
a wonder and a humming space, each, each descent.

each instrument is counted, shakuhachi, flute dan moi, ghichek,
suroz, each a name, viola, violin, violaline, sarangi, erhu, tro
sor, and each a song, guitar, ukulele, qin and qin qin, and each
a tone, recorder, pipa, saz, and cura saz, saz cumbus and cura
cumbus and cumbus and oud, and ocarina, and among the electrics,
saz, and guitar and keyboard, and among the keyboards, pump
organ, and who among you have i forgotten, chromatic harmonica,
and long-necked saz and among you, hasapi...

i am their children, i learn through play, i transform habits, i
change myself, i turn myself among myself, i am myriad, i hear
the singing of hollows, i hear the tunes and tones of singing,
of their voices i hear, i am heard among them...

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