I was musing on the words polyphony and antiphony the other night when I suddenly had this epiphany. It’s the kind of sound possibility that may have occurred to Dr. Seuss from time to time.
Polly Phonic and her dear Aunt Tiffany
Went to the Concert Hall to hear a new symphony.
But when they got there
The Great Hall was bare,
So instead they both had an epiphany.
“What if”, Aunt Tiffany spoke,
“The maestro is playing a joke?”
“Or else”, Polly sighed,
“The conductor just died
When he heard they preferred to go for Baroque.”
For when music is always 4/4
You keep time by tapping the floor.
The conductor’s as relevant
As wings to an elephant
The players all know the score.
So Aunt Tiffany and Polly Phonic that night
Were introduced to the music and light
Of a solo guitarist
Who’d grown up in a forest
And played from the heart, not by sight.
When asked how he wrote Songs Without Words ‘neath the stars,
To rhythms only encountered on Mars,
“It’s quite elemental”, he said,
“I don’t write instrumentals, instead
I write songs that can only be sung by guitars.”
“The string is the thing you see,
Both in music and physic-ally
We’d be hard pressed to find
A more elegant design
Of how harmony produces the key.”
“The key to unlock every door,
The key to destroy or restore,
The ability to weave or unwind
The fabric of space and of time,
Bring peace, and an end to all war.”
“The harmonic vibrations of strings
Produce people and planets and all kinds of things,
It’s the language of God
This most ancient ballade
And throughout all eternity it sings.”
And so this amazing epiphany
Of Polly Phonic and her dear Aunt Tiffany
Sent them both reeling
Like birds flying freely
And now the whole world is their symphony.
Tim McKamey, September 17, 2011