Sunday, September 20, 2015

For better or for verse...

I rarely set out to write verse, but sometimes it happens anyway.

As it happened today, I was sitting listening to our newly ordained curate deliver the sermon on a day she was celebrating the Eucharist for the first time. In a beautiful sermon about the symbolic meaning of opening one's arms, she talked about a class in seminary which was focused on the study of "manual acts." I don't think I'd ever heard this expression, but I can tell you that on hearing it, I kept thinking she was saying "the study of Emanuel Ax."

I thought later that Ax's playing is worth studying, and as the day progressed, these couplets emerged:
Piano expressions come not just from facts
that a treatise exacts via keyboard didacts.
One can learn lessons from manual acts
of Emanuel Ax that a manual lacks.
The fun part, of course, is that the final couplet sounds like it's repeating itself, especially when read by a synthesizer.

Here's Manny in action:

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