the shape of the music

Talking to a dancer friend of mine
about listening to music—
film scores, in particular,
“Do you see choreography
as you listen to the music?” I asked.
(She does.)
I see stories.

The music, in its givens,
shapes, to my ear, a certain plot.
The ebb and flow,
the ever-changing volume and intensity,
the feel of the instruments—
the mood of melody and harmonies,
all take their place in an unfolding narrative—
a story to make sense of the flow.

Now it’s no particular story.
There are, in fact, lots of different possibilities—
lots of different stories to tell—
as many stories as you want to tell, I guess,
to fit the shape the music gives you.

So in the beginning was the music,
and the music was with the musician,
and the music was the musician,
and together, they created a shape,
full of grace and truth,
into which they sang creation.
And we either live into and proclaim that shape,
or we don’t.

Particular stories have become more familiar—
more beloved and more believed,
but it’s the shape into which they’re told
that binds different stories together
in celebration of truth—
music and musician,
dancer and storyteller.


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