Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Spring (the season) (07/23/09)
TITLE: Vivaldi Revisited
By Ruth Neilson
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He glanced at the strings, and nodded to the first violinist. She nodded back and drew her bow across the strings, drawing out the first hint of what was to come. A quivering tuning note filled the air and slowly, the sections added to the pitch, each one adding breathe and depth until, finally, the conductor cut them off with a small gesture of his hands.
He lifted his baton and waited, feeling the audience's eyes upon his back, and slowly his eyes moved across the orchestra, until, finally, he made eye contact with the timpani and slowly began to count out the beats.
The timpanist began to gently strike his drum, a low roll as other sections began to fill the air. The high strings and woodwinds harked to the songs of birds, returning from their flight south: robins, jays, song birds, all seeking mates for the year. The woodwind basses mimicked the sound of the geese flying north. The percussion added to the illusion with the sound of wind chimes, blowing gently in the wind. All was calm.
The conductor smiled as section by section joined; the rejoicing of the fleeing winter grew bolder. Images of children playing in the warming sun while their mothers worked hard to prepare the soil filled the musician's minds. Each one had painted their part of the picture, creating the image of a perfect spring day.
The tempo shifted. A compelling rhythm moved through the percussion. Expertly, they forced it deeper into the orchestra's consciousness.
The rains came. The birds grew quiet and the mothers and children fled indoors. A low roll of thunder echoed throughout the group, shifting the music into a deeper, darker mode. The wind chimes were more chaotic; notes of fear and panic filled the air.
Chaotic notes filled the stage. Music scales where going up while others were going down. Clashing violently and without warning, an eerie sound pierced through the chaos. A wail built and ebbed, a siren's warningóGet to safety!
Then, all is still.
A saxophone called out of the dim, questioning and seeking. A horn responded, echoing the call. Slowly, other voices called out, searching each other out their melodies and cords mingling rebuilding their hope.
Triumphant, despite the sorrows, in the determination that they will rebuild.
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