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The sound of a spanish guitar being played
wonderfully and exquisitely by its player
echoes around the circular chamber
at the centre of the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery,
and everybody standing, sitting, looking, is enraptured,
surrounded by magnificent and beautiful paintings and artwork,
and all before a statue by Jacob Epstein sculpted
to represent the archangel Lucifer “the bringer of Light”
from John Miltons epic poem ‘Paradise Lost’,
and the resonance and the music that fills the crowded space
noticeably lifts everyone off their seat and off their feet,
and I can tell that I am not the only one who feels like
they are in another world, and we all are feeling this sensation
of being cleansed in some way-
just like that feeling we all have
after we have splashed our faces with water
just after we wake up in the morning
and the first thing we all do when we wash.
I feel like a deep-sea diver, at the bottom of an ocean,
in a magical underwater realm,
and I feel like I can actually see the beautiful
and wonderful sound waves being created
and travelling through the air and touching everyone squarely in the chest;
as as if in slow-motion, I see the moment in everyone’s eyes
when the power of the music hits them and they feel it
at the same time that they hear it,
and I watch them be drawn in and be enraptured
and be lifted in so many ways.

There were points during the performance
in which I clearly remember what I was thinking
and who I was thinking about-
during the faster guitar playing, for example,
‘The Spanish Dance’, I could actually feel my heart racing and beating fast,
while during the slower songs I remember having flashbacks
and recollections of fallen and lost friends
who I will never see again.
Unfortuntely, I cannot remember all of the names
of the beautiful guitar pieces-
they all had an interesting italian- or spanish-sounding name-
but they were all amazing, and I honestly felt so
privileged to be there to hear them being played
to me and a captive audience,
and I can honestly say that being lucky enough to be there
was a true right-place, right-time, moment,
and it was a magical experience in which all that there
felt like there was in the time that the music was being played,
and we who were hearing it were all that existed,
as well ad our own individual memories and shared emotions,
and everything that we all brought with us to that echo chamber
of a room, which was filled all the way up to the glass dome above
with divine sound and necessary silence.

When the players were not playing
you could hear everything- a foot-step, a pin-drop, a heart-beat,
the vibration of a still vibrating guitar string.
Sound is special. Music is unparalleled.
The voices of people and man-made instruments
of all types, shapes, and sounds, fascinate me.
Sound is something we feel deeply.
Music is like a constantly ringing bell.
The voice of an instrument would not be the same
without the unique voice, gift, and life of it’s player,
and there is nothing else like living, hearing,
and feeling, the most beautiful string poetry.

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