Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Panis Angelicus: The Bread of Angels

Driving slowly down the one lane road, trees towering all round and dappled light filtering through my windshield, I can just see the clearing ahead. Buried deep in the hardwood forest we find the place, not a hermit’s tattered house, but a cheery sunlit little place with an “open” sign. Park the car in the tree bark and stroll out of the dark woods into the light by the bell tower. Through the front door we are welcomed by Jan and Anna into an unexpectedly quiet world of musical form.
There’s not so much of a sound in here, just the sensual curves
and rich dark wood colors of stringed instruments hanging from above, suspended in rows like notes from a little etude.

We walk into the workshop where these artisans create and repair their instruments.
Tools are scattered all around, an orderly clutter necessary for their craft. Luthiers are special people; they feel the wood and string and they carve. They mold and shape the everyday things we can touch and smell into instruments of unparalleled joy. They practice an art that allows art.

Outside, leaves are blown by the breeze and the light filters softly through dusty workshop windows creating gentle rhythms within. We wander, we touch and we listen. Jan will only let us try those instruments
he has played recently. According to him, the others have a sound that is too lonely and neglected; there is not enough time to pay proper attention to each in a day, or even a week. One child is drawn to an instrument and reaches for it. The selection is made and the music prepared.
The first sweet notes rise from the strings and we are rewarded by an innocent, joyful and satisfied smile.

No comments:

Post a Comment