I have almost always been eloquent with words. I use words as verbal camouflage, to an extent.
But when I woke up this morning and heard the news of the Orlando shootings, I couldn’t begin to describe how I could felt in words.
I’m a composer and a few years ago I wrote a piece for solo piano called “lament.” When I turned on my phone and saw the news blaring across the internet, this melody came to my mind. I composed it as a representation of the break of two halves, of a heart cleft in twain.
I decided to record myself playing the piece this morning. The wind was blowing, children were playing outside. I was at first peeved that all of this aural clutter was going to ruin my recording but, as I played, the sounds of the children and the breeze transcended this past the realm of music.
Music is the closest we can come to peace in this world.
The words of the opera The Death of Klinghoffer came into my mind as an epitaph to my philosophical and musical therapy session:
“If a hundred People were murdered
And their blood
Flowed in the wake
Of this ship like
Oil, only then
Would the world intervene.”
Unless we understand the seriousness of these attacks, and work to heal the brittle core of our modern humanity, we will never know peace.