We’ve all listened to orchestral music at one point or another, whether we were conscious of it or not. It’s all around us. In games, into whose worlds you immerse yourself entirely for hours; in Hollywood, where the credits are almost literally singing praises (yet seem optional to most); in the uncertain, scrabbling cues of a radio station; in a classic advert that appeals to the would-be elite.
…have you ever watched an orchestra, though?
The visual sigh of many bows on strings, breathing for all; the eclectic voices of the woodwinds, impossibly different, magically weaving together as silk; the ancient, visceral power of percussion; valley walls of brass and silver, forever calling to arms, or calling you home.
Professional, Community. All are beckoning to you as they pass. Unless you focus your attention to their path, they will be gone before you can say a word.
How can you follow, though? I hear you ask. The players seem so aloof to you; the hush between them, the conductor, the music and the space between all things seem to forbid you to live as living, breathing, sound. You feel rejected, disallowed in your auditorium seat.
But if you stop to think, you’d realise that perhaps they have spoken this language for so long, that they have forgotten that high praise is more than a shuffle of the foot, or that kissing sound is shorthand for what was once an affectionate jibe at a friend.
They and their kin have lived as one in these soundworlds for hundreds of years, as fully to some as a race lives a planet. It is always scary to explore new worlds, and the beast that is the world’s Orchestra cannot change her story too quickly – to turn her steps toward something unknowable is… stressful.
The beast is quieter now, for the first time in centuries. She is bleeding quietly in the shadow of apathetic decision-makers, broken into remote, lonely pieces, wondering if she will ever rise again. To take another faltering step, maybe even into those new worlds she was told about, would warm her blood.
She quietly, hopefully listens to the very air around her, willing the music to be her companion once more.
Is she doomed? You wonder.
Well, the real question is this: are you listening?