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  • Writer's pictureWesley Snedeker


There are resonances that surge through my body and my home.

I cannot help but ring with them. I am rapt by their call, compelled to join their song. Their chorus preceded my entrance and still tinkers contrapuntally with my actions. So I try to make the best of my music with theirs.

The low rumble of place courses under my feet. It is comforting in an alien sense. I was born an outsider to the wilderness of my youth, a colonist of the mangroves and mosquitoes. This place used to devour people like me. Emerald hells and hidden monsters and mistakenly terrestrial cultists populated its marshes and sloughs. We "tamed" it. We raped it. Now we carry its wounds; soon we will suffer its retaliation. What irony that this place is called gentle by our visitors, this site of disappearances and pesticides and genocides.

The gentle hum of ancestry tugs at my chest. It sends needles down my arms and hides its finer notes behind the stronger melodies of immediate influence. At times I will catch its direction and try to respond. Too often it evades me. If I had a score I would dot it with chord symbols and arrows and goal notes. I don't, though, so I have to do the best I can to improvise along just behind it. Motifs repeat and seem intuitively right to me—faith, hope, service, witness—but I struggle to find a resolution that fits the ensemble's direction, so I guess a lot and listen closely that I might move with its profundity and improve on its stagnations.

Opportunity floats above like a descant, charging the players, flirting with accessibility while remaining dissonant. It cries onward without much regard for what is possible. It broadly ignores the attempts by its accompanists to steer it this way or that, but when it occasionally finds consonance, the whole performance is transfigured into a great wave of interactivity. Drawing energy from those before, those here now, those yet to come—calling out the wildness of this hazardous performance space—it weaves together these many harmonies into the toxic illusion and undeniable reality of one.

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