The concert hall was evidently constructed with the peculiar intention of casting an experience of multiple worlds within one polystratinous edifice. The best seat is right at the very top, on the level that affords but half a view of the entire orchestra down below (for the sight of the orchestra powering away at their metal and wooden contraptions was never the main attraction), and a more complete view of the concert hall itself. After having settled down, chosen the row that suits one’s comforts best, one must take the time to have a good glance around, carefully careless so as not to attract voyeuristic suspicions. The primary aim of your line of vision will be the sight of those sitting across from you: the pre-concert shuffling and steady formation of a relatively composed crowd, the constituents of which appear quite minuscule in the midst of the grand scene – like newly formed buds on the trees of early spring, or floral icing patterning on a wedding cake. Strange, what these voiceless humans become when sitting so high up. The ceiling is closer to us than the concert hall, and one’s head could almost touch, though not quite managing to do so, the artwork looking down on the curious audience. The requiem will be playing in the background, or the foreground, if it is for that which one came. But it is a sight indeed, simply to gaze at those across the hall – and it is passing from the distant world of the orchestra pit up one stratum, two strata, and as the gaze crosses the line dividing the top and middle floors, then one is suddenly transported. Flown off to another world, the idle eyes passing over the individual souls that speckle the semicircle around semi-views of a concert in formation. That is the beauty of the concert. Music threading its way in and out of the thoughts of a hundred vague spirits in the audience.
And in a moment, they all disperse into the night. A bumble of contented bees that move out together and then divide themselves into the starry skies.
Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC BY-SA 3.0; image has been cropped
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