Fantasia on a theme

By Nicholas Hooper

It’s like a strange dance
but seeming to miss beat, hands, feet
through the unease of distance.
The conductor’s baton waves,
vague but precise,
a gentle mood of sad disconnection
joined only by a slender thread of melody.

How can this be?
This social distance between musicians
who gravely make a music of space?
The sound is pure, no snackle, snitch, or creak
disturbs the sweep of gentle notes
that join the separated souls
who make it.

The score made it.
One man’s word, one man’s hand created it.
The fluid demands he made of each string,
each bow, a baton passed from woman to man,
man to woman
and they all know it, these blessed players.

A solemn gift
from silence to life to silence.
Keep it that way. Help others to hear the charm,
the close-found beats of hearts that play as one:
and they all know this great score, these musicians,
it’s in their hearts for ever.

Inspired by seeing a video of John Wilson conducting the socially distanced Philharmonia Orchestra playing Fantasia on a theme by Thomas Tallis.



About Dawnings:
“Every morning at around 5am I get up and go down to my studio. After a short meditation I write down whatever is in my head, giving myself fifteen minutes to do so. Then moving over to the piano (or a more portable instrument like my Ukulele when I'm away), I improvise and record a piece of music inspired by whatever words I just wrote. It is a great way of keeping both my writing and my composing going and I call these small creations Dawnings. They are mostly unedited, like sketches, so that they keep that fresh feeling of an early morning discovery.”

— Nick Hooper