Journey Between Worlds, by David Ting

Page 1

Scenes from “SCARLATTI/CAGE SONATAS, Journey Between Worlds” By David Ting, ‘17 Scarlatti Sonata in D Minor K. 213 Tender keys echo in a cathedral Like drops of a dark gentle storm. O sound of dewdrops slithering down grassblades Before daybreak; this is the pianist’s sustained ​ ppp Cage Sonata No. 14 Beware. Leach the thin night of her Percussive ligaments and bones. And beware Her angular, hypnagogic states, which like remorseless Snakes enjoy dreaming near ancient fires Scarlatti Sonata in D Minor K. 141 Controlled ​ mf ​ cascades. They do more than dance They hope to compete with hummingbirds. The sonata, like Eve, has a few snakeribs from Cage No. 14 Its fleshed bones glint with strong sinews Cage Sonata No. 13 This sonata knows how to forgive. More so than any other thus far. Though its polish is that of a broken mirror. Its glitched visage petrifies air and particulates. A sunbeam transmits dust into an empty theater Scarlatti Sonata in E Major K. 381 A queen commands this noble hunt! I too Would like to be commanded. I now have no fear Of lonely places or of Cage Sonata No. 13. So many Joyful notes on parade, let out of the gate one at a time, trotting in step Cage Sonata No. 12 Old keys tried futilely in ancient doors Apartments too full of stairs, the spiraling flights like Swirls of teeth. The pendulum rhythm sways me, and the tinkling notes Conjuring airy pagodas threatening to lean with the wind Scarlatti Sonata in B Minor K. 87 Think of the cathedral of K. 213, at noon after the rain Surrounded by Italian country hills dotted by villages. At about two minutes in, K.27 is quoted. And again. But Scarlatti, Like Cage, misquotes himself in the name of invention


Cage Sonata No. 1 Jabbing. This hollow rouged body begins by jabbing us. It is not even being cruel. It is its nature. This organism pecks; it has hollow talons, A featherweight skull and a dermis of glass Scarlatti Sonata in F Minor K. 466 I thought of an austere, fiber-legged tarantula daring to test the keys It does not fear the bird of Cage No. 1. And it does rather well, For being a spider. But this is no spider. The performance has lifted our gaze Away from the stage and its acoustic ceiling, towards painted, invisible vaults Cage Sonata No. 16 Electronic softness trickles down stone By this I mean the notes that like lone sparks Are meager but full-bodied hopes Against the woodland darkness swarming in Scarlatti Sonata in E Major K. 531 Springtime winds blow white salon curtains. Excited voices Cease to speak for fear of eavesdroppers. Young girls whisper as their guardians Too, whisper, about the disintegration of nations Cage Sonata No. 11 I swear there were cymbals behind the headboard Fingers with curving nails picking away at longer strings I hear the piano has a geological temperament. Cage knew the truth: Time erodes sound. Scarlatti Sonata in B Minor K. 27 Sunlight cannot show what scampers in the underbrush. All life beheld a clearing patched with sourceless sunlight. No one could build an ark in this small space, Though it too contains the grace of deliverance Cage Sonata No. 5 Bone xylophone. This was the first Greilsammer recording I’d ever heard. Oscillations of scales encounter ribs and threshing metal; The percussive nature of the piano is being reclaimed By Cage. He harvests from our expectations the way things used to sound. Scarlatti Sonata in D Major K. 492 Greilsammer is sculpting a musical historiography; carving out Tones the way that Scarlatti wanted, based on earwitness accounts. I couldn’t escape the pianist’s hypnotic power before I realized that this was the last Of the cycle. Greilsammer had stopped.