Orchesperry

Today marks the 2nd anniversary of Matthew‘s death, and the 2nd night of a four-day memorial concert series to benefit his family. Tonight went to see Orchesperry — a large ensemble of Bay Area musicians formed in his honor, in the spirit of a page his wife found in one of his notebooks outlining his dream of a well-contained ensemble that would defy expectations of what “energy music” or “free music” is or can be. “Loud passages should be the exception and not the rule.” I’m breathing. I’m floating. I’m smelling. I’m thinking:

I smell fresh paint.
I smell resin dust floating from a cello bow.
I smell fish on somebody’s breath.
Matthew, I smell your chicken soup.
I miss the way you played blocks of foam and garden tools
And anything you could find that made a sound.
The drummer is gently bowing a Bundt pan.
You would have loved that.
You signed your letters XXOO.
Tonight they played a piece with that title.
I watched your wife’s shoulders heaving with grief.
I felt you in the room, we all did.
Wish you were here. XOXO.

At one point, one of the musicians got up from her chair and started pedaling an amplified bicycle, a gush and whir of the chain in sprockets resonating through the frame, tweaking effects pedals, memorializing Matthew’s last ride, making incredible sounds. Later I approached the musician to tell her I still had Matthew’s partly wrecked bike in my garage. I told her I wanted her to have it, to make it her instrument. She agreed. Next week I’ll get the wheels spinning again, take it to her. A heavy but wonderful evening.

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