String Theory Kimmel Center Concert, Honorable Mention Essay in Music, 2019 Art Writing Challenge!
Dear readers, as we publish the cash prize and honorable mention winners in the 2019 Art Writing Challenge, we'd like to thank everyone who took the time to share their writing with us and congratulate all the winners! This year’s turnout was truly encouraging and we can’t wait to share the “Best of the New Art Writing Contest Anthology” book with you in 2020. Thanks also to Mari Shaw, whose generosity and support of local art writing allowed us to offer our biggest prizes to date.

Photo courtesy the Kimmel Center.
Photo courtesy the Kimmel Center.

String Theory Kimmel Center Concert
by Koi Patrick

How does music transform you as a person? Hearing a piece and shutting your eyes
momentarily transports me into a different era, different body, different mindset or even situation. Being a musician, you aren’t just required to play the song and go through the motions. The best part of it is becoming someone you’re not and leaving yourself behind. Sometimes being a musician or even a person who’s just a listener takes acting. In that way, music provides an escape for all different scopes of the art. We grow up continuously listening to the same tunes so that we gain a memorization of something that we could easily forget if it weren’t so catchy. Music grasps onto your heart and your mind. It’s more of a feeling that’s at the same time so mutually shared, but interpreted so differently.

An adoration always follows the thought of music and the endless things that can be done with it. It wasn’t until a school performance we stepped into a portal that lead us to the stage of a huge theater filled with much emotion, laughter, applause, and even utter silence. Our black dress shoes trampled the stage stepping where all forms of artists have given their all to convey a feeling. We took in our last breaths of the dusty chairs, and our cases that were previously occupied by our stringed instruments. The concertmaster with a tall back and a slight gesture, raising her violin towards the high ceiling projects the tuning note with her violin filling the empty crowd. At once, the orchestra follows.

It’s concert night! Everyone’s bow simultaneously tugs onto the strings and the rosin coming off the bows into the nostrils of the crowd. The anticipation builds homes in their stomach, and the air becomes stale with nothing but observant conversation. Shadows are invited onto the stage, casting themselves onto the music stands covering our stands. The conductor dances with the shadows, his arms so weightless but his mind heavily focusing on the score. Excitement instills itself into our fingers pouring itself through the strings through the wooden stage and out into the audience. Our black dress shoes glued to the ground, our heads bend like rubix cubes into place looking for the conductors last cut off. The crowds hands are glued together with stars for eyes within a huge, crisp midnight sky that is the theater. In our peripheral vision we see the final cut off, out of breath and filled with adrenaline we release as our bows depart from our strings. Emotion takes up our air from the interpretation of the music. All stand to their feet and applaud as we stand, representing our conductor bowing.

Music in my eyes is always a grand concert. I’m sitting in the audience and all I can imagine is what the writer is thinking of or going through. The music transports me from my own body into someone else’s. It has so many uses such as a convenient way of memorization, getting a point across, or even helping to uplift your soul. The most important part of music is it brings all types of people together to realize they’re all capable of enjoying it as well as feeling
the same.


Bass, cello, concert, kimmel center, music writing, orchestra, string theory, viola, violin



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