The stage is quiet. Curtains are closed and lights are low.
A sense of anticipation hangs in the air as the conductor takes his place. Behind the scenes, the musicians are assembled in rigid attention. Though always poised to create, the players know the first performance of the day is always the most important. The program lists both well-known and obscure participants but despite varied backgrounds, the conductor’s nerves are steady. The players have performed this piece countless times. It’s therefore expected that the aromatic melodies will be executed to perfection. This is, after all, a symphony.
As the conductor surveys the scene one final time, the players occupy their usual locations; their sculpted forms appear somewhat disjointed in their proximity but are clearly bound to each other through their roles. Confidence holding in place, all activity ceases as a brief pause pays tribute to what is about to happen. And then it begins…
The first calculated movement of the conductor’s arm summons the opening piece as the metal basket is brought to the front accompanied by the Mason jar and its fine grounds, precious notes filling the auditorium with song as the lid is removed. The spoon joins the duo, gently and in measured fashion, as the basket’s rigid structure cradles the soft, organic flow of the beans. With that section now set in motion, and with another deliberate movement, the conductor introduces the fluid backbone of the overall piece, allowing it to pour into the metallic structure with a humble authority. In an unassuming elegance, the meshed cover and water stem add their support, elevating the energy of the performance. One last gesture from the conductor’s arm sends electricity through the assembly and the melody explodes with boisterous celebration!
The audience collectively grins as their eyes slowly close, granting their other senses full control over the magical experience. The melodic aroma fills the air, dancing like invisible leaves on a windy fall day. It envelops the audience…it permeates the senses……it creates beauty that neither words nor photographs can capture. Arm and head sway with the notes as the movement of instruments creates a violent internal undulation, almost a cacophony of sorts if it wasn’t for the beauty of fluid dynamics. A tear forms as fixed eyes are moved to emotion, a respectable alternative to outright cheering during such an elegant experience.
But as quickly as it began, the symphony begins to unwind. The dénouement arrives.
As the pace decelerates and the harmony disassembles section by section, what once was a triumphant display of sounds and aromas is now almost silent as the symphony exhales its final note. The audience erupts in thunderous applause, approaching the stage to meet the players. It was a brilliant performance…but it had to be because, after all, coffee is a symphony.
© 2016 Joe Blend. All rights reserved.
Interested in a behind-the-beans look at how this piece was created? Just read my commentary on The Percolator Symphony!