1. Session - by Joe Buckley
From disparate lives, in varying moods, they come
Together in the space, the tools
Of this night's trade slung jaunty from their hands
They settle to the rites of preparation
Arrange the place, and for a time, assume
The mystic status of the bard. Here, loving
Hands release the instruments, the work
Of other hands, from silent velvet spaces,
Expose to light the rich deep grains in lacquered
Maple, cherry, spruce. Here ebony
and ivory and pearl and filigree
Of silver, polished chrome and straining strings
Of steel are seen; are shown, but not for show.
And when the ritual of tuning's done,
Then ordered islands of shared rhythm rise
Unbidden from the shifting sea of talk
And laughter; never the same from week to week.
Here intellect is stilled, the wisdom and
The 'cleachtadh' of the body holds in sway.
For now the focus is within to match
The pulse, to catch the flow, to make the flying
Fingers fall, the foot-beats synchronised,
To make the many players be as one.
This is the goal, this moment of flux,
This hair-raising unison, melding of selves;
This plucking taut steel and caressing the goatskin
This skirling of whistle and downbeat of bow,
This strumming and chording and picking and tapping.
The lift of the fingers and then letting go.
For this concerto, praise is not requested,
Applause not sought; nor words of friendship needed.
This music is the secret language of
A people's soul; an heirloom held, and heeded.