Four Sentences - Caroline Shaw's Partita for 8 Voices

If you were transported to this place both alien and familiar, a garden untended by smooth fingers, free of understanding or interpretation, a place of pure feeling, then upon the instant of arrival, incapable of logic or reason, you could become the well into which this rain of music falls, dumb and stone-still as the waters pour over past the boundaries of your head.

If you could think, you might decide in such a state that the inaccuracy, the inadequacy of our words to define anything is underscored, and although you may later assign educated guesses and approximations - Apollonian, delineated, fundamental, visceral, novel, warm, and so on - you are at the moment enveloped in sound and free from both the ability and the desire to identify or argue some causal or even correlative relationship between the stimulus and the complex of feelings which result with seeming irresistibility.

And leaving here maybe you’d retain that sense of fullness, that spilling over, as you’d once again fall stupidly, helplessly in love with this world, and in that abstract, unrealistic way in which you occasionally develop a crush on some far-off celebrity, you fall for the woman who brought such beauty into this world, a woman you know so little about, but who sings to this broken and suffering place which so desperately needs what her music supplies: harmony.

Perhaps in a dream your eyes could meet hers across some crowded room, and then diverge, never to cross again, and you would be O.K. with that, as your lives are separate scripts written by disparate playwrights, and you’d be left with clear gratitude that such beauty still may come into existence, as well as the fullness of believing that to have lived even a moment in her eye in a dream could have been to have lived forever in that garden, greenest of the green.