The lecture ends, the musicians raise their instruments, and the crystal liturgy begins. Two birds start a predawn song they’ve sung since long before human time. The clarinet channels a blackbird; the violin, a nightingale. The cello skates about in a fifteen-note loop of ghostly harmonics, while the piano cycles through a rhythm of seventeen values, divided into a pattern of twenty-nine chords. This whirling solar system would take four hours to unfold its complete circuit of nested revolutions. But the movement lasts a mere two minutes — a sliver between two infinities.— from a description of Quartet for the End of Time by Olivier Messiaen (1941) in Orfeo by Richard Powers (2014)
Landscape is the culture that contains all human culture— Barry Lopez as quoted by John Luther Adams.
Image: Sunset in winter over Yellowstone Lake, Frank Walker, 1978, via NPS
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