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Take a modest length of pipe, making sure

it’s clean and true, and try to blow through  it.

In that way you’ll get a sense of how

it was for Pan, when he played his Blues

for Syrinx on a lonely riverbank.


But if you wish to get beyond the wind

in the reeds and shivering leaves

you’ll need to choose some decent brass

that’s resonant, tough, and flexible,

buffing it hard until it gleams.


And having convoluted it, maintaining

its bore so that sound can ripple free,

you’ll need to drill the holes with care

and then adjust the piston valves to keep

them dancing nimbly at your fingertips.


Next insert a mouthpiece as lovingly

as sex, for as the metal moulds itself

to the player’s lips it slowly warms

and moistens. The embouchure

is all technique, but has its own rituals.


The trickiest part to shape’s the bell,

so give it all the time it needs. It’s there

the music blossoms, when Dizzy bounces

off the stars and Clifford plays

each night as if the sun were rising.



◄ Selmer

The Forbury Gardens ►


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Cynthia Buell Thomas

Tue 9th Jun 2020 13:12

This is superb. I'll try to catch up.

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