The voice floated out over the audience like a shimmering silver cloud, soft and serene, and it seemed that the whole audience had lifted back their heads so as to gaze in rapt wonder. Then there was a darkening in the orchestra and like a sudden diving flock of birds the voice struck deeply into the and minds and souls of the audience, bringing forth low gasps and tremulous sighs. Then the music changed, reversed itself, like a high tide which has reached its limit and is now being drawn back into the sea. But here the sea was up above us, and again the voiced soared, ever higher and higher, as if climbing hidden islands of wave-breaking hills and majestic mountains, higher and higher, unbelievably high, pulling each avid, spellbound listener with it to the very limits of all he had ever desired. Tears rolled down the faces, eyes brightened or closed; some hands reached silently upward. Then the voice ceased, lost in the waves of the strings of the orchestra, which then descended, circling ever more leisurely down to a peaceful conclusion.
We all paused breathless for a moment, as if intently still listening to the vibrations of that pure voice in the quiet air. Then we leaped to our feet, we cheered, shouted, bravoed, clapped our hands in thundering applause, still vibrating to the ultimate ideal which we held so rapturously within us. We had been metamorphised into warm and quivering, glorious instruments and we gave ecstatic voice to one collective note of joy!
She, she who had mastered us, who had struck us with her perfect knowledge and her supreme ability, she heard us, heard the deepest, truest chord of us. We knew it, for she stood in front of the curtain on the stage, her golden head level, absorbing it, as an instrument, too, of her own making. Then she nodded her head as if to begin a bow, but the crowd, in a moment of supreme awareness,, shouted, “No! No!” and a man leapt up on the edge of the stage and gave a great, full, dignified bow, and all the audience followed suit, bowing where they stood, then looked around smiling. And so she leaned back and smiled and raised her hands, and the audience stood up straight and loudly, but calmly, applauded once again.
When I walked out into the night I knew there were buildings and cars and lights and people around me, but they didn’t really exist, somehow; they weren’t important. A voice and a smile pulled me into the future and all was radiant as day.