Routine Surprise
11:17
Ben Morris

Routine Surprise

Recorded 3/11/2020 in Grusin Concert Hall, University of Colorado Boulder. Maureen Bailey — soprano Maggie Hinchliffe — piano Mimi Harding — cover art I. Morning Eyelids heavy, like the moon concedes to morning air, sliding into consciousness and into childcare. Eardrums on the radio while navigating dawn, each routinely wondering the composer of the song. Ah, he sighs, I’m rarely right, so Bach will be my guess. I will guess Bach every day until I am correct. Ears and eyes awaken with surprise as they discover: Bach is playing every morning now and through October! II. Afternoon Afternoon of black and white (a usual routine), with repetitious ivories the center of the scene. Rarely resting, only for her father’s inquiry–– a dialogue of dinnertime and daily wondering. Mozart Meatballs? he suggests, adding then, Beethoven Bread? Concluding cleverly, of course, Chopin Casserole? he said. Stunning——his ability to generate delight, routinely adding color to a life of black and white. III. Evening Wild nights were I with thee, enchanting tune and poetry; arpeggiating, racing piano conversing with the star soprano. Swirling skirts, they dance offstage, breathless on their escapade, collaboratively hypnotized by lingering melodic lines. Reciprocating compliments, soprano to accompanist: I saw your father——second row, Did you see his face aglow? Genuinely in surprise because she never realized while worryingly harmonizing, he routinely beamed.