Dream Instrumentalism

To the tune of: Kroke – Earth (Behusher Chosid)

Not Quite a Khazar
Not Quite a Khazar

I dreamt of a musical instrument last night. I was on a train stuck between cities, heading for the engine and the drivers, and I passed a family of khazars, entertaining themselves by taking turns on it.I had to push past a shtarker in traditional dream dress, a white archaic tunic with red piping, his small flat red cap pinned to the side of his head, focused on a lugubrious old man playing. The instrument was like a clockwork squeezebox a cubit long with a rubbery grey bald human face at one end and a limited keypad at the other. They played it by struggling against the clockwork and bellows; it only played one tune, which sounded like something from Kroke, and which I was humming when I woke up. The artistry, as I saw later when a wizened granny took over, is in putting your own interpretation on the tune by distorting the sounds. She kinda stretched and crushed the head to distort the sound, made it sound childish and whiny, like a nursery rhyme. He played it straight and slow, hardly touching the face, so it sounded sonorous and, yes, meaningful. My brother says, it’s like the interpretation of a song, theme and variations, that’s all we can ever do…

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