08 September 2007


This morning I started to unpack boxes, and then became discouraged and frustrated, and decided to curl up with the New Yorker and a mug of tea instead. (Speaking of: I am almost out of PG Tips. Where, oh where, in Cleveland can one find more?)

And through the walls floated the voice of my neighbor, the soprano. I've heard of her, but not yet met her; we do not share an entrance. This was the first time I'd heard her sing. She has a very beautiful voice, or at least, a voice that became very beautiful when filtered through a wall or two. I could not tell if she was actually practicing, or just noodling around. Maybe a little of both? It seemed to me she was just vocalizing on "ah," but I'm not quite sure, and I kept hearing snatches of melodies I thought I recognized. Was that Britten? Schubert? Handel? I could never pin any one thing down.

It was like the best performance of Salvatore Sciarrino's "Cantarellando" ever, except better. In "Cantarellando" (which means "Singing to Yourself") a trained operatic singer appears on a stage and sings bits and pieces of whatever pops into her heads while she does something else, like a crossword puzzle, or a flower arrangement, or washing dishes. This morning was like that, except the body of the singer seemed far away, and I was cocooned in my papa-san chair, with a mug of PG Tips reading Acocella on Dante.

And, just then, everything was perfect.