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Rock Street, San Francisco

Tomfooleries Rum Night on the Heights/in the Depths of SST. Conscious I am by no meaner a poetry fanatic. I disliked learning about their structure in middle school into high school. I loathed having to put together haiku’s and soliloquies for my English class freshman year. That being said I entered the basement of SST. Conscious with a rather Jaded attitude and a goal for my new high score for the next level of Angry Birds. I slumped down in my chair next to my friends who also, I’m sure, shared a similar approach to this Thursday night where the plans or later that evening were of more importance.

However, what Peter Roger and Emir Bah performed for the next hour kept my phone in my pocket and my attention fixed on Pewter’s soft spoken tone and Emir’s calming melodies. While I noticed some of my classmates exiting early and dozing off, I saw others fixated Just as I was. In all honesty I can’t say I remember any one phrase from any specific poem that night or any one beat from any specific song. Based on my statements above that may seem hard to believe. However, I can explain.

As I explained before I entered the room quite Jaded and honestly did not even focus on Emir’s opening statement. It was when Peter Roger began talking was when my attention focused. His southing tone immediately relaxed me. It reminded me of how my own grandfather used to speak to me when I was little and I got upset. When he began reciting Rum’s poetry was when my mind slipped away into an almost catatonic state. I slumped down in my chair this time not out of boredom but out of relaxation. This is why I don’t believe I remember any specific lines.

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I remember words: moon, sky, Allah, and love, but not their contexts. Pewter’s soothing voice reciting Rum’s literature allowed me to distance myself from the stresses of my upcoming tests, any problems with my roommates, and any homesickness from being away from my family. Where the poetry ended, the music picked right back up. My catatonic state never ceased. However, Emir’s music had quite the different effect on relaxing me. Where Pewter’s voice and recitations soothed me, Emir’s music played with my senses.

Certain instruments he played automatically made me close my eyes for instance where others kept them fixated and curious about the instruments themselves. The flute- like instrument and his drum-like instrument each stood out in my opinion. The flute automatically made me close my eyes. It’s almost like I could feel the different pitches and tones inside me as if he were sitting right next to me playing. I was focused on the sounds of the flute, not on the kid in front of me, not on the incoming text I had n my phone, and not even on Emir himself.

The drum did the exact opposite however. Where I closed my eyes with the flute, I couldn’t help but keep them open and fixed on the movements of the drum itself. I tried to figure out how Emir was hitting it to make some of the noises I heard. I watched as the beads on the inside ring of the drum shook as Emir hit it. The beads made noises that seemed like a whole separate instrument. While this event did follow some sort of chronological progression I didn’t experience it that way.

For that hour I was in a trance focusing on nothing out ten sounds AT Peter Organ’s sort vole speaking ten words AT Rum, Ana Emir Bass’s music and the unique array of instruments he used. The relaxing presence of these two men performing the works of Rum himself make me wonder what it would have been like to experience Rum first hand. In a modern age all consumed with the poverty of time and their cell phones, Rum night on the heights was a unique experience that played with my senses and allowed me to slow down my fast paced life.

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