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• Can't Stop Looking Up
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      • My Birthday?
• Into the Light
• A Perfect Interview
• The Abbey
• Who You Know?
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• Bullying
• 31 Days of Christmas
• Unexpected Talent
• Just a Dog's Day
• Giant!
• Chester
• Fear or Comfort?
• You're Different
• Darren
      • Darren and the Circus
• The Surreality of It All
• Voice of God
• Sound of Silence
• Aaron
• 5350
• Resurrection
• Sicilian Sculptor

Sunday Shorts
• Another One Bites...
• Stroll with the Clouds
• Walking with Banshee

• Sans People
• Digital Detox
• Digital Art
• Relevance of a Tweet
• A Day With Tweetdeck

coming up...
• Garezurra
• Yo! Buddy!
• The Vault
• An Interesting Hike
• The Watchers
• Tears in the Fabric
• Voice of God II
• Chester II
• Azure

Voice of God (03/06/20)

When the center was originally designed, we reveled in the fact that one of the local commuter trains was more than happy to build a station within walking distance of the facility.

This station not only allowed surrounding communities to have easier access to the Center, but also connected the local airport, taking under 10 minutes to arrive from the departure terminal to the Center station. This dramatically increased our exposure and ease of access.

My commute was only about 10 minutes from the Center via train. I stepped off the train and made my short walk to the back entrance of the Center, walking up the flight of stairs to the administrative offices, put my backpack down on my desk, and strode back down to the service entrance to the Center.

In order to ensure that visitors had a new and exciting, yet uninterrupted visit to the Center, all work on exhibits was conducted over night, beginning immediately after closing and completed well before the Center opened—and we opened early—doors opened at 8 am daily.

Opening the door to the primary service area, I went to my designated Segway, turned it on, and booted the tablet attached to its handles. Due to the vast size of the art center, we conducted our reviews of all the installations and exhibits via Segway, and the sight of the line of 24 of them in the service entrance always gave me a feeling of excitement.

After greeting all my staff, asking about evening baseball games and swim meets, our management team joined me in mounting their Segways, logging into their tablets and off we went—a long motorcade of electric two-wheeled transportation devices off and running.

Once inside the center each of the groups of the management team verified the work from the night before was complete, accurate and ready for public viewing, checked a myriad of processes off their appropriate lists, and cruised over to the next section.

Not only due to the shear size of the Center, but also to our pledge to entertain the Center visitors and show as much emerging art as possible, the exhibits and displays rotated out on a regular basis, so ensuring these rotations was a mandatory daily task—and an extremely enjoyable one.

As our group neared the middle of the Center, we came up to the vast performance hall designed specifically for audio/visual performances, and educational demonstrations. It’s designed in the shape of a giant inverted cone, with its’ stage ‘in-the-round,’ surrounded by seating that spiraled up through the entire height of the facility.

Topping this vast cone is a 360 degree ring of clerestory glass windows that not only allow for unobstructed viewing from the rooftop seating that surrounds it, but also allows for specially designed acoustics that guarantee what is heard inside the performance space is equal in quality to what is heard from the rooftop terrace.

We all parked our Segways in a cluster around one of the entrances to the arena, and were informed that the volunteer members of the regional orchestras were rehearsing for several upcoming evening performances. Even though it was early in the morning, these dedicated professionals were already fired up for their rehearsal session.

What made the upcoming performances special, and had resulted in a very quick ticket 'sell out' for opening night, was the artist who had created all the instruments. Classical music was the selection for the evening, and full orchestration was represented, but every instrument in this new orchestra was hand-made and created by an artist who specifically created instruments from scrap metal recycled from vehicles doomed for the scrap yard.

He specialized in rummaging through car salvage yards and plane graveyards to select the perfect pieces of metal to be cut, bent, welded and polished into works of art in their own rights.

Part of the Center exhibits was a section of these instruments on display as singular pieces of art that regularly draw throngs of crowds in awe at the beauty of each of the pieces. Any of these pieces would, and frequently did, adorn a wall mounted as an object of art – but they were also intended to be played as a representative piece of a band or orchestra.

The Center regularly holds true 'instrumental' orchestral performances, and staff are accustomed to seeing and hearing the various instrumental pieces that form the core of an orchestra or band, but these custom pieces always amazed those of us who saw them.

Back to the design of the center. Because the performance hall was built in the middle of the facility, surrounded by the Center’s adjustable system of modular exhibit spaces, the performance hall had been designed with stellar acoustics inside, but even under the loudest of performances, could not be heard within the art exhibit areas that surrounded it—even with multitudes of attendees entering from its various entry points. A double-door system of entry dampened the sound so that the exhibit areas remained in silence during performances.

Our Director of Events stopped us before entering the arena, and said that he had never heard such incredible sounds coming from musical instruments. In all his years of experience, listening to some of the most famous orchestras on the planet, who utilized some of the most valuable and finely created instruments on the planet, he said none of that compared to what we were about to hear coming from these artistically designed salvage pieces.

Not wanting to be skeptical and really just trying to grasp what we were about to hear, I asked exactly what made the sounds coming from these instruments unique? Our director had no true response, simply saying they had to be heard to understand.

We entered into the first course of doors—silence. As we opened the second course and began to hear the rehearsal session in full, jaw-dropping awe overtook all of us, and we stood in wonder gazing down onto the hall’s circular stage.

It was true—the sounds coming from the orchestra were beyond anything any of us had heard before. An ethereal, other-worldly music came from the arena. We recognized the piece of music itself, but the artistic translation of the piece was beyond comprehension. Our management team stood there almost paralyzed for several minutes until the orchestra stopped for a quick break.

We continued to just stand there, not quite sure what we had just heard. I brushed away a few tears trying not to be noticed by the others in the group, only to realize nearly all the team also had tears streaming down their faces.

Finally one of the team asked in a quiet, reverent voice “what was that?”

Another one of the team muttered in an awestruck tone, tears streaming down his face, “that was Mozart’s Overture from The Marriage of Figaro… but apparently performed by the voice of God.”

The 'voice of God' was a frequent phrase we heard from the eccentric artist who had designed and built all of the instruments that were part of the performance. He said his inspiration was straight from God, and that each instrument was finally tuned by the hand of God, personally.

We all stood there for quite a few minutes still unsure wha