Revelations in the World of the Music

"A Silent Play"


 Sabah Al-Anbari


"The Conflict between the Pure inside and the Supposed outside"


An introduction by:

Basim Abdul-Hameed Hamoodi


This is a pantomime of perfect dimensions depends on the techniques of modern theatre in its styles and capabilities in harmonizing the silent performance of the actors with the power of the directing techniques which should be taken into consideration by the executive director as the author Sabah Al-Anbari supposes.

I fear that this beautiful and suggestive text, which depends on the author's consciousness of the music and its epistemological origins and the semiology of the theatrical movement which part of it is mixed with or expressed by the musical text selected for this part or that of the play, would be taken by an executive director who takes the role of the director (the author) and runs the work out of the written scenario putting the text in another maze differs from the origin work that the author wanted to show us the man's will while he is struggling against the out- the effective-the chaos- the compulsion and all  the harm that the other, the outer, bears towards the pure inner structure of the human thinking.

I don't want to summarize the scenes here but I enjoyed reading a text which reveals and gives more to the serious theatre techniques within the frame of the pantomimic game intended by the author to develop the character of the child, the boy and the young man and awakens his will to take its role in the unconditional offering.

  Greetings to Sabah Al-Anbari while giving the theatre these revelations.   


Revelations in the World of the Music

"A Silent play"

  By Sabah Al-Anbari

 The Characters:

The old man- The woman the mother

The child – The child's father

The prince – The prince's guests

A number of soldiers wear the war costume of Austria

A number of soldiers wear the war costume of France

A number of ghosts

   The curtain is raised from the stage and beam of lights is focused on an old man sitting amidst the dark in front of a piano as if he waited a surprise at any time. The piano and the other decoration parts, all of them, are placed in a circle which is drawn by a clear line on the stage in a way that means that all the next events will happen inside this circle. The old man gets up and steps up and down. (The flow) the moving light follows him. He sits again. He listens for awhile. He is surprised by the crying of the child who has just been born, so he stands astonishingly. The echo of the pleasure bells is repeating everywhere. The old man begins unconsciously dancing movements harmonizing with the glowing of the colored lamps on the stage, the filling of the circle with the silver light and the music of the pleasure song from the ninth symphony of Beethoven.

    The music stops. A woman enters carrying a child covered with a white blanket. The grandfather (the old man) moves forward to her to take her baby and contemplate him. He kisses his forehead warmly, and then he takes him with great pleasure to the piano. He rotates it with him with special rituals. He sits, plays dancing tunes and turns to the child's mother. Sees her shivering, gives her the child back and goes out. He comes back with pieces of wood and throws them to the fire. After finishing, he stands behind the woman and the child, contemplates them and listens to disturbed steps. A drunken man enters and approaches the child and takes a look at him. His face takes no signs of pleasure and joy. He hurries to the grandfather and takes him to the piano and seats him in front of it. He begins fast playing while the drunken man begins dancing with pleasure, pride and tottering, then he falls down after feeling tired. The woman puts her son in his bed, the lights gradually disappear or the curtains come down.


    The curtains are raised. A beam of light focuses in the middle of the theatre. The woman (the mother) appears dressing her son, who became six years old; the clothes that the music pioneers were usually dressing. She puts the wig on his head, takes the basket of shopping and goes out saying good bye to him with a wave and a smile. She is followed by him. He stands on the edge of the circle following her with his gaze. When he becomes sure that she is away, he comes back lightly and frivolously to sit before the piano playing his own tune. He stops playing, takes the violin and plays particular tunes of his. Suddenly, he stops to hear steps approach him. He returns the violin to its place. Looks at the source of the voice, then he hurries to his bed lying on it, covering himself and pretending that he is sound sleep. The father enters. He is the drunken man himself at the last scene. He looks at the piano, the violin and then at the bed. He picks up the maestro's baton from the piano and goes to the bed and uncovers the boy by the tip of the baton pointing to him to rise. He rises. The father points to him to go to the piano. The boy goes reluctantly and fearfully. He begins playing by a gesture from his father's baton and from a gesture of his father he stops, he begins again but his father stops him for the second time. He plays for the third time. His father looks satisfied and goes out. Then he comes back to peep out and checks on the boy. He goes. The boy follows him with his gaze to be sure that he is away, then he returns to the violin and plays his last tune itself. Suddenly his mother comes to him this time; he confusedly puts the violin in its place and takes his school books. His mother bends and kisses him on his forehead and he runs out of the theatre. The mother walks with her gaze. She stops, raises her hand saying good bye and disappears at the backstage. The lights are gradually switched off except two beams of lights which are still glowing for sometime on the piano and the child's bed then they gradually disappear.

    The lights are gradually switched on. The mother sits in front of the piano weaving a glove for her son. She hears a voice of disturbed steps. The father enters, drunken, as usual, and his pockets bottoms are pulled off his trousers. He stands by her. He touches her arms and raises her cruelly and strongly pushing her away from him to sit instead of her. He hits the piano nervously. She moves towards him and grasps his hands preventing him from repeating the cruel hitting in order not to wake the boy up. He looks out and turns to his son’s bed. He takes the maestro’s baton and goes to the bed. The mother stands in his way trying to prevent him from reaching their son. He pushes her. Then, she stands aside. He stands by the bed, uncovers his son by the baton and orders him to wake up. The boy hesitates, so he forcibly pulls him to the piano. He begins playing. The father stops him by a gesture from his baton nervously and excitingly, and then he hits him on his fingers and orders him to play again. He plays a discord tune while the tears flow from his eyes. He hits him again and again.  When he begins playing correctly the father looks happy and makes some frivolous movements behind the boy. He stops for awhile. He looks at his son proudly. He touches his buckets’ bottom and returns them inside with pride. He pats the boy’s shoulder then the boy stops playing. He stands up and goes to his bed when his father orders him. He lies on it, covers himself while the tears are still flowing from his eyes. The father goes out and the lights are being gradually switching off except the beam of the light that illuminates the boy’s bed. Sonata (in the light of the moon), with its calm atmospheres breaks forth sometime before the bells of the churches ring to appeal for help with frightened screams and voices of destruction of the walls or the falling of the ceilings and the fire crackles. The boy rises and the woman enters running horribly taking the boy to the window out of which you see the blaze of the fires glare on the stage and on both of the boy’s and the mother's faces. The voices and the crackles are getting louder. The mother and her child move disturbingly, fearfully and horribly. The blazing of the fires gets worse on the shadow area and the people hurry to the fire carrying the vessels of water to fight the fire. Yet they move away from it. The bells of the churches tower continue ringing for a while before the fire's flames could overcome and silence it absolutely. When the tower falls down, the movement stops completely. The boy looks at the place of the tower and the bells with bitterness, pain and deep sorrow. While looking there with his mother, he looks like a huge statue installed on ruins and remains. The boy moves around the circle thinking with Sonata (In the moon light). He stops near the piano, resuming the rounding and stops near his bed. He picks up the violin and plays a tune which is almost like a nursery rhyme than anything else. He leaves the instrument with no satisfaction on the tune and goes towards the piano again. He plays on it like the aid bells ringing then he lets himself go with the tone for a time before he stops and turns towards the shadow where the orchestra appears. He stops, takes the maestro's baton and gives the sign to the orchestra. They begin the playing for a time before he is irritated by the wig on his scalp. Then he takes it off spontaneously and innocently to scratch his head with his fingers' ends which he inserted them under the wig. The orchestra stops the playing. The voices of laughing are aloud. He starts the playing again without thinking of an apology. He turns many times to the orchestra who stopped the playing with him. Then he plays on the piano strongly making a shrill voice and stands angrily and excitingly. The orchestra disappears from the shadow area. He goes reluctantly to his bed. The father enters and intercepts him in the middle of the way between the piano and the bed. He inserts his hands in his buckets and pulls their undergarment out of his trousers angrily while he comes closer to the boy excitingly and angrily. The boy retreats before him, returns to the piano and sits. The father picks up the maestro's baton. He raises it, the movement stops on the stage with that when the concerto of the first statement of Beethoven starts for a short time before the light is gradually switched off on the stage of the theatre.


    Before the light is switched on gradually on the stage we hear a voice of a train begins rushing to its aim. The stage is lightened, we see the boy himself sitting in the same place. He is now twenty five years old. The circle that is drawn on the stage has been removed and some pieces of the decoration have disappeared and replaced by other pieces of presidential luxurious furniture. A number of guests enter elegantly dressed in a style suggests their aristocratic life. The young man leaves his place and stands by a group of visitors. When the number of the guests is completed, the trumpet shouts announcing the arrival of the prince. When the prince appears the visitors are divided into two groups, one of them to the left and the other to the right. The two groups bow while the prince passes them with nimbleness and slimness. He points to them to raise their heads and drink their toasts. He sits and they sit after him. They exchange their looks. After that all of them look at the young man who steps aside away and sits on a separated and a single sofa. He is not aware of their looks. The prince walks some steps towards the young man. He gives him his hand and takes him with great respect to the piano amongst the astonishment of the visitors at the humility of their prince before the young man's personality. The prince comes back to his place. He sits and then all the guests sit. The young man raises his hands, stopping the movement of the visitors. The young man begins playing with the orchestra concerto (the emperor) for a time before we hear the voices of the bombs which began to be interfered with its musical match while it approaches the place gradually with its great echo. The guests are horrified and they move disturbingly here and there. The place becomes dark many times with the sound of the bombs and their explosion and some people go out running. A number of soldiers with French war dress rushes into the place. They circulate on the stage kicking some decoration pieces. They search here and there, find some hidden people and get them out of their shelters by kicks. They put them in one line in front of the audience and shoot them. The soldiers sit on the dinning tables prepared for the prince's guests. Some of them begin playing on the piano slightly; the others dance frivolously while the others make dissolutely movements lifting some woman accessories which have left on the tables. They obviously looked tired and exhausted; they throw themselves to sleep on anything. The lights become faint a little and the quietness prevails in the theatre. Suddenly a number of men with Austrian war dress attacks, they shoot and killed them. Then they pulled their bodies and their military supplies out of the theatre with the funeral mourning march of the second movement for the third symphony. The lights are switched off.

We hear through the dark a sound of strong clapping for enthusiast audience. A vertical and a circular beam of light illuminates the young man while he is standing on the round terrace in the centre of the middle wearing his clothes themselves (the clothes of the maestro ) raising his hand up to give the sign to the orchestra to begin the playing. The orchestra begins playing the third symphony of Beethoven (The hero). The playing resumes on the stage. A shadow of ghost appears behind the orchestra, he influences on the theatre's background with his devilish movements. He withdraws to appear again. The young man stops leading the symphony, for the music is mixed with keen whistling voice or strong wheeze, then he continues his work accurately. The ghost enters from the right of the stage without attracting the attention of anyone. When he passes the young man (the maestro), the later stops the leading. He presses with his two palms on his ears feeling severe pain while the whistling or the wheeze begins to be very loud. When the ghost leaves, the wheeze or the whistling stops and the young man raises his palms from his ears and begins the leading again. The lights are switched off on the orchestra. Only the young man is still inside the circular light beam. The ghost enters again; the whistling or the wheeze begins to be aloud again and again. The young man puts his two palms on his ears and presses on them squirming of pain. The ghost moves around the young man, makes devilish movements, then he goes out. The young man falls down, gathers himself up, squats and drops; he doesn’t believe what happened to him. He gets up, turns to the piano, approaches it and taps it with one of his hands while he puts the other one on his ear. He listens to the piano without giving any reaction. He bangs the piano with great strength and yet he doesn’t hear. He bangs with more strength than before, but he doesn’t hear. He stands firmly, horribly and angrily moving here and there nervously and hysterically. He sits, stands, comes closer to the piano, looks at it, puts his hand on its edge and cries. He hears the voice of the pecks of the woodpecker, pays attention and puts his hands on his ears. The pecks continue. He smiles reluctantly. He approaches the source of the voice. The pecks go on. He imitates them by a movement of his fingers as if he played them on the piano. The pecks stop. He comes near the piano. He plays imitating the pecks which are the same four tones by which the first movement of Beethoven's symphony (The Fate) begins. He stops the playing, takes a bunch of papers and writes his new symphony’s notes. The ghost appears in the shadow’s region. He stops writing. The ghost makes devilish movements while the young man is squirming a little then he resists and resists strongly. He controls himself. He goes back to his papers, resumes the writing, stops and listens to the voice of the tone which was written by him during the playing of the orchestra. The playing increases more and more in his mind in sequence and strong knocks. The ghost squirms as the young man has done before and falls down. The young man jumps with great pleasure and moves towards the piano. He takes the baton of the maestro and moves to the round terrace in the centre of the place. He raises his hand as a sign to start the playing. The orchestra plays in the shadow the Fifth symphony (The Fate) of Beethoven. When the playing calms down, the ghost gets up slowly at the beginning, then he goes out quickly and returns accompanying other two ghosts who are similar to him entirely. They move around the young man dancing the (The Fate and the raid) dance. The young man stops the leading, presses on his ears by his two palms, squirms, resists and resists more than the last times and controls his pains. The three ghosts cut their dance. They look at the young man surprisingly and strangely while he is continuing in leading the orchestra by strong and cruel knocks. They start twisting and staggering. They drop down one after the other. They crawl escaping to the out. The playing continues for moments during which the young man feels of victory and pride. He gives the sign to stop. The music stops. He turns to the audience and bows to them confidently. A voice of strong clapping starts while the curtain comes down.                      


 Translated By:

 Batool Ali