concert black tuxedo with tails, perfect attire,
baton hand for grammar (tempo, dynamics,
articulation) and the other hand guides poetry,

true ear for sound and eye for detail,
both slave and master of the composition –
favouring and fighting the arrangement,

shaping the sound of the ensemble,
crescendo, diminuendo, staccato, legato,
nuances of phrasing and expression,

dramatic language of the body for dialogue
between conductor and musicians,
cueing entrances with gesture or look,

he is leader but they are one, in group vulnerability,
a shoal of fish, morphing in concert
with fear feeding the energy of the form,

but the maestro stamps his signature to the performance,
standing naked to the spectators,
exposed yet ecstatic with the truth.


‘The art of conducting requires a longer learning process than almost any other human activity, and most of it is done whilst feeling you have no clothes on!’

‘In a nutshell, the baton hand is for the grammar and the other is for the poetry of the music.’

quotes by Peter Stark

Note: This is a poem in my sensory professions series – I have done the perfumer, the artist (a poem with fishy fish), the artist (a poem with fleurs), the sculptor, the floral artist, and the wine connoisseur.