A Symphony in Q FlatBeing an Attempt to Describe a Subject That Baffles Description.
The Clown Band
But the “Real Thing” really never happened until the year of grace, 1897, when Spader Johnson and his musical coadjutors established that now famous musical organization known as the “Clown Band.” When its organization was completed Euterpe smiled, for the sweet-faced muse knew that the divine art of music, over which she had presided so many centuries, was to rise to heights hitherto unattained, and that the soul of Spader and his symphonious swallows — or, in other words, Johnson and his jabbers of wind would scale the very peaks of the mountains of melody, and from the dizzy heights roll down upon a breathless and expectant world an avalanche of melody and engulf all mankind in an ocean of music. Did the glorious muse divine aright? Well, rather, and why not? Was not this collateral company composed of the very crem de la crem of the musical world? and had they not as director and cornet virtuoso that greatest of all living leaders, Spaderowski Johnsonicola, whom the vulgar once called Spader Johnson? Was the baton ever held in a hand that could so direct the impulses of his players and sway the multitude? When he waved his magic wand with the majesty of an emperor, were not the hearts of his musicians touched like when the winds of a tropical evening awaken into life the responsive chords of an aeolian?
But Johnsonicola was not only great as a director. He had but to breathe into the small end of his cornet, and lo, from the large end canaries seemed to flutter, filling the air with melody so sweet the thousands listened in mute wonder, for the sounds were such as had never been heard on this prosaic earth before, and a poet, who one day heard them, with beautiful sentiment, called them “unearthly.” But the great Johnsonicola could not only soothe his hearers with the sweetness of his playing; he could play so as to make their hearts as light and gay as a May morning, and then again he could touch the hidden depths of human passions and parade before the listener the more somber hues of melody. A man of deep feeling, he could display among the lighter tints the shadows of sadness and make the audience melancholy, so that many of them shed tears, and all agreed that it was very painful indeed. Such was Johnsonicola.