Harmony in a Box – #01-07


Gigs took a long draw on his cigar and continued, “Apparently this man that I called Jamus was found in Labrador wandering in the barrens near Harp Lake. Some hunters who were traveling in that region found him near death, suffering from hypothermia and starvation. The woman he was with said he was flown to her settlement in a cargo plane. He has no memory or recollection of who he is or where he came from. Presumably amnesia. As a doctor scheduled to lecture at the University of Manitoba, she was traveling to Winnipeg and the police asked her to bring him with her. They felt there was more opportunity to find information on this man in the city than Harp Lake.” 

“At her request, I told them all I knew of the man named Jamus, who this unidentified person so closely resembled, except the for the striking differences in hair and weight. Strangely enough he looked much younger, almost like a younger healthier brother who bore a striking family resemblance. But the aloof personality and striking eyes seemed to be the personal characteristic traits of Jamus.”

“At this point the man I presumed to be Jamus was more interested in the musician playing guitar than in our conversation. The guitar was amplified through a small P.A. system with speakers elevated on tripods. This type of music acts as a type of sonic wallpaper, a background sound that’s non-offensive. You know, the rule of thumb playing in steakhouses is to play so quietly you can hear the knives cutting through the steaks. The person playing seemed a studied musician blending various musical styles and genres into a never-ending song bridged together by a series of complex chord arrangements.”

“So, the Jamus person rose from his seat and headed towards the stage. We looked on with curiosity. The performer and Jamus had some sort of conversation and the performer handed his guitar to Jamus. It was incredible. This wonderful music seemingly coming out of the soul of the man I called Jamus began to captivate everyone in the room. His head was slightly swaying to the music as his closed eyes were being guided by his eyebrows. The audience was instantly taken to another level of consciousness and appreciation. His fingers moving along the fret board seemed to caress the melody with a balanced dishing of tension and release form of musical foreplay. Then, like a conscious building of an intricate musical melody, he broke into a musical joke! He played the French Canadian folksong Allouetta and American Steven Foster’s Camptown Races simultaneously! At the highlight of the rendition the energy was so stimulating it immediately transcended into a round of applause and a standing ovation from everyone in the room. The person I believed was Jamus slowly stood up, took a shallow but sincere bow, and headed towards the table.”

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