Lost and Found in the Symphony 

The song “For What You Dream Of” by Bedrock inspired this descriptive essay in AP Lang and Comp with Mr. Bowne


Violet Riquelme

The elegant brunette chanteuse directs her powerful verses toward me. I notice I am no longer listening to her voice — I am listening to my own. I am the chanteuse.

I stare at what I believe is another tedious assignment, and I begin to read the lengthy prompt. I am sitting at my dining room table in a cushioned chair, my favorite location to work on homework. The prompt requires me to listen to a six-minute song; I download it on Youtube. The funky electronic dance music plays through the speakers of my cell phone.

Bobbing my head to the beat, I roll my eyes toward the window. I look through the spotless pane and see a brown-haired girl jogging in blue and white athletic wear. The jogger’s running form and profile seem familiar to me. She turns her head, and without breaking stride, looks into the dining room window. 

I am the jogger. 

With my white Airpods in, I jog powered by the music. When the trail of the beat changes course, I follow its sound wave in the direction that it takes me. My neighborhood’s familiar lawns and flower beds disappear, and I hear the music clashing like surf against a tall jetty. 

I discover that I am off the street and inside the landscape of my head. For a moment, the music I have been listening to has stopped. In the silence, I look up and see an oddly-shaped angled door that suddenly appears before me, and I am fascinated. I hear the music behind the door, but not clearly, so I press my head against the cold breeze of the door.

I remove my earbuds to hear better, but I cannot. I step back and read Edison Light Bulb Factory – For What You Dream Of, deeply engraved above the door. I am ready to push hard but suddenly, the door opens inward. I surrender to what I can describe as industrial hymns rising in a metallic chorus from swaying machines, conducted by a chanteuse in a red gown. I taste metal on my tongue. 

A conveyor belt scrapes and squeaks while it carries round and hexagonal metal over its gears. I can now more distinctly hear the various types of machines of the chorus: the welding machines sizzling, the milling machines grinding, and a single lathe whirring as it spins nothing I can recognize because it rotates so fast. Suddenly the equipment seems to liquify and gather even the low-crooning binding machines into a molten vortex and swallow them.

Then everything disappears into my mind. I wonder for a moment where Edison is; he is undoubtedly the inventor of this machinery designed and assembled to create sound. I see him nowhere. However, I notice the chanteuse swinging from the only surviving chain. The mysterious chanteuse is singing while she swings on her chain over my head. She belts the hypnotic verses: “For what you dream of….” 

The elegant brunette chanteuse directs her powerful verses toward me. I notice I am no longer listening to her voice I am listening to my own. I am the chanteuse. I am belting verses to arrange the incoherent emanations of the machine that only a moment ago had disappeared into the liquid mass. As I sing, the machines slowly re-emerge from the liquid vortex they had melted into and reform, each sending forth its distinct sound that contributes to the symphony.

Through the high factory window where I perch to deliver the refrain of my song, I notice an audience of one. I turn my attention to a fan, a brown-haired girl dressed in blue and white athletic wear, with her phone before her on a dining room table where she has spread her homework. 

I realize I am no longer performing I am that girl. 

I am back in the comfort of my dining room again. Within the clear confines of the spotless window, my favorite homework spot resumes its silence. Six minutes of music and song have felt like six hours. I look at the prompt once again, no longer in a puzzled state of mind. I am filled with composure, and I embrace the assignment that now captivates me. 

I can still hear the cacophony of machines inside that sound factory of my mind, and I still see the jaunty jogger with her head pressed against the giant door. I can hear the lusty chanteuse swinging above the liquid vortex, conjuring the music of machines from the chaos with her mesmerizing lines:

“Let the music hit you with its healing touch….”