Poem in Honour of Matthew Dolmage

Matt Dolmage at his keyboard in Orillia

This poem is to honour Matthew Dolmage, who was born April 2, 1974 and who died February 21, 2004.

His mother Marilyn wrote it, and would like to recognize all the ways Matthew’s memory remains among the people and within the sanctuary of The Church of the Holy Trinity.

Matthew heard the birds in Bach.
So the piano trills in the Prelude in E flat minor
Make me smile on a February morning,
Remembering how Matthew loved bird music.

I think about the grayness outside
But imagine a peripheral flutter of feathers –
Despite the damp dark cold,
A surprise stirring of colour, warmth, life…

Matthew loved the spaces between sounds –
The resounding of one note, suspended.
How long will the interval last?
He laughed out loud at those surprises.

He enjoyed the connections among notes too.
Returning home, he would race to the piano
To replicate the chords he had heard
In car horns and as subway doors closed.

Matthew’s own musical compositions
Were complex and enigmatic.
He was lulled by loops of electronic rhythm
But thrilled to invent keyboard suspense and surprise.

You have to know and understand patterns
To rejoice so much when they change.
There can be ordered beauty to music, nature, love…
But with anomaly comes creativity and great delight.

Thank you to William Aide – piano virtuoso, gentle man, Matthew’s friend – who provided the Musical Meditation February 4, 2018 at the Church of the Holy Trinity, Toronto. You can watch a pianist’s hands, as Matthew loved to do, in this video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WX69L3QJm4M.
And here is some of Matthew’s own music.

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