Festival of Drums — Dennis Davis

Dennis Davis.  Image via  flickr.com .

Dennis Davis.  Image via flickr.com.


The best drum performances take on the spirit of the song. 


“Fame” does not describe mastering the celebrity life so much as take stock of the spotlight’s toll.  As we listen, we don’t picture David Bowie basking before the crowd so much as walking out the stage door into a headache-inducing glare of flashbulbs and seeking shelter in the dark, quiet of his limousine and the illicit offerings kept there.  We may see him parade down red carpets, but we can feel the heaviness in each step.

Dennis Davis’s drum groove conjures the song’s inebriated intersection of moxie and anxiety.  The hugeness of the kick and snare groove brings across the swagger, especially the sixteenth-note snare fills (for instance, at 2:53), which create rock-star sized downbeats where the vocal can make grand re-entrances.  But then notice the small size of the crashes that follow, which sound more like dings.  It's as if the rock star trips on the stage curtains.  The bite of the snare drum (along with the distorted guitar riff) suggests the anger brewing beneath the surface.  And the occasional tickling of the hi-hat suggests nervous fingers searching for the last cigarette in the pack.

Every move Dennis Davis makes on the drums is perfectly aligned with the story told by the song.  No wonder he was sought out by artists such as David Bowie and Stevie Wonder.  He knows how to tell a story on the drums.

Thank you for reading.


Festival of Drums — Mystery Drummer

Cornelius Brothers and Sister Rose.  Image via   www.fridayinathens.com .

Cornelius Brothers and Sister Rose.  Image via www.fridayinathens.com.


I wish I knew who played drums on this irresistible track.


"It's Too Late to Turn Back Now" by Cornelius Brothers and Sister Rose is a perfect example of how one little touch on the drums can spark an arrangement.  Here I’m thinking of the hi-hat barks that appear in the pre-chorus sections.  (The first instance occurs at 0:34.)  Note the unexpected placement of this bark, which anticipates the vocal line.  Note also the extent of the sonic contrast of the open and closed hi-hat.   


It leaps out of the track, much like infatuation has leapt up and stung the singer.

Note also the importance of how this move is missing from the verse sections that precede it.  This clearing out of the drum arrangement allows the verse to take on a more reflective mood before the pre-chorus sections perk up, leading to the blossoming of the chorus.

None of it would mean anything were it not for the utterly infectious nature of the simple groove.

I looked without success for the identity of this drummer.  (If anyone has info, please email me.)  Whoever you are, most awesome drummer, a world of listeners thanks you for delivering this song so beautifully.

Thank you for reading.

Festival of Drums — Todd Rundgren

Todd Rundgren.  Image via  goldminemag.com .

Todd Rundgren.  Image via goldminemag.com.


Todd Rundgren played the drums on this track, which is a triumph of roughness.


Notice the radical tempo changes here, the brittleness of the feel.  (Hear how the drum entrance lurches forward.)  All of it is gloriously necessary for the rough and tumble feel of this track.   “If only Rundgren had hired [insert name of some studio pro] to play on this tune” misses the point!  The song’s most faithful expression requires a certain lack of facility. 

Consider the lyrics:

Keep your head and everything will be cool
You didn't have to make me feel like a fool
When I tried to say I feel the way that I do
I want to talk with you
And make it loud and clear
Though you don't care to hear

But couldn't I just tell you the way I feel?
I can't keep it bottled up inside
And could we pretend that it's no big deal
And there's really nothing left to hide?

The song is performed from the perspective of someone out of control, someone who can’t suppress emotions in favor of polished presentation.  So it is with the drumming.

An important question for any instrumentalist trying to bring a piece of music to life: might it be that you are too focused on demonstrating mastery?  What about letting go of "how good am I?" and listening instead to what the music is saying to your heart?

Thank you for reading.

Festival of Drums — Winston Grennan

Winston Grennan.  Image via   www.reggae-vibes.com .

Winston Grennan.  Image via www.reggae-vibes.com.


Reggae maestro Winston Grennan made an art out of sublime surprise.


Note the little moments throughout this performance that crash over us like the wave we hadn’t seen coming.  For instance, the little hi-hat bark at 0:07 and the crash at 0:09.  

What’s wonderful about these surprises is that rather than imposing themselves on the groove, they emerge from it.  Grennan is channeling expression through his drums.  His playing is deeply attuned to the performances around him.  For all of his dexterity, what one hears is more about his humility to the groove.  Without that humility, the sign of true mastery, the song, with all of its funky counterpoint, would not attain the reverent feel necessary for the song to connect with listeners.

Thank you for reading.

Festival of Drums — Roger Palm

Roger Palm.  Image via  themusicofabba.com .

Roger Palm.  Image via themusicofabba.com.


How many drummers have practiced the delicious laziness of grooves such as this?


Other drummers, perhaps eager to impress those who fawn over displays of mechanical mastery, might have rendered this beat with greater insistence—sharper cracks on the snare drum and kick, more clearly defined openings and closings of the hi-hat. 

Roger Palm’s feel here is wonderfully drowsy and thereby evokes the disco-ball dreamscape of the song.  Notice how his snare drum pickups and the hi-hat barks that follow suggest nothing beyond a little gust of air from the disco floor, enough to put a little extra motion into the dancers’ slacks and dresses, enough to make it easier to move. 

How many drummers are content to see the dancers happily in motion?

Updated: 12 PM, May 18, 2015

An interesting twist, brought to my attention by the awesome Lee Rosevere, who reports that this performance is actually a four-bar loop (made with tape because it predates the digital age).  Lee, who was tipped off by a fellow musician and ABBA fan, Jamie Shields, has tested this by laying stretches of the groove over other stretches.  "[the] drums never go out of phase except for minor edits."

And it's easy enough to believe, given the strict repetition of the part.  So let us praise ABBA members Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus for their tape-loop mastery and the drum arrangement created by their edits.

We'll probably never hear the rest of the larger performance from which these precious bars of Roger Palm's groove were lifted.  The few seconds with which we are acquainted ,however, remain beautifully drowsy, punctuated by subtle gusts of emphasis.

Thank you Lee and Jamie.

Thank you Benny and Björn.

And most of all, thank you Roger.

Thank you for reading.

Festival of Drums — James Gadson

James Gadson.  Image via  windandbradford.com .

James Gadson.  Image via windandbradford.com.


Behold, the easy roll of James Gadson’s time. 


In no way does he attempt to impose himself on the song.  Rather, he offers an irresistible foundation upon which the performance is built.  Note the casualness with which he barks his hi-hat barks.  These touches are never over-emphasized.  (Had he over-emphasized them — “Check out my hi-hat barks!”— it would pull listeners out of the spell cast by the groove and the singing.)   

The ease with which Gadson’s groove rolls is crucial, because the arrangement is filled with rhythmic counterpoint and surprise, and yet it remains unassuming.  This is the essence of funk.

And stepping back to take in the entire track, one has the sense of a roomful of musicians channeling their performance up from the ground beneath the studio floor.  All of that comes down to the easiness of Gadson’s generous groove.

Thank you for reading.

Festival of Drums — Andre Fischer


Andre Fischer.  Image via twitter.com.

A great example of a drummer playing the song:


Andre Fischer, one of the great R&B drummers, coaxes the song along by way of his whispering ride cymbal and hi-hat.  These subdivisions are barely present, just audible enough to give the song motion without our attention being drawn away from the vocal performance.  How many drummers practice playing this quietly?  Too few, because a gentle song wants a gentle, even delicate drum groove.  Note how the soft dynamics in no way impede the groove, which is deep from start to finish. 

And then notice how the shift to quarter-note side sticks during the choruses . . .

Oh, sweet thing
Don’t you know you’re my everything 

enhances the sense of elevation, in concert with the rising chord voicings.

No one who pays attention to his drumming can be surprised that Andre Fischer went on to become a Grammy-winning producer.   Indeed, if you listen deeply, you can almost hear him asking himself “What does this song actually need?” before his first stick makes contact.

Thank you for reading.

Festival of Drums — Roger Hawkins

Roger Hawkins.  Image via   photos.dailycamera.com .

Roger Hawkins.  Image via photos.dailycamera.com.

Roger Hawkins never needs to be the main attraction, which is one reason millions of listeners have luxuriated in his sumptuous grooves. 


In addition to the swampy splendor of this groove, note the patience.

Hawkins's groove, modestly rendered through sidesticks on the snare percolates through this song with hardly any variation except for the occasional rim shots that splash up to wonderful effect here and there.  (Had he made this move too frequently, the joy in the surprise would have been lost.) 

His playing reflects enormous trust in the singing and playing that surrounds him.  He introduces no “how did he do that?” moments, but rather, pours out four and a half minutes of generous, groovy bliss, trusting everyone around him to spin it into magic.

What a great recipe for making music.

Thank you for reading.

Festival of Drums — Ed Greene

Ed Greene.  Image via  slama101.fr .

Ed Greene.  Image via slama101.fr.


How many drummers aspire to lay down a groove as well as Ed Greene?  Not nearly enough.


On this track, Ed Greene essentially drives the limousine in which Barry White sits, addressing the listener.  As the driver, Greene is content to remain largely out of sight. He is devoted to giving the smoothest ride possible, aiming only to help White woo his listeners.


— The way Greene’s drums melt into the groove right away.

—That the groove breathes both funkiness and subtlety.  (Indeed, what is funk without subtlety?)

—The many, finely calibrated levels of accents here.

—The ghosted snare notes just before THREE in each bar of four.  Note how crucial it is that they are barely noticeable.  To accent them more would splash a little too much cologne on the groove.  

—How big the drum fills into the choruses feel as a result of the restraint shown elsewhere.

Thank you for reading.

Festival of Drums — Jim Bonfanti

Jim Bonfanti.  Image via  www.ericcarmen.com .

Jim Bonfanti.  Image via www.ericcarmen.com.


I often despair when drummers speak of their favorite fills as demonstrations of mechanical mastery.  “He plays sixes around the toms and then single-handed sixteenths . . .” blah blah blah.

What about rhetorical mastery?  What about putting the drums in conversation with the rest of the band? With the singer? With the song?


That’s exactly what Raspberries drummer Jim Bonfanti does here.  His drumming has something to say, something more than “Look at me!” 

How easily drumming like this can be reduced to a list of moves.  To do so would miss the beauty of Bonfanti’s performance.  He is not inserting pre-fabricated flash into the track, nor is he using his hands and feet to talk about the state of his drumming. 

He is playing with his ears and heart wide open and making bold declarations on behalf of the song, reproducing on the drums the desperate moxie of the song’s chorus. 

I’ll be with you tonight

Thank you for reading.

Festival of Drums — Earl Young

Earl Young.  Image via  www.hdwalls.xyz .

Earl Young.  Image via www.hdwalls.xyz.


How many drummers know how to evoke heartbreak on their kit?  


How many of them know how to make their drums and cymbals express wistful longing?  How many know how to make their tom-toms evoke a heavy heart (instead of a heavy hand)?  How many of them know how to build a groove that will say what the song is supposed to say, always connecting the listeners with the singer’s words and melody? 

How many of them even know Earl Young’s name? 

Far too few.

But millions of listeners around the world have been transported by his sublime drumming.

Thank you for reading.

Festival of Drums — Danny Seraphine

Danny Seraphine.  Image via  imgarcade.com .

Danny Seraphine.  Image via imgarcade.com.


Danny Seraphine, the original drummer for Chicago, is widely and justly praised for his fast hands and steady groove.  He is also under-recognized for his compositional insights.  What makes him so special is not the fact that he can whip off fancy fills; it’s that he plays the right fills, fills that do something for the song.


Here, his fills, which never lose the sense of the drum groove, create the gentle twists and rises in the road over which the song travels.  The sense of motion is created by Terry Kath’s acoutic-guitar strums, and the groove is supported by the entire band.  

Note how Seraphine drops his fills at unexpected places . . .

for example the relaxed anticipated cymbal crashes at 0:13 and 0:16

 and drags some of them out to create drama . . .

for example at 0:19, and then, more dramatically, at the start of the second verse (1:49) and then the sublime tom-tom fireworks that start with the outro (3:03). 

In between all of this, he injects subtle pushes and pulls (for instance, after the first chorus at 1:30).  At all points, one can hear his feel in the filling. Each move he makes gives shape to the song's emotion and carries that feeling forward.  

It's a joy ride with the windows down. 

Thank you for reading.

Endings Part 4 supplement — “Ordinary Pain”

Vocalist Shirley Brewer, who sings the reply at the end of Stevie Wonder's "Ordinary Pain."  Image via  discogs.com .

Vocalist Shirley Brewer, who sings the reply at the end of Stevie Wonder's "Ordinary Pain."  Image via discogs.com.


On first listen, Stevie Wonder’s “Ordinary Pain” might resemble two songs joined together by a brief transition, but indeed it is one song.


The first two and a half minutes speak of the quiet heartbreak of unrequited love. 

When by the phone
In vain you sit
You very soon in your mind realize that it's not just
An ordinary pain in your heart


But with its extended ending, which starts at 2:43, the song suddenly changes singers and perspective.   In the album credits, the main vocal part, sung by Shirley Brewer, is labeled “reply.”  The musical vibe, which shifts to a nastier grind, and words she sings recasts the first part of the song from tender heartbreak to laughable naiveté.


You're just a masochistic fool
Because you knew my love was cruel
You never listened when they said
Don't let that girl go to your head


This unexpected ending suggests where the fantasies of a spurned lover can go.

Thank you for reading.

Endings Part 4 supplement — 2001: A Space Odyssey


Shots of the stargate through which protagonist David Bowman travels in the final minutes of Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey.  Images via www.collativelearning.com and www.sci-fi-o-rama.com.

A newspaper contest—probably the Washington Post Style section—once invited readers to send in alternate film endings that would have changed the history of film.  One of the winning entries said something like, “At the end of 2001: A Space Odyssey, something comprehensible happens.”

Near the end of the film, the film’s protagonist, David Bowman, an astronaut who is investigating a mysterious monolith, is pulled through something of a magic portal, a stargate.  (See the pictures above.) 

Soon after this we see him as an old man, looking up from a bed in an otherworldly chamber.

The ending can dissected in many ways, but Stanley Kubrick, the director, seems not to concern himself with whether his audience can explain what happened.  Instead, having pushed us out through a magic portal, he leaves us drifting through the weightless sensation that whatever awaits us is beyond our understanding.

Thank you for reading.

Endings Part 4 supplement — Magical Portals in Song

Sly and the Family Stone.  Image via   www.factmag.com .

Sly and the Family Stone.  Image via www.factmag.com.


One maxim of story telling is that the best endings feel both inevitable and surprising.  By feeling inevitable, they present something that resembles the workings of the world.  Through surprise, they leap ahead of our expectations.

Song is a narrative form, and sometimes a song takes a final leap that feels like an escape through a magic portal.


The Who’s “Baba O’Riley” makes such a leap.  Three and a half minutes into the track, right when we think the song has finished smashing its way through fields of “teenage wasteland,” the song takes a left turn and never comes back.  In this extended coda, the horizon is wider, the ride is faster and smoother, suggestive of an approach to a shoreline (much like the end of The 400 Blows).


Sly and the Family Stone’s “Stand” also takes a surprising leap at the end.

Just as we begin the third chorus, the song drops into a groove with a funkier edge, and the lyrical refrain “Stand” shifts from a tone of encouragement and affirmation to one of defiant celebration.  Notice how crucial the timing of this shift is.  The radical nature of this coda is partly informed by the sense that it arrived before we were ready.

It’s worth noting that the success of both endings lie in the fact that while they both feel surprising, they also feel inevitable.  Somehow we feel as if we were headed to these endings all along.

Thank you for reading.

Endings Part 4 — Magic Portals

Jean-Pierre Léaud as Antoine Doniel.  Image via   inalonelyplaceencounterswithfilm.wordpress.com .

Jean-Pierre Léaud as Antoine Doniel.  Image via inalonelyplaceencounterswithfilm.wordpress.com.


Francois Truffaut’s The 400 Blows tells the story of young Antoine Doniel (played by Jean-Pierre Léaud), a Parisian boy whose dreams exceed the dreary possibilities at hand. Unloved at home, unsatisfied at school, he acts out and is eventually suspended, arrested, and, near the end of the film, sent to a juvenile prison. 

And then . . . 

Though the film has taken place almost entirely in Paris, this ending, Antoine's escape through the prison fence into the landscape of the seashore, feels both surprising and right.  The scale of Antoine’s freedom and the speed with which he attains it speak of his spirit and the soul-smothering life from which he has emerged. 

It also evokes the fact that sometimes, life provides us with a magic portal.

Thank you for reading.

Endings Part 3 supplement — Ending in the Shadows of the End

J. G. Ballard.  Image via  thequietus.com .

J. G. Ballard.  Image via thequietus.com.


In Frank Stockton’s story “The Lady, Or the Tiger?,” an accused man is brought into an arena and must choose between two doors.  Behind one is a lady, who will be his.  Behind the other is a tiger.  The plot is complicated by the fact that the protagonist’s crime is having loved the king’s daughter, the story’s protagonist.  She sits next to the king.

And not only did she know in which room stood the lady ready to emerge, all blushing and radiant, should her door be opened, but she knew who the lady was. It was one of the fairest and loveliest of the damsels of the court who had been selected as the reward of the accused youth, should he be proved innocent of the crime of aspiring to one so far above him; and the princess hated her.

Her accused lover looks to her for guidance.

Then it was that his quick and anxious glance asked the question: "Which?" It was as plain to her as if he shouted it from where he stood. There was not an instant to be lost. The question was asked in a flash; it must be answered in another.

Her right arm lay on the cushioned parapet before her. She raised her hand, and made a slight, quick movement toward the right. No one but her lover saw her. Every eye but his was fixed on the man in the arena.

He turned, and with a firm and rapid step he walked across the empty space. Every heart stopped beating, every breath was held, every eye was fixed immovably upon that man. Without the slightest hesitation, he went to the door on the right, and opened it.

The story concludes as the narrator puts the question to his readers.

Her decision had been indicated in an instant, but it had been made after days and nights of anguished deliberation. She had known she would be asked, she had decided what she would answer, and, without the slightest hesitation, she had moved her hand to the right.

The question of her decision is one not to be lightly considered, and it is not for me to presume to set myself up as the one person able to answer it. And so I leave it with all of you: Which came out of the opened door,--the lady, or the tiger?

Frank Stockton — “The Lady, Or the Tiger?”

The story leaves us in the shadow of the ending, though the ending is unsure.  The story is freighted with heartbreak, but which type of heartbreak will befall the princess, the death of her lover or his marriage to her rival?

A more certain fate awaits Constantin, the condemned man in J. G. Ballard’s short story “End Game.”  Constantin has been convicted of a crime and sentenced to death, but in this society, death sentences are carried out at an unspecified time.  Constantine lives in a sequestered community with his executioner (his ‘supervisor’), Malek.  The spend their days together.  When Constantin falls briefly sick, Malek helps him recover.  They play chess.  Constantine learns that Malek knows the precise moment at which he is to carry out Constantine’s execution, though Malek will not divulge this information to Constantine, who must go on living never knowing which breath will be his last.

Drawing the lapels of the dressing gown around his chest, Constantin studied the board with a desultory eye.  He noticed that Malek’s move appeared to be the first bad one he had made in all their games together, but he felt too tired to make the most of his opportunity.  His brief speech to Malek, confirming all he believed, now left nothing more to be said.  From now on whatever happened was up to Malek.

“Mr. Constantin.” 

He turned in his chair and, to his surprise, saw the supervisor standing in the doorway, wearing his long gray overcaot.

“Malex—?”  For a moment Constantin felt his heart gallop, and then controlled himself.  “Malek, you’ve agreed at last, you’re going to take me to the Department?”

Malek shook his head, his eyes staring somberly at Contantin.

“Not exactly.  I thought we might look at the garden, Mr. Constantin.  A breath of fresh air, it will do you good.”

“Of course, Malek, it’s kind of you.”  Constantin rose a little unsteadily to his feet, and tightened the cord of his dressing gown.  “Pardon my wild hopes.”  He tried to smile to Malek, but the supervisor sttod impassively by the door, hands in his overcoat pockets, his eyes lowered fractionally from Constantin’s face.

They went out onto the veranda toward the French windows.  Outside the colde morning air whirled in frantic circles around the small stone yard, the leaves spiraling upward into the dark sky.  To Constantin there seemed little point in going out into the garden, but Malek stood behind him, one hand on the latch.

“Malek.”  Something made him turn and face the supervisor.  “You do understand what I mean, when I say I am absolutely innocent.  I know that.”

“Of course, Mr. Constantin.”  The supervisor’s face was relaxed and almost genial.  “I understand.  When you know you are innocent, then you are guilty.”

His hand opened the veranda door onto the whirling leaves.


—The conclusion of "End Game" by J. G. Ballard


Note the sense of a crescendo interrupted.  It suggests both Constantin’s death and the length of each second between now and that fateful moment.

Thank you for reading.

Endings Part 3 supplement — Interruptions

The final shot of  Thelma and Louise .  Image via opentravel.com.

The final shot of Thelma and Louise.  Image via opentravel.com.

Some endings present the sense of ending midair.


The final shot of Thelma & Louise stops with their car in midair. Sure, Thelma and Louise are about to die, but for interrupting this ending to freeze on this last moment of freedom evokes a sense of triumph.


Another example—the end of Finnegans Wake:

Yes. Carry me along, taddy, like you done through the toy fair! If I seen him bearing down on me now under whitespread wings like he'd come from Arkangels, I sink I'd die down over his feet, humbly dumbly, only to washup. Yes, tid. There's where. First. We pass through grass behush the bush to. Whish! A gull. Gulls. Far calls. Coming, far! End here. Us then. Finn, again! Take. Bussoftlhee, mememormee! Till thousendsthee. Lps. The keys to. Given! A way a lone a last a loved a long the

The final lines of Finnegan’s Wake by James Joyce.

Difficult as Joyce's prose may be, one can get a sense of what ending mid-sentence does.  It conveys the sense of motion with a vividness that a concluded thought cannot equal.

Two musical analogs to these include . . .


The razor cut at the end of “I Want You / She’s So Heavy” evokes desperation, and this builds through the lengthy outro.  Interrupting the song brings home the sense that for this singer, everything is beyond his control.


Meshell Ndegeocello’s “Wasted Time” also ends with a hard cut, and this interruption gives weight to the song’s theme.  If time is a precious resource that must not be wasted, it may be gone before we have a chance to ready ourselves.

Thank you for reading.

Endings Part 3 — Ending In Motion

Katharine Ross and Dustin Hoffman as Elaine and Ben in The Graduate.  Image via   quirkyberkeley.com .

Katharine Ross and Dustin Hoffman as Elaine and Ben in The Graduate.  Image via quirkyberkeley.com.


Linear art forms such as music, film, and fiction present pictures of change.  We start at point A and end at point Z.  One interesting twist on this is to end early, at point S, where we are pointed at Z and yet have a ways to go. 

This approach trades away satiation of the audience's expectations and leaves them with an anticipation of those expectations being fulfilled.

At the end of Mike Nichols’s film The Graduate, Benjamin comes to rescue Elaine from the world of their parents and their twisted mores.  Consider that the film could have ended a little later, as they arrive at some destination and perhaps try to have a life together.  Ending in motion by way of the bus ride emphasizes the film’s true theme: liberation.


The end of Good Will Hunting also dwells on escape.  Viewers know Will has decided to go find his former girlfriend Skylar, who lives on the other side of the country.  The film could have ended with Skylar answering her doorbell, finding Will on her front step, and their final kiss.  But the film's actual ending leaves viewers with anticipation of that moment, and this is important because more than he needs Skylar, Will needs to open himself to new possibilities.  This final wide shot of Will’s car disappearing down the highway emphasizes precisely that.  He is in motion as the whole world stretches out in front of him.

Thank you for reading.

Endings 2 supplement — The Truck Driver’s Gear Change

Macy Gray.  Image via   www.hollywoodreporter.com .

Macy Gray.  Image via www.hollywoodreporter.com.


One familiar move in pop music is an upward modulation of key so that the melody may be restated with a sense of increased urgency and reach.  (This move is sometimes referred to as the Truck Driver’s Gear Change because it suggests the climbing of a hill.)


“I Hear a Symphony” by the Supremes contains several such modulations, beginning at the 1:10 mark.  Note how each key change suggests a wider scope.  It is as if we can see more terrain from our higher perch.

Macy Gray’s “I Try” employs a slightly more complex approach.


The song starts in D major.

It changes keys (to F major) for the bridge (at 2:13). 

It returns to the original key for a final pre-chorus (2:38).

And then it steps up (to E-flat major) just before the final chorus.  Note how this elevation of keys occasions an elevation of energy.  As the song modulates upward, Macy Gray’s lead vocal reaches further.  She shouts and talks back to the song, as if she now addresses us from a perch with 360 degree vista.  The elevation of key helps create the sense of an ending that looks both forward and backward.

Thank you for reading.