The American School in SwitzerlandThe American School in Switzerland
Sparks from Vulcan's Forge

The Percussion Ensemble of the G. Verdi Conservatory of Como performed in the Palmer Center on the evening of April 4 as part of the TASIS Cultural Events Program. Under the guidance of Maestro Paolo Pasqualin, the ensemble comprises the conservatory’s top percussion students. The group plays a varied and multifaceted repertoire and has performed for the opening of the 2017 International Music Fair, the European Opera Days, AFAM Opera, the opening of the ComoNExT technology center, the Teatro Sociale of Como, and the Vatican Radio in Rome.

Art History and Architecture & Design Teacher Mark Aeschliman attended the outstanding performance on April 4 and was inspired to write the poem below.

“Sparks from Vulcan’s Forge”
By Mark Aeschliman

To mimic the water drops on the roof
Or were they hailstones?

True artists aspire to
The freedom of music.
Its purity, its clarity, its resonance.
They’ve trained the sparks from Vulcan’s forge,
Muffled the vibrating bamboo pipes.

They’ve created spaces between pieces
That are not times to talk. And now a
Risk exists of breaking the magic circle
Of shared sound.
Of putting ourselves in front
Of drumming, ringing, sparkling.
But all understand, and all do
Not prevent the flow.
A perfect group of sonorous landscapes
Appear. Now obscured now revealed
Through drifting clouds of sound.

True artists can
Manage silence
As well as noise. From
Music for Pieces of Wood
To trash cans of
Stinkin Garbage.


Recent Posts

FIRST Robotics Championship in Houston

Coach Amy Bloodworth and the inspiring all-female team of Mariaurora Rosso ’24, Maddy Costa Felix ’26, Serafina Ballerini ’26, Olivia Canga ’26, and Diana Xiao ’26 were one of just 108 teams in the world to compete at the 2022 FIRST Championship World Festival in Houston, Texas, over the course of April 20–23. Watch them discuss this journey of a lifetime.

Read More about TASIS Robotics Team Proudly Represents Switzerland at World Festival