I don’t get out much, but last night, Guy took me to the Charlotte Symphony to hear Yo-Yo Ma. Right up front, four rows back, I could see him sweat. More important, I could see his passion. Some of it was stage presence, which I recognized as I do it myself, but when he played, you could see the passion, and it felt good to see it there.
There was a violinist, not the first chair, but the second. She had it too. It probably helped that the piece of music was in my opinion, romantic. Concerto in B Minor for Cello and Orchestra, Op. 104. It seemed I could hear a hint of a gypsy passion there, but I’m not an expert of classical music, so who knows. I might have been projecting, too, as the woman reminded me of fellow author Vicki Pettersson, another person who is passionate about her art.
And that’s what impressed me the most about the experience, apart from the music seeming to be hot-wired into my brain, skipping my ears, and going right to my psyche–The passion. It’s how I work, and I felt at home, recognizing it there. I couldn’t help but wonder if being a musician was like being a writer. Long times alone, dedication to craft, working hours to get one small part right. Your mistakes (typos/sour notes) glaring and obvious. But then I wondered if I wasn’t a musician in the pit, but maybe a composer, seeing as I’m not playing what someone else had made, but creating a balanced piece of work with flow, pacing, and structure from little bits of words. A beginning and end, a story to tell, an emotion to relate, ebb and flow, balance. Maybe my editor is like the conductor, guiding the process, trying to make it appeal to the masses and sound polished–something that the public will feel comfortable with and enjoy–want more of. Maybe you guys are the musicians, playing my words in your head, balancing them against your experiences to get a completely different song than the person next to you.
Maybe I need to shut up now. (laugh)
Get out more. (laugh again)
Anyway, it was a good evening, and I came from it refreshed in a way I had forgotten that music can make me feel. My very first story was inspired by a piece of music. I wonder if I still have it . . . The music, not the story. The story is in my lockbox, all handwritten and messy. Ugly. Beautiful. Passionate.