Music is a mystery to me. How a composer composes. How a musician plays. How an orchestra collaborates.
I was reminded of the mystery today when my husband and I attended the premiere of our friend Paul Zeigler‘s Piano Concerto No. 2 performed by the Baroque Orchestra of New Jersey. The piece was amazing: vibrant, exciting, imaginative. It made me marvel at how Paul was able to compose something so complex–keeping all the melodies and instruments in his head as he invented the piece at this piano.
I wonder if it isn’t that different from writing a novel. Sometimes I have trouble keeping track of the characters and the plot lines, especially as a story grows long and intricate. But then maybe characters are like the instruments of an orchestra, each with his or her own voice, attitude and role. I’ve used various stratagems to keep track of the plot–an outline that I keep updating and periodic surveys of the entire manuscript. But it ain’t easy!