While posting the video of this discussion on music—a theme in ATONE FOR THE IVORY CLOUD—I navigated between several layers of meta information. First, as you will see in the video, writing about music is a meta-based endeavor; the reader will never hear the music in the written word, so the writer must evoke the music in the mind of the reader.
Second—this now twice removed—I wanted to give the viewer an overall impression of Allison’s world as a contemporary, albeit young composer. The video mentions twelve living, working composers, all dynamically different from each other. The viewer of the video will see clips of other videos and hear excerpts from the podcast, Composers at Play. Information about information.
A clip from a concert where Mariza was singing Ó Gente da Minha Terra (Ao Vivo) makes the point that “silver notes” coming from the Portuguese guitarra could be described in the context of a moment during that concert. Please view the concert—Mariza’s performance is exquisite.
The Composers At Play Podcast (46 minutes):
The podcast is named, “Writing About Music”. I was delighted to be included in the conversation with a panel of three composers to discuss how to write about music and how to overcome the subjective meaning we attach to words. In a wonderful coincidence, composer, drummer, and academic Jenny Olivia Johnson (listen to Dollar Beers-Redondo Beach ’96) and Christine Chen were in LA just in time to join Sophocles Papavasilopoulos to ponder the role and limits of words describing music. As I suspected, no, hoped, the conversation revealed new approaches for me to take when writing about music or the process of creating it. The takeaway for me was that music, just as in all fiction writing, must be shown, not described. And the only way to do that, since music is not visual, is to show the context and subtext of the scene in which the reader must imagine the music. Here’s the podcast link:
Geoffrey Wells writes about privacy, elephant conservation, cyber trends, and music. And of course, updates on his latest thriller, Atone for the Ivory Cloud.