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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Playing in tune. By John von Daler

                         Unlike flutes or harps or chimes, violins in their original state can sound awful. You have to be taught and to practice for years to make them sound beautiful.

Anyone who listens to music has undoubtedly heard a violin played out of tune and without finesse. At violin concerts the audience has to be assured that it will be in safe hands. I always take it easy, play a sweet and safe introduction so that the listeners can settle back in their seats, relax, and just listen: this violin will not play anything harsh or out of tune.
                You might say that writers can do this too. We all know how ugly words can be, how much harm they can bring about. So when I start my blog or fiction writing I try to ease everybody into the flow. You are in safe hands. Relax. This is not going to hurt. Nothing will be false here.
                I remember going to an organ concert. Of all the great composers played there, Bach dominated because of the clarity of his vision. His works started with a calm and sturdy reassurance to the audience: this is the theme, now relax while I give it the whole treatment. We settled back during the first part and then let ourselves be carried away.

                I have tried to write my book, "Pieces", in that spirit: a clear statement of intentions and themes, no false notes (especially at the beginning!) and a sturdy development of the themes. In my world words and music develop in similar ways; the lessons of music can and should be applied to writing. Hopefully my readers, too, will be taken away to places they never would have reached by themselves. Perhaps the words will even sing a little in their ears afterwords...

Stay in tune.
Buy my book,
Let's play together...

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