A preview of Chapter II! I’m almost done editing the rest of it. When I finish, it’ll be posted right after Chapter I on LJ and FF! I’ll also be posting pictures of the story locations as well as links to the songs our characters will be playing on my page. Just go to my Tumblr profile and look for “The Soloist” under my bio, and enjoy! Cheers!
The Soloist - Chapter II
Mozart: Piano Sonata #11 In A, K 331, “Turkish March” - 3. Rondo Alla Turca
It is quite difficult to describe musicality – true musicality – to a person who is not a musician. The processes of the mind that only occur during performance are possibly some of the most mysterious aspects of the brain’s inner workings, and yet, there was a small part of Blaine that didn’t want to understand them. Breaking down a beautiful thing, dissecting it into pieces so that it can be analyzed, understood, often makes the thing less beautiful.
So it was with Blaine’s performance – by memory – of Mozart’s eleventh Sonata “Rondo Alla Turca” on his very first day with the Valiance Chamber Orchestra. He touched the first note, and from there, his fingers sped, but his heart and mind sped even faster.
Ring three four thumb, ring three four thumb, ring three four thumb. Three notes twice. Trill two three four, trill two three four, trill two three four five. Repeat.
He could feel his heart beating in his ears, keeping in time with the music…
Major lift, major drop. Repeat. Minor lift, minor drop. Repeat.
Seconds before he had started playing, he had been aware that he was starting to sweat, that he had an itch at the back of his neck, that his new shoes would inhibit his ability to use the sustain pedal. Now, the only vestibular senses he had at all were for his two wrists, his two hands, his ten fingers, and his right foot which, despite his earlier (and rather irrational) concern about his new shoes, was performing its part well.
Ring three four thumb, ring three four thumb, ring three four thumb. Take it down, take it down, aaand… refrain.
He had reached the refrain. The part he knew better than the backs of his two hands which, despite that ever-mysterious lapse in mental processes that all musicians experience at some point during any given performance, continued playing. Not a wrong note was hit. Not a beat was missed. And Blaine was just watching. Watching his hands play.
I could stop if I wanted, he mused, watching his hands go, go, go… repeat the verse, the ring two three four again, again… and go back into the refrain… I’m in control of my hands. They’re moving because I’m making them move. They’re touching the notes I want them to touch. I could hit a wrong note. I might forget what comes next. Oh God, what comes next… right, right, up up up, then down down down… then repeat. Then bumble bee again… then back to the beginning…
Muscle memory, that’s what it was. Regardless of whether or not Blaine’s mind had been blank or repeating major lift, major drop, minor lift, minor drop, if he had wanted to pound out Mozart’s eleventh Sonata, his hands would have. Blaine knew this, because the same thing happened every time he put his hands to the keys: his mind guided him for the first several measures, instructing his hands, and then… nothing. His mind went somewhere else, but his hands pressed on.
And then, at the very end, when his heart had reached a dangerous rate and he was starting to think Oh God, I’m so close, but it doesn’t mean anything, I could still hit a wrong note, I have twelve measures to screw this up, his mind stepped back in.
Offset the double notes, offset the double notes, three trills and quiet, quiet, quiet, double notes in unison, double notes in unison, up down, up down, up down up down up down, and, DONE.