Slip 1

6 August 2012 in Heather

The first time it happens, I am playing Bartok in the sanctuary of the Presbyterian Church on Main Street. The finale of Bartok’s Sonatina is a reeling gypsy dance, and I play it fast and straight, with zip. I slip on four little measures right before the B section, repeating a phrase where there is no repeat written. Like slick cassette tape, my mind folds backwards to the precise spot where a musical loop would be imperceptible. I continue on to the end of the piece without reacting to what is the best of all possible errors. I smile, bow, and return to the pew where my family sits applauding. “Mistake!” my little brother hisses. “Mistake!” I pinch his arm
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Time, Alla Breve

1 August 2012 in Heather

Growing up on a farm meant growing up with chores. Plant the garden. Pull weeds. Pick up rocks, “—but just the ones bigger than a doll’s head; they make it hard for things to grow.” The rhythm of any given day was constant yet varied, and my dad knew it so well that he didn’t even need a watch to measure the passing hours. I remember standing on the tops of his boots, my fingers hooked in his belt-loops. “What time is it,” I asked. He turned his face to the sky, and my personal slice of shadow shifted left. “What time is it!” “It’s 11:30.” With an exasperated half scream, I might then let go, falling fast to the
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Act VI

30 July 2012 in Music

An opera begins long before the curtain goes up and ends long after it has come down. It starts in my imagination, it becomes my life, and it stays part of my life long after I’ve left the opera house. — Maria Callas