Man versus Music.
Every month I write an exclusive lore entry for our top-tier Patreon supporters. It gives them extra insight into character histories, world building, and everything lore junkies love to indulge in. For February, I wrote a short story involving Danica’s father and one of his music students. It was meant to showcase what Danica found so admirable about her father at a young age, and how his exemplary behavior made her view musicians with starry eyes (no pun intended). In the middle of writing it, I found myself channeling my own frustrations as a young music student in the voice of Mr. Maris’s pupil.
I love music. It is a part of my very soul. It moves me, inspires me, uplifts or destroys me. A life without music is no life at all. I have a love/hate relationship with playing music, however, because there is a hard limit to my skill that I was never able to overcome as a student.
Music theory destroyed me. The dissection of time signatures, the intricacies of musical keys, and the science of music was too complicated for my math-handicapped brain to handle. I could never remember which notes I had to play sharp or flat in major or minor keys. Any time signature beyond 4/4 was like counting in a different language, and to this day I cannot grasp 6/8 time. Those and so many other factors that are the true craftsmanship of music, where you go from reading notes on a page to truly understanding the medium, eluded me despite my best efforts. I became Salieri looking at Mozart’s Requiem as it was dictated to him and screaming, “Stop, stop! I don’t understand!”
I think that’s why so many of my protagonists over the years have been great with numbers or expert musicians. Instead of strongman or badass scoundrel fantasies, I’ve dreamed of being the type of person who can handle complex numbers or truly understand music. I am forever in admiration of those who grasp what I cannot.