She has her back to me as she sits on the bench. She pulls her arms behind her head, elbows pointed
to the sky, as she tugs her hair into a tight bun
. Although I can't see them, I know there are bobby pins
in her lips-I can hear as she speaks to me- You have to promise me you'll be quiet. I know how you are. You'll want to deconstruct the whole process and I won't be able to get anything done. OK?
She can't see me nod, but I'm not saying anything. She hums to herself-barely audible and starts writing little notes on a lined piece of paper on the piano easel. She plays a few notes (her head tilted to one side) and I stifle a laugh, realizing she looks a little like the RCA dog). This continues for an hour or so. Notes are scribbled and then erased-her worn out pencil returned to clenched teeth and then her fingers race over delicate keys: some rolling and fluid, some short and halting. She is putting thoughts into numbers, numbers into lines, lines into stanzas and on and on.
If I were to interrupt, (which I won't) I would comment on how this differs from my writing. When I write-words come out from a thought and exist in a one dimensional place. I may be trying to convey a place or a feeling-but the format is always a finite set of letters and spaces. Lori is working within so many other planes. The sounds of different instruments, -the pacing, the rhythm and the interaction of each piece of the music with the previous portion. She wants it to flow together without redundancy and to interact without a presentation of simplicity. She is working to create a series of sounds that resonante without being jarring (too different) or too cute (cloying). How can so many expectations be met?
She turns around after a while and gives me a smile thanks for being quiet-ready to hear a little?
I do and she obliges. A melody that starts slow and calm (It's the sun coming out behind clouds, she tells me later) then a quicker tempo, then several bursts of energy- low notes to high, then back again. (The wind picking up she gestures with fingers). After about five minutes she stops-sudden. Arms stretching as she stands up.
That's the first half, she says. I need a break.