Abigail – A Musical Horror Story
by Julian Maurice Moore
Abigail Ambrose didn’t just hear music – she saw it too.
Music was a companion that danced with her, held her, whispered to her and sometimes told her things…
Several sharp knocks in rapid succession. ‘Five minutes’.
Abigail’s thoughts paused briefly at the the top end of the piano keyboard but her fingers made the descent without her; the phrase, unaware of a break in continuity, flocked to the centre ground where it regrouped and reformed. The blistering Scherzo of Chopin’s Third Piano Sonata was akin to conducting a flight of migratory starlings, their form as likely to disperse during a lapse of concentration as collapse from too strong a grip. They needed the precise amount of freedom, and Abigail reeled them in repeatedly as she built their strength for each ascent. Phrasings, calls to arms and pencil markings choked the space between the staves yet the music, pulled from its cage, danced happily at Abigail’s fingertips leaving the notes of the manuscript largely ignored; their interpretation complete, now simple shadows on the path towards effortlessness. After a final flurry of activity the swarm was contained in the lower depths of the instrument where, after a brief struggle, it was hammered down with an abrupt yet decisive burial. Poised like a triumphant mantis, Abigail basked in the work’s final echoes before revealing a canvas of silence; that of a blue, clear sky…
Abigail – Coming 2017
Enter Abigail’s World…
It wasn't that she simply heard a note and saw a colour, or that a melody appeared as an undulating shape; she had a connection that was altogether deeper, more personal and alive. Music was a companion that danced with her, held her, whispered to her and sometimes told her things. More than a simple stimulation of the senses it was a gateway to a world of harmony whose structures rose spontaneously from the movement of air, in whose counterpoint the simplest of notes held secrets.
She was hunched and wrinkly and smelled of flowers, but more an out of date potpourri; musky and old smelling. A thousand lines criss-crossed her face and sagging jawline yet her eyes were sharp, her ear was good and her disspasionate nature made students try that much harder for that rarest of gifts; praise. Immune to the bright glare of talent she had a clarity of vision that could lead the assault on the most complex of pieces and although her pupils often perished on the battlefield they always came back for more.