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After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.–Aldous Huxley

I’ve performed in a variety of situations in the past: formal and informal; solo and in an orchestra or band; singing, playing piano, playing violin, and a combination of the first two (I’ve not tried the latter two, but I suspect it would be difficult). Over the years, I’ve realised that hard practice is not the key to doing a flawless performance. It also lies in rejecting the audience as a group of individuals, in rejecting the audience as a sentient being with thoughts and feelings. The audience exists; I cannot make them go away. But I can set them aside; they are unimportant. What the audience thinks about my performance is unimportant. How they feel about it is unimportant. All that matters–as conceited as it might seem, it’s true–is me.

As a result, one of the last things on my mind is how the audience is interpreting my performance, but often I forget that music is as much a communication medium as an artform. It is the one true universal language–it can express emotions, places, even whole stories. Music is not just a bunch of black dots on a page, or a sequence of different chords; it is the unspoken message that I, as a musician, do my best to convey on my instrument. The actual notes are just for guidance. Playing music is actually much like writing a novel over and over again: the story never changes, but how it’s written definitely does.

This issue’s theme also pertains to the written word–messages and memoranda–and in Notes, we present stories and poetry from both sides of the coin, as well as an author interview. Somewhere in this cacophony of sounds and words, we hope you find a story or poem that speaks to you, personally. We would like to thank all our guest writers for their wonderful contributions, and, as always, you, our readers. Our next issue will be released in March, 2008, with the theme Dream & Memory. All submissions that fit the theme are welcome for consideration; please view our submissions page for guidelines.

In the meantime, we hope you enjoy our Notes.

— Francesca Leung, Senior Poetry Editor


© 2007, Francesca Leung

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