THE FLYING COUCH
The Flying Couch is a chapter, and several scenes in, "All The Light We Cannot See." As I read the first time Marie-Laure and her Uncle Etienne play "flying couch," inklings of this song came to me in my head. It's the first time I read something, imagined a song, and translated it to a piece.
Other evenings they play Flying Couch. They climb onto the davenport and sit side by side, and Etienne says, “Where to tonight, mademoiselle?”
“The jungle!” Or: “Tahiti!” Or: “Mozambique!”
“Oh, it’s a long journey this time,” Etienne will say in an entirely new voice, smooth, velvety, a conductor’s drawl. “That’s the Atlantic Ocean far below, it’s shining under the moonlight, can you smell it? Feel how cold it is up here? Feel the wind in your hair?”
“Where are we now, Uncle?”
“We’re in Borneo, can’t you tell? We’re skimming the treetops now, big leaves are glimmering below us, and there are coffee bushes over there, smell them?” and Marie-Laure will indeed smell something, whether because her uncle is passing coffee grounds beneath her nose, or because they really are flying over the coffee trees of Borneo, she does not want to decide.
They visit Scotland, New York City, Santiago. More than once they put on winter coats and visit the moon. “Can’t you feel how lightweight we are, Marie? You can move by hardly twitching a muscle!” He sets her in his wheeled desk chair and pants as he whirls her in circles until she cannot laugh anymore for the pain of it.
“Here, try some nice fresh moon flesh,” he says, and into her mouth goes something that tastes a lot like cheese. Always at the end they sit side by side again and pound the cushions, and slowly the room rematerializes around them. “Ah,” he says, more quietly, his accent fading, the faintest touch of dread returning to his voice, “Here we are. Home.”
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
A LITTLE BIT OF SNOW
RUNAWAY (Version 1)
THIS OLD HOUSE
TO EXPLORE IN THE SNOW
The first piano song I ever wrote, and the one that got me to buy a piano.