VI Milan, Italy 2009
The moment when one strikes the first notes is a colossal happening.
It is where all the dreaming and reluctance ends, and one walks straight into a cold shower.
And spends a couple of years in there.
The notepaper tends to show you its teeth. And smother. It is his cruelest when it is blank, but it is not really easier once something is written on it.
I am quite bad at it; I try to postpone touching the notepaper as long as I can, the jump to the reality is so ghastly.
It is warm in Milan; its people, cafés and museums unfold in harmony, unlike The Last Supper, which is of course sold out, no one gets in. It makes sense to leave, but one stays just in case.
It appears one can sneak in via the exit when people push the automatic doors on their way out. We walk in with no problem, no one notices anything, but then, right when The Last Supper becomes visible, we get pushed back by a co-worker.
I notice a guide outside, an Italian. Something tells me to talk to her in German. When I do, she gives me tickets for free. The Last Supper is pale and faded, more imagination than reality.
That evening, with relative ease, by a square, waiting, I write the very first notes – for scene five.
Coincidentally, that same evening at La Scala, a German couple that is sitting in the loggia are happy to speak German with me. I am a bit reluctant about telling them who I am and what I am doing, but in the end I tell them. They smile incredulously. The lady, herself an opera connoisseur, asks – “do living composers exist?”