Beyond the Veil
I fill her dreams with music. Violins shimmer above a velvety clarinet and throaty flute. The two woodwinds pulsate and throb with longing, finally opening into an English horn of unbearable sweetness. The cellos bring warmth to each lingering echo.
I watch her closely. She awakens, throws back the covers in excitement, reaches for the staff paper and pencil she keeps by her bed. She switches on the bedside lamp and begins to furiously write down what she is hearing. All her years of training and her passion for music have led to this sublime moment.
She’s the one. Amanda.
When I was a young girl, I took my compositions to teachers who simply scoffed, without even looking at them. “Women can’t be composers, Anna,” I heard everywhere. In the end, I chose an early death, to write my music on a different plane. For centuries now, I’ve scoured the planet for a woman who can bring that music to life. I haunted the finest music schools, sat in on lessons and performances, narrowed my field of candidates to a select few.
Tonight, I have found the right woman.
Amanda is determined to be a successful conductor in a world still dominated by men. Next month she will audition for Principal Conductor of a new, very promising orchestra. Over the course of three long afternoons, she will conduct rehearsals of Beethoven, Ravel and Stravinsky. On the fourth and final afternoon, she will introduce the performers to a newly-composed piece of her choosing. I can tell that the piece she is now hearing will be the centerpiece of that fourth afternoon.
I’m transfixed, imagining my music finally being played by living, breathing human beings.
And now Amanda has finished the transcription. I whisper the title in her ear as she draws the final double bar line.
“Only a woman could have written this,” she says, searching the dark corners for any sight of me. “I don’t know who or what you are, but this music is miraculous.”
I feel something I’ve never felt before. I think it’s called happiness.