I am ascending a mountain. At the top of the mountain is an elderly white man wearing a grey/white shamanic robe. The sky, an impossible mixture of night and day. There are torches and ornate stone carvings surrounding him in a circle. I step into the circle to face him. From behind him, a blond woman steps out to face me in the circle. She is of similar age to me. There is barely an inch between us. The old man was waiting for me to ascend the mountain before starting a ceremony.
Was it a marriage?
Was it a sacrifice?
Was it an awakening of two young strangers?
Was I trapped in my own “The Song Remains the Same” dream sequence?
Was there going to be a drum solo?
“Nokturne” has a long and involved history. I won’t be able to write a tenth of it all out in this post. I’ll do my best to remember the development of the song.
When I was a classical guitar student, my teacher, Victor Keremedjiev turned me on to an album by famous classical guitarist Julian Bream called “Nocturnal.” This album featured the piece “Nocturnal After John Dowland” written by composer Benjamin Britten. It also included “Quatre pieces breves” by Frank Martin.
I was floored. Almost immediately, I ordered the sheet music for these compositions and tried to learn them. I eventually got “Quatre pieces” good enough to perform at a recital. Unfortunately, I did not perform “Nocturnal After John Dowland” very well and it was discarded for other guitar studies. It was just out of my ability at that time. Continue reading