Kristen looked towards the man who was sitting alone next to a double bass.
Julia, why don’t you talk to my friend Mario on what they are going to play tonight?
Julia nodded and went to Mario.
Kristen sent me to ask what are you playing tonight, said Julia.
She played a trick on you, my friend, said Mario, showing a chair to Julia.
Julia sat and looked straight at his face, her eyes unblinking.
I do not know what we are going to play tonight as any other night, it is a secret.
Julia looked at Mario’s shoes.
Let me tell you the secret, Mario said to Julia.
Wait a minute, I need my friend to hear it, she said and turned over to Gaia who was talking to her mother. After Gaia arrived, Mario spoke again.
Let me tell you both the secret, I suggest you treasure it wisely and use it yourself.
Gaia widened her eyes and looked at Julia.
It may seem not much of a secret if I tell it to two girls at the same time, but only if you pay attention to it you will understand what music is about, Mario said. We do not know where music will take us each night, I have played for over thirty years and still each night I am excited and curious and in a state of wonder. When we play we do not have time to think at what we should play, we are the instruments through which music plays itself. It is not about us, and in particular it is not about any of us individually. It is about listening to what others are playing and following their lead. The secret is that there are no mistakes, every note played by each of us is a lead in the direction the music wants. You may sit here while I try the instrument, but you will need to join the audience when we start.
Walking home from the concert, Gaia mimicked each instrument, gesture by gesture, her voice cracking. Julia was dazed and drunk by all the sounds, she tried to follow the music between the players to little avail. It never stopped long enough for her to catch it. It was a difficult thing to portrait. It was where she had to go to learn.