Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Piano Man Name Kvothe

The Name of the Wind (Kingkiller Chronicles, Day 1)The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss is a book about magic and mystery and memories, but it is also a book about music. Intertwined into every chapter is the main character's heritage as a traveling musician.

Kvothe (pronounced 'quothe') lives a pretty rough life, he's poor... dirt poor... and spends a fair amount of his time trying to get his hands on a lute. Just so he can feel the strings vibrating across his fingers.

When he finally does manage to get that lute, he uses it to dig himself out of the poverty that has buried him. He plays on caravans for a ride to the next town, in taverns for food, at inn's for a room to sleep in, but he's good.

Really, really good.
"And we sang! Her voice like burning silver, my voice an echoing answer. Savien sang solid, powerful lines, like branches of a rock-old oak, all the while Aloine was like a nightingale, moving in darting circles around the proud limbs of it.

I was only dimly aware of the audience now, dimly aware of the sweat on my body. I as so deeply in the music that I couldn't have told you where it stopped and my blood began."
"And then it was done... I gathered myself and straightened in my chair to look out at the audience. My silent audience.

Music sounds different to the one who plays it. It is the musician's curse. Even as I sat, the ending I had improvised was fading from my memory. Then came doubt. What if it hadn't been as whole as it had seemed? What if my ending hadn't carried the terrible tragedy of the song to anyone but myself? ...

Then there was a murmur of sobs released and sobs escaping. A sigh of tears. A whisper of bodies slowly becoming no long still.

Then the applause. A roar like leaping flame, like thunder after lightening."
How do you describe the music in a book? What song do you use to portray the life of a roving musician? Well, if you aren't here to find out then I'm not sure what I can do for you. ::wink::

Billy Joel has a pretty good song about bar musicians called The Piano Man.
It's a pretty good crowd for a Saturday,
And the manager gives me a smile
'Cause he knows that it's me they've been coming to see
To forget about life for awhile.
And the piano sounds like a carnival
And the microphone smells like a beer
And they sit at the bar and put bread in my jar
And say "Man, what are you doin' here?"

Sing us a song, you're the piano man
Sing us a song tonight.
Well, we're all in the mood for a melody
And you've got us feelin' alright.
If you haven't read The Name of the Wind I highly recommend it. Especially if you like epic fantasy.

Books: The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
Song: The Piano Man by Billy Joel

Don't forget, tomorrow is Friday Wish-List. So get your posts ready, we want to see what you like!


Cari Hislop said...

I've not actually read the book, but I love the song. The Piano Man has a pathos I could feel even as a child. It expresses the heartfelt hope and despair that every musician and artist feels when forced to sink to the lowest denominator just to have a chance to share their art.

For real musicians making music is their driving passion. They enjoy getting paid, but they'll do it for nothing if they have to because there's a part of them that MUST share their music. It's life or death. They'll starve, spend all their money on better instruments, speakers, a car to carry the instruments in etc just to make music. Is there anything so amazing or healing as hearing music that makes the hair stand on the back of your neck?

Cannwin said...

It's really a strong point in the story. One I enjoyed reading. The main character uses his music to get him through horrendous grief and shock, he spends ever last dime (literally all he owns) just to buy a Lute. He has all these goals for himself that are immediately set aside for the chance to play music.

It's quite powerful.

I love the song too. :)

Jaleh D said...

Another book to my to-read list. I think December is going to be an indulgence of reading. The only fun reading I've done this month is stuff I've read already. (My comfort books)

And that is a fantastic song.


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