When I am writing, composing, or thinking about sound and music the classical composers I grew up playing are my friends. Through their music they are alive and have been with me my whole life. Every morning I wake up and play different composers who come to me in my dreams. Five years ago a group of students heard me playing from another room and asked if they could be in the room when I conversed with a composer. I agreed and it was a positive experience for all of us and I decided to record and share my conversations.
The classical composers were pianists, and when I play their music my hands naturally shape to their hands. I go into trance and have conversations with them while I am playing. My students did me a great service in that they took something that is very private and showed me it could have benefit for them as listeners. The process of playing publicly has helped heal the judgements against improvisation instilled during my classical piano training. I do not make any conscious effort to play in a certain key or harmonic structure. I always have the sheet music in front of me because I believe it is another connection with the composer. I may read it and I may just “take off” and then come back to it at any place my eyes are attracted to.