Chronicle of a master of time (extract 1)

Once upon a time…

Yes, this was how it all started

Annamaria, Alfredo Capurso’s benevolent sister, was the fairy godmother. She had sensed that I was the right person to write the book he had been dreaming of for some time. She introduced us at her place.

Dreams are often described in this story, perhaps because we were in Rimini, the hometown of Federico Fellini, whose films were often dreamlike and fantasy-filled. And perhaps because recounting dreams was the easiest way of lifting the veil on intimate matters without saying too much.

All I knew about Alfredo was that he was a piano tuner and he lived in London. He knew that I wrote books.

I had played the piano in the past and owned one, so I knew what a tuner did, but all the same I had never understood how complex the job was. And I knew nothing of the musical scale and the equal temperament.

Annamaria had told me that her brother had made an extraordinary discovery but I did not know the nature of it. When Alfredo and I spoke together about the writing project, neither of us knew where it would lead.

In the course of a long walk, he told me about his work and especially the importance of beats. I am not bilingual and that day I thought he was talking to me about buildings where pianos were placed! A misunderstanding which revealed the difficulty of not yet having a common language. He also mentioned waves. In Italian the same word is used to talk about sea waves and sound waves.  Problematic

waves, for some. Enchanting, for him.