Chronicle of a master of time (extract 2)

My ambition, to measure myself against the masters of the ancient world or the Renaissance, and to state that my system solved what no-one had managed to clarify in more than two thousand years, was an enormous challenge. But the results I obtained when tuning pianos amazed me. They were recognised by concert pianists too and had earned me a special reputation. I believed that the mystery that I’d solved in practical terms could be expressed in an equation. Now, with hindsight, I realise the audacity of this ambition. But then the musical richness of the pianos I tuned was so powerful that I felt the need to share my pleasure with others. […]

[…] I stripped myself of everything that could weigh on my body and spirit. Just like a monk retreating under a vow of silence to life in a monastery, dedicated to prayer and dialogue with the divine entity he proffered his faith to, I allowed myself to be transported by the higher concept of music.  Certain gestures enabled me to find my way back to this secret other place where sound laid down the guiding principles and where nothing counted aside from the harmony of the notes that continued to amaze me. In the same way genuflection and psalms enable a monk to enter into religious rapture, I gave myself up to my own ritual which detached me from the real.

At times, when emerging from this second world, I wondered how to explain it.  I thought of annihilation or extinction, in the Buddhist sense of Nirvana, and I also found myself thinking of Orpheus, with his lyre, descending to the underworld to reclaim his wife Eurydice. His exquisite music had convinced Hades and Persephone to give him a gift, to return to him the young woman who had been snatched away from him on the day of their union. My interpretation of the myth of Orpheus was that art gave supreme meaning to life. This story fascinated me because it showed the absolute power of beauty.