Natasha Solomons is the author of the new novel, The Song of Hartgrove Hall. From her Q & A with Deborah Kalb:
Q: Music plays a big role in The Song of Hartgrove Hall, and serves as a form of communication for some of the characters. Why did you choose music as a main theme in the novel?--Marshal Zeringue
A: I’m a terrible musician and a dodgy singer – and perhaps that’s why I’m so fascinated by musicality in other people. As a writer I’m intrigued by different forms of creativity – I’ve written about painters, sculptors, singers, but this time I wanted to focus on a composer.
I’m really lucky to have a lovely studio in the garden with a gorgeous view of the hill. It rises up out of the fields and I sit and watch as the weather forms above the ridge. As Pooh Bear would say, “it’s my thinking place.”
I wanted to explore a musician’s relationship with the landscape. I draw my inspiration from where I live, and Fox, the curmudgeonly narrator of The Song of Hartgrove Hall, does likewise.
He discovers the theme for his first symphony when he hears the folk songs sung by the local shepherds and labourers. For Fox music is as much part of the landscape as the gorse bushes dotting the hillside.
I also wanted to explore how people...[read on]