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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Magic in the Music

It is absolutely fascinating to me that talent manifests itself in so many different ways. There are those who sing like nightingales, others who run like the win or dance with all the grace of an angel. There are people who can speak many languages and solve unbelievably complicated math problems. We have incredible actors, awe-inspiring public speakers, and writers who can make you laugh or cry with little more than ink on a page (the latter is, of course, what I myself strive to be).

But for me, the most mysterious of all talents is musical talent. You are looking at someone who took many a piano lesson, and was never able to bang out more than Mary Had a Little Lamb, and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. I can remember staring at the expanse of black and white keys, thinking that if I just closed my eyes and followed my instincts, I could somehow, magically, create beautiful music.

Unless jarringly discordant notes is your idea of beauty, than yeah—it’s safe to say that that particular theory never panned out. To this day, I am in utter awe of someone who can somehow create music out of thin air. Mozart, Beethoven, heck – even Elton John and Taylor Swift are geniuses if you ask me. But there is one person whose talent truly blows me right out of the water.

Why? Because he is the same person who used to fight with me in the backseat during those interminable road trips to Nana and Papa’s house when we were growing up. Somehow, my own brother, who is about as close to me genetically as just about anyone on earth save our sister, somehow inherited that innate, natural talent that only a true musician can possess.

How is this even possible? Me: two years of lessons = Chopsticks. Andy: No lessons = plays piano, cello, and guitar. And after a few semesters in a college music program a few years ago, not only does he play, he composes.

When I was married, his gift to me and my husband was to compose all of the music for the string quartet we hired for the ceremony. It was wonderfully unique, incredibly beautiful, and wholly us. At the time, I thought it was the single coolest thing that anyone had ever done in the history of mankind. But you know what?

I was wrong.

It was the second coolest thing ever. The first is this: After reading my debut novel, MORE THAN A STRANGER, my brother chose his favorite scene, sat down at the piano, and somehow magically transformed my words to music notes.

How brilliant is that? The resulting song, which was inspired by Evie and Benedict’s first kiss, was so moving, so exquisitely perfect for my beloved hero and heroine and the tone of the scene, that I could do little more than weep when I first heard it.

Today, I am beyond thrilled to share that song with you for the very first time!



(If you enjoyed it, just click the 'download' link above to download your free copy)

So I am dying to know: What did you think?? And I also would love to know what your talent is. Bear in mind that if your talent involves music, I shall be unattractively jealous ;)

Erin Knightley,
Duchess of Delight

PS - Click Here for an excerpt from MORE THAN A STRANGER!

39 comments:

  1. Wow Erin, your brother is talented. That's really pretty. I could of use that last night when I had my break down. Anyways, I have some talents or at I think they are talents. I could be totally wrong and you all just laugh at me. I can play the flute and oboe (that one I think I can its been years since I have picked up one). I can sing or at least that's what people tell me when they tell I should do the church choir. Which they could be telling me a big old whopper.

    If your making a quilt I can tell you what colors work well together. I know that is a talent, because some people are blind. I have a talent to be a friend, not everyone can.

    Other than that I'm not very talented.

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    1. Melody ~ You are so right! There are a ton of people who are blind as far as color and content. Sometimes I see a finished product and think "Who thought that looked good." So if you can save people from making similar mistakes, that is indeed a talent!

      You had a break down last night? Moving is the worst! I'm so sorry, but you will get through it. Just keep moving forward.

      Sending all my positive vibes your direction today!

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    2. Thanks Ava. I needed that. This is my third move and this one I lost it. I have held up pretty well. I think going to San Diego didn't help and the packers come today. I think once all the stuff is packed and loaded I will feel much better. I totally hate this stress feeling.

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    3. Wow Melody - sounds like you are multi-talented! I'd say having the talent to be a friend is pretty darn awesome. That's something that can make all the difference in life - both in yours and in the life of those you befriend.

      As for the color matching, I swear more people are blind to that than aren't!

      And lastly, I'd say that anyone preparing to move halfway across the continent deserves a good breakdown! I hope you're feeling better, and by all means keep the song on hand in case you need some relaxing again soon.

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

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    4. Amen, moving absolutely the most stressful thing to go through. I can commiserate, Melody, as I just moved last November and it was one of the most difficult things I have ever done. It's so hard and if you can get through it without breaking down more than once, than you are extremely talented. I know I broke down at least four times and cried like a baby to my hubby because he had to work and I had to pack everything all by myself. It's so not fun.

      But you're doing great! Just keep putting one foot in front of the other, you'll get there. If we take things one day at a time, it's less overwhelming. Good luck, my multi-talented friend!

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    5. Thanks you guys. I'm so glad I was able to stop on by. I'm doing ok. Last night I was starting to have a panic attack and my husband just thought I was crazy.

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  2. Erin ~ I have no musical talent at all. We could probably make a substandard duo with our piano abilities. My mother used to have a rule growing up - "if you're too sick to go to school, you're too sick to do anything else today."It took her a while to realize I always seemed to come down with something on piano lesson day. But I knew even then that I was awful! ;)

    Andy's song is sooo pretty. It was so sweet of him to do that for you. What an awesome brother!

    My talent - does making snarky (I think witty) comments under my breath in the back of any setting count? No? Ok... well, I guess I'll have to go with what I do the other 15 hours a day and hope that writing stories that move me and hopefully others counts then.

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    1. Ava, I think snarky and witty comments count. Not everyone can be witty, that takes talent. Just to let you know I think your stories are fantastic. The scandalous series is still my favorite and know which is my favorite book cause I'm always talking about it. ; )

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    2. LOL - yes, I think we can count the snark, er, wit! And I agree with Melody - your writing is pretty darn awesome :)

      Thanks so much for the compliment about the song - honestly, it's like my favorite song on earth!

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  3. I *hope* that writing is a talent of mine. LOL. We'll see if anyone else agrees, but that's the one that I'm counting on.

    Other than that? I was in band for six years of junior high and high school. I played percussion. I was never the best, but I didn't put a lot into it, either. I had a bit of natural talent and counted on that to get me by. I've also been told that I have a good singing voice. I rarely let anyone hear it unless they can hear it through the rolled-up windows of my car, though. :)

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    1. Catherine, I do believe that you have a talent for writing. I have read some of your books and they are wonderful.

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    2. *Note to self - force Catherine to sing at RT*
      ;P Writing is clearly a top talent of yours, Catherine! How interesting about the percussion talent - rhythm is something that one must be born with, in my opinion. I know about coasting on that sort of natural talent. I was one of those really good test-takers in school, and I allowed myself to do the minimum amount of work. I wish I would have applied myself better in school! Still, I'm so happy with my life; I make a point to never regret the decisions that led to where I am.

      PS - can't wait to see you at RT!!

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    3. Catherine ~ having rhythm is a talent too. (One I do not possess, btw). So congrats on that!

      AND you know you're an amazing author!

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  4. Erin,

    That was beautiful! How cool that he wrote all the music for your wedding. I hope my talent is writing.

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    1. Thanks, Jane - it just makes me so happy every time I listen to it!

      And yeah, anyone that can keep me reading well into the night like you can definitely has great talent :-)

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  5. Oh I feel your pain. Only my piano lessons lasted eight years. I kept thinking, if I only tried harder, I'd somehow hit that magical point where it all becomes clear.

    Well, I did. And it's clear I'm not a musician. :)

    And I had my best friend from high school showing me up at MY wedding.

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    1. Bwahaha! Yeah, I guess it became clear with me, too, Lorenda! I do wish I could have somehow forced the talent, but it just wasn't in my cards.

      And - do tell - How did your best friend show you up at your wedding??

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  6. Oh my goodness, Erin. Wow. Just wow. What a beautiful gift from your brother. Clearly, talent runs deep in your family.

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    1. Thank you so much, Andris!! Honestly, it's like the only thing on my iPod - well, that and his Nocturnes album. Nothing relaxes me more :)

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  7. Erin, Andy has done it again! His music is always so beautiful. I literally had goosebumps listening. In fact, I'm playing it again now, as I type. :)
    I have a talent for cooking, honed by a few years in culinary school. I know some very complicated recipes, but my best stuff are the dishes in which I just throw ingredients in and adjust to taste. My mother does not have that talent, lol!
    I also can pick up just about anything with my toes. My husband calls them my "monkey toes". They are not long or weird or anything, but they grip well, I guess. I know- that was more info then you ever wanted! I should be on America's Got Talent. Lol....

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    1. Olivia ~ I think the ability to cook and bake is a talent! (And one I know Erin shares too.) So jealous of both of you. My son always sniffs at anything I create myself and tries to dissect it with a fork before deciding if it's worth the chance of crossing his lips.

      If only I could pick up this talent via osmosis by spending time with you and Erin...

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    2. HA!! I totally have monkey toes too!! It is a VERY handy (ha) talent

      And yeah, everything I've ever tasted that you've made is awesomely yummy :) Remember when our waiter asked for a slice of your glorious cake?

      I'm thrilled that you enjoy Andy's music so much - and I know he appreciates it too!

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    3. That cake was amazing! You are crazy talented in the kitchen, Olivia!

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  8. Oh I loved, loved it. The song reminded me of the scene in P&P where Elizabeth is sitting in the swing and time is passing by! It's one of my favorites.

    What a talented and sweet brother you have, Erin!

    As for my talent...Growing up I used to sing in church and competed in show choir. Now I save my singing for the car. :)

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    1. Oh, I love that scene!! Yes, I can't believe how absolutely lovely the piece turned out :)

      *Another note to self: get Marquita in her cups and get her to sing* ;P

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  9. What a great song!

    I miss playing with an orchestra. A long time ago I played the flute and piccolo. I was good because I practiced a lot. It's not the same as people who have natural talent. There was always something missing from my playing. No amount of practice can make up for a natural talent.

    I'm good at making imaginary worlds. I'm not sure I'm as good as describing them on paper. Everything is always so much better in my head. ;)

    I have a talent for collecting hobbies...cross stitch, quilting, rose growing, many more crafty things sitting around collecting dust.

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    1. Hey - that's two flute players we've had here! So cool. And lol- I think our worlds are always seem better in our heads than we can get on paper ;)
      Collecting hobbies - how fun! A little bit of everything means you are a lot bit interesting.
      Thanks so much for stopping by, and I'm so glad you enjoyed the song!

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  10. What a lovely gift--and so much better because it was from your brother! Your whole family is talented, Erin!

    Congrats! Can't wait to read the book and listen to the music together!

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    1. Thanks so much, Deb! You know, I haven't played the song yet while reading the scene - I should totally do that!

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  11. You and your brother are incredibly talented. The music is beautiful and goes perfectly with your book. Some days I think my talent is writing and some days my curse. My biggest talent is my ability to love completely and unquestionably!

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    1. Thanks Julie! I totally agree: I swear the music is a perfect match :) And lol, writing is definitely both a talent AND a curse!!

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  12. I couldn't love it more, it is the absolutely perfect compliment to your book and it makes me feel so peaceful and happy I'm just going to keep playing it on loop!
    I have a genius talent for procrastination:)

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    1. I think that particular talent runs in the family, Kara ;) I swear if there was a lifetime achievement award for procrastination, I'd have it in the bag!

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  13. Aww I've said a dozen times or so already, how talented your brother is. I have to say I have become a big fan of his. He's brilliant!

    Both of you are! And I absolutely love that he made this for you after reading your story. That is possibly the sweetest thing I have ever heard.

    I've never wanted to do anything other than write, so I think that's my only talent. Other than being a gamer girl lol. I can totally stomp guy's butts in video games and enjoy doing it very much LOL. Okay so it's not really a talent but it certainly is fun. Other than that, I don't think I have another talent but I'm okay with that. And I know that I have absolutely zero music talent. I'd probably scare all the squirrels away for miles around if I tried. So we just won't go there and I'll save everybody's ears from cracking. But I have a love of music. I've always believed music is an expression of the soul and I am fascinated by anyone who can play or sing. I wish I could play but alas, it just wasn't in the cards for me.

    Beautiful song for a beautiful story. I love it! And thanks for sharing it with your readers. it's an incredible gift in more than one way.

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    1. You're just so sweet, Suzie :-) I'll have to let Andy know that he has a fan!
      I'd say you have quite a talent for determination. Over the years your writing has gotten leaps and bounds better to the point where its just plain amazing now. All the hard work you put in to get to that point is amazing. You should be very proud, my dear!

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    2. LOL thanks! My hubby doesn't call that talent, he calls it just plain bull-headed stubborn. =D He may be right, though lol. You're a doll for saying that. I can't tell you how much I've learned over the last four years? I think since I've been in this group. I've learned more here than anywhere else I can tell you that. You ladies are all super talented, it was easy to learn from you all!

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  14. Thanks so much for sharing this, Erin! I think it's a completely unique concept for a romance novel to have its own theme--and ho fortunate that you have such a talented brother, who's willing to oblige! :)

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  15. Oh wow, that song was beautiful. How inspiring. Well, writing is my passion but I love music as well. I played the violin as a child and stuck with it (poorly, however) until adulthood, and then taught myself the guitar which helped my vocals just a tiny :) There are so many beautiful voices out there, sometimes I just want to cry because they're so moving. I love the piano, too. Always wanted to play but I haven't ever gotten around to it. One day, maybe. Thanks for sharing the song with us.

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    1. Oh, I'm so glad you liked it! Especially since you seem to have a bit of musical talent :) And truly, the human voice is one of the most amazing instruments out there, don't you agree?

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

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