Tonight I happened to be sitting in a quiet corner of my studio listening to Robert Shaw’s recording of the Rachmaninoff Vespers when I was simply overwhelmed by its beauty. Words fail me as I try to explain the way this music moved me. When this happens the verbal part of my brain just seems to simply seize up in a momentary coma-like state until a particular musical moment passes. This shifting of my mind into and out of this mode of awareness must be an ongoing, normal part of my every day experience as a musician, but I don’t think I noticed it much until very recently. The “coma-like” bit can be pretty inconvenient if it occurs at socially awkward times, but most people who know me well are not terribly alarmed if I go “vacant” from time to time. I once had an assistant who would ask me where I went during these episodes. When my answer failed to satisfy her curiosity, she followed up by asking if I was earning frequent flyer miles in the process.