I’ve been working on an article this week about Peter Turchi‘s new book, A Muse and a Maze: Writing as Puzzle, Mystery and Magic. In it, he collages his own essays with a selection of artworks, quotes and inspirations — and lots of puzzles, including some specially composed for the book. “The goal is to help people think about writing and reading in different ways,” Turchi says.
What’s so interesting to me about A Muse and a Maze is how writing can be informed by other artistic disciplines. “Other narrative forms like film and plays offer pretty direct inspiration,” Turchi says. “Sometimes it can be an artist whose work doesn’t have any obvious relation to mine. … Just the very notion behind them sometimes can be helpful in making me think of some aspect of fiction in a different way.”
With that in mind, I came across this album, Citywalk from the Isolation Studies series by Night’s Bright Colors — the project of my supertalented friend Jason Smith. It’s study of inspiration — music borne of street scenes and sounds. Each track could be a photograph, or a haiku, or a watercolor. And all of those possibilities are somehow compacted into perfect microcosms of moments that expand and contract with the breath and the day, with how light unfurls and moves across the room, with the openness of imagination and the closing of the eyes.
These are songs I could live in and write in. They ask for stories to be written of their distinct worlds — though I’m sure each contains its own nucleus of a story already intact and waiting to be discovered.