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‘A Character of Quiet’: Music That Speaks To A Sense Of The World Slowing Down


Life right now is a lot of things – unsettled, scary, quiet – rush-hour traffic mostly gone, the thrum of our daily routines suspended. For concert pianist Simone Dinnerstein, that has meant no touring, no concerts. Instead, she has recorded a new album at home during quarantine and chosen music that speaks to a sense of the world slowing down. It’s called “A Character Of Quiet.” And Simone Dinnerstein joins us now from New York.


SIMONE DINNERSTEIN: Thanks for having me.

KELLY: I’m told you gave up piano the first few months of the pandemic. So let me start there. Why?

DINNERSTEIN: Well, I struggled with it. I tried to play. I tried to practice. I thought I should, you know, attempt to learn all sorts of music. But I felt really distanced from music. I felt that, for the first time in my life, music couldn’t really express what I was feeling. And I didn’t feel creative. I just felt frozen. And it seemed meaningless to me to be playing the piano.

KELLY: I can so relate to that. I do not play the piano, but I’m a writer – a journalist, obviously – and I write fiction. And I’ve struggled these last few months, feeling there’s nothing I can write that remotely captures everything going on in the world right now. It sounds like you were in a similar place.

DINNERSTEIN: Yes. Yes. I felt that I couldn’t process what was happening. And music wasn’t getting me any closer to it.

KELLY: So what changed and drew you back to the piano?

DINNERSTEIN: Well, I was having a talk with my friend and producer, Adam Abeshouse. And I said

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