Weymouth Center: The Sound of Music
This afternoon, the halls of Boyd House mansion were filled with live piano music written by Spanish composers. I checked my Weymouth program for October and decided the pianist at work in The Great Room on the first floor must be Sue Aceves, scheduled to perform here next week.
[Partial view of The Great Room, Weymouth Center, Boyd House mansion]
This mansion might be expansive, but it’s not soundproof. From the far reaches of the St. Andrews Room near the front of the house, the music seemed to travel directly from the felted mallets meeting strings and into my ears. The room hummed in lively staccatos and low-end legatos. At times, the left and right hand compositions sounded as if they were chasing each other. Other times, the notes conjured dueling lovers, the composition arguing in opposing melodies.
The sounds were bold and sexy, contemporary and enticing. I imagined a Spanish pianist, long, dark hair flowing over a red blouse. Her posture would be perfect, her lips like petals from the Double Knockout Rose in the nearby gardens. I rose from my desk and tiptoed to one of The Great Room’s entrances. There, I saw the real Sue Aceves hard at work: not much taller than the piano itself (from her seated posture), a petite, white-haired woman with rounded shoulders and a humble, ivory sweater. She leaned into the piano as she played, rocking from front to back. She was clearly at work with the music, playing over certain parts and exerting effort at the keys.
[Flowers in The Great Room…just because – WOW!]
The Great Room used to be James and Katharine Boyd’s living room. Here, they entertained esteemed authors. Hemingway confided in Boyd about the woes of too much remote travel. Fitzgerald came and drank too much, but was loved all the same. Thomas Wolfe was here as well, and he was known to let himself in during the middle of the night—discovered asleep on a couch the next morning, knowing he’d be welcome. The authors and other cultural icons wined and dined until it was time to retire to any number of the upstairs bedrooms.
[Hemingway confided in Boyd about too much remote travel. Geez, that sounds familiar!]
After spying on Sue, I danced playfully down the hallways and back to my room, another revision awaiting me at the desk. As I began to write, the bravado of Spanish rhythms pecked their way into my typing and the ghost of Hemingway perched on my shoulders. What a fine afternoon at Weymouth!