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Embouchure

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267 pages4 hours

Summary

When famous musician, Aimee Hamsun, receives a late night phone call from her brother, her world is thrown into turmoil. The person she loves the most - her grandmother - has been seriously ill for some time and may not live to the next morning. Aimee decides to endure an overnight drive in her beloved car instead of waiting for an early morning flight.
Driven by her anxiety and insomnia it seems an easier way to soak up the dreaded ‘waiting’ time. Along the way, Aimee reflects over the episodic summary of her life. Certain moments are brought to life from her extensive memory bank to highlight, ponder and ruminate over the pivotal events and people that have shaped her into the person she has become.
It is not always a pleasant recollection nor is it necessarily an accurate depiction of her life, but the intensity and desire to strive for her own brand of perfection creates a tumultuous and demanding mosaic of memory, regret and at times failure.
Aimee takes the reader to where it all began - a small shed in the backyard of her uncle and aunt’s house, on a blisteringly hot day while twenty or so crazy Norwegians celebrated a birthday. Aimee and her grandmother discover a dis-used piano covered in dust and magazines. When Aimee walks out of that shed she is changed forever and thus begins a lifelong love of musical discovery instigated by a series of squeaky un-tuned black and white keys.
Aimee explores the musical process, the difficulties of getting a Band together, of recording and touring involving the people who are there to support and guide her - Aimee is no shrinking violet - she demands a lot of herself and the people around her - which is not always a harmonious mix.
There are people along the way she includes in her inner circle - Adam the solid guitarist and trusty lieutenant, Siobhan the fiery warm love of her life and her manager, Michael whose volatile working relationship burns at the edges but as well guides her into the successful musician she has become, but central to everything in her life has been Isa, her grandmother.
With the encroaching pressure of reaching her destination in time, Aimee’s inner most dreams and fears are presented centre stage. She desperately searches for some sort of resolution, but after a mid-journey stop she experiences wave after wave of deep intense emotions crashing over her.
Music is Aimee’s life - it is more than just a vocation. She determines success or failure only in terms of her view of the music. There is no quarter given to compromise and the people she meets along her journey are given a choice - are you in or not?
Will she get to the hospital in time, only time will tell?

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