Usually if I am playing in public, I’m playing jazz on the piano, guitar, or accordion. I hardly ever have to play the exact notes of a piece—especially since there often aren’t exact notes to play, only chord changes. But on April 2, I will be performing a piece of mine called Four Cities with the wonderful violinist Teri Lazar. It is a four-movement suite for violin and piano that I wrote in 1997. It’s about 40 minutes long—and it is hard! I’ve been shedding for this concert for weeks already. I find it somewhat unnerving that Teri, because she is an excellent musician, will be expecting me to play precisely the notes I wrote. It is a reasonable expectation, to be sure. And if I were sitting in the audience, as I usually am when one of my pieces gets played, I would have the same expectation. But the prospect of sitting on the business side of the stage, playing a difficult piano part, and having the soloist fully prepared for me to nail it, is a little frightening. The movements are all named after cities: Fredericksburg, Virginia, where I spent my early years; Hollywood, California, where I’ve worked off and on for decades; Damariscotta, Maine, where my mom’s people are; and Memphis, Tennessee, the throbbing heart of American blues music…and a place I have never been. In some oblique way, this grouping makes perfect sense to me. Each of these places inspired a kind of sonic dreamscape—especially the one I’ve only dreamt about.