Barred Window Chords
The Music of Erich Zann by H.P. Lovecraft
A couple of days ago I found the urge to do an illustration featuring violin. Mostly because violin takes up a nice chunk of my time these days. So I racked my brain to think of something I've read that included a violin, and I remembered a wonderful short story by Lovecraft that I lit upon when pouring over a collection of his works.
The story is only about ten or so pages long, so it is hard to explain the booksketch without giving away major points. But I'll try my best not to ruin the story for you, should you want to read it.
A university student in a European city finds a cheap apartment on a strange little street. He meets another one of the residents, a lean, bent old man named Erich Zann, who plays violin in a small cheap theater orchestra nearby during the day and cranks out some eerie/mystifying notes at night.
The student is intrigued and eventually befriends Erich. One evening he gets invited in to Erich's room for a bit. The conversation stops as a distant musical note enters from the curtained window. Erich Zann immediately zones out and breaks out his violin, as if to compete with the approaching ghostly music.
I'm going to stop there. Lovecraft considered this amongst his favorite works produced, and I can see why. While many of his works tend to go overboard in ghastly detail of supernatural (and just plain other-wordly) creatures, The Music of Erich Zann is more subtle, and it strikes an especially eerie note. No pun intended. Ok, maybe a little one.
The illustration above is of Zann playing feverishly to fend off what waits outside his window.