Maris Morton writes:The genesis for A Darker Music began during the 1970s when I lived in a WA country town. As president of the local arts promotion group, I was responsible for liaising with the WA Arts Council to arrange visits by various performers; among them was the Arensky Quartet. Up until then I’d been bored by chamber music, but the Arensky’s leader, Graeme Wood, talked about the music in such a way that I began to enjoy it. Another trigger was hearing an acquaintance say that she’d been a violinist in Melbourne before she’d married a well-to-do local farmer, but had given it up because one of her sons had accidentally smashed her violin. She seemed philosophical about it, but I started thinking … I did a great deal of research for A Darker Music. I had to find a way to write about the experience of playing music in a way that would be accessible to non-musicians. I chose classical music because, having survived generations of changing fashions, it has more universal appeal than pop, rock etc. After all, it was the popular music of its day.  Writing about life on a farm interests me. I love the landscape and the changing seasons, and the knowledge that it is the work that farmers do that sustains us all. After living in country WA and knowing many farmers, I believe I can paint a realistic picture of the rural way of life, and the characters it creates.