of her life and times and work. At first I thought that I was just documenting these aspects of Amy Beach with multimedia elements, but I soon learned that the simple act of learning to sing a song that was popular in her day, and a favorite of hers, added a whole new dimension to my understanding of her world. The sappy “Old Dog Tray” that I recorded early on gave me a real sense of the sentimentality and simplicity of Beach’s childhood that I could not otherwise have known; even its high pitch gave me a greater sense of the moods and tastes of people living in 1869, so different from the moods created with today’s bouncy, lower pitched songs. The impacts of including multimedia (animations, music, videos, graphics) in this work of literature will be fodder for endless musings later, I am certain, and I look forward to that time. For now, I just need to keep building Amy Beach and Me and exploring its possibilities.

I do feel it is important to note, for those who will surely be comparing this book to traditional print books, that Amy Beach and Me would be nothing if there were not a story at its core. I have learned through this writing process that storytelling is storytelling - no matter the form in which it manifests. Multimedia may enhance a good story, not make it.

Biographers’ lives have always been influenced by the lives of those they study and write about. By the same token, biographers’ lives and views cannot help but influence their reactions to and observations of the people about whom they write. Traditionally, however, biographers have not been permitted to share these personal and subjective aspects of biograpy with their readers. The emphasis in traditional or academic biograpy writing has been on impersonal objectivity. But now the genre of creative nonfiction has opened a more personal and subjective way of recording history to writers, and the happy recipients of the value of this change are our readers. What a wonderful way to make our research and words relevant to the present by embedding ourselves, the biographers, into the story, the history, we tell.

But a book about Amy Beach, or about me, would not be of particular interest to most readers unless it expanded the stories of our lives to address universal topics of interest and empathy. It would also feel more like hero worship and narcissism if the scope were limited to the details of our lives sans any attempt to put those details in some meaningful context.