Character Interview: Ari & Halina, Concerto in Chroma Major

Hello, my foxy friends! Today I’d like to introduce you to Halina and Ari, two of the main characters in Naomi Tajedler’s Concerto in Chroma Major, which is out in the world today!


Concerto in Chroma Major CoverIn Concerto in Chroma Major, Alexandra Graff, a Californian living in Paris, is a stained-glass artist whose synesthesia gifts her with the ability to see sounds in the form of color. When she’s commissioned to create glass panels for the new Philharmonie, she forms a special bond with the intriguing Halina Piotrowski, a famous Polish pianist. As their relationship develops, Alexandra shows Halina the beautiful images her music inspires. But when it comes to a lasting future together, will Halina’s fear of roots and commitment stand in the way?



If this sounds like music to your ears (or eyes!), you can pick up a copy on Amazon!

How do the two of you identify? What pronouns should I use for you?

Ari: I identify as a cocklover too fabulous to get lost in the drama of romance. They/them pronouns, dear.

Halina: I identify as a lesbian. I used to think I was aromantic, but maybe I am demiromantic? Or Alexandra-romantic, I guess.

Ari: Dear Lord, give me strength.

Halina: Shush you. And She/her pronouns are fine, thank you for asking.


How did you two meet?

Halina: Three, four years ago, I decided I needed to cut a toxic relationship from my life and I fired my manager.

Ari: Your momager, yep.

Halina: Following the advice of a conductor I knew well, I contacted Saral Bhasin, an artist manager who agreed to manage me and my career.

Ari: That’s when I, an avid music fan, swept in. See, I heard about the whole drama, the coming out, the firing, and since I had just graduated from college in musicology and business admin–

Halina: At 18, may I add.

Ari:–I simply showed up at her hotel to offer my services.

Halina: I was clearly taken aback by this … elf, showing up at my doorstep and telling me they would happily accept any salary as long as they could be my assistant.

Ari: I was cheeky back then.

Halina: Right, “back then”.

Ari: It worked though.

Halina: I can’t really explain it, but I trusted Ari the moment I saw them standing in the hotel hallway in a tuxedo and a bob cut.

Ari: *groans*

Halina: We started off as boss and employee, but working so close deepened the bonds, and now, I know Ari is much more than my personal assistant.

Ari: BFF status!


If you’re in a brand new place you’ve never visited before, what do you look for?

Halina: Well, I’ve never been able to really visit the places I stayed in, up to last year. Now, I take the time to simply take it all in, feel the energies, get a proper taste of the vibrations of the city. A walk around is usually my go to now. It’s really inspiring.

Ari: The food. Always check for what kind of food is available nearby.


If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Ari: Sushis, oh my goodness. Give me raw fish at breakfast, lunch, afternoon snack, dinner …. 24/7 sushificionado here!

Halina: Hm. As much as I love sushis too, I think have to take the Madeleine of Proust way and say pierogis. They’re Polish dumplings (, and I would never grow tired of it.


What’s the first song you remember loving? Why?

Halina: The first song I can remember having good chills from simply listening to it was Bach’s Toccata and Fugue played on an organ. Just … chills.

Ari: Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody at Knebworth Park in 1986. I fell in love with Queen in college, but listening to the live version of it, in that last concert, so raw and passionate, was a revelation.


What is your favorite thing about each other? Why?

Ari: You go first.

Halina: I love their brains.

Ari: … Okay, calm down, zombie.

Halina: No, really! I love how you are able to memorize stuff and put them to good use when the time comes.

Ari: Aww, shucks. My favorite thing about you is how focused you are on not just playing the melody, but on how to interpret it, give it your own spin.


What’s the most important trait to you in a friend or romantic partner?

Halina: I need them to understand what music means for me, so that means for them to have an equally engaging interest in their lives.

Ari: I really don’t let a lot of people in my life, so when I do, I need to know they are as committed to our relationship as I am. I don’t need them to be here 24/7, but I need them to be *here* with me 200%.


What part of your life are you willing to spend more money on for quality?

Ari: Again, I have to go with food!

Halina: Clothing. I have nothing against cheap garments but there is something special about having quality pieces, and quality comes at a price.


What is your biggest pet peeve?

Halina: Misplaced nostalgia. Like, people claiming that it used to be better Before.

Ari: Assumptions. People who think they know, somehow, who I am and what I want without asking.


If you had a burger named after you, what kind of burger would it be, and what would you want to be on it?

Ari: Okay, okay, so. An Ari Burger would be absolutely decadent. Not the kind of burger you could eat all the time, more of a celebratory treat. Toasted buns, sweet mustard with grains, blackened tomato, veal and beef patty with smoked bacon and fried basilic leaves.

Halina: Wow, how am I supposed to go after that?!

Ari: You’re the diva, you’ll find a way.

Halina: Let me think. Hmm–I think i would be an unexpected burger, like a proposition by a great chef, you know? Maybe a bao bun, for more elasticity, with a lamb and garlic patty and a Worcestershire-based sauce.


What do you always keep on you?

Halina: My christening medal. I don’t wear it, but it’s safely kept in my wallet.

Ari: A Statue of Liberty coin.


If you could teach everyone in the world one thing, what would it be?

Halina: Your point of view is only that: a point of view. Not the general truth. Accept it and learn from others.

Ari: There is nothing that cannot be fixed around a good meal.



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