When Ciaran Carson plays the flute or listens to other musicians, as he tells it, his mind wanders among the turnings of the ever-new variations on the tunes, and also rambles among the memories of other times the music evokes. He's written a rambling book, here, woven of memory and reflection. It does have structure, though, and repetitions, in a canny evocation of the form of traditional music and narrative. The prose is incantatory, often brilliant. I lingered over many pages in sheer pleasure, and found many a touching or hilarious anecdote here. But it expressed best of all a way of thinking about music that I had only half-understood until now.