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« Home Song Stories | Main | Ambitions »
Thursday
May202010

sonatine

I still remember the last time my fingers traced over a piano knowing that the keys under them were still in my command. I remember all those performances at random society ladies homes for the Musical Society of Victoria where I had just phoned it in. Like that one time, when my mind was elsewhere when I was playing that Beethoven sonata, and I skipped the development altogether and jumped from exposition straight to the recapitulation. That entire musical chapter of my life, I just completely glossed over. The fact that I had a fucking grand piano in my house since the age of 12 apparently never phased me. Or the fact that my piano teacher's whole family became family friends who, if you can believe it, we had traveled Europe with. Or even the fact that despite my obvious deficiencies, the Music Society ladies kept calling me month after month requesting performances during their recitals, an honour which a more diligent student would have killed for, but I merely winced in annoyance at. The amazing concerts I went to and yawned at. I knew people with far more talent than I, who started playing at a far younger age, and I knew I was never going to be a pianist, for that reason alone it became just child's play. Did I at any stage realise how amazing it was that I had that amount of serious musical education?

I've been thinking about this for a while now. Every time I hear classical music, I realise again and again how charmed my upbringing was in relations to music. It takes a lot of virtuosity to impress my privileged mind. It was not until Elianto, that phenomenal little string quintet I heard in the goddamn subway station that stayed my foot for almost half an hour that I noticed the pain of something missing in my life. I have not touched a piano in a serious way now for about 8 years. Two more and that's about how long I played it altogether. In terms of childhood memories, the piano was a source of pain, even in the later years when I tried to alter my relationship with this instrument I had to strap myself to 2 hours a day, sometimes a lot more, it was too late. Like a bad romance novel, the negative habits had already set their form.

I'd give anything to have a chance to play again, but there really isn't a solution to this problem. Yes there are pianos at studio, but to practice something that's 8 years stale in such a public space horrifies me. Besides, I need to play about 48 hours worth of scales before my fingers would work the way I'd want them to again, and that is just not something that anybody wants to hear. Keyboards are....keyboards. I like a synthesizer as much as the next person but in terms of piano pieces, they take all the musicality out and replace it with a throbbing dance beat.

O woe is me.


A particular favourite of mine to play back in day. And, if I may be as bold to say, I would have kicked the shit out of this guy. (only this piece though, because I loved it so much.)

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