With two weeks left to go before I start at Microsoft, I sat down at the piano bench and realized I wouldn’t be able to do that for much longer. Certainly, I won’t have a place large or well-insulated enough to support a piano anytime soon in Seattle. While I didn’t have a piano through university either, my monthly-or-more trips back home allowed me to refresh my memory every so often, a luxury I won’t often have in the future. Piano’s been part of my life for the past 13 years, less so during the past 5, but nonetheless, still there. I’m going to have to find a way to keep some of that muscle memory.
There were so many points along the way that I simply wanted to stop playing, but now that I have little choice but to do so, I’m cringing at the thought. You don’t trulyÂ value something until it’s (almost) gone.
I haven’t written about piano in quite some time, since it’s no longer the huge part of my life it once was. Still, I’m extremely happy I have that skill, and today, I was able to get some great enjoyment out of it.
Watching Gattaca, which is a fantastic movie, I came upon the scene where the ’12-fingered’ pianist plays Schubert’s Impromptu Op. 90 No. 3 in G-flat Major. Loving the gorgeous melodic lines, I decided to have a go at it myself, with merely 10 fingers available to me. 🙂
Listening to and enjoying music gets elevated to a completely different level when one can recreate that music him/herself. For me, I can derive far more enjoyment when I’m playing the piece myself, taking the interpretations on the lines as I see fit and putting my heart and soul into it.
I typically play a few pieces each time I’m home from university, but I practiced this piece for about an hour and a half today, probably the longest I’ve played on end in the entire 5 years of university. I have the first of six pages in good shape.
My eight years of piano have defined a large part of who I am today. The discipline, determination, and possibly intelligence I have can be traced back, at least indirectly, to the things I learned sitting in front of the ivories. Now I get to reap those benefits. Being able to tickle the ivories without embarrassing myself is nice too!
A friend asked me today if I planned on attending any orchestra performances, while I’m in the Seattle area this fall. I didn’t even know if Seattle had an orchestra.
Some digging later, I find myself in the possession of a ticket to see Ben Folds with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra on October 20th. I’m so pumped.
Here’s a bit of background. Back in early high school, on Prince Edward Island, I was introduced to Ben Folds (Five) by a good friend, during a time when listening to punkish/cut-yourself music made one appear as though they were in touch… and so deep. A factor of the time and the age, I’m certain. In any case, the first song I heard, Fred Jones Part 2, was pretty slick (I mean, where was Part 1?!). It’s about a guy who is let go from the job that he’s had for many years at the local paper. It details his last moments at the company. Emotional stuff.
Fast forward to high school graduation: Ben Folds’ Still Fighting It was the graduation song, chosen by our class. I was a pretty big fan of him, loved the piano tunes and all that. Let’s just say, Ben Folds holds a special place in my heart, being the nostalgic that I am.
So, I was justifiably excited when I saw Ben Folds’ name appear in the Seattle Symphony Orchestra schedule. Cue the mystical destiny music. What are the chances I’m to travel half-way across the continent, to the West Coast, only to see the one artist that holds the strongest connection for me back to Prince Edward Island? Well, those odds could probably be calculated (seeing as I’m studying Queuing Theory for ECE 418 right now), but I’d rather not, and leave some of the mystery.
Woo! Ben Folds!
Yeah, yeah so the article’s a couple months old, so I’m really behind the times, but this is the first I’ve heard of a new Coldplay album, Viva La Vida, due out in a month and a half’s time. It will apparently be a departure from the songs that have characterized Coldplay, so I’m not sure if I’ll like it. What can I say? Don’t change a good thing. I certainly hope it doesn’t ruin Coldplay altogether for me…