No spanking tonight but I am still a little choked up over here.
Sorry about the nostalgia but a long strange trip it has been. I studied piano at an early age, my immigrant parents thought it was good for me. I vaguely recall my first piano instructor, a frail septuagenarian, who had an air of decay about her and breath that could gag a maggot.
I had started taking lessons prior to this and for those who still doubt the proofs are taken Carnegie Hall Stage Right and Center. I really don’t know about that second one though.
That is where it all started my ardent desire to master the piano-forte. Aside from brief forays into the study of other instruments guitar, accordion and bassoon in school, yeah I was in the band make something out of it, I always returned to the keyboard. Starting and stopping repeatedly over the years, managing to stay on track for almost two years with an instructor in Southern California.
Today I was taking an afternoon siesta with the dogs, my dreams were pleasant I think and even the fat little dog did not snore. I groggily made my way downstairs and sat down in front of the baby grand that we acquired about 18 months ago. The sheet music on the open on the piano is quite yellow although it started out that way, just more worn.
Opened to “Minuet in G”, you know like in the “Music Man”, La de dah de dah de dah, well my fingers were not cooperating so I turned back the page to a “Sonatina No. 1 in G” both by Ludwig Van. There was a time I could play this at least as well as the small Asian children on You Tube, and how long it took me to master the thing I will not admit. Better but not by much.
Plunking away at some of the tunes I once played badly my left hand started playing a scale, no it was a broken chord, up and down, up and down. That’s not right; I was still a little sleepy so I moved the chord to my right hand and started playing again. That’s more like it, I moved the end notes downward and it was starting to sound familiar. I tried to add the baseline, just a couple of notes and I could almost hear the lyrics in my head. My wife came downstairs and asked if I wanted to eat.
Did you recognize that tune I was attempting to play? She hadn’t heard that much. While eating I could not get that melody out of my head, we finished and cleaned up. I went back to the piano. “Please listen to this” I asked her and tried to pull the tune back together. My wife the consummate musician, music major, her orchestra even played at the Royal Albert Hall for the queen*, said “that’s familiar but you are playing in the wrong key.” What else is new?
Just to be clear this song was never in my eclectic repertoire. I don’t have the sheet music and have never played it before. Just barely remembering the words I did find the song, it’s not a very complicated piece of music but then again I am not a very complicated musician.
As time goes on
Just what you mean
Now that you’re near
Promise your love
That I’ve waited to share
Of our moments together
Color my world with hope of loving you
“Color my world” by Chicago. I think that the Freudians would have had a whole lot of fun with this. But personally I think my subconscious has been sleeping with my wife in the spare bedroom.
Color me poignant.
* It wasn’t her group it was a group of the best university musicians assembled by Purdue University. They toured Europe twice and did a command performance at the palace, Buckingham Palace to be specific.