Music from My Mother's Piano
I have been recording some new pieces, and new improvisations, on my Mother's 1970 Yamaha grand piano, the piano I grew up with, and spent many hours playing, and studying to play piano, since I was a boy. The piano will eventually leave the house, and travel to Europe, where my sister and her husband live. I'd keep it if I had room for it. My brother in law is also a professional musician, so it will be well-loved.
Meantime, I am recording new pieces on the piano. I will be recording more. I am also making many new photographs of the piano, as memories, and as elements for future art, collages, etc.
Here's a sampling:
Rain, with rain
3 May 2008. I recorded two new piano improvs last night. It took awhile to get set up, but I did what I wanted to do. One of the new pieces is self-confident, and already on the podcast: midnight wing. The other piece was a bit tentative, but there’s something really good about it; I might try to record that one again. I have finally set up the mics and mixer by the piano, where I will leave them set up at least for a day or two, while I record as much as I can before Pam arrives. It is quieter late at night, but I don’t mind the right kind of ambient noise, if it’s birds or rain instead of traffic sounds.
the essential has remained. it remains
4 May 2008. It’s late at night. I just finished recording on piano the piece that I had begun to compose and record a few nights ago, that was tentative then, but is done now. Tonight I played it the best I am able. I am tempted to call it Requiem, but what I did instead was look for a line from one of my favorite poets, one who has given me many lines as titles for music: Odysseas Elytis. There is a line in his 1979 Nobel Prize for Literature acceptance speech: . . . the essential has remained. It remains. That is the title. It is a piece that is in memoriam for my parents. I just finished rendering it, and am posting it to the podcast. This is the first, best music I can make, for now, for the memory of my parents. It is as close as I can come to those unnamable feelings that have been lurking around the edges. It is the best I can do, for now. I may re-record it at another time.
A recently discovered photo of me playing this piano in my teens; probably from the early 1970s