(though not necessarily in that order)

(though not necessarily in that order)

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Pianos, again.

I've got something to say. Not a good thing either.

The piano has become scary again.

It's stupid. The only time I've sat at the piano in the last week has been to singing nonsense songs. Which are generally rather quaint short pieces, with silly words and not difficult piano parts. Where the main thing is sounding like a silly wally. Which I can do, fairly easily.
Earlier today, I wanted to go and sit at the piano. To tentatively place fingers on keys and play something. Anything.
I didn't. I busied myself with other things and it before I knew it, it was time to go out.

I didn't want the disappointment. Or the almost-explosive buzz, if that was what was going to happen. Or the feeling that somehow my poor beloved mellow piano was just an extension of my brain - it has done nothing to deserve that torture....

This evening, I went to a concert. It was fabulous. It was piano music too. Not just any piano, a bright red grand piano. Played by James Rhodes (seriously ace, look him up if you haven't heard of him). His playing gripped me. I felt like I was a speck of dust sitting inside the piano, underneath one of the strings. Involved in the very act of making the music. Even though I was sitting about 30 yards away with a load of chairs and tables and people in the way. Music does that, it suddenly transports me to within it at times. In the way I feel I jump into the mathematical world each day, I pop up in the musical world - it is less of a concious choice (unlike the maths, which feels very much part of my concious way of living, but one I never plan to change) but more choice I'm somehow compelled to make.

I'm frightened of the piano. So many hopes and fears lie in it's 80-odd keys (it is an English piano and doesn't quite have the full 88 keys. I think it has 85 keys, though I may be incorrect and I'm too frightened to go and count). So much rests on that next note I play. If it doesn't feel right, how can I sit at it for long? How can I force myself to play if I can't feel the music? If it feels brilliant, how can I stop myself from overdoing it? How can I force myself to resist it's lure 24/7? I'm frightened it will be a disaster. That this piano monster will eat me as soon as I dare sit on the piano stool. That I'll feel the piano 'knows' too much about me so I can't let it see me again any time soon.

Somewhat at juxtaposition to all I've written above, I have an inbox full of piano related queries waiting to be answered in the morning proper. People wanting me to play for rehearsals, to confirm concert details, to ask what my rates would be for various things. Doesn't exactly help the "I'm a fraud, I'm a mathematician in musicians clothing" type thoughts. I am surely not the best pianist in town, I'm scared of the piano right now. Gritting my teeth and playing for these things (I, realistically, will say yes to most stuff as I need the money. And each event is very likely to lead to more events and I probably need the money to those too....) feels alien and like I've zapped the enjoyment out of the piano. I always said I chose maths because I didn't want to lose the fun from music by studying it too much. Now though, the music has become this huge force I need to fight with.

I was wrote this: clicky about pianos once, hence why this is called "pianos, again". Today, I can hugely appreciate the piano as an instrument, I can sit in awe at the talent of others, but I'm unable to sit at the piano myself. I'm sure like old friends who you can pick up where you left off years ago I'll get to the piano in the next few days.  To not be able to play physically hurts. To be able to play feels like an invisible goal I'm aiming towards - I'm not entirely convinced I'll ever get out of this cycle of love/hate with the piano. It has kept me alive, played such a huge part in my life and I'm unable to mentally cope with that right now.

So, pianos. Can't live comfortably with 'em today, couldn't possibly live without 'em. Just need to get the two sides of me, the "piano is great" and the "run, run away, run from the piano" sides to coincide at "run, run, run towards the piano" now. *sigh*

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