zondag, december 17, 2006

Happy Birthday . . .

Something only the people who have known me for a long time know is that I used to play the piano. And cello. And the sax. And even the trumpet for a very short while. I started with the piano when I was probably around 4 years old. My paternal grandmother was a music teacher. Her lessons were painful in a way that only those of us who were genetically related could understand. I was the only one in my immediate family who survived them with anything close to a great love for music. I quit playing for a number of years when I was on the boat and didn't have access to a piano, but wherever I was, I always knew where I could find a piano to play.

I took it up again after I moved back to the Midwest in the mid-80s. I played in a couple of bands and toured around a bit. It was all too loud, though, so I eventually quit and went back to college to study.

My Dad was also a musician. He played trombone in college, and later sang in a babershop quartet. I loved going to sleep at night while they were practicing. The music was good - mainly because they loved it so much. And there was always laughter along with it.

After I started serious study, I think I lost a little of my love for playing. I was so critical of my playing that it was difficult to enjoy it much. By the time I graduated, I was a fine player, but what my grandmother didn't kill, the structure of a university education in music did. So I drifted away from playing.

Still, I always had a piano after that, but none of them were very good. Because they weren't good, I played even less.

When I came to live here, I didn't bring a piano with me. And I never missed it too much. As always, I spied some pianos I could have played, but I never played them.

Recently, that started to change. I let Ian know that at some point - maybe after I sold my house in the U.S. - I wanted to get a decent piano.

A week or so ago I had a BIG birthday. And I got one of my presents a little early. Behind my back, Ian lobbied my friends to help out in getting me something really memorable to mark the day. And they responded.

In our garden room, we now have a really wonderful instrument.

The tone and action is really wonderful. I've been playing a couple of hours a day - the first time I've done that since I seriously studied. I'm still a bit rusty, but it's amazing how quickly it returns. And I'm really enjoying it. I explained to Ian that it's like seeing a friend you haven't seen form many, many years. Suddenly, all you want to do is catch up.

I notice I'm playing things differently now. My ear is different. I'm different. Because of that, what I play is different. It's interesting.

Anyway, I hope those of you who contributed will have a chance to visit. If you do, and you have the time, I'll play you to sleep at least once.

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Blogger JMarcus said...

Hey Scott,
Didn't realize this was where I got to post a comment and sent an email instead. Yours is the first blog I've posted to, and I just opened the google account. I can just see how happy you are!
Congrats on the piano. I remember when you practiced for hours in Carmel Valley.
I have Mom's piano and don't play it at all. Then again, I didn't study as long as you did and I certainly didn't practice. Enjoy it for a very long time

10:43 p.m.  

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