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Living in the Music Staff
The piano has always fascinated me. There’s something intriguing about its framework, its sound and its core. In order to fully understand the complexity of a piano, one must lift the cover, but it can be confusing because a labyrinth awaits; it’s hard to believe this maze of mechanisms is wholly responsible for making music: hammers wait to resonate the strings that layer the soundboard, dampers prepare to silence them, yet every component is temporarily paralyzed in a coffin-like case, its dormant sound imprisoned and waiting to be pardoned. At first, it’s hard to relate these morbid images to an instrument of such grace and beauty, but a piano cannot survive alone. It will die in solitary confinement. It needs someone to give it life, to extricate its sounds and end its silent existence. But breaking its silence doesn’t require mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, as wind-instruments do. As a pianist, I’ve learned that breathing life into this instrument, ultimately, requires much more: a soul-mate.
One might say that each unplayed piano has a twin, separated at birth, in human form, also needing release from his/her silence. When a vacant piano is near, this person cannot help but become fixated on the inertia, finding it hard to pry one’s eyes off its idle keys. The gravitation grows as the piano reflects the gaze, a magnetic pull most musicians term the “calling”.
I’ve felt the piano draw me in and, in turn, have reflected the plea, needing to reunite in harmony, to fill the silence. Yet, unlike the piano, my silence is self-inflicted. Creating my own dampers, I timidly fade and hardly acknowledge my harmonious core. Silence is, in fact, a shield that holds me back. But the piano is my salvation - an escape from my reticence and the hammer that sets my chords free. It beckons me to a different dimension, one where my silence is broken but words are not necessary. It is about listening, feeling and expressing. Melodies penetrate my fingertips and I feel the music traveling within me, restoring the strings that are in my soul. The piano channels my revival. It takes the lead, moving my fingers with a new consciousness. Hypnotized, I yield while our instant connection becomes the only reality. We are married melodically, holistically complete, the piano and I.
We will never separate. We have a symbiotic relationship, latching onto each other for survival: we need each other. We do not tolerate each other’s soulful silence. So I continue to live in the music staff, for it is there I find the piano patiently waiting for me. We are harmonious souls: no longer silent, but united, alive and free.