20 October 2018


Picked up a new piano piece to learn. Decided that Chilly Gonzales' Overnight was easy enough for rusty me — C Major, common time, few accidentals, lots of white space. Until I sat down and realized the first two counts I had to play was a triplet with grace notes.

Scanning the rest of the sheet music, I find bars with trickier rhythm (sextuplet in one beat! with not one but two grace notes!). Complexity makes it beautiful, beauty makes me want it more.

I've never recorded myself playing, but perhaps I should. It's akin to editing where, appreciating work through a different lens, errors and flashes of brilliance are revealed. Maybe I got something out of those piano lessons after all. Continuing after a mistake (and I committed many here), staying focused (that alarm in the background meant coffee's done brewing), keeping time and listening.

"A poem is never finished, only abandoned." Or is only ever a rehearsal for the next.

In 2011, when I took most of my formal music lessons, I wrote:
The thing about playing the piano is you only enjoy it when in the process of getting it. By the time you're almost there, merely polishing, you're tired of it, you want to move on to a new piece. Learning that last difficult piece makes you excited about learning a more challenging one. The bitter-sweet thing about all this is you never really get there.
And I still feel the same. And that's okay.

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