Saturday, July 10, 2010

It's Just Like Riding a Bicycle... NOT!

When I first opened this blog while still living in Montana, I primarily intended it to be about all things art and writing as they relate to my life, both professionally and personally. However, those of you who follow me elsewhere -- Facebook, Twitter, or LiveJournal to name just a couple of examples -- already realize that since then, I've made a relatively unplanned move back to Northern California where I'm from. This very conveniently puts me back in contact with my beloved musical instruments, allowing me to once again include music as part of the mix.

I've played piano for the better part of my life. In fact, I started playing so early that it's difficult for me to remember a day when I didn't know how to play Beethoven, Mozart, and Bach... and later on, also Tori Amos, Fiona Apple, and so forth. However, after I moved away from my mother's house where my piano originally lived, I unfortunately had no real space to put said piano, meaning I simply learned to live without it. Then I moved away from California to Connecticut and later to Montana which put me out of contact with musical instruments altogether for a while. The result? Really going a long time without playing anything and falling ridiculously out of practice.

Naturally, one of the first things I considered after making plans to move back to California was the opportunity to get back on the ball with my piano, as well as my violin which I picked up right before moving away in the first place. I hoped the ability to spew out golden tunes the way I once did would come right back to me with little coaxing. Boy, was I wrong.

Let me tell you right now that playing the piano is not at all like riding a bike. You do forget how and retrieving the know-how is not at all easy. I sat down to play a little on my first day here and could barely remember how to read the music, let alone play anything at a listenable level. It was kind of scary, really. I could tell that my old skill was still under there somewhere though... buried, but present.

Earlier today I decided to give it another try. It was pretty tough going at first, but eventually my mind did kind of start to recall how to make the piano produce a passable tune. Then there was this total moment of clarity that practically made me wet my pants. I opened one of my classical books to Handel's Sarabande and wound up recalling it completely and playing it... well... perfectly. Of course, that didn't happen when I tried to reproduce the event for Seth's listening pleasure later, but I was still pretty thrilled.

For the first time in a while, I felt like I might be able to justify calling myself a musician again at some point. My ultimate goal, if you really must know it, is to successfully write and record some of my own music at some point. Not necessarily for big money or anything, but just because. In case you haven't noticed, I like to share so much of what I create. I couldn't imagine not sharing any kind of music I ever wrote the same way I share my writing and artwork. It will be a while before I'm there, of course. However, it feels so good to be playing music again. It's like a little piece of my soul that's been missing for a long time is finally back in place.