Laying down and listening to music, and doing nothing else, is honestly one of the best feelings ever. An even better feeling when you share the moment with another person. I felt that today whilst listening to a mixtape I had made my best friend, for Christmas, with him.
But no, the love of my life – at least for now – is not that person, or any person as a matter of fact.
In this mixtape, I had included a Piano piece, the first piece my best friend had heard me play (sort of) – a piece that has always meant so much to me. What I hadn’t noticed was that my fingers were accompanying the music, and were playing the piece in mid air. Only when my friend had told me to continue with the so-called playing, did I come to realise that this habit had kicked in again.
During high school, I’d often start randomly “playing an imaginary piano” on tables or even mid-air – a habit that has clearly stuck around even after having not played the piano properly in around 2 years. I guess this relationship is one that will never cease to exist.
So why am I so attached to an instrument? Well, just like dancing, I guess it was a way for me to escape reality and just focus on something amazing. I’m not saying that my skills are amazing (because they are far from it), but the experience of playing a piano is definitely one of a kind. A driver slowly starts to understand his car more, the more he drives it, and this theory applies for those who play instruments. To me it’s as if the piano is alive when I play it, and it’s about getting to know it – understanding how every key wants to be pressed, and how every string wants to be hit. Every piano is different, carved full of love and skill, and trying to figure out the way a particular piano runs is always so fascinating. There is a good quote that sums this up pretty well: “Life is like a piano… What you get out of it depends on how you play it”.
I remember this old upright we had in one of the music rooms in high school, which had keys that were slowly losing their colour, and a body that was slowing losing its coating. To play that old piano to its best, you had to treat it like a baby when playing piano (or even pianissimo if you dared to), but had to use quite a significant amount of force when playing forte. It’s like becoming one with the piano, and putting your faith in it (because, to be honest, the piano is also putting some form of faith in you, hoping that it will be treated well).
“I tell you a secret about Chopin, piano is his best friend. More. He tells piano all his secrets. ”
– piano teacher Eleanora Sivan.
It is also such a wondrous instrument in itself. Royal, in fact.
“The piano is able to communicate the subtlest universal truths by means of wood, metal and vibrating air.” ~Kennteh Miller
And indeed it is. What you tell the piano when you press down on it’s keys, is what it speaks to the world. A universal language understood by many. It’s capable of moving hearts and inspiring the lost, but still standing tall. I don’t mean to say that other instruments don’t do so either, because they do, and they are significant to me too (and still would be even if they weren’t on my list of instruments I am able to/want to play).
But the piano has always stuck out from the crowd, and will always have a special place in my heart. Only a few more months before I am reunited with my keyboard, and I swear, as I have always sworn to do, that I will play it with the respect it deserves.