Recently I’ve found myself listening to more and more piano music. Be it modern stuff by artists such as Alicia Keys, film scores like The Piano, or just piano sonatas, etudes, preludes and nocturnes by various classical* composers.
The piano is the one object I really crave out here in France. I resort to playing desk piano (which is air-guitar for the socially elite) to keep some semblance of being able to have a piano.
I really long to have some good, old fashioned ivory beneath my fingers. To be able to stretch out and release all my tension with Chopin’s Prelude in C minor, to float away with Debussy’s La fille aux cheveux de lin, concentrate and deliberate with Beethoven’s first movement of his Moonlight Sonata, bring it down to simplicity with Bach’s Prelude in C major, to jazz it up and reminisce about New York city with Billy Joel’s New York State Of Mind or to throw all caution to the winds and begin to sing some love songs from the seat a piano.
I’d start with Alicia Keys’ If I Ain’t Got You or Maroon5’s Sunday Morning, then take it back a few years with a medley from Cole Porter’s songbook. Starting with I’ve Got You Under My Skin then probably moving onto In The Still Of The Night and maybe Easy To Love.
And then maybe for a dash of Einaudi and then to let myself loose on the keys and play whatever I want. Rocking the low to the high, leaving no key untouched, I’d start in Db Major or B minor or maybe I’d go back to the piece I was working on in A minor. Modulation and a few accidentals would see me slide from one idea to the next. Until I’d slip back into New York State Of Mind and use the ending chords to make my exit (they’re on the video from 6m 35s) – imagine if you will a C chord which then becomes a slow tumble of other chords E7, Am7, Bb, Eb6, Ab, Dm7, eventually slowing Db9, to the end: Cmaj9. Fade to black, I cough and make some suave remark to somebody off camera…
I wanna piano.
*I say classical with a small c as to differentiate from composers from the Classical period of music from c.1750 ~ c.1820 which wasn’t a fantastic time for piano music in my opinion. Beethoven saved the piano (and all classical music) by bringing us into the Romantic period (c.1815 ~ c.1910).
This is a piano piece which I was practicing before I came to France. I love it so much – especially the arm banging down at the end. I wish that I could claim that this was me playing but I’m nowhere near that good.