Sunday, August 25, 2013

The eagle has landed

I've done much shuffing around of large furniture in a small room, with some of the big stuff getting queued up and down the hall into the living room (in a calculated LIFO stack). And now the DP has exited the walk-in closet.

The closet turned out just a bit to narrow to work as a dedicated piano studio. It's a pity, as the black and white keys of the piano looked great with the black and white checkerboard linoleum on the floor. I had ruthless daydreams of adding eye-bleeding b/w Op Art posters to the walls of the closet, but alas, it didn't work out spatially.

Now the DP is in front of the window, but I need to block the lower half of the window with something decorative so the piano is less visible to someone glancing in the window. Plus to diminish the horrifying incidents, when I'm absorbed in practicing a piece, to find myself abruptly face-to-face with one of the young dudes painting the house. Bleagh!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Moving chaos had a silver lining

Well, I have survived this summer's big transition, moving across the river (but actually not a great distance away, just across one large bridge). My room is clogged stacked boxes of worldly goods (gads, boxes of sheet music are heavy!). But amid all that chaos, it turned out that my digital piano faces onto my futon, and I'm just barely high enough to play it if I grab my meditation cushion to sit on.

The upshot of this is that I've been finding myself sleeping very lightly, given this new set of urban sounds to adjust to. But when I wake up, I can roll over, grab the zafu, and play some piano. It's been very psychically recuperative. Moving is stressful!

Monday, July 29, 2013

One step forward, two steps back

I've been nudged into updating this poor, neglected blog, as a lovely member of PianoWorld has spoken very kindly of my intermittent efforts here. I had been been wanting and needing to write for a while, as I've been making a fresh start on my piano playing, which has made me crave an appropriate venue in which to be entirely self-centered and chatter about it all this at length. Where better to be self-centered than in one's journal? But summing up the gaps between my spurts of blogging is difficult, and up until now I've done as much deleting as I've done writing, leaving no evidence of my efforts.

The big bad news is that those loathsome migraines have continued, creating a serious roadblock to my piano progress. As I mentioned in the migraine entry more than a year ago, the migraines are often accompanied by surges of activity in my inner musical life, but the reality is that the headaches make me so light and sound sensitive, that purposefully creating sounds for myself to listen to would be outright masochism. 

And before that was the phase during which I felt so overly emotion-ridden that I didn't want to touch the piano. But even that phase served a purpose in my musical life, reawakening a long-closed-down level of emotional responsiveness in my psyche, which has very much enriched the musicality of my playing (when I've managed to squeeze some in between migraines). 

The upshot of all of this is that I've played so little in the past three years that my skills at the piano have degenerated so very spectacularly that it's time to work on turning life's lemons into lemonade. So I've decided to view this as an opportunity to make a fresh start with my piano playing. 

I've moved back to mid/late level 1 method book material, so that I can focus all of my energy on getting rid of unnecessary tension in my playing, and developing better control over the dynamics and articulation in the sounds I create. 

More on all of that later. First, I'm going to quickly publish this entry, to get all of that annoying backstory out of the way, so that henceforth I can chatter about what I'm actually doing at the piano these days.