Today was an indescribably grand day, not withstanding my burnt toast breakfast. Weighing 913 pounds and measuring 7’6″, my very own Yamaha grand piano was delivered from Japan and now sits in my formal living room. And it’s practically perfect in every way.
This majestic piano sings with refined grace, and as my hands glide on the keys, the hammers respond to my nuanced expressions and forceful fortissimo. The rich sound diffuses into the room with its vaulted ceiling shared with the kitchen and throughout my multi-level house. As I write this, the piano is actually performing on its own, aided by piano player technology in which I can record my musical stylings or play others’ performances and control its playback via iPhone. And the keys and pedals move, directed by an invisible muse.
Growing up, I took 12 years of piano lessons beginning at the age of six. Our family’s Kawai piano stood upright in the center of the household activity, next to the fish tank and kitchen table. As I practiced in the mornings before school, burnt toast was an often familiar smell…the result of an unattended toaster in the daily race to get dressed, comb hair, eat breakfast and finish farm chores. It happened regularly enough, that burnt toast became my psychological cue to calm my nerves before music performances or public speaking.
“Burnt toast!” I’d pencil atop my sheet music and speech index cards. That and “Sit Down” since in my early years, I sometimes began playing my recital and contest pieces before I was sitting on the bench! So, it seems rather appropriate that my new piano is next to the kitchen in my house, and it will be awesome for entertaining.
In addition to posting photos on my blog, one focus for 2013 will be documenting the creative process of my fourth music album. Since grad school, daily piano playing has taken a backseat to life’s other adventures. In fact, I haven’t composed or arranged any finished music in five years due to lack of time, and hopefully my brain will rain with ideas on this musical drought. Ironic as it may sound, part of that is committing regular time for spontaneous creativity.
At any rate, the house is alive with music once more—burnt toast and all.