Monday, November 09, 2009

An experiment

I found myself alone in fake darkness; the rays of sun tried to infiltrate the dark shades and their attempts miserably failed. There was no one in the room, no one upstairs, no one for miles ahead. I found myself staring in oblivion, that's when I noticed the presence of something I have forgotten, although at one point in my life it was a daily requirement, there in the corner lay my piano, or rather our piano, on which I practiced immensely as a child to try and get these classical tunes right; my stubby hands would try to jump from octave to another and strained to get the timing right, while my piano teacher always blamed me for not practicing enough... Bittersweet memories.

I took a step forward, it was summoning me with its solemn loneliness, it has been long months since anyone has touched its keys; it suffered from neglect. I lifted the ebony cover to be greeted by the sweet smell of the old keys, some of them were missing their white covers, and so they laid bare and brown, but when stroked they produced the same strong sound they were known for; their core was the same, but their appearance differed, just like anything that suffers the effect of time. I hesitate to sit on the small revolving stool, but then my resolve strengthens, I drag it out from under the piano, wipe the dust off of it and then sit. I position my hands on each octave as I try to remember one of the tunes I used to play; meanwhile my fingertips are acquainting themselves with their old friends, it has been a great while and the touch of the keys is almost euphoric. I try to belt out "Fur Alize"; unsteady as I try and get every note in its right place at the right time with the right force. As I became more sure of myself, I close my eyes and let the music infiltrate my soul and lift my battered spirit, and a smile starts to materialize itself through my lips.

I play it over and over again until I am sure that I have perfected it, and then a thought comes to my mind, something that my teacher has told me when I was young; "You can play one piece of music in several different ways while keeping the right tempo, it is all about channeling your emotions through the music, but it's hard to do that and maintain the tempo, yet the music is so much more beautiful when you do." I decided that I will try and channel my own feelings through "Fur Alize". I first try calmity; I take a long slow breath and as I exhale slowly, I play the notes with ease trying to remember the feeling of utter serenity that I experienced as I reached the top of St. Catherine mountain, I visualize myself there and it worked; "Fur Alize" has never sounded so whole, intact and serene.A vision of "Alize" (or Alice) comes to mind, sitting by a window, a french styled one; huge with white panels while sun rays are pleasantly shining through. She sits with a Monaliza smile gracing her child-like face,emitting serene confidence and wisdom beyond her age, her hands are holding her golden long hair, which seems to be reflecting sun rays and bedazzling the beholder. It is a scene you could watch forever, but as soon as the last note is played the scene dissolves into a million twinkly particles and as I open my eyes, reality greets me.
I then move to "sadness", I remember an incident in my life that I could never forget even if I tried and I struggle with holding the memory, I never was one who could handle deep emotion and sadness is one of the deepest. I start playing the same music again, but this time it is sluggish, almost hesitant and it is no longer smooth or serene. It is a melody of utter defeat, of isolation, of an empty soul and all that I could see was a barren desert, with the sun smoldering, it's empty and distant. As it ends, a great sense of depression washes over me.
I quickly move to "anger"; it's a very strong emotion which is very abundant inside me, it's always on the surface threatening to explode any moment. I start to play and this time the notes aren't sluggish or clam, but rather reckless and out of control. I can barely touch a key without it being in the wrong tempo or sometimes the wrong key all together and even when I get the key right my hand mistakingly plays neighbouring keys that have nothing to do with the melody. It is hard to control my hands, they are flying out of control and my body is radiating strange heat that just annoys me even more. This time, there is no vision, no picture, my brain is incapable of picturing anything and my head feels like it's going to explode or rather implode and my body to self-combust. I give up midway through the piece of music just when my body was shaking so hard it was impossible to strike the right keys; it was pure chaos. I couldn't maintain enough control to get myself to focus and I realize that my temper is maybe beyond control.

At this note, I remove my hands from the white keys and put them at the edge of my seat as I stare at the piano for a while, I reach out for the cover and I gently close it and pat my faithful piano. I smile.

4 comments:

marooned84 said...

I really wish I'd have listened to that...

doniazad79 said...

A very descriptive story, I almost heard the music:)

ibhog said...

ahem, that was one of the nicest things I read for you by far :)

Keep up!

insomniac said...

you brought tears to my eyes with your description of "sadness" and "anger"... you're good :)

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