Thursday, September 27, 2012

Play not Replay

Describing my work to a musician colleague yesterday I found myself stating as a fact an observation of how I work so fundamental that I had never before put it into words.  It felt like looking down and realizing that--oh my goodness! I am standing on a floor!

For many years I have enjoyed the close collaboration of two friends, a painter and a poet.  The painter, Joan Farber, once told me that she sees the way I hear.  I conclude from this that she is more likely than I am to recognize a floor when she is standing on one.

The poet, Michael O'Brien, feeds me poetry, often by poets of whom I know nothing, as well as his responses to my playing, to which he listens as if he is listening to poetry.  When I announced the series on Classics of Childhood he gave me Anthony Rudolf's cycle of pieces inspired by Schumann's Kinderszenen.  The lyricism of these poems enabled me to play that most difficult work--difficult in that it is entirely lyric, not in the least sentimental.

There is little that I have craved more than the close companionship of other musicians.  I confess that I have given up on it.  There is too strong an undertow of rivalry, judgmental listening, one-upsmanship--all the negativity we learned as dutiful piano students.  To be continued.