Thursday, August 27, 2009

Piano

When I first auditioned for the music therapy program at Marylhurst I had voice as my primary instrument. For the audition I had to sing two contrasting songs, and accompany myself on a third one. Much to my shock, they told me that I'm better at piano than at singing.

After some discussion and confusion, I finally decided recently to have piano as my main instrument. In a way it's a strange thought -- piano being my main instrument -- because I've always thought of myself as a singer first and foremost. But, when I really started thinking about it, I realized that believe it or not, piano has taken me to a place where my singing never has.

I only have one piano piece that I can play blindfolded at this point in time. Ok, so I haven't actually played it blindfolded, but I generally play it with my eyes closed. And when I do, something happens. Simply saying I become lost in it doesn't describe it adequately, but I don't know what else to say. It happens so subtly that I don't even notice as it happens. But, if I openly my eyes abruptly at the end of the song, I have a bit of a shock of "Wait, I'm here in my house, but...what...?" To avoid the shock, I have to make a point of taking maybe five seconds (or more) after I finish playing to take myself back into ordinary reality before opening my eyes.

I don't entirely understand it. It doesn't feel like shamanic journeying, but I know, coming out of it, that I haven't remained entirely in this world either. Whatever it is, it's amazing, and I've never experienced it while singing.

On the other hand, I've experienced other amazing things while singing that I've never experienced while playing piano. But that's for another post, I think, and none of those experiences seem to take me out of ordinary reality.

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