Sunday, February 27, 2011

The End of Art?

...Two hours later, he announces that his work is done. I am extremely pleased, as the piano has not been tuned for a couple of years, and was sounding a bit wobbly.

'It's a fine instrument,' he affirms. Sitting at the piano stool, he takes a deep breath and launches into an array of pieces, demonstrating the incredible warmth of the sound. He plays 'Rhapsody in Blue,' then 'Maple Leaf Rag,' then a couple of classical pieces that are probably by Rachmaninoff or somebody else from the past. It is amazing. The room fills with sound -- wonderful, incredible music. The Toddler stands transfixed and spellbound, a broad smile beaming across her face as if this is the most fantastic thing that she has ever heard in her life.

I am a bit pissed off by this. I play her the piano all the time and she has never once stood transfixed or spellbound or with a broad beaming smile. He has probably slipped her some sweets or something. I wait for him to finish and then show him out the door.

When he has gone, I pull the Toddler back into the piano room. I play all my specialties, the theme song from 'Minder' and the song that Iggle Piggle sings. But there is no beaming smile. The kid is tone deaf and it is a disappointment to me.
-- Johnny B, Nov 10, 2008, at the Private Secret Diary
I include that quote for several reasons. First is because I have had a somewhat recurring dream that I have gone to The Piano Teacher's house and needed to sightread music I've not looked at for these past five years. It is embarrassing and mortifying and obviously has something to do with the fact that her last words to me were: "I don't care if it's not with me, please promise me that you'll keep taking music lessons. you have a gift, and it'd be a shame for you to lose it."

Oops. Cue guilt. He ought to enter, stage left, accompanied by Shame and Lost Opportunity, after the Chorus of Might have Beens.

Second is from a note I've been meaning to write - which is in response to that weird and heralding cry for the 'end of art,' and for the end of time, and the whining sob for beauties passed ago:

No. Wrong. False.

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