Thursday, September 26, 2019


Only yesterday I contemplated getting rid of my Korg electronic piano.  It's taking up space in the bedroom - which is the only place in the apartment available for it. This isn't however solely an interior decorating dilemma. Like so many other amateur pianists I have fallen into the habit of overlooking the industry associated with the keyboard.  Fortunately it isn't the result of having retired to the country "with my book and my bottle".  While I continue to appreciate reading, I have given up drinking booze. Nor is my ignorance merely a result of having sold my grand piano when we downsized from the house to an apartment - though to a degree the downturn of performance reflects the lesser instrument. But even that is not altogether fair because the electronic device has the merit of strings and violins at the push of a button - a feature which undeniably appeals to my schmaltzy inclination. The decline was already undergoing a natural progression.

I thus suspect the capitulation has more to do with advancing age than anything else. My erstwhile ancient acquaintance L. C. Audette, QC, OC manifested the same trait in his seventh and eighth decade during the period we socialized occasionally. Whenever he visited at the house he regularly put down his highball of whiskey and soda briefly to flutter on the Steinway. The piano - and the dog - were the only things which diverted him from his primary alcoholic agenda (the expression of which he was never reluctant to proclaim if drinks were not in progress precisely at six o'clock upon his arrival). Generally he substituted whatever passion he had for playing the piano by reading voraciously and contributing to the editorial board of a legal publication - plus devoting uncommon attention to the pleasures of the table and the wit of society.

When I awoke this morning I was delayed - for reasons which are immaterial - in my routine ablutions.  I employed the opportunity to play the piano - something I wouldn't normally do first thing in the morning but lately I have felt the need to exercise my so-called skills more vigorously. After playing the first piece I fashioned the idea of recording another using my iPhone (specifically the video component - which is the only one I've ever used).  My thought was to play a piece for a family whom I know are about to celebrate the untimely death about a year ago of their son and brother. I made two recordings.  Like my photography, the first take was the better of the two. I then emailed the recording to the family. I was anxious to characterize my contribution to the memorial as the most apt expression of my concern. Music unquestionably affords me a vehicle of complete legitimacy of communication.

I surround myself with the benefit of music throughout the day.  After I was ejected from the apartment this morning - again for reasons which are immaterial - I decided to drive to Renfrew County for breakfast. On the way there I listened to whatever music was "shuffled" from my collection of albums on my iPhone (connected of course through the car's speaker system). Our monthly subscription of AppleMusic is in my opinion nonpareil. I adore that I can acquire anything I desire in an instant- including in particular important historical recordings! I should also note that because of the accident of such vast variety I have come to know the work of Ludovico Einaudi who now qualifies as my catharsis of choice.

When not listening to music in the car (in which I am only interrupted temporarily by media accounts of the latest kerfuffle surrounding the current president of the United States of America), I indulge myself in a similar precision of music either through air pods or portable Bluetooth sound systems (which I easily connect to either my iPhone, MacBook Pro computer or iPad depending on what I am using contemporaneously).

There are two mechanisms on the horizon for me - both motivated by an anticipated decline in my physical well-being.  One, a tricycle (perhaps with an electric component); and two, whatever is available for the production of music from a keyboard through computers.  The tricycle is nothing new and I am only delaying that until I'm either incapable of balancing myself on a two-wheeler or I am prohibited from driving an automobile.  As for the electronic keyboard, my current device is equipped with headphones (enabling me to shelter my noise from others) but as far as I know there is no capability of transferring the sound to a computer.  The computer connection is amusing because it enables collection and easy transmission much like the current facility with photographs.

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