There is nothing more fulfilling to me than putting music on – loud – and doing housework, having a good hard cry, dancing around the kitchen with a child or a dog (or two, back in the day) in tow…. any excuse, really.
Music punctuates my daily life. All kinds of music. I put it on in the morning and play it to suit my day.
True story: The day I called the vets out to attend to Pepper and take her away, I played this (The Lark Ascending, by Ralph Vaughan-Williams - If you’ve never listened to it, GO. NOW!) on repeat for nearly two hours. It is possibly my most favourite piece, the most beautiful I have ever heard. Playing it that day was a given. It was cathartic. It helped me. It released her from her body and it was the last thing we both heard as she slipped away. Music can do that. It can lift and carry, seek and heal.
I go through stages of needing to hear a certain genre, or even just one artist, and I will saturate my listening hours with it/them. Recently, it was Carol King, then Billy Joel and then all those lovely jazz artists – old and new, originals and covers – from Louis Armstrong to Sara Gazarek.
While I love them all, there is one instrument that just lifts me up and takes me with it.
I am drawn to any artist who can really play. Play as if they are the music, the instrument itself. When you put piano into a rock situation, like Ben Folds does for instance, I am just putty in their hands. I could write a whole other post on my favourite piano-rock songs…. I might just do that for my own enjoyment one day soon.
Playing like this (below) makes me actually feel like my feet have left the ground. It leaves me breathless, it makes me close my eyes and admire. I mean….. my God, how amazing is this (I wish I could see it!):
Listen to this right to the end if you enjoy piano, be amazed~
Meet Candian-born Chilly Gonzales. An unbelievably talented artist.
Now, while the next video kind of annoys me, it was this song of his that got my attention and first introduced me to his work. I heard it years ago on Triple J, a chance hear, but I wrote down the artist’s name. I wanted that song! Strangely, there isn’t a piano to be heard in it. But when I found out the guy is a brilliant pianist, I think I liked the song even more.
Steve absolutely HATES it. So I can only play it when he’s not here. He thinks it’s unintelligent, unintelligible crap. But come on! The guy rhymes “extra testicle” and “chest hair” and “get my prank on”. Makes perfect sense to me…..
See what you think – he does want to be loved and hated in equal amounts… he says so himself (perhaps just listen, don’t watch, it detracts from the song):
If you’re interested, here’s how he treats it live – just him at the piano.
He’s obviously some kind of cray-cray genius man-child. You can see it in this video (but again, the talent, oh my! the talent!):
What does music do for you? What’s the one instrument or genre you couldn’t do without?
And ummm… what do you think of Gonzales?