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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Piano of Doom

I need to bitch about the piano. Not the piano in general, but the particular piano in my piano teacher's room. It's a Steinway grand, and supposedly it has a lovely tone and really sings in the upper range. However, I don't notice any of this whenever I play it because the action is HEAVY AS SHIT.

My piano teacher concedes that it's a difficult piano to play, but while she's acknowledging this, she always has a look in her eye as though she doesn't really believe it. She, of course, plays it wonderfully, and her hands are about the same size as mine. I guess I have pathetically weak fingers or something.

The other pianos in the school have much easier action, and are also generally in practice rooms with hard walls and floors, so it's almost like playing a grand in your bathroom. My piano teacher's studio is carpeted and sucks up all the sound. The result is that I can practice for hours on other pianos and really feel like I've made progress, but in my lessons, my hands are stiff as boards, mainly because I feel like every single note I play is some sort of kung-fu jab at an unyielding opponent. Hai! Hai! Hai! Hai! Hai! Hai! Hai! Hai! That was a major one-octave scale.

I have named the piano Nemesis.

Last week, I discovered that I will be playing Nemesis for my jury at the end of the session, which is fast approaching. Goddamn. You know, sometimes I think I can hear Nemesis laughing at me. "Puny piano minor," it malignantly rasps as the Bach fugue I'm wrestling with again grinds to a halt. "You shall never defeat me." My piano teacher sighs, and Nemesis smirks under his lid.

  • J├ínos Starker - I am currently reading his autobiography. I swing between the opinion that he's an awfully funny and clever man and a right pompous bastard. I was particularly uncomfortable with his description of the Russian troops overrunning Budapest. "They stole watches and raped some women, but did no other harm." He then proceeds to explain how he cleverly provided the soldiers with drugs for their venereal diseases.

  • Messinia - Neochori - I think this is the village in Greece where my relatives live.
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