Opus 130

Month: February, 2014

2.26.14 | The Process

I am an amateur pianist. What do pianists of any kind do? They play the piano, duh. However, they practice a h-e-double hockey sticks lot more than actually playing music. Practice is a counter-intuitive process to me. One devotes a painstaking amount of effort to polish a piece to the point where their impossibly high self-standards could possibly be satisfied, perform the piece, and then forgets it. That small window of the “perfection” of the piece is the only time when one can enjoy their own performance of it at the very best. But why spend a massively disproportionate amount of time practicing, compared to playing?

Maybe it’s just me, but I find something oddly satisfying about depressing white ivory keys. The pure physical aesthetic of playing the piano is enough for me to keep coming back to it. But I speculate that the main reason why anyone willingly plays an instrument is to communicate their expression. The journey is undeniably worth it. However, I will admit that there is a number of times I can hear myself play through a phrase of music before going insane.

Practice isn’t supposed to be fun (but how you can make it enjoyable, that’s a different story!). It’s a process of experimentation, hopes, and failure. There is no final product, because any performance of music can never be perfect. Physically, there is nothing to show for your practice (okay, maybe tendonitis or arthritis). The gratification from being able to play a piece of music comes from the subconscious realization that the performance is a totally personal achievement. It is not the gratification that comes from receiving a physical gift, but a gratification that is rooted in self-transformation. Music is an enigma to me; it can make all the difference or none of the difference in one’s life.

Here’s some Liszt. Enjoy.

-Raymond

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The Daily Grind | 2.19.14

I am probably much too young to complain about the weariness of tedious daily routines, but everyone has something in their daily routine that they are sick of.

-Raymond

2.12.14 | Gifts

The social obligation of giving gifts for a certain occasion has never bothered me. It’s just one of those pitfalls of human interactions. I deal with it because it is inevitable. I don’t know why people say ‘bless you’ in response to a sneeze, why some conversations end with “have a nice day” (do you hope I have a nice day, or are you telling me to have a nice day? How do I make myself have a nice day?), why it is customary to hold the door open for others, etc. I find it best not to think too hard about the logic of these actions. I don’t believe that any individual count of these actions genuinely matter in a practical manner. However, I do believe that these social niceties matter because the do-er cares just enough to do them, regardless of their insignificance.

I’m going to post something different than my usual music post. Why not?