Pianos, unlike people, sing when you give them your every growl. They know how to dive into the pit of your stomach and harmonize with your roars when you've split yourself open. And when they see you, guts shining, brain pulsing, heart right there exposed in a rhythm that beats need need, need need, need need, pianos do not run. And so she plays.
Francesca Lia Block
In prayer, something like an echo takes place. When you strike a note on the piano, corresponding strings in all the other pianos in the room start to vibrate. It is just the same when we express a pure wish in our ardent prayers: all around us we mobilize angels who are inspired by the same wish.
From 1936 on, I have taken more falls than any other 20 comedians put together. From the time I was 21, I've taken them on everything from clay courts to cement to wood floors, coming off pianos, going out a two-story window, landing on Dean, falling into the rough. You do that and you're gonna have problems.
My mother has always loved piano music and hungered to play. When she was in her early sixties, she retired from her job as a computer programmer so that she could devote herself more fully to the piano. As she had done with her dog obsession, she took her piano education to an extreme. She bought not one, not two, but three pianos. One was the beautiful Steinway B, a small grand piano she purchased with a modest inheritance left by a friend of her parents'. She photocopied all of her music in a larger size so she could see it better and mounted it on manila folders. She practiced for several hours every day. When she wasn't practicing the piano she was talking about the piano. I love pianos, too, and wrote an entire book about the life of one piano, a Steinway owned by the renowned pianist Glenn Gould. And I shared my mother's love for her piano. During phone conversations, I listened raptly as she told me about the instrument's cross-country adventures. Before bringing the Steinway north, my mother had mentioned that she was considering selling it. I was surprised, but instead of reminding her that, last I knew, she was setting it aside for me, I said nothing, unable to utter the simple words, 'But, Mom, don't you remember your promise?' If I did, it would be a way of asking for something, and asking my mother for something was always dangerous because of the risk of disappointment.
There is always a piano in an hotel drawing-room, on which, of course, some one of the forlorn ladies is generally employed. I do not suppose that these pianos are, in fact, as a rule, louder and harsher, more violent and less musical, than other instruments of the kind. They seem to be so, but that, I take it, arises from the exceptional mental depression of those who have to listen to them.
writing had to take the form of journalism. Not for me the Shangri-la of fiction. The rewards, if any, would have been too little and too late, the bailiffs were at the door. ... Two large bailiffs, they were, who visited frequently and smiled like grand pianos, the only really reliable men in my life. They told me what they were going to do and if they did it, woe was me.
Both my grandmothers had upright pianos, and I just knew how to play since I was a child. Nobody taught me. I sounded like a grown-up, and then I learned how to read music. I played so well by ear I could fool the teacher to believe I could play the notes. She'd make the mistake of playing the song once, and I could play it.
The piano is just a different animal. It's expensive, it's big, it's heavy, and it doesn't fit in the mix easily. Everyone grew up with a piano in their living room, so rocking out on the piano was accessible - it wasn't an upper-class thing. Now pianos have become very much a piece of furniture.
Hatred. Something almost as physical as walls, pianos, or nurses. She could almost touch the destructive energy leaking out of her body. She allowed the feeling to emerge, regardless of whether it was good or bad; she was sick of self-control, of masks, of appropriate behavior. Veronika wanted to spend her remaining two or three days of life behaving as inappropriately as she could.
If the souls of lives were voiced in music, there are some that none but a great organ could express, others the clash of a full orchestra, a few to which nought but the refined and exquisite sadness of a violin could do justice. Many might be likened unto common pianos, jangling and out of tune, and some to the feeble piping of a penny whistle, and mine could be told with a couple of nails in a rusty tin-pot.
Has it ever occurred to you that one hundred pianos all tuned to the same fork are automatically tuned to each other? They are of one accord by being tuned, not to each other, but to another standard to which each one must individually bow. So one hundred worshipers met together, each one looking away to Christ, are in heart nearer to each other than they could possibly be, were they to become 'unity' conscious and turn their eyes away from God to strive for closer fellowship.
Everybody in my neighborhood in the '40s, they played pianos. That's how people partied. They didn't try the TV, the radio was OK, records was cool, but when people wanted to party, they got around a piano. My mother played piano, my sister played. I've been around a lot of piano all my life.
A strange thing has happened - while all the other arts were born naked, this, the youngest, has been born fully-clothed. It can say everything before it has anything to say. It is as if the savage tribe, instead of finding two bars of iron to play with, had found scattering the seashore fiddles, flutes, saxophones, trumpets, grand pianos by Erhard and Bechstein, and had begun with incredible energy, but without knowing a note of music, to hammer and thump upon them all at the same time.
Death and disaster are at our shoulders every second of our lives, trying to get at us. Missing, a lot of the time. A lot of miles on the motorway without a front wheel blow-out. A lot of viruses that slither through our bodies without snagging. A lot of pianos that fall a minute after we've passed. Or a month, it makes no difference. So unless were going to get down on our knees and give thanks every time disaster misses, it makes no sense to moan when it strikes.
The most obvious and yet the oldest and most stubborn error on which the appeal of inflation rests is that of confusing 'money' with 'wealth'... Real wealth, of course, consists in what is produced and consumed: the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the houses we live in. It is railways and roads and motor cars; ships and planes and factories; schools and churches and theaters; pianos, paintings and books. Yet so powerful is the verbal ambiguity that confuses money with wealth, that even those who at times recognize the confusion will slide back into it in the course of their reasoning.
My mother, who is a pianist and a fine artist, purchased a piano for me. Twice. This was back when I was a small girl. Pianos, of course, came complete with the quintessential piano teacher who whacked my hand with a stick each time I struck the wrong key. I learned a few pieces, yes, but eventually my pen compelled me to write too much and the sound of the leaves rustling in the wind compelled me to climb trees too often. Sorry mom. Coincidentally, books come from trees and flipping the pages sounds like wind through leaves... hhhmmmm... I guess I'm still just climbing trees now, but in a different way!
C. JoyBell C.
Funeral Blues Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone, Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone, Silence the pianos and with muffled drum Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come. Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead Scribbling on the sky the message 'He is Dead'. Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves, Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves. He was my North, my South, my East and West, My working week and my Sunday rest, My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song; I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong. The stars are not wanted now; put out every one, Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun, Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood; For nothing now can ever come to any good.
The city of Leonia refashions itself every day: every morning the people wake between fresh sheets, wash with just-unwrapped cakes of soap, wear brand-new clothing, take from the latest model refrigerator still unopened tins, listening to the last-minute jingles from the most up-to-date radio. On the sidewalks, encased in spotless plastic bags, the remains of yesterday's Leonia await the garbage truck. Not only squeezed tubes of toothpaste, blown-out light bulbs, newspapers, containers, wrappings, but also boilers, encyclopedias, pianos, porcelain dinner services. It is not so much by the things that each day are manufactured, sold, bought, that you can measure Leonia's opulence, but rather by the things that each day are thrown out to make room for the new. So you begin to wonder if Leonia's true passion is really , as they say, the enjoyment of new things, and not, instead, the joy of expelling, discarding, cleansing itself of a recurrent impurity. The fact is that street cleaners are welcomed like angels.
LES VIEUX NE R&ECIRC;VENT PLUS, LEURS LIVRES S'ENSOMMEILLENT, LEURS PIANOS SONT FERM&EACUTE;S, LE PETIT CHAT EST MORT. LE MUSCAT DU DIMANCHE NE LES FAIT PLUS CHANTER, LES VIEUX NE BOUGENT PLUS, LEURS GESTES ONT TROP DE RIDES, LEUR MONDE EST TROP PETIT, DU LIT &AGRAVE; LA FEN&ECIRC;TRE, PUIS DU LIT AU FAUTEUIL, ET PUIS DU LIT AU LIT, ET S'ILS SORTENT ENCORE BRAS DESSUS, BRAS DESSOUS, TOUT HABILL&EACUTE;S DE RAIDE, C'EST POUR SUIVRE AU SOLEIL L'ENTERREMENT D'UN PLUS VIEUX, L'ENTERREMENT D'UNE PLUS LAIDE, ET LE TEMPS D'UN SANGLOT OUBLIER TOUTE UNE HEURE LA PENDULE D'ARGENT QUI RONRONNE AU SALON, QUI DIT OUI, QUI DIT NON, ET PUIS QUI LES ATTEND.
Eliot, huh?" she says. The thin fabric of her long T-shirt brushes my arm. "Is everyone in your family named for a famous symbolist poet?" No, I'm named for someone who was supposed to be in the Bible but isn't." No? What happened to him?" I glance over at her, the way the corner of her mouth turns up, half-smirk, half-smile. Her hair moves as she walks. He was called to be a disciple, but he had, you know, stuff to do." Stuff, like... polishing his sandals? Making lunch?" We keep walking, over the bridge across the lake, past the swings and the playground equipment, just walking. Exactly. And what about you, Calliope... is everyone in your family named after a... what is it? A keyboard? An organ?" It's a steam-powered piano. It's also the name of the Greek goddess of poetry. You should read stuff other than chemistry; you'd know these things." Her smirky smile again, her sleeve touching my arm. I feel like my skin has been removed, every nerve exposed. I open my mouth, and this comes out: "I think you are more goddess than piano." Stupid, stupid. But she laughs. "You know, that's the nicest thing anyone's said to me today." You don't see too many calliopes, " I tell her. I'm Cal, actually. I mean, that's what I prefer." I meant the steam pianos... you don't see too many." She stops and looks at me, full-on, and right away I put it on the list of the best moments in my life. Until you said that, Eliot, I wasn't fully aware of the demise of the steam piano, so thank you. Really." I smirk at her and we both fight not to smile. "Okay, smart-ass, " I say.