Saturday, February 11, 2012

Fifteen minutes of fun

An experiment, this week.

For the first time in months, I spent some time playing the organ. Of course I tried to use the pedal board. Of course, that didn't work. Even the expression pedals (think of the gas pedal in a car: push down to accelerate, pull back to slow down: they work very much the same) were too much to operate with anything even vaguely resembling "precision" or "control."

But I was able to play reasonably convincing "theater-organ" style music. I was hoping that maybe, just maybe, I might be still be able to accompany silent movies; and maybe, just maybe, I still could.

Now, proper silent-movie-organ technique requires three voices: Tune, counter-melody, and pedals. Well, right now at least, that ain't gonna happen, in the pedal department. But considering that all sorts of people have accompanied movies with just a piano, it's certainly possible.

The piano is also a challenge, because I can't really control the damper pedal, even to the tiny amount of "precision" that its one pedal requires. My foot won't stay on the pedal, and when it is there, it doesn't control the pedal at all well. Or sometimes just-plain "at all." I haven't tried strapping my foot to the damper pedal (that'll prevent the off-slipping), so that's a possibility... But even the piano has foot-related issues; not the first thing you'd think about on an instrument that's all about hand- or finger-work.

Harpsichord... no damper pedals, no foot pedals (on most of them, at least)... that, I could play. There ain't much call for them, and I only know where one of them is in the entire city of Pasadena--of course, that one is a pedal harpsichord, how's that for irony? And you can't use them to accompany silent movies... well, you could, I suppose, but it'd be pretty darned strange. At best.

But I'll keep trying. Most importantly, even if I wasn't playing "correctly" or even "well," I certainly had fun, and that's important.

And the mere act of just sitting on the bench... that's also hard. And I'm not talking just about the bench. Which is hard. But I've lost so much weight and muscle tone and muscle mass, I don't really have much to sit on, between me and the bench. Pillows are soft to sit on, but they also facilitate sliding around, or worse off, the bench.

But one thing at a time. And even if I'm only good for ten or fifteen minutes, that's still ten or fifteen minutes of fun.

And there's ain't nothin' wrong with that.


Muffie said...

Good for you to keep trying. I'm sure it's frustrating to need that foot and see it doing its own thing! I gave up the piano when my right hand stopped functioning -- just hearing the bass sounded odd. I found a family to whom I could donate it, and they were willing to cart it away. (A few tears later, I realized I had done the right thing.) Don't give up -- even if it's just for your own amusement.

nicole said...

Your right there's nothing wrong with trying. Good for you!