Friday, April 29, 2011

Taking myself less seriously

So, final piano-related post, I promise. As I've mentioned before, I just did a recital. In that one, I played 20 pages of Beethoven. In the one before it, I played 20 pages of Mozart. I decided it was time to give myself a danged BREAK. (This was also aided by my piano teacher going on maternity leave.)

So, earlier this week, I went to Best in Music and spent about an hour finding some new things to play. First on the list of purchases was the Lord of the Rings trilogy music, which I've been meaning to get for a while. It has everything from Concerning Hobbits to Gollum's Song and really is a good investment.

Second, I perused the Faure section. I'm a huge fan of Faure, mostly because of his Requiem and Apres un Reve, and went to a performance of his Requiem last weekend. I was in the mood. I found a piano transcription of his Pavane, which is one of my favorites of his repertoire.

And then I went looking for the Kuhlau Sonatinas. After my semi-psychotic nervous breakdown experience over the Beethoven, I asked my mother for some recommendations on what to play next that wouldn't drive me as nuts as the Beethoven or Mozart. She suggested Clementi--I've played them before--and the Kuhlau. I like Kuhlau. Well, I didn't find the Sonatinas, but I was flipping through some of his other things and found his "Allegro Burlesco." I read through it and snickered by the end of it. I ended up buying it.

The Allegro Burlesco is what I'm starting to think of as Beethoven for people who don't take themselves too seriously. It's emotionally varied and stylistically complex, the way I like my music to be. But it's a five-page piece that is full of inside jokes. I am completely in love with it. Here's a very good video of it if you ignore the goofiness and 10-year-oldness of the pianist.

Anyway, after heart-stopping, breathtaking chromatic brilliance (Beethoven Op. 13) and playful sociopathy (Mozart, K. 465), I've been needing something to make me enjoy piano again. Something that reminds me I used to have a lot of fun with this. I had to stop taking lessons because my parents asked me to pick an instrument and I chose the one that would let me be in orchestras and I taught myself whatever the heck I felt like for the next 15 or so years. I didn't pick things that were reaching for the next level up or developing a specific skill. I picked things that I really enjoyed learning, such as the Grieg Notturno in C, the Chopin Prelude in g minor, etc.

It reminds me of writing this way. I've been fretting over whether or not I'm dealing with certain subject matter with appropriate depth. I've worried about having a lackluster ending. I've spent a year and a half on this blog being neurotic as hell.

But remember the lesson learned from piano. Fanfiction has been good for me because I approached it the same way that I approached piano during those fifteen years. I wrote what made me feel good or made me feel at all. I wrote things that helped me deal with being an abuse survivor or helped me express what it was like to be in love. I gave myself lectures on forgiveness. But I also wrote a lot of things that were just because I loved what I was doing with words.

I want to get back to that kind of feeling with my writing. Recently, I've had a severe dry spell, where my muse wouldn't cooperate with my intentions and it's been stressing me out. Tonight, while practicing my merry joke as the Kuhlau translates, I decided to lighten up and do some Beethoven-not-taken-too-seriously with my writing. I've earned it!

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