the daily column

Piano Stories

Oh crap, I’m late I’m late I hate CityRail I’m late, I thought as I ran from Circular Quay to the Conservatorium of Music. The time was 4:01, the concert scheduled to start a minute ago. I’d never even seen the Conservatorium before, let alone knew where the entry was. Going on a map, a wing and a bit of a prayer, I managed to find it, and apparently… I wasn’t late. Or at the very least, everyone was late. No actual performance started until 4:15, by which time I was seated and reasonably aware of the fact that if you took hair colour as a reasonable measure of origin, 90% of the audience was Asian. Not altogether surprising, but a fact that did make me amused.

All furstration at the trains was forgotten as the music started. Il Proco Rosso, Waltz de Chocobo, Princess Mononoke, Tatakau Mono Tachi, Tifa’s Theme, Aerith’s Theme, Melodies of Life – all great peices I could recognise instantly. Overall, a great performance, and as it was basically the piano playing for 2 hours straight, the pianist, Alexey Yemtsov, did really well.

Which is not to say that was the best aspects of it – I enjoyed the peices where the violinists, Ayako Ishikawa & Hiroaki Yura, joined him much more. Not to detract from the piano solo, but with a piano alone the song feels empty. It can have all the complexities you want, and push a piano player to their limits, but without other instruments classical music lacks, well, depth. Hearing the layering of piano, violin, second violin, and even other instruments not there last night makes for great music. Destiny last year was superbly enjoyable because of the ensemble, and I can only imagine what a orchestra sounds like live.

Inevitably, it came to an end. As I walked out into the night, a slow, pensive mood sank into me. I think it was a combination of the music and not having friends with me (yes, I went alone, no, i actually do have friends up here… just none that watch anime or play games…) that did it. I was planning to go to a friend’s place and just hang out, but I changed my mind because I entered my funk-zone and that would be it for the night for me. That and it would be nearly 9 o’clock before I did get home – trackwork on the weekends is a stupidly regular thing here, and it is very annoying to say the least. If I had written this last night just as I got home, I’m sure it would have been a melancholic and annoyed entry about a good concert spoilt by stupid idiots in the audience and whatnot. Instead, it’s a tad rambling. Music raised my mood, just as it had earlier sunk it – such is the power of music on me, I think.

And that was Piano Stories III.

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