I love piano, and it didn’t take me long to figure out that it was a vastly more satisfying process to have my incredibly talented mother learn and play songs for me instead of me trying to wrestle my way through mastering a new piece (“What! ‘Colors of The Wind’ has two flats!? Welp, forget that then…”). Our process is down to a science: I hear a song I think would sound beautiful on her Yamaha grand piano, send her the Youtube link, and if she digs it too I’ll then get to work procuring the sheet music. Once she’s learned it and next time I’m home, she’ll play it, and I get the vicarious pleasure of taking part in the performance of something beautiful.
I think the reason I love this so much – beyond it being a good excuse to hang out with my mom – is it gives me another level of interacting with a song: instead of just hearing a Lana Del Rey track over and over on Spotify, I get to be in at the ground level...hearing the notes created and interpreted. It’s different than just the attraction of a live performance; it’s curating the content...having a voice in the chorus, as it were.
This particular session took place over Labor Day Weekend 2015, on a starlit, somnolent, sweet, late summer reverie kind of night if I’ve ever seen one. The piece is by one of my favorite contemporary composers, Ludovico Einaudi, and is from his 2009 album “Nightbook.”