I spent some time researching piano actions in an attempt to figure out why some keys on my instrument do not play well. I have a spinet drop action in mine, but it's still unclear to me what's not happening. Never mind... the tuner comes by on the 2nd. I'll find out from him!
I am still struggling with the Schein Allemande. I had the right hand pattern memorized within an hour or so, but synchronizing that to the left hand notes is taking me hours. I am almost there... I can't play it consistently well and there are hesitations, but every now and then I fumble through it accurately. It's going to be a good little demonstration piece when I have it learned.
What's really neat is when I shut down my brain a bit and just let what pianists call "finger memory" take over - that is, not consciously follow along with the notes on the page. Just play. It's a bit like that scene in Star Wars where Obi Wan Kenobi's disembodied voice tells Luke Skywalker to shut off the weapons controls and fire manually.
There's a scene from the Natalie Wood film Brainstorm (1983) where she is able to transfer the experience of playing a piece on the piano to her husband, who does not play. I recall thinking when I saw it, wouldn't it be great to have a short cut like that available!
Right now I enjoy piano practice; I feel like my time is being profitably spent. That's a wonderful feeling - one of life's great pleasures, in fact. I use the harpsichord voicing on my electronic keyboard when I play the Allemande - it sounds cool. I feel like Trelane in that old Star Trek episode.
(Speaking of Trelane, I note that some Trekkies think that he is a member of the Q Continuum. Remember Q, that nearly omnipotent being that put Jean-Luc Picard and the crew of the Enterprise on trial? I always thought he was an interesting character. You would think that with the mission of the Enterprise being to seek out new life forms, Picard would welcome Q's visits and an opportunity to learn about a major galactic or inter-galactic race. But no. Rather than seeing the visits as a great opportunity he regards them as a nuisance and wants Q to simply go away. I've always thought the writers were violating a major premise of the show, there.)
I heard on the radio this morning that another Sixties personality died - Soupy Sales. I never cared for him much; even as a kid I disliked slapstick. He had a television show that I'd watch before school when I was little, but I liked Pinky Lee better. (See image above.)
Pinky Lee wasn't as well known as Soupy. He was a bit more over the top in appearance. But the first time I saw Pee-Wee Herman I realized right away that he was channeling Pinky Lee. Back in the mid-Eighties I tried explaining this to my kids without the Internet... okay, see, Ethan and Julie? Follow the link. Pee-Wee ripped off Pinky Lee. Rubens probably remembers him as a child as I did.
Tonight my bride and I go on vacation - we're headed to the beach and points south for a week. It's a Five Families thing. We're renting Bluewater in Sandbridge, near Virginia Beach. Then Cari and I drive to Charleston and perhaps Savannah to see the sights. There may not be updates here or I may do what I did in August when I went to Utah - post captioned photos to my Picasa web album.
Take care, Gentle Readers, and have a great weekend!
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