Monday, July 2, 2007

Prelude In D Flat

We've all got 'our' songs - the ones that resonate with us. The ones that remind us of who we are or perhaps what we want or where we've been. The ones that remind us of someone we knew or of a place we stood. I've certainly made my collection of songs - some joyful, some heart-wrenching, some laughable. But all of them explain me.

I sat down at the piano today and began to play one of my favorite pieces - Prelude in D flat by Chopin. His music is some of the most passionate, emotive music there is. And as I played I realized that this song explains me better than anything. The beginning is a gentle, soothing treble melody. It speaks of an incredible love. And beneath the melody there is a constant pulse that drives the melody forward. And when I play this, beautiful scenes cross through my mind. I remember sunrises and promises, smiles and devotion. The melody is complemented by beautiful rising chromatic passages and gentle chord modulations below.

And then comes the second section - minor and ominous and building and still with the constant pulse that drives the bass melody forward. It builds and builds and then comes four bars of fortissimo... strong octaves that move in fifths in the lowest registers of the piano. And suddenly it recedes back to piano. And all I can think of is compromises and tears, mistakes and wounds.

And then comes my favorite section, where my hands seem to take over the whole piano. Consonance and dissonance placed carefully together as the chords morph from one sound into the next. In my mind, I see an unfinished story and I think about chances and possibilities. The last time I played this piece, I had to stop at the end of this section. And I had a few tears (pseudo-non-emotional me... crying). Because I didn't feel like I could play the last section. It returns to the beautiful treble melody - the one that speaks of love. But as I sat down to play today, I played through the whole thing. And it was beautifully complete.

I've only played this piece for a few people. And it's those people who know me best. I don't think they realize as I've played it that I was sharing a huge piece of myself.

Of course, on another day, I might share with you a huge list of other songs...
Green Eyes - Coldplay,
Steady As We Go - Dave Matthews Band,
Tidal Wave - David Gray,
Breakin' Up - G. Love,
See The World - Gomez,
Bubble Toes - Jack Johnson,
Photograph - Jamie Cullum,
The Heart of Life - John Mayer,
Dreaming with a Broken Heart - John Mayer,
Faint - Linkin Park,
I Hear the Bells - Mike Doughty,
Forever My Friend - Ray LaMontagne,
Crystal Village - Pete Yorn,
Simplify - Ryan Shupe...

And if you've actually gotten this far in this endless blog, I'd love to know what your songs are...

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