As a composer, one of the steps in the creative process that I often find mentally difficult to grapple with ...
With a lot of my piano students now on summer break, this gives me some time to do something I haven’t done in a while – practice piano. In October, I’d like to perform a full-length recital of some of my recent piano compositions, so the timing to get myself back in shape couldn’t be better. I always find it interesting that unknown creative forces within keep pulling me back to the piano. I enjoy writing for almost all instruments, voice and electronics, but the chance to actually play piano is always something I find myself wanting to do, especially if I have not done it for a while.
So this got me thinking why I find this monster of an instrument so intoxicating…
1. It’s an orchestra and band all in one – melody, rhythm and chords all with just 2 hands!
2. Incredible dynamic range – it can be as delicate as a feather or make your innards rumble.
3. Don’t need to plug it in – perfect when the power goes out.
4. The pedal can create such hypnotic textures and interesting overtones.
5. Its complex construction gives it such a unique sound – is it a percussion or string instrument?
6. No instrument has had so much music written for it – endless opportunities for musical exploration.
What one other instrument can deliver all of this? Doesn’t this make it the world’s greatest musical instrument? Sure it has its faults (can’t crescendo on a held note, hard to carry around, goes out of tune, etc.) but these seem to be piddly trade-offs. Am I not right?