Pianissimo

I’ll be spending the weekend moving a piano. Posting, therefore, will be light.

My mother forced me to take piano lessons when I was little. I’m not musical. My singing tends to mimic whoever I’m listening to at the time, I can barely differentiate one composer from another, and relentless practice at the keys for four years only got me to minimal competence at intermediate pieces. I learned at the home of a friend, who had an enormous black cat named Canine who’d jump on the keys. I encouraged Canine. While he was on the board, I didn’t have to play.

Everyone in the family has an artistic streak, odd kids for people who never really showed any interest in that area. My brother’s an actor, fills up a stage and makes you want to listen to him. My little sister’s the musical one, was picking out by ear songs she heard on the stereo when she was five. Music, I always thought, was something you were either good at and loved, or didn’t, no middle ground.

Tell me what you play, and how you came to play it.

A.