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A musical pilgrimage

204 words

2005-06-25 08:48

I have seen the home and visited the grave of my favorite composer. Befitting his life and his work, the stone is simple and modest.

Five years ago I’d slid most of the way off the musical wagon. Then I discovered Medtner. Perhaps I’d have found my way back otherwise; perhaps I’d have had enough other reasons to major in music. Who knows? I do know that hearing pieces of such depth, intensity, and lyricism reminded me of everything I love about the piano and all the reasons I want to compose. Listening to Medtner always does.

I’ve been listening to some piano improvisations I recorded seven years ago. They’re much better than I remember; there’s some powerful and beautiful material hidden therein. (I’ll mine it for my composition classes.) Back when I improvised every day, I knew my way around the keyboard well enough to take fun chances and see where I wound up, usually with pleasing results. Can’t wait to be getting back to it.

I almost wished I’d brought my iPod to the cemetery, to take in one of the master’s masterworks at his feet, but no need. His music, in my mind’s library, is always queued and ready to play.