So I was playing the piano this evening, after a good solid day at work. That made me wonder if "playing" is really the right verb to use when speaking of what I do to pianos in general. Maybe you could say I was "working the piano" this evening? That makes the piano sound like an article of formalwear or some kind of farm tool. So then I thought that what I'm actually doing is "pressing the piano". Right? But that sounds a bit desperate. And "pushing the piano" sounds like it involves more sweat than music. So I don't really know what to call it. Suggestions welcome.
And then I think to myself, "Pete. Chill on finding the right verb. Things don't need names, right? Remember the rose!" I don't know, what do you think? It always seemed to me that God was pretty serious about names.* Without a name, does a thing really exist? If I'm not "playing" the piano, is no sound coming out? Ok. Nevermind.
So back to where I started- I did something on the piano (to the piano?) (for the piano?) this evening. I was just tinkering around and it sounds really pretty. You can listen to it while you read the rest of this post:
(If you're reading this in your email, you'll probably need to go to the actual post to see my special SoundCloud player which plays my special music that I recorded for my special you.)
Firstly, you should notice the ambient kitchen noises. That's my mama making dinner. Let's give her a round of applause, eh? Moms like my mom don't grow on trees. In fact... moms like my mom actually grow their own trees! Hehe.
Second thing- this song might sound "familiar" in places. That's the whole point. I've written before about it, but sometimes I get all caught up in originality. Being consumed with originality is the surest way to kill creativity. Because the root of the consumption is fear- fear that someone will say, "Oh, I've heard that before. That's not really Pete. That's somebody else." Well here's the dealio: it IS Pete. You either believe everything is original or you believe nothing is original. (If you're in between, you're in what they call the 'gray area' and gray people are dead and dead people smell funny. You don't want to smell funny. Ew.) Listen to this music playing- the chords have all been used before, the chord progression has definitely been used before, even the melody can be found in little songs across time and history... so is it original? I say it is. It's original because there's only one Me. The originality doesn't come from the notes, or the arrangement of the notes; if it did, the finite set containing all of original music would have been exhausted back in David-harp days. Originality comes from the only thing that's different between me playing Fur Elise and you playing Fur Elise. Easy algebra problem: divide both sides by Fur Elise. Originality comes from people! And so whatever I play is original! If I played Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, I could still call it original. Because there's only one Me.
And there's only one You. Like, I hear some people belittle themselves (there's no shame in humility) by saying things like "I have no talent!" or "Anybody could do my job!". Well that's ridiculous. OF COURSE anybody could do your job. Anybody can do anything. But nobody can do your job like you do it. See what I mean? Put a smile on that face!
So get back to work! I will keep playing (for lack of a better term) unoriginal original music that you can listen to while you work.
* Some of my friends may disagree (cf. Chaim).