I awoke today like a kid all alone in a candy store. My upstairs neighbors are gone on a trip, my wife off on a morning bike ride and that meant that I could play the piano without having to look at a clock. My agreement with my upstairs neighbors is a civil city-living one—no piano after 9 pm or before 10 am in the morning. I understand the restrictions and live with them without too much complaint. But to have the freedom to play anytime I want to—well, like I said, the kid in the candy store.
But the difference is that I won’t get sick on the sugar because though Bach’s Partitas have their sweet moments, they’re deep protein all the way. The effort it takes to thoroughly chew them is good for the teeth and properly digested, they fill one with a vibrant, life energy and no worries about gluten or bad carbs.
Back to city life. They’re considering re-naming the Brooklyn Bridge the Sonny Rollins Bridge because that’s where the great jazz saxophonist used to practice. Everybody feels that as some romantic thing of him standing under the bridge playing his heart out to the stars and the cars, but really, it was a practical thing. With the density of city living, there was no other place to practice without his neighbors beating down his door. That’s also why I haven’t made much progress on the Bulgarian bagpipe. Tried practicing in my closet a few times with the clothes to muffle things, but that was a bit claustrophobic. Tried it out in the park one time, but then people gathered around and hey, I was practicing because I really didn’t know how to play it very well. I wasn’t ready for a crowd.
Maybe someday I’ll move to the country with my nearest neighbor out of earshot, but meanwhile, this is the urban life I’ve chosen and I can deal. But come walk by my house in the next few days if you want to hear an early morning or midnight concert. Back to Bach.