2012: “Solo Piano”
The following installments from Solo Piano are currently on this blog.
Forever #1 and Forever #13
Álmos vagyok (after Bartók)
Wisconsin Cowboy Lullaby
Untitled, for Steve
The Moon Never Beams (without bringing me dreams, Part 1) from Solo Piano.
The Moon Never Beams (without bringing me dreams, Part 2) from Solo Piano.
Every month in 2012, I am releasing passages from my enormous, autobiographical work Solo Piano.
It’s a single-movement work that, as far as I can tell, lasts about 3 hours.
Solo Piano is sometimes a diary and sometimes a memoir. I started it when I was about 17. The first bit I wrote in it was a lovelorn tune to a boy named Alvin, 16 years old but seemingly the wisest, most grown-up person I had ever met and the center of the universe.
I wrote and sketched in it as I made a life through (so far) four countries, from the Malaysia of my birth to the Singapore of my early adolescence to the USA of my teenage years and coming-of-age and to the Australia of my adulthood.
I wrote in it through the cycle of losing myself and finding myself and losing myself again. I wrote in it whenever anything brought me joy and heartbreak.
I sketched in it as I discovered TV shows with courtroom scenes were riveting, that there’s nothing so small it can’t be blown out of proportion, and that beautiful blond men are like the sun so don’t look directly at them or you’ll go blind.
Even the times I was afraid to compose, I’d write in it, warily. I scribbled little by little; eventually, invariably, I would feel the entire universe cradling and nursing me, and I’d write liberally and gratefully in return, and then the music would soar boldly on its own, leaving me behind with just the feeling of more happiness than I thought was possible for a person to feel, just happy that this music had chosen me as its composer.
I sketched in it as I waited for my friend Bruce to die of AIDS in the next room.
I wrote and sketched in it as I discovered that my tics had a name, Tourette’s Syndrome.
I sketched in it all the times I’ve had to learn and relearn that inspiring people who fulfill their dreams are simply ordinary people willing do the things that other people are unwilling to do.
In 2012, I’m releasing as many passages as I can – as I dare – from Solo Piano. By joining the mailing list, you’re literally helping to keep me honest, as I write out the truth of my life. Thank you.
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