old classmate

An old friend suffers with depression is in an institution now. Hopefully, whatever the treatment is contains some music since she is a pianist and a violinist. Her partner doesn’t reveal many details, mutual friends try to piece together what happened nobody has enough of the information. In the 80s we were in class. Thought my classmates were cool or straight. The cool ones knew the cool music and how to play it with bobbing bodies and jerky joints. The straight ones got their names for that reason, playing erect and motionless. A gift handed down from teacher to student. I can hear them now discussing how wrong Glenn Gould was. Doesn’t matter he’s called a genius, he should have sat differently. The conversation never concludes that since he moaned while playing and since he sat at a peculiar angle and since he rocked side to side – maybe then there is no right way or wrong way. Instead they talk about those things as anomalies instead of considering music is the primary thing to encourage regardless of what one’s body needs to do getting there.
She had thick glasses, French braids and wore long skirts. Thought for certain she was in the straight club until she played. She rocked, groaned and sat low – the works.  Some get upset with the involuntary moaners but those who do it aren’t manufacturing it they just have an understanding between their body and the place they’re shooting for. Paul Williams had to do a crazy little dance in the end zone anytime he scored a touchdown.  It was an experimental class, at one point we were assigned playing music using different visual representations rather than notation and perform it. Everyone used little paintings or photographs, some maps. Mine was a painting. I liked the idea more than the execution. Boring , except hers.  She dragged a small table to the piano, put an electric blender on it and inside  frozen bananas, frozen strawberries and a cup of milk. The motor struggled at first against too much resistance and she smashed big slow chords to match it then, as the blades made progress and the motor gained speed the pitch changed and her speed and positions in the upper register did as well.  She moved to Lasqueti in British Columbia and then to San Francisco and then in recent years was in Owen Sound. She was also in fine art and made a zine of poems. I still have a copy.
Why do the sighted
Make not no fuss
Over these buildings
Bigger than us
A line in the sand
The voices play games
Who crosses loses
Onward goes blame

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *