Being the youngest in the band, I was the recipient of a lot of advice in the early years of Blue Rodeo. Time to update something one member shared with me the first time we played out of town and I began to grasp our different views on reality. Update: what goes on below middle C stays below middle C.
kid: Why is it when I try to play something that is tough, after a long time practicing over and over, I can do it?
teacher: I don’t know, but true it works like that.
kid: It’s like it goes from my conscious mind to my unconscious mind.
teacher: Like learning language.
kid: Why isn’t it quicker?
teacher: Some say it is muscle memory, like the muscles are learning and then remember at a different speed than the speed of your mind.
kid: Muscles don’t have speed.
teacher: Why not? … snails, hummingbirds, trees, flies all have different tempo, why not people?
little kid: You lost me.. but maybe I’ll consider that over and over and then maybe it might make
teacher: I see what you did there.
kid: Thanks. Can I ask you something else?
In the amazing doc about pianist Slatioslav Richter, he spoke lots about Russian musicians who I knew nothing about. One that sounded curious was Maria Yudina who also was Stalin’s favourite pianist, whatever that means. Richter told a story about her playing Chopin at a concert during WW2 and she played it very tough and staccato. He asked her after why she played Chopin so weird and she answered him defiantly “because we are at war”.
During the Cuban missile crisis, there was a Russian submarine near America armed with a nuclear torpedos. Protocol required 3 officers to agree before launching an attack. The only reason nuclear war wasn’t initiated in 1962 was because of Vasili Arkhipov’s decision, he voted against it, the other two voted to proceed. He’s dead now but in a couple weeks it is his 92cnd birthday. It is a world that more likely names substantial places after the Putins or Trumps rather than honour and be grateful for the Arkhipovs.