Feeling it

Forgotten in the drafts folder since 21 June 2016 and presented as it was

I grew up learning music since I was about 7. Always equated music=piano for a long time, and eventually got pretty good at it.

The keys helped me process difficult feelings and kept me in company in lonely times. Sometimes I hated what I played, sometimes I loved it.

Eventually I started to learn not only how to play, technically, but also what emotions were behind the pieces, what challenges.

I started sharing very intimate feelings with other times and places, that were still very close.

In a way, I started discovering what being human meant, through music, as I started to open myself to the world and to people.

Chopin’s Revolutionary Etude and Ballade in G minor, Liszt’s Legend No. 2 and Liebestraum No. 3 became symbols of what I could achieve, proof that I could be anything I wanted. But life got in the way and, chasing mermaids, I forgot some of what was important in life.

I kept playing during the holidays, then less and less, until my fingers became rusty and wouldn’t follow my head anymore.

When I brought music back into my life a few years ago, I tried first harpsichord, then piano, then organ.

The keys are, after all, powerful, they can play chords, melodies, harmonies…

In front of them, you can easily become the whole orchestra, with its endless subtleties and grandioseness. You feel powerful.

But as I started transitioning, I slowly realised that I wasn’t that attached to the keys anymore. Not in the same way I used to be.

I was becoming frustrated at having to relearn a lot of basic technique, and my head always wanted to do a lot more than I really could.

Then I tried out guitar again, and then recorder. And I felt the music wanting to flow through me again. I never thought of myself as a strings person. That was other people. This never bothered me.

Then I decided to try out a viola. Then a viola da gamba at the shop. Then I found out that I could rent one.

With the strings, with the recorder, I am not powerful in the way I was on the keys. These instruments can mostly do only one note at a time.

With them, I feel exposed, vulnerable. I cannot hide bad musicality with chords or virtuosism. I am a newbie, everything takes time&effort,

even the simplest melody, now. But I achieve an intimacy with the music that I don’t with the keys.

Something has changed in me, perhaps it’s got nothing to do with my transition, but I now really enjoy the closeness…

that the strings, or the wind, give me to the notes. And find it in a way funny to think that I might now be a recorder or a strings person.

given how strongly I used to identify music=keys.

I look forward to experience whatever music brings me.

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