I received the gift the other day of meeting Laura at my piano teacher’s place. She is a trained classical pianist who has played over 40 years by sight reading. Now she is taking lessons to learn how to play by ear and to FEEL the music. She so far has considered herself not as a musician but as a technician.
Sure enough Laura could play some of songs I wrote perfectly – technically – but I know what she is describing. When I met this woman, who lives in Seattle with her husband but spends months in SE Arizona here every year playing golf at our tiny town’s impressive golf course (the oldest in our state). When I met Laura I felt as if I have known her all of my life.
So the next day a song came to me titled “Laura’s Song.” I am taking it to an office supply store to Xerox it today, and will leave her copy with our teacher. Again, this is a song that is still quite above my pay grade – I cannot yet TECHNICALLY play it. I have not written into the song all the musical signs and symbols that would tell another pianist how to FEEL the song – and I don’t wish to even hear Laura play the song note by note with mechanical perfection.
I would like to wait until Laura’s playing of it – perhaps – happens exactly as the last words of the song suggest. I had the song completed last night, so I thought, until I woke this morning and knew those musical notes in the last measures were not meant to stand alone.
I awoke knowing the last line.
I have only been learning music since I began lessons last October. What an amazing process! I love it – and once I do have Laura’s technical skills honed a bit better for my own self – I can’t WAIT to hear what I will be able to play (as I write the music) THEN!
I left my arrows with their feathers
At the back side of the sun.
I left my quiver with its beauty
At the bottom of the sea.
My bowstring is wrapped
Around the moon
My bow lies in the heart
Of a tree.
I planted my feet firm
And sent my breath out around the world
Out around the world.
My breath echoed back to me
Back to me
I gather my arrows
I shoot straight.
I am setting my songs free
So now I play
As my songs play me.