Pianos are like anchors,
Heavy, hard to move,
They hold us in spaces
And we sound our stories though them.
The lid of our piano stayed shut for a long time. It reminded me of exams and how bad I was at sight-reading.
It had been the first thing I’d used to tell stories with, as a small child, legs dangling from the piano stool. Entire worlds of adventure were to be discovered through the keys laid out before me, their infinite combinations the gateway to characters and places, to love and tragedy.
Fast forward several years of falling in and out of love with studying music to 2015 where I play support for Robyn Hitchcock at the Unitarian Church, Brighton. I see a grand piano to the side of stage and something makes me ask the caretaker, Peter, if I can come back and practice on it during the day. There began a ritual of unravelling. Not of sight-reading, or dusting off exam pieces I’d once played, but of actually playing, like kids do. Without trying to accomplish anything ‘correctly’ I wrote Don’t Know Much. I reckon that sums it up.
Open the lid of things you once loved and see what happens…