The Composer

The Composer at Long & McQuade

There may come a time when The-Oldest playing on stage doesn’t wow me, but on one Saturday in Dec., not only was I wow’d, but I have to confess, tears leaked out of this old guy’s eyes as I listened to him play at the Langley Community Music School – a piece he’d written.

As a struggling artist (writer, not composer), I felt his anguish as he wrote, then perfected his sonata. For weeks, I heard him trying new things on his piano, playing with themes, progressions, chords and musical thingees I don’t pretend to understand. He’d curse the results sometimes. Sometimes he’d leave to walk around, muttering to himself as he sorted out a problem in his mind. A few times he even shouted with triumph.

But make no mistake, creating his latest composition took time, he suffered in its creation, and he put a lot of his soul into it.

Being a perfectionist, though, he wasn’t happy with the piece even as he sat waiting for his turn to play on stage. Nervous, like anyone having to perform, he talked out the issues swirling in his head, hoping to calm the butterflies or chase away the fear that everyone would hate it, that he’d wasted his time, that he didn’t have the talent.

Worse, as he sat there, he found out he had to do a speech.

A speech!

He hadn’t prepared for that! What was he going to say?

Keep it simple, I told him. What is your name? What is your quest? What is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?

He didn’t laugh. I don’t even know if he heard me.

Then his turn came.

Christ, I was as nervous as him. I knew there were complex parts he struggled to play. I knew when he let his nerves get the best of him, he’d rush through the piece like a ferret on speed. I knew that he still wasn’t sure one part worked and might even attempt to change it on the fly.

He stood up.

His mom took his hand for a moment. Just a brief moment. Then he marched up on stage.

And played his heart out.

He played his piece fearlessly. He played with passion and power. He played loud and proud, which in our living room sometimes sounds like he’s trying to bring the walls of Jericho down, but in the concert hall, he filled the huge room with incredible music.

After he finished, he stood, bowed with flourish, like a man used to being on stage, like a performer who knew he’d hit it out of the park. Not like someone who just took up the piano 2 ½ years ago.

I dabbed away the tears.

Last blog, I talked about ‘firsts’, and how special they can be, but this, too, was special. Not his first concert. Not the first piece he’s played to an audience, but it was, by far, the best performance that he’d done thus far.

Thus. Far.

Who knows what’s next?

As sat back down, he said he was already working on his next creation, and it would be even BETTER.

The-Prettiest-Girl-in-the-World and I both posted the performance on Facebook and Youtube, but if you haven’t heard it, check it out below. Like and subscribe to his channel, if you think he did a good job.

Help him get to 1000 subcribers. 🙂

Check out his Youtube Video for more

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