Monday, 30 March 2009

if you're anything like me...

There is one musical composition that will, without fail, bring you to tears (or something very close) any and every time you hear it.

For me, that piece of music is Pachelbel's Canon in D.



I don't know that I'll never be entirely sure what it is about this canon that makes me bawl my face off.

It may be the fact that the chords to the Canon in D were the first thing I ever learned to play on the harp. (Yes, I played harp, and would still play if I had a harp. Sadly, I do not. '1x 34-string cherry-wood Larry Fisher lever harp' is on my list of "things to buy myself when I get my first book deal.")

It may be that it was one of the only things I could play when my grandfather died, so I played those chords over and over for weeks.

It may be that Diana soon took to sitting at the piano improvising along with me, pulling variations of Pachelbel out of thin air. I've only recently begun to realize that my mother was more talented than I ever imagined.
As a child, it never occurred to me that normal mothers didn't sit in the living room for two hours every night for weeks harmonizing along to their eleven year-old's grief.

It may be because no matter how it's performed, I love it.



(Now, imagine the way that guitarist is improvising and replace it with a piano and that's maybe half as good as my mum)

It may be that after a few nights of my mother improvising to the chords I was playing, I began to improvise too. I wish I had recordings of it. I still find myself singing my favourite variations in my head over the actual orchestration. I'm constantly afraid that when I hear this performed I will be compelled to walk down into the orchestra pit, commandeer a harp, and show them what it's really supposed to sound like...

It may be that whenever I am in a music store that contains a harp, I gravitate towards it, and fumble my way through the chords the way you fumble your way through conversation with your best friend after too long a separation.

Or, it may just be that the music itself touches some place in me, some place deep down that connects me very solidly, very permanently, to this world, to humanity.

4 comments:

Jessclub7 said...

I have been transported back in time to when I did my Grade 5 piano exam by Canon in D.

One of the few pieces I didn't hate after prolonged exposure to it (I was not a naturally talented player so needed a LOT of practice)

Susan said...

Oh, I do love that piece of music. And I am envious of anyone who can play a harp, I love listening to harps. One of my favorite Celtic groups is Sileas; one plays a gut-strung harp and the other plays a metal-strung harp. Beautiful!

Lauren said...

No joke - the girl who lives above my apartment is playing Canon in D on her violin right now. Of course, I immediately thought of you.

She's really quite good - I'm always tempted to go upstairs and ask her if she'll practice more often :)

KD said...

@ Lauren
I'm coming over while she's practicing! :)
I love listening to a violin.

Anyone want to go to the symphony?! I'm so in the mood now.