Photo by William Foley on Unsplash
Sometimes it’s the experience of a single thing that captures your heart and has you breathless in the face of a miracle. Sometimes it’s the congruence of a number of things. As a young man, I will never forget the day I met a flock of sandpipers up close. I had gone down to the edge of the shore on a sandy beach with a portable tape player. The day was still with barely a breeze, the sun shining, and an ocean as smooth as glass. I sat on the sand at the edge of the sea as gentle waves lapped against me. The music was the pristine magical slow movement of Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G. A perfect match for the setting. Then, as I sat basking in the magical moment it expanded to a whole new level. A flock of 20 or more tiny sandpipers, dashing and dancing back and forth with the waves at the edge of the shore, approached me. I sat as still as the sea and they came within 6 feet of me before flying away.
These moments of miraculous beauty are what I look for and hold onto when I create music. I seek to create that when collaborating with other artists too. They are moments where the universe conspires to provide the unexpected and connect you profoundly with something beyond explanation. I strive to re-create experiences like that over and over when I sit at the piano. It’s a tall order. I’ve done it. I’ll do it again. The goal is to do it every time.
This experience was so profound for me that, some years later, I created this collagraph print as an abstract visual representation of the piece and the moment.
If you want to give yourself 8 minutes to meditate on this glorious music, here is a link to a video with the great Martha Argerich performing. Imagine the scene I shared as you listen. Martha Argerich: Ravel – Piano Concerto in G Major | Nobel Prize Concert 2009
Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G. Adagio assai
Performed by Alicia De Larrocha
(the same recording I listened to)
A better quality recording is this with