My RL love affair
This is a blog based on a true personal life event. It happened somewhere in 2008 in the middle of the night and it still feels like yesterday when I set my mind back on those 6 hours in bed. And those 6 hours never have been beaten. They probably never will be beaten either. In fact this is about a love affair, a very special one.
Where it all started
As a child I had piano lessons. My skills can be called average I suppose, so it always stayed a hobby and never became a job. During my teenager years I started to participate in HOME concerts. With a group of students we would visit each other’s home and make our own little informal music event for friends and family. All very relaxed, but I could not help to be nervous as well when everyone focussed on my performance during those evenings. Shaky hands are not particularly handy when you try to make music. After surviving such moments I always felt thrilled I did well after all and told myself I should relax more in performing. My love for music and in particular piano music was born during those years of making and sharing it together.
That ugly shop
During a visit to a drugstore with ugly colours, insane bright lights and aggressive commercials, I saw a CD collection with piano music at their counter. The price was ridiculously low, even made me think it probably would be total crap, but I grabbed it anyway and went home. At that time I was 43 years of age. My piano lessons had died due to many things, but the piano still was in use when I felt like needing it. Playing was like drifting away in my own world of stories, thoughts and secrets. Secrets I had many, unwanted and unintended to create and hide them, but I was trapped in a cage of self-tortures and self-destructions which were too hard to share at that moment in my life. Exposures need the right moment . . . when ready and surrendering to what comes after that. But that ugly shop was the first step into this frightening future of exposures, just I did not know yet . . .
It probably will be crap
A few days after buying the CD collection I decided to listen to the first one. I was working on my personal website (not this one) at the same time, but the music so distracted my focus and annoyed me, I stopped listening after a few minutes. I remembered my thoughts in the shop. . . . ‘it probably will be crap’ . . . and was not sure I would try again. I was home alone a few weeks (partner was abroad for work), which gave me the opportunity to listen to music at all times, like at night when in bed. And so it happened I DID listen again to the music I was so annoyed with earlier that day. This time in bed, with a headphone. In fact I used IN-EAR plugs, which shut down all noise around and isolate you in your music bubble. I lay down and expected to be done soon . . .
The CD was filled with a 90 minutes composition. I closed my eyes and forced myself to really LISTEN and not give in to annoyance just like that. Music is not made to work at, but to listen to with full focus. And so I did. It was the start of making love in a way I hardly can describe. The music connected with me and I connected with the music. Here is what happened. I was drawn into a deep sea with 4 piano’s playing together. The music they created was what is called minimal music. Subtle changes and variations like waves going into each other calmly. Repetitive, like a clock ticking, hypnotic, like being in trance yet very conscious you are here with the music intoxicating your mind. The calm waves became stronger ones with the piano’s sounding like thunderstorms, scary and loud, like terrible noise from a traffic that won’t stop using their klaxons and motors. Like standing on a high wave and being thrown into the abyss over and over again. Drowning and gasping for breath and then when saved . . .. cry so hard it becomes uncontrollable. A few minutes later another climax, this time to the highest waves of euphoria. Feeling so full of the intensity of the music your body shakes and shivers, your mind bursting of a strange new energy as if you can conquer all now. Total satisfaction, total disruption. Cruel music, orgastic music. From high to low, from energetic to exhausted. From scared to brave. The effect of 4 piano’s becoming one, tearing your soul apart into emotional chaos. Making love with such a bed partner is being totally consummated by surprise. Not able to anticipate, not able to resist. Only able to feel and let it happen, to surrender to all you fear, want, need and in the end enjoy, because it shows you the way. I went to bed at midnight and stopped listening at 6. It changed my life in a very distinctive way.
The next afternoon (I slept all morning) I woke up with a feeling I only experienced as well when falling in love with my husband. Every pixel (errr, sorry, cell) was on fire. When falling in love you have this burning desire to make love and feel good. You also feel nervous because new love can be insecure. This is what I felt again and I knew I had to act on it. I could not ignore the impact of the last night and I started to write about my feelings with myself. Those were pretty bad feelings and no need to share them here, but it was the first time in 30 years I could express them in a safe way. On a paper or screen, only for myself and later also for my therapist. It is the reason I still like to write instead of visual communication only (we live in the age of visual communications) and why it calms me or fills me with joy when I have done so. Not the fact others read it or even may like it, is what satisfies me most. The fact I communicate with myself, without hiding, makes it worth the effort and time.
How about the lover?
Is he still there? And if so, is he still able to take me by surprise and make me crash into these waves again? The answer is short: yes to both questions. But the surprise effect is less intense of course and the crash is more gentle. In a way I like that more and I can now see it coming and prepare a bit. I can choose to let go of all for one more time if I feel like that ride again. Or I can say ‘STOP, enough now’. But a longing back to the insane impact of that night always is there, even when knowing I was in a terrible state I really never want to feel again. Fact is this life event started a process of healing. I also made it my habit to listen to this music every time I drove to the hospital for therapy and back home. It was precisely the length of my drive, 90 minutes. I lost count how many times it was, but at least between 75 and 100 drives and it never bored me. I even felt better focussed strangely enough, where my first encounter with this music was the opposite.
In a good love affair there often is the third person who is being jealous, right? In this case that would be my husband. But ok, to be jealous at 4 piano’s is a bit strange, to be jealous at my pleasure and revival as well. But I do know it was hard for him in another way. Witnessing a huge change in someone you almost lost as the lover she used to be when life was not traumatised yet, is feeling helpless. You see how she (me) is becoming a new person, not really the one anymore you married for who she was. It can be very scary to see that and wonder what will become of her . . . and if she will still love YOU. To not be part of that change is . . lonely. Thankfully we did a great job in filling that gap with letting each other free and not push one another into communication. By doing so we felt more free to share and also free too say . . . ‘another day, ok’?
And they lived long and happily together. As far as we are concerned that’s a fact every new day we share. How long and how happy always is unpredictable, but I think it matters more to know the other person does not love you for perfection. He loves you for being you, full of imperfections. And vice versa. I would never want to be perfect. It stops your motivation to improve. It also stops challenges and joy. So there is no end . . . . not a happy one, not a bad one, there just is no end, there only is beginning (ok ok, till death do us part).
Meet ‘The lover’
It is being said you either like or dislike this music. Like I said myself . . it matters HOW you listen and if it connects with you. Here in my country it has been used as music for many occasions: giving birth to a child, divorce, marriage, funeral, and mostly very personal experiences like mine. The struck by lightning effect and after that becoming an all time lover. I went to see a RL concert twice, both in Amsterdam, and I am sure I will do again one day. So. . . I introduce to you, The Lover. The one who had a musical intercourse with me and spread his seeds in my system. We did not make babies however. Pity . . . would be cute little piano chickens maybe :)
Listen or walk away when it tortures your brain and taste. The unique thing with this composition is it can be played in all kinds of settings. From 2 piano’s to 10 to a whole orchestra and it indeed has no real ending. The only reason it ends is because one of the players nods with the head at some moment in time to signal the others this is the last time they will play their music. And a last very visible nod of the head makes all musicians stop at the same time, falling into silence and divinity :)
I will add several performances. I like them all (obviously)
I listened to the music while writing this blog!
Canto Ostinato – Simeon ten Holt
The basic theme of the music (shortest examples)
A fun object ( and yes I have it)