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The Attractive Piano

I have so many files of music that I have been working on for years. Most of the melodies are complete but there are some that are just waiting for me to add that “final touch.”

Browsing through my older files is enjoyable.  I often feel that I am looking at someone else’s compositions.  The melodies may seem unfamiliar to me because they were written such a long time ago.  I’ll often ask myself, “Whose music is that?”  Each song has such a different feel to it.  It’s as if each piece was written by a different composer.  When I do find the song that I want to work on next, I get excited and shut myself off from everyone.  I love to work at night so I can feel the music and there are no daily interruptions.  Each note has its place on the staff and it’s up to me to find that place.

Whenever I pass the piano room, it draws me.  I might be there for a few moments or sometimes for hours.  But when I hear my husband say, “I’m hungry,” then I have to make a difficult decision…

If I’m not sure where the music is taking me,  I don’t worry about it.  I learned long ago to just walk away from it all and to try again later. Sometimes my fingers just automatically find the changes that are needed without much inspiration or thought (of course it does help that I have a great theory background and I can quickly see what needs adjusting).  It’s also surprising how many melodies seem to have a life of their own.  I just love it when I misplay some notes and they turn out to be better than what I had previously written!

I know I’m on the right path when the piano calls to me.  What is attracting your creative curiosity today?

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When I’m working on a melody I need absolute quiet.   That allows me to feel each note as it is being written on the staff paper. The music itself is leading me and I just keep writing what I am hearing.

I will stay in the piano room  and keep writing and re-writing until I reach a point where I need to get away from it all, knowing that when I return,  the missing melody line will find its way to the staff paper.  It never fails. Walk away and come back refreshed to finish.

For me, the  only time a composition is done is when it is finally recorded.  At that point I know I did my best and I’m ready to work on something new.

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“Whispers”  gets your attention immediately.  The piano prepares you for the opening statement by the flute.  And then the theme begins and is developed with the synthesizer and piano providing a sensuous accompaniment.  The piano then speaks with Laima’s characteristic yearning quality.  But the piano is no pushover.  There is strength and resolve in its aggressive delineation of the melody … and then dances away into a dream state.  The flute picks up where the piano leaves off. The flute answers the piano, balancing the passion with a calm serenity.  The piano simply arpeggiating,  just to let you know that it hasn’t gone away.  Altogether, “Whispers” is a fitting introduction for this masterly collection of exquisite pieces.

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On this piece the piano prepares you for the violin’s entry.  The violin unquestionably puts you in a midnight mood.  The interplay between violin and piano is arresting but not distracting.   The piece has a contemplative feel to it that puts you in mind to a pleasant end to the day’s activity.  And as the violin ceases, the piano closes with notes like drops of dew.

Elbert Hubbard wrote that “Art is not a thing.  Art is a way.”  And so it is with Laima’s compositional style.  Not only does she make music that is “simply beautiful,” but she shows us a way of being and a way of listening.  The instruments make you feel like they are listening as well as proclaiming.

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