So I got this monster

So I got this monster, this thing, this work of art.

It is a brand new piano, a Steinway, bigger and badder and meaner and sweeter than any of the other pianos I've ever had.

It is also more delicate. A delicate instrument that allows for so much color of expression, specially when you play soft, there are levels of soft that I didn't know were possible, and this is perhaps why my wife got teary eyed when I played the delicate part of her prelude at the Steinway showroom. It was right then and there that I made my choice, I know. Because you go to the showroom to any showroom, Miami, NY, and are presented with several debutantes, you can pick one, you should pick one, if you want one. And I did and I do, I wanted this piano my whole life and when I saw this one, it was like where have you been my whole life, who knew there was one of you which could sound so soft. So I invited it to move in and it was a tough move with five guys grunting and a special dolly, be careful I thought, be careful with the building and the elevator, the piano can take care of itself, look how big and bad and mean and sweet it is, it can play so soft, your ears will melt.

But you could also feel inadequate, sometimes. This piano is faithful, it reproduceseverything faithfully and in that way it becomes an exacting, demanding master who points out limitations. I hear limitations, sometimes, and they are a dare, the life-long dare for a pianist, the dare that says: for nothing other than for the joy of it, with no promise of reward or glory, do you dare to do the mountainous work so that your fingers are just that much more elegant, and perhaps, just maybe, that much more musical? Yes I will, for you, I will.

And I will also have patience with you because you are new, so new that we are only beginning to understand each other, only beginning the dance. It is a years old dance, a decades old dance, we could be dancing forever. And we are just starting, so we don't know our preferences, we just don't know. We don't know that when we play that chord, the bass trembles just so, rich and full in the room, and we don't know that when we play that one note in that one piece, the room faintly hums. We truly don't know anything about each other so we are shy, we need to come out, our voices need to come out, specially at the treble.

So I got this monster, this beautiful thing, this work of art, a demon to paint my life with and maybe tame with work and sweat but mostly with my heart.

April 8, 2017

Still buzzing from one of the most amazing musical experiences on April 8, 2017, next to the wonderful Scott Flavin and the incredible Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra.

Thank you Shelly Berg for making this possible, thank you Steve Guerra for suggesting the performance, thank you Jonathon Winter for being a great concertmaster, and thank you to the Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra musicians for being absolutely awesome!

See a video of one of the preludes for piano and orchestra which we performed, album release coming later this year!!!

Birthday Waves

The biggest day I've ever surfed Miami Beach was hurricane Sandy, October 27, 2012, which happened to be my wedding day AND my 40th birthday. So I paddle out and this huge set is coming, off in the distance, but miraculously it doesn't break on top of me, it goes by and I'm paddling like I am in a conveyor belt I get out almost instantly until I realize that the rip current I'm in is super powerful and I'm being pulled clear to the Bahamas. I spend the next 45 minutes paddling back, trying to make it back somewhat close to the shore and as I'm paddling I wonder what if I don't make it, the rip is so strong, but I make it back to the break in time to catch a wave, I'm exhausted, I ride that one wave which feels like a Mack truck under me and I take it all the way to the beach, my wedding and birthday can still go on.


A Tribute to Little Milo. With loaded words like God.

January 31, 2013
So we are all eagerly waiting for a toy for little Milo coming from Amazon. It is a puzzle ball, made of clear plastic, with holes on top and bottom, holes big enough to insert treats and a network of red plastic passageways inside. So you put the treat in and watch little Milo (rip the plastic to shreds) figure out how to get the treat out by moving the ball backwards and forwards, the treat eventually falling from one passageway to another and finally coming out one of the holes, the whole process keeping Milo entertained for hours on end while we watch marveling about the prodigious IQ of our little mutt - or so we hope. But that's not what's important. The important thing is the analogy: imagine 'god' is whosoever is standing with the ball holding the treat and imagine the little dog trying to work out the problem is you and me, as we go on with our daily lives, working out our daily problems, will I pass the test, will my song resonate,with anyone, will I, will I. Imagine that god stands there watching you trying to tease the treat out, all the time knowing that there is an endless supply of treats, a bag of treats and countless more bags full of those treats, both the process, the conundrum, and the reward and nothing, not one of those problems worth getting your panties up in a tizzy about.

UPDATE: the ball with the puzzle inside arrived. Milo sniffed it two and a half times, lost interest and went to sleep.