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19/06/2018, 19:01



Professional-charmers


 When I say that I play the piano, the initial and most recurrent reaction is admired astonishment. However, as soon...



When I say that I play the piano, the initial and most recurrent reaction is admired astonishment. However, as soon as the conversation takes hold, I find myself in most cases having to fight false myths and misconceptions. In fact, there are a great many common places that the idea of ​​an artist usually carries along.In the public imagination, the musician leads a dreaming and a little bohemian existence, flavoured in its unfolding by the pleasure of art. He has been blessed by the Muses with a talent out of the ordinary, which allows him to play with extraordinary ease. As soon as he gracefully approaches his instrument, it instantly produces sounds never heard before. Sounds that will enchant, as if by magic,  people, animals, trees and pebbles.The girls will evoke a nineteenth-century charm, delicate and ecstatic; men, on the contrary, the imagine of a dark and cursed artist. In any case, something diametrically opposed to the image of a common worker who lavishes himself in an intense and laborious activity, earning his bread with the sweat of his forehead.I suddenly realized how tragically this conviction was rooted during a Christmas dinner for women. After a day of intense study, sitting wearily at the table, I was addressed by a merry wife, professional lawyer, who so kindly welcomed me with: "Here is the pianist, beautiful, fresh and rested eh ?!".Female perfidyBut how are things really? Let’s try to move the Maya veil to one side.Playing is hard stuff, and the gift does not come from the sky, but from daily toil: read the notes, perform, try to make sense of those sounds, memorize. Repeat. With extreme concentration, for hours and hours. The following day you reply, until you reach the desired result. If you are faced with a difficult technical step, it will take you weeks and months of crazy and desperate study. If you leave the piece behind for some time you run the risk that the work goes to the air, you may not remember the notes anymore. Start again.All in a fixed and constant posture, generally uncomfortable. After hours sitting and intent on straining your arms and fingers, you will get aching all over your body, back in pieces; then, with the gait of an elderly gentleman who has just finished a strenuous Sunday jogging, you will drag yourself from the piano directly onto the bed. In short, at the end of the day we come back from the studio, exhausted and with lots of t-shirts soaked with sweat: a characteristic that would sometimes make it easier to exchange us for a bricklayer rather than a musician. Icing on the cake, in addition to the daily study there are public performances, during which we will have to learn to manage a good amount of anxiety, adrenaline, and perhaps more than a sleepless night; all well camouflaged under a patina of apparent flat composure: outside smiling and invincible, inside you would rather feel like running away. In short, nothing easy, fascinating or immediate,.Now, irony aside, we must admit that we musicians have long been basking in this image: we like it all too much to distinguish and appear different from others. We bring that charm with us  cheerfully, and just like a true star we complain about the drawbacks only when needed.Wouldn’t be more useful to abandon the mask of the seductive artist rather than leaving the rest of the world in doubt of being nothing but dreamers?It will be hard work to shake off the charm of intellectuals we have been carrying with us for centuries.But, alas, the times are now mature.



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