Okay, so there were actually a few more things that happened before I left Arequipa.
I returned to La UNSA to work with the music students once again. This time, we pulled apart a piano so they could see how it’s assembled. How the various pieces all fit together.
This is a rare opportunity. As a student, you don’t usually get the chance to take a piano completely apart, because once you open it up and start poking around, it can get really delicate. There’s a lot you have to learn in order to explore without doing any damage.
But I’ll come back to that.
One of the first important steps in grand piano action regulation is the adjustment of glide bolts. The glide bolts sit at four points distributed lengthwise along the center rail of the grand piano action. They have a tuning-pin-shaped protrusion towards their top, a central threaded portion that allows for up-down adjustment, and smooth rounded bottom. The bottom of the glide bolt both provides support for the center rail of the action and allows the piano to easily glide from left to right when the una cord pedal is depressed. Continue reading
There are these names that keep popping up. Certain people are mentioned again and again in various conversations. It’s like echoes calling me forward, and If I search long enough, I might find their origins.
While staying at la Casa de Melgar I met a painter, accompanied by a group of unusual tourists. This painter takes travelers on tours throughout the world, showing them how to document their experiences through artwork: instead of snapping photos, they paint pictures.
He discussed with me how you can have a richer sense of a place if you take the time to sit and paint it. You’re there for an extended period of time, and can watch the scene change as the hours pass. For example, he had just come from Cuzco where he had been painting the Plaza de Armas over several days’ sessions. Just before he finished his last sitting, a group of school children arrived, and they formed two rows as they waited for some activity. The geometry of it was such a perfect addition to the scene already in process—so he quickly sketched them into the piece before they dispersed.
The experience of a place is never captured in one photo, one video, one conversation, or one story. A memory lives with depth in time, space, and levels of awareness.
You don’t know what will come into frame if you take that extra time to watch and listen.
We’re at a halfway point in our journey in this foreign land. I arrived in Peru six months ago with some ambitious goals in mind, but without a completely concrete plan on how to accomplish them. For instance, I had no idea how or if the Ambassador program would evolve. We didn’t know if we could thrive as a business with members on different continents. I knew I wanted to perform a concert somewhere in town, but where? When? How? Continue reading
Filed under Ambassador Program, Arequipa, Creativity, Glass Piano, Lima, Multidisciplinary, Music Practice, Peru, Piano Action, Piano Maintenance, Piano Repair, Piano Stories
It’s amazing how meeting just one new person can open up hundreds of pathways and tunnels you otherwise never would have found. My first visit to the home of Hernando Torres-Fernández was a prime example of this. An evening filled with friendship and piano stories, it definitely led to a slew of discoveries I hadn’t expected.
Before we parted ways that night, he reminded me of an upcoming event that I might like to attend. The event is called Hay Festival. When Hernando gave me a copy of the program, I it seemed to include many different kinds of thinkers who would be sharing their ideas. But honestly I could hardly decode the Spanish enough to be prepared. My new words of the day became “periodista” and “escritor.” There would be several of these people the conference. Once I found the meaning it made sense: journalists! Their job is to author periodicals; Writers! They might compose a script. So, it would be literary festival of sorts.
There were quite a few lectures I could choose to attend, but where should I begin? Would all the talks be in Spanish? Would I even be able to understand any of it? Continue reading
In a previous post I talked about my conversation with piano-playing diplomat Hernando Torres-Fernández, and how meeting him quickly led to several other adventures. For instance, only a few hours after meeting him, I attended a concert at the Peruvian-North American Cultural center that he had recommended. That’s where I met José and Roxana, a lovely couple with a passion for music and a spectacular Rönisch upright piano, imported from Germany by their ancestors. I wound up spending a beautiful day with them and their piano that epitomized why this Ambassador Program feels so special.
Although it was Hernando’s influence that helped me along my circuitous journey to Jose’s piano, I actually had not yet visited the instrument in Hernando’s own home. I was very eager to investigate. It was in need of a tuning, so we decided we would set a time to meet. Continue reading
As my adventures in Peru continue, it’s amazing to experience how our intricate web of connections continues to grow. In my previous post, Piano Ambassadors, a string of strangely serendipitous encounters led me to a local piano concert. It was there that I happened to sit next to a very nice couple, and in the midst of friendly conversation, learn that they had a piano that was direly in need of a tune up.
In my previous post I visited a C. Bechstein piano in Arequipa that I found for sale through OLX.com, an online classified site . My intention was to view the instrument as a possible purchase or at least as a way to get a sense of the piano market here in Arequipa. I was surprised to find that the visit transformed into a pivotal experience for our diplomatic projects here in Peru!
I will give a brief account of the previous post: With broken Spanish, after evaluating the C. Bechstein piano for sale, I explained the Ambassador Program to Luis—the piano’s seller. Me explaining the Ambassador Program was simply meant as a bit of small talk and a way for me to practice my Spanish. To my surprise he was not only interested in, but became quite enthusiastic about the project—our talk inspired him to attempt to connect me with a former classmate of his. Due to my inexperience with Spanish I was not sure whom this person was, but was excited to find out.