May 10-17, 2016
It was time to take a break.
I’d been exploring Peru, finding rogue pianos, producing concerts, doing pro bono tunings, hunting down elusive piano technicians, and all the while running Floating Piano Factory from afar. The lines between my work and personal life had become increasingly blurry. I needed a little time to re-center.
Much like paddling into unknown waters on a surfboard, I do have a plan in mind as I move forward—but until the waves come, it’s hard to say exactly how things will turn out. I just keep trying to follow the paths that open up to me, and to pursue the things that feel most worthwhile. Taking some time to travel and relax seemed like a good way to gain some perspective.
Well, just as I started to paddle out, that’s exactly when the waves rolled in. Waves of emails, actually. I’d submitted a scientific paper to an academic journal, it was under review and I found out it would be considered for publication—if I was able to make an array of changes. Here I was, arriving in Colombia, hoping to step away from my work, but this was an assignment that just couldn’t wait.
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.
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
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
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.