Do you hear that? That’s the sound of Martha Argerich, one of the world’s best pianists, giving an interview. It is a sound I know very well. It is something I feel through my fingers, and my heart. When I listen to her speak, all my normal thoughts vanish- am I being overwhelmed by Martha? I am afraid to face this question; it is too important for me.
I have seen and heard so many of these interviews that I have lost the ability to speak normally, like mortals, bound to earth. Now, I fly about among the heavens, smoking coquettishly in black and white while speaking entirely in open-ended uncertainties. Does music end? I feel it, but then…I don’t.
I can’t help but feel that if only I could absorb some aspect of Martha’s personality, maybe that will make me a better pianist. And what better thing to absorb than than her allusive, roaming capriciousness? Sure, I could practise more, but I could also sweep a scarf around my neck and give passionate yet inconclusive speeches about Schumann’s soul. Why work at my octaves when I could just shoot a captivating smile through stray locks of hair while dismissively laughing them off as easy?
Just what is her secret? Could I also be a brilliant, otherworldly ingénue just by dismissing Gaspard de la Nuit as child’s play? It’s not that I found it easy, it’s that no one told me it was difficult. It’s very dark outside, and inside.
You see, I’m hooked. Before I even know what I am doing, I find myself exuding a winsome nonchalance that makes regular concerns vanish on a wispy puff of insouciant talent. Such things can be terrifying, but exhilarating. Maybe we will never know for sure. Young pianists are so free; I’m too busy being myself.
All I can do is keep practising, watching Martha Argerich interviews, and never quite articulating my questions in a concise, answerable form. Do you think it’s… As an artist, it is tough to communicate, to really communicate. Music is so personal, very personal, but cold as well. I never like to play, really…?