The Love of Pahrump Piano Purgatory

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The Love of Pahrump Piano Purgatory

Post by Amskeptic » Mon Jul 26, 2010 3:46 pm

. . . it is so demented, all of this, the dashed dreams, the defiled grand dame who has been with us from the year after the Titanic sank sitting here in the stifling destructive deathly heat, you cannot treat a beautifully crafted instrument such as this any worse, that is a promise.

There are no steps to this wreck of a littered dead man's trailer, not after the piano escape hatch was nailed shut (the better which to kill a piano by heat) with a 4X8 piece of plywood across the sliding glass door that I fixed when the old man was alive. No, you have to negotiate the detrius of some family that beat it out of there in a hurry, broken toys, paint cans, clothes strewn about, an old couch and an Audi Quattro timing belt cover, and you have to vault up into the back door opening from the dirt below. There is another piece of plywood that leans against the back door because its latch long ago no longer latched. Once you have gotten in, you are facing the "bath"room. A hard left down the "hall" through the crap on the floor and through the crap in the "kitchen" and there is the poor Steinway covered in flyshit cat dander desert dust and spiderwebs.
"Hello my love."

It is sheer pure joy.
I have driven hundreds of miles in the heat, I have dreamed of being here since the last time I said goodbye in March. This piano and only this piano has a sound that I adore, the bright hammered hammers, the clean thunder of the bass strings, but wait! There is the problem of the abuse, the neglect, the horrible senseless heat that is eating the piano dead through every heartbeat I take. With tender trepidation, I open the cover and greet the soundboard with apology. I beg God Himself and the spirit of my dead Dad to please allow the heart of this beautiful crusted piano to be intact. The day that soundboard goes is the day the sound dies.

Many notes, hell every note, are sour from the incredible stress on the frame in this heat. Every year, I miserably anticipate that the pin block will be in ruins with the 25,000 pounds of pull against the drying out maple, but thankfully I only have three notes that are untuneable until I commit my crime of pouring water and a little antifreeze on the pins, then hammer them down. One hundred and ninety some odd strings have to be tuned and it takes me from 10:00PM throught to about 2:30AM.
This tuning was sloppy due to the unbelievable heat, but she still comes to life. There is no greater joy than bringing those lower C/D/E-strings into synchronization with the octave just above. It makes me cry to hear this piano.

I make up my own toons. They come from just seeking that "sound" from this piano. "Variations" the first one here, comes from chords that I like. I have to find the sounds that are just out of the range of known reality. My job is to get them out.

Image

http://s187.photobucket.com/albums/x133 ... ationA.mp4


The other piece 2010 My Birthday I originally did in March, but could not make myself play it correctly because it was too damn cold (imagine that). I adored the sound of the piano through the final progression down, however, and I swore then that I would be back to play it in the muscle-relaxing heat. Muscle relaxing, you bet, brain-relaxing too. I still couldn't play it correctly. It was so hot in that fetid air, with the crooked kerosene lamps heating the place further, that I could only bear to stay with a continually wetted t-shirt flapping around on my head.

Image

http://s187.photobucket.com/albums/x133 ... thdayB.mp4

This Steinway knows something, though. Through its long story on this Earth, beginning with its birth by passionate craftsmen, through its youth of being a trophy piece of furniture and a toy for the dillitante piano peckers trying to communicate the compositions of others, through to its fallen state in its dreadful current environment, it did nonetheless pass into the hands of a man who had to let out his inner music. This Steinway has been at the front line of human beings who have been driven to channel the Music of Creation, this I know too. This piano, this piano sits in the middle of nowhere and gives her all to the son of a man who never could stick to the damn score, and I love her effort with just about every cell in my being. This piano has witnessed and called forth tears of gratitude, this piano has witnessed and participated mightily in human creativity and love in the middle of hell, and honestly, what piano gets that? This piano has Lived. And I swear to God I do not know how she keeps on keeping on, but I thank her and Music and God and All That Is Real far far from the furniture polish and vacuumed carpets and air-conditioned humidity-controlled quiet of the tidily neglected with the vase on top, and you know what? The damn beauty of this? I think she thanks me too.
Colin
BobD - 78 Bus . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 70 bus . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 77 Westy . . . 129,490 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 91 Lexus LS400 . . . 94,225 miles

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RSorak 71Westy
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Post by RSorak 71Westy » Mon Jul 26, 2010 4:37 pm

If you luv this piano so much why dont you figure out a way to save it?
Take care,
Rick
Stock 1600 w/dual Solex 34's and header. mildly ported heads and EMPI elephant's feet. SVDA W/pertronix. 73 Thing has been sold. BTW I am a pro wrench have been fixing cars for living for over 30 yrs.

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Post by glasseye » Mon Jul 26, 2010 6:15 pm

RSorak 71Westy wrote:If you luv this piano so much why dont you figure out a way to save it?
:cheers: =D>
"This war will pay for itself."
Paul Wolfowitz, speaking of Iraq.

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Post by airkooledchris » Mon Jul 26, 2010 7:16 pm

from the description of it's current condition - it sounds like moving and repairing this piano could possibly rob it of it's soul.

like rebuilding the original motor in your VW, you never get that sound/feel back the way it was before - though you may have something new and wonderful to appreciate.

I love the sounds it makes though, especially in the second clip.

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Post by Lanval » Mon Jul 26, 2010 10:18 pm

It's like the "The Phantom of the Opera" seen through the mind of a man who descended into the 7th level and played the Piano of Doom only to discover the sound was beyond achingly beautiful, the lost and tortured soul-sound of the fallen angel Lucifer who had poured all that was left of the infinite symphony of heavenly grace into the strings.

No one can hear the impossible, ethereal beauty and hatred born of the knowledge of the loss of all that had ever been, or will ever be save he. And the sound plays only for him, in ears deafened to the grotesque and insignificant scratchings we call life. He wanders to and fro, and plays notes only he can hear; but once a year, in the hellish heat of the earthly inferno he returns to that place whence he sprung, and calls forth the sounds only he can hear through rituals both arcane and grim. This is what I hear...

Lanval

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Post by Amskeptic » Mon Jul 26, 2010 11:11 pm

"Save" it?
I have been trying to figure that one out.

There is something incredibly perfect about all of this, and I am trying to learn what it is.

Up here at the surface of day-to-day life, yes, of course, there is a magnificent piano to be saved. But in this unlikely hidden spot under the stars surrounded by squalor, the truth of new music fresh off the muse is no more apparent than here.

Part of my access to the piano includes playing a lot of gin rummy with my dad's ex-wife, and a little carpentry with her husband who frightens me but who I must come to understand.

I think "It Is What It Is, Kid", as a certain old goat once told me. I will continue to play it by ear (as I am want to do).
Colin
BobD - 78 Bus . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 70 bus . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 77 Westy . . . 129,490 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 91 Lexus LS400 . . . 94,225 miles

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airkooledchris
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Post by airkooledchris » Tue Jul 27, 2010 9:07 am

Lanval wrote:It's like the "The Phantom of the Opera" seen through the mind of a man who descended into the 7th level and played the Piano of Doom only to discover the sound was beyond achingly beautiful, the lost and tortured soul-sound of the fallen angel Lucifer who had poured all that was left of the infinite symphony of heavenly grace into the strings.

No one can hear the impossible, ethereal beauty and hatred born of the knowledge of the loss of all that had ever been, or will ever be save he. And the sound plays only for him, in ears deafened to the grotesque and insignificant scratchings we call life. He wanders to and fro, and plays notes only he can hear; but once a year, in the hellish heat of the earthly inferno he returns to that place whence he sprung, and calls forth the sounds only he can hear through rituals both arcane and grim. This is what I hear...

Lanval


Image

Ditto!

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Post by aopisa » Tue Jul 27, 2010 7:46 pm

This piano teaches the five remembrances with astonishing clarity and grace. Moving it, preserving it may only temporarily stave off these events, but can never change them. It seems to me that it is exactly where it belongs.

1. I am of the nature to grow old. There is no way to
escape growing old.
2. I am of the nature to have ill health. There is no
way to escape ill health.
3. I am of the nature to die. There is no way to
escape death.
4. All that is dear to me and everyone I love are of
the nature to change. There is no way to escape
being separated from them.
5. My actions are my only true belongings. I cannot
escape the consequences of my actions. My
actions are the ground upon which I stand.
1977 Westy 2.0L F.I.

Flow with whatever may happen and let your mind be free. Stay centered by accepting whatever you are doing. This is the ultimate. - Chuang Tzu

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Post by Lanval » Tue Jul 27, 2010 10:30 pm

Amskeptic wrote: I will continue to play it by ear (as I am want to do).
Colin

Since I paid so damn much for this education, I'll use it for the general good; the word you need here is "wont" meaning "accustomed to". The usual usage is something like this:

"And thus he returned to fish the old river again, as he was wont to do in his younger days."

The meaning is not about preference, but custom.

Why is it the more I learned, the less useful and more pedantic the knowledge became?!

Blessed be the air-cooled, for they are cool in spirit...

L.

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Post by Amskeptic » Tue Jul 27, 2010 10:56 pm

Lanval wrote:
Amskeptic wrote: I will continue to play it by ear (as I am want to do).
Colin

Since I paid so damn much for this education, I'll use it for the general good; the word you need here is "wont" meaning "accustomed to". The usual usage is something like this:

"And thus he returned to fish the old river again, as he was wont to do in his younger days."

The meaning is not about preference, but custom.

Why is it the more I learned, the less useful and more pedantic the knowledge became?!

Blessed be the air-cooled, for they are cool in spirit...

L.
I will continue to play it by ear . . . as I prefer to do.
I will not learn to read music or play others' compositions.
It ( my life) will continue to play itself out by whim and whimsy, as is my wont, as I won't want for nothing to want, won't I, as I am wanting in most ways as is my wont.
:geek:
BobD - 78 Bus . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 70 bus . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 77 Westy . . . 129,490 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 91 Lexus LS400 . . . 94,225 miles

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hambone
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Post by hambone » Wed Jul 28, 2010 7:15 am

Is there room for guide by whimsy in this grindstone world????
http://greencascadia.blogspot.com
http://pdxvolksfolks.blogspot.com
it balances on your head just like a mattress balances on a bottle of wine
your brand new leopard skin pillbox hat

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Amskeptic
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Post by Amskeptic » Wed Jul 28, 2010 9:57 am

hambone wrote:Is there room for guide by whimsy in this grindstone world????
Yep. Hello.

But do not think I don't have excruciating moments of wondering exactly when and how I will be punished for it.

Will some instant moment of a seized pain in my gut spell the end of this?

Will some new and more effective twit who likes big Ford Expeditions decide that she is in a hurry on the crest of a hill?

Will my survivors paw through my junk and miss the folder on my computer that possesses all of the music my dad struggled to compose, and toss the file folders that have thousands of hours of VW book-in-the-making?

I see all around me Human Whimsy, people who were entranced by the flavors and details of life, and though the great majority of us will never get it out in front of others for their enjoyment, I sense somehow that there is a Universe of spirits who delight in our efforts.
Colin
BobD - 78 Bus . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 70 bus . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 77 Westy . . . 129,490 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 91 Lexus LS400 . . . 94,225 miles

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midatlanticys
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Post by midatlanticys » Wed Jul 28, 2010 12:41 pm

Amskeptic wrote: . . . . . I sense somehow that there is a Universe of spirits who delight in our efforts. Colin
:colors: :colors: :colors: Ohhhh AAAamayen, Brother! . . . but please don't distract yourself from the delights by asking *when and how* the genie may be gone!
"The sad thing about governments is that in every single case, government formed by the people eventually becomes so large it begins to prey upon the people who created it.” -- B. Hoover

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