Last Thursday, we finally got the piano into the house. From my perspective, I finally feel like I’ve moved in. I have some closets and stuff to do still, but this was the moment I’ve been awaiting for several years.
It isn’t mine - it belongs to a friend who is a coach/pianist. He left the school he’d been working out of last October, and offered me the chance to baby-sit his piano. Here we are, almost ten months later, and we have finally finished the renovations to the point where we could bring the piano in.
The piano is a Kawai RX-3 baby grand - it has kept its tuning quite well despite almost a year in storage. After a year or so of using a digital keyboard, I can’t tell you how gratifying it is to have a real instrument again at last.
The process was daunting - throughout the renovations, we had planned for that room to become the ‘studio’, so the joists beneath the room were all sistered to take the weight, and when the stairs got moved, our contractor spent a lot of time planning it so the piano could still come up the stairs. The one thing we hadn’t thought through - at the top of the stairs, the piano had to go into my daughter’s room and then come across the angle to get to the hallway. We had 19 3/8" of space and we needed 20" plus the mover’s blanket, so we had to remove the railing. Not that big a deal in the scheme of things, but if we’d realized it at the time, we wouldn’t have put the plugs in to cover the screws, and we wouldn’t have glued the bannisters in place.
The sight of those four gentlemen hauling the piano up the fifteen steps of the stairs was incredible! Apparently, the Cantonese equivalent of “One, two, THREE!” is something like “Na, Yi, SA!”, or at least that’s what it sounded like to me.
For those interested, here are some pictures at PhotoBucket.
Sigh. Even ignoring the fact that we’ll probably never be able to afford anything better than an upright, we almost certainly won’t be able to afford a house big enough to house a grand (even a baby one).
We need a jealous smiley.
Very, very exciting. Getting a new guitar seems so pedestrian compared to getting a new grand piano moved in…probably because a pedestrian could actually move a guitar.
Give us a full report on how it settles in - lets hope you don’t run into anything as confounding as the woman did who wrote *A Grand Obsession *after she couldn’t get her piano to sound the same at home as it did in the store…
Well now the challenge for me is to become worthy of the instrument! It’s really cool, though - it will do whatever you ask of it, but that means you need to be careful what and how you ask…
I’m also getting an idea; now that I have a sostenuto pedal, I wonder if I can strap the guitar on high enough and stable enough that I can play a chord on the piano and solo over it on the guitar? Ooohh, think of the possibilities…
I’ve gotta get the hammers refelted on my Acrosonic. It’s 50 years old, and sounds like utter crap the way it is. I think I can get it done for about $700.
I wish I could afford a baby grand, but then I’d have to buy new house to fit around it. And I’m such a lousy pianist, the piano would be embarrassed to be seen with me.
There’s a great book - Playing the Piano for Pleasure, by Charles Cooke. If I may quote from his introduction - “Every piano, upright or grand, long owned or newly bought, is literally a treasure chest, waiting to give forth its inexhaustible gifts, to elevate and enrich the lives around it.”
I’ve made my best progress when I’ve had access to a really good instrument - it’s inspiring when even your mistakes have a beautiful tone to them. For all that, though, it’s the dailyness of the exercise that counts the most.
Wishing everyone an instrument that they can love and be loved by in return! I’m off to have a bash through the WTC book 1 c minor fugue; that oughta kill an hour or two. (Have a cup of tea, have a cup of tea, have a cup of tea and sit on my knee…)