I could equally well have titled this “What to play when you can hardly say anything”.
The first I heard about what happened in Paris on Friday 13th November, 2015, was on Saturday morning, from a Cuban artist living there, who wrote to reassure family and friends that he was alright. He was painting, his way of being at peace in the middle of it all.
As my way of being at peace at the moment is writing this book, I thought it would be a good moment to share something to play when you hardly know how to. So, for anyone who wants a wordless way of expressing what you feel:
I´d suggest that you first do whatever you usually do to calm yourself, and focus – a sip of water, two or three deep breaths, a long sigh “aaah”: and then press with your right foot the sustain pedal – and keep it down. Then just pick out individual notes, very slowly – listening deeply to the sound of each. Allow a soundscape to build up. Close your eyes, if you feel happy to do this, and bring your visual sense into play – a misty landscape, perhaps. All sounds are welcome.
When you feel you´ve had enough, let the sound die away, and release the pedal.
This is do-it-yourself relaxation music: the kind of little extra that you might find time to slip in to your bedtime routine, or substituting for something else that you do to unwind and get in touch with your quiet Self.
This is dedicated to my friend Sue, and the music is what I came up with when I heard of the loss of her grandson, Lewis.