It is an odd feeling, sending a musical instrument to its doom.
I had not really bonded with the piano I got a couple of years ago for free, well plus moving costs. For a lot of that time it was in the hallway covered over whilst the house redecorating continued. Last year I moved it from the hall to the snug. A lot of pushing and shoving on my part was required.
Still it was not like my Jemima, the old Blüthner whom I gave to a friend with a dance studio two moves ago. This piano did not give me its name. It lived in a house, the one my husband and I are moving from, that did not like music. I havep layed my concertina now and then, but only for a few days running and never in a consistent way. The drums remained silent because we live in a city. Nor was I able to overcome the treacle energy here to bring my double bass out of the corner.
So, the old piano, who did not have the pedigree to make it financially viable to refurbish to sell on, was taken away four days ago to die. It should be able to donate its ivory keys to an instrument that is getting a makeover, at least I hope so. But the instrument that has been in my house all these months reached the end of its life.
Before the removers arrived that morning, I played all the keys. I played the white ones up and the black ones down. Then I played notes and chords. When I sensed the piano had had its last song, had sung its last, I let the final notes fade.
It is bittersweet because musical instruments have a soul of a sort and this one’ left as the last note faded. I knew because I told it the fate that awaited it. I was glad that its soul flew with the last notes.
Farewell. Your last note’s song escaped into the aether and will resonate somewhere, always.
Farewell, sweet musics.
I’d definitely agree that instruments have ‘souls of a sort’. I feel that way about my drum, which I made myself. This raises the question of how something created acquires a soul… I recall my drum making was called drum birthing… when, in birth, does something become ensouled? Does a created soul differ from a ‘natural’ soul (ie. of a plant or animal or stone?). I’m sure someone else must have asked and attempted to answer these questions. Any ideas?
Sorry to hear about your piano. I’m glad to hear it had a chance to sing its farewell song.
Making, or birthing, your own drum sounds amazing. You raise a profound question about ensouling/ensoulment. I think they may be different only to the extent that the materials have aspects of ;natural soul; from the metal, hide, wood, etc from which they are crafted, but also I imagine a bit of that of tha maker. Thinking about that I suppose it is a good idea to be thoughtful about the things we bring into our lives and homes. Or at least be aware of the diverse and diverent energies of the products that surround us. I’d not thought of this before and it clearly needs more thinking about.
I am getting a different piano after we move, one that will stay tuned, the one that is gone had issues with the higher notes. I am hoping in the new home it and I will bond and be able to make music together.
What a lovely farewell. I so enjoyed reading this and imagining you playing the piano, allowing it to sing its swan song.
It is important to farewell an instrument. It is important to honour those objects in our lives that possess or convey meaning when it is time for them to be passed on or to end their existence. It’s not so much being mindful, a term much overused, but being aware of those things about us that are soul-filled. As I mentioned in the response above I am getting another piano, and I trust it and I will have a long and happy relationship.