I'm thinking of how disconnected I am from my musical past. Sometimes it seems so far away that I can hardly believe it was real. Time has a wicked way of diminishing the potency of things that were and eventually eclipses our shining absolutes with shadows of doubt.
I look at my two abandoned pianos gathering dust and am disheartened at the fact that I've only played them once or twice since I moved here. I'm in a dreary mood lately, battling private ghosts of melancholia.
I think of those golden California years when music and the piano were a major part of my life. I was a soloist, accompanist, ballet rehearsal pianist. I performed with orchestras, chamber groups, choirs. It was a wonderfully full life, overflowing with creativity.
For the past decade or more I've had far too many other pressing concerns to think about music. Lately, the only music that fills my life are the soothing songs of Mother Nature: chattering birds in forest trees......the great breath of the wind singing through towering branches......the lean, hungry midnight howls of coyotes.
It was your choice to abandon music, wasn't it, Jon?
We don't choose the cards that life deals us. Life is a vicious bitch that kicks us in the ass and knocks our dreams into the endless void beyond raw reality.
Bitter, Jon, really bitter....
But I'm not here to lament or philosophize. As usual, I've taken a very long road to get to the point.
I'm thinking of my past music work and the annoyingly infrequent documentation of it. Some of my public performances were filmed but heaven only knows what happened to them (or who is in possession them). Those were the days before the rampant popularity of videos and cell phones. Documentation wasn't as easy or frequent as it is now.
When I moved to Texas I had a small music studio in San Angelo. I also got my first camcorder (better late than never...). I'd prop it up on a bookshelf and film myself rehearsing or practicing the piano. These are some of the piano videos that I have on my YouTube channel. Jayveesonata
Unfortunately my virtuoso days were long gone. I was in my 40's and out of practice. The quality of my playing on these videos is mediocre (according to my critical standards).
There is a bright side to this murky mess of self-degradation. When I lived in California and was an active musician I recorded an enormous amount of my music on audio cassettes. I tossed the tapes into boxes and nearly forgot about them.
While recently going through the chaotic mess of things piled in the garage, I came across a box of my old audio cassette tapes (one of the few things the movers didn't "lose").
There are over fifty audio cassettes in the box and they contain many of my serious piano recordings: loads of classical music, a great deal of ragtime and blues, even some of my own compositions (which I thought were lost forever). I even found a unique recording made when I was twenty - my performance of Gershwin's original rare solo piano version of Rhapsody in Blue.
I plan to transfer these old cassettes to CD and MP3. There are numerous cassette converters available, such as the USB Cassette Capture (but I've heard some negative things about the sound quality).
I should probably just use the free Audacity software, although - after having looked through the tutorial - it seems rather daunting. Anyway, I want to begin this project ASAP. It will be fun.